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During Coronavirus, Domestic Violence is on the Rise in Several Countries

During Coronavirus, Domestic Violence is on the Rise in Several Countries

Wednesday, 6 May, 2020 - 10:00
People walk in the main market in Jerusalem while Israel tightened a national stay-at-home policy following the spread of the coronavirus disease (File: Reuters)

Domestic violence is on the rise globally during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to other crimes, including in Turkey and Palestine.

The crime rate in Palestine has decreased significantly, compared to violence against women.

Palestinian police spokesman Louay Arzaiqat said that there is a significant drop in crimes such as murder, theft, and traffic accidents. However, this did not seem to apply to violent crimes against women.

Member of General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) Fitna Khalifah documented an increase in domestic abuse.

Khalifah indicated that in the first two weeks of the spread of the COVID-19, women’s organizations received over 500 calls from women saying they were subject to psychological or physical abuse under the lockdown.

These figures remain relatively low compared to domestic violence in Israel, which witnessed a 16 percent increase.

Israeli police confirmed that violence and in public spaces dropped, while domestic violence spiked.

Data showed that in the past week alone, various centers received 222 calls from women who reported being subjected to abuse at home, compared to 191 calls last March.

Four women have been killed in Israel in domestic crimes since mid-March.

The situation is similar in Turkey, where most crime rates such as robbery, kidnapping, and murder, have fallen by more than 35 percent, compared to a nearly 40 percent increase in domestic violence, according to data released by the Turkish General Security Directorate.

The Istanbul Security Directorate reported that 80.4 families witness a violent crime daily, 99 percent of which are within the city.

A number of women's rights associations in Turkey announced the death of 29 women last March, including 21 within a period of 20 days.

Turkish security expert Muhammed Agar said the change in crime rates in Turkey is consistent with changes in different parts of the world.

Agar indicated that domestic violence increased as a result of the pressures of lockdown and people staying indoors, coupled with economic problems.

Other crimes, such as theft, kidnapping, and murder fell as majority of citizens remain indoors.

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