Opening of liquor shops may lead to spurt in domestic violence

Hyderabad: As India entered Phase-3 of the lockdown on Monday due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, women who have been already facing domestic violence might suffer more owing to the government decision to open liquor shops, according to women, police officers and social activist.

Reporting many previous cases The National Commission for Women said, “Several cases have been reported by women against their drunkard husbands for domestic violence since years.”

The National Commission for Women (NCW) said, “Women are facing the brunt of this upheaval in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. There’s an increasing number of domestic violence complaints and worse it is difficult for women to access institutional support at times like these.”

Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Director of the Centre for Social Research (CSR) said, “According to the government’s own National Family Health Survey data, there is a direct link between alcohol use and violence by men. So certainly it will escalate.”

When spoke to a few women in the slums of Shaikpet, Hanuman Nagar, Shanti Nagar and Mehdipatnam, it was revealed how these women are against the opening of wine shops as their husbands are torturing them for money. This is leading to the same old violent scenarios in the house that had subsided during the lockdown.

The women spoke about the serious financial crisis and no source of income. How could a daily wage earner adjust money for liquor where it is difficult to find the money for food, they said.

These women were housemaids, school ayahs and cleaning staff in various offices. They alleged that due to closed liquor shops their husbands had initially tortured them for liquor but had slowly learned to adjust without it. But now as the liquor shops are open they are going back to the same old habit of drinking, coming home late, asking money for drinking which normally leads to violence.

“Recently, a woman phoned and said that her husband has been drinking at home and beating her up. She also said that she cannot go out and seek help,” Jameela Nishat, founder-director of Shaheen, an NGO, informed.

Shamina Shafiq, Social Activist said, “There are chances that women and children will fall prey to domestic violence due to alcohol consumption by men.”

“With liquor shops closed during the lockdown, there was a fair chance of an increase in domestic violence owing to withdrawal symptoms. But we have not received many complaints. That was strange,” Dr Naseem Fahad.

Several videos have gone viral where women urge the government to close the liquor shops. 

Nihad Amani

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