11/17/2021, 09.54
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Covid sees 315% hike in domestic abuse of women

Prolonged lockdowns and restrictions have led to an increase in domestic violence. From 688 cases in 2019 to 2853 in 2020. Homicides from 17 to 26, at least 13 committed by a partner. Reports of abuse and threats in the couple grew by 11.6%. Wizo activist: long-term programs to "treat post-traumatic disorders". 

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - In 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic characterized by prolonged lockdowns and heavy restrictions on travel, domestic violence against women in Israel increased by 315%.

The shocking figure is similar to that recorded in other nations of the world, confirming that the forced coexistence within domestic walls to contain the spread of the new coronavirus has triggered other emergencies of a social nature. First of all, that of abuse c in the family which, in the Jewish State, increased from 688 cases in 2019 to 2853 in 2020, not counting hidden or unreported abuse.

The figures are contained in the annual report published in recent days by the Women's International Zionist Organization (Wizo), based on data provided by ministries, government agencies, the state auditor's office, the police and the prison department. Homicides of women in the family environment increased from 17 in 2019 to 26 last year; of these, at least 13 were the work of partners (husbands or partners) and, in four cases, complaints of mistreatment and abuse had been filed prior to the commission of the crime. 

In addition, 31.2% of the suspected homicides were already known to law enforcement. The increase in violence recorded last year is also confirmed by calls to 118, the number dedicated to complaints, with a figure for calls rising from 2286 in 2019 to 5866 in 2020. The report is published on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is celebrated on November 25, and reports 20140 complaints collected by the police for abuse and threats within the couple, an increase of 11.6% over the previous year.

Everywhere you look, it's as if someone has lit a fire," Rivka Neumann, director of WIZO's Division for the Advancement of Women, told the Media Line. "During [COVID-19] lockdowns women and children found themselves stuck inside homes with an abusive person." "There was no way for them to go outside and they couldn't go to school or work," Neumann said. "This combination of locking people indoors and being [in close proximity] to a violent man resulted in a rise in domestic violence cases."

For the Wizo activist, these troubling numbers are expected to improve within the next few years as pandemic-related restrictions are loosened, though the damage caused by 2020 will have repercussions for years to come. In addition, people with post-traumatic stress disorder (Ptsd), will require extensive help. "“Trauma is like a wound — if you don’t take care of it, it will get infected and spread,” she explained. “I call on the Israeli government to take on these findings and translate them into long-term [programs] because we have many more families that have entered the cycle of violence and we’re seeing new types of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.”.

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