An NGO, the Attah Sisters Helping Hands Foundation (ASHHF) says the COVID-19 lockdown has increased domestic violence among the vulnerable in Bauchi State.
Executive Director of ASHHF, Mrs Comfort Attah, disclosed this in an interview on Wednesday in Bauchi.
Attah said the partial lockdown to stop the spread of Coronavirus had put some vulnerable groups more at risk.
She said the women and children who lived with domestic violence had no escape from their abusers during the lockdown.
“The present situation of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and COVID- 19 lockdown in Bauchi State is increasing and getting to an alarming state.
“Our organisation alone recorded not less than five cases in a week, not to mention other organisations, who are also handling similar cases of SGBV in this lockdown.
According to her, with the increase in SGBV during COVID- 19, the foundation has discovered reasons for the increase.
“From poverty, attitudinal behaviour of some men who cannot handle close family together, because men are not used to staying home.
“Rather the frustration and idleness are mostly transferred to the women and as such, domestic violence happens,” she said.
Attah reiterated that the pandemic further deepened gender inequalities because the burden of caring for children at home falls disproportionately on women.
She added that the lockdown trapped women at home with abusive spouses, partners and family members with limited access to support services.
The executive director appealed to the state government to set up a mobile court charged with responsibility of handling SGBV cases in the state.
She said the government should also increase their support to vulnerable women and children because in any situation, women and children were mostly affected.
Attah also urged the government to increase efforts in raising awareness of the criminal nature of domestic violence and the services available to victims.
ASHH foundation with the support of Global Affairs Canada/ActionAid is working on women’s Voice and Leadership projects with a committee to ending all forms of SGBV in the state.