Health Desk- 07 May 2020: Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) said some 4,249 women faced different forms of domestic violence across the country in April during the nationwide shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a survey conducted by MJF, of the victims, 848 women faced physical violence, 2,000 experienced mental torture, while 1,308 women faced economic violence.
Some 85 women also encountered sexual violence, MJF on Wednesday shared the information in a virtual press conference on "Domestic Violence during the lockdown in Bangladesh".
In April, 33 incidents of child marriage took place while another 141 child marriages were averted due to prompt action by MJF's affiliated bodies.
Other incidents including rape and sexual harassment numbered 42 in April, according to the survey. "Some 1,672 women admitted they faced violent incidents for the first time in their lives."
Moreover, at least 424 children became subject to torture in their families during the shutdown, it added.
MJF's 24 affiliated organisations collected the data in 27 districts while a total of 17,203 women were interviewed over the phone and based on a specific questionnaire.
MJF urged the government to put emphasis on domestic violence besides focusing on other necessities like food assistance and income opportunities amid the shutdown situation.
It called upon authorities concerned including the home ministry, law ministry, women and children affairs ministry and the inspector general of police to give directives to their field-level officials for enhancing activities with a priority to curbing domestic violence.
Besides, it urged the national helpline services like "109" and "999" to enhance their support amid the shutdown.