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Government helpline receives record number of calls on abuse, violence amid lockdown

Government helpline receives record number of calls on abuse, violence amid lockdown

According to report,Childline India helpline received more than 92,000 SOS calls asking for protection from abuse and violence in 11 days, a sombre indication that the lockdown has turned into extended captivity not just for many women but also for children trapped with their abusers at home. Of the 3.07 lakh calls received by the ‘CHILDLINE 1098’ helpline for children in distress across the country between March 20-31, covering the first week of the lockdown, 30 per cent were about protection against abuse and violence on children, said Harleen Walia, deputy director of Childline India. This comes to 92,105 calls.

According to the deputy director, the number of calls after the lockdown, which started after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on March 24, has increased by 50 per cent.

The data was shared on Tuesday during an orientation workshop for district-based child protection units and attended by senior Women and Child Development ministry officials. Discussions at the workshop focused on coronavirus-related issues and ways to reduce stress on children during the ongoing lockdown.

Some of the other calls received following the lockdown dealt with physical health (11 per cent of calls), child labour (8 per cent), missing and runaway children (8 per cent) and homeless (5 per cent), according to figures shared by Walia in the meeting.

Besides, the helpline got 1,677 calls with questions on the coronavirus and 237 seeking help for those who are sick.

Walia has suggested the helpline be declared an essential service during the lockdown. Many women who are victims of domestic violence are also more vulnerable during the lockdown.

National Commission of Women chairperson Rekha Sharma recently said domestic violence complaints have been increasing by the day since the nationwide lockdown was imposed with 69 complaints received just through email.

From March 24 till April 1, 257 complaints related to various offences against women were received.

Of the 257, 69 complaints are related to domestic violence, the latest data released by the NCW showed.

Topic: #childline
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