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CHR urges gov’t to aid domestic violence victims amid quarantine

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Sunday underscored the need for the government to put measures in place that would allow victims of domestic abuse to seek help despite the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia noted that “increased threat to women and children can be a predicted consequence of the coronavirus lockdowns” due to uncertainty over the pandemic, restriction of movement, and financial constraints.

“These embolden perpetrators to assert coercive control over their partners and children which could lead to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse,” she said in a statement.

De Guia noted that victims of domestic violence are trapped at home with their abusers under the lockdown that seeks to curb the spread of the disease.

The CHR urged the government to take the following steps to combat domestic abuse:

  • adopt measures ensuring that victims of abuses have access to legal aid, such as restraining orders even during crisis
  • provide safe shelters and financial aid for those who want to leave their house
  • provide medical and psychological care through helpline services which victims could access via online chats and texting services

The spokesperson added that accurate statistic on domestic violence was difficult to obtain since instances of abuse at home often go unreported due to stigma and the sensitivity of the issue.

The entire of Luzon was under quarantine until April 13, but the implementer of the government’s COVID-19 response said it may be extended by 15 more days. — DVM, GMA News