Delhi Women and Child Development Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam on Wednesday said there has been no increase in domestic violence cases during lockdown.
Gautam held a meeting with Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, along with other department officials, to discuss the notice issued by the National Commission for Women (NCW) which reported a spike in domestic violence cases in Delhi.
As per the NCW, they received 123 complaints of domestic violence and said that they have observed a rise in such cases during the lockdown imposed to control the spread of coronavirus.
"In the light of this, the DCW chief shared the data of calls with the Cabinet Minister that contrary to NCW reports, there has been a sharp decline in the number of domestic violence cases and distress calls on their 181 helpline number," the Department said.
Maliwal said that before lockdown, the DCW received 1,500-1,800 calls per day on 181 helpline number for issues pertaining to domestic violence.
"However, during the lockdown, there was no increase in the number of calls... rather, there was a decline in the number of calls especially those regarding the issues of domestic violence. Even the number of complaints in DCW's One Stop Centres have come to just 10 during the nationwide lockdown," the Department cited her as saying.
As per the call record data of the 181 helpline number regarding domestic violence complaints, the DCW received only 212 calls from March 30 till April 6 and 171 calls between April 14 and 20.
The DCW also said that it has also observed a decline in cases and complaints of molestation, sexual assault, stalking in the Capital.
Gautam also directed the officials to publicise the 181 helpline number in Delhi so that women in distress can reach out to the DCW for help.
Along with this, he has also ordered that more Protection Officers should be appointed under the Domestic Violence Act.
"All vacancies need to be filled on an immediate basis," the Minister said.
Along with 181 helpline number, the DCW has also launched a special WhatsApp Number +91- 9350181181 to register complaints regarding domestic violence, he said.
"The DCPCR (Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights) recently launched a helpline number 011-41182977 for children who need any kind of mental health counselling during the lockdown," he added.
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