CORO’s Rapid Response To Gender-Based Violence, During Coronavirus Lockdown

Following the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown, we began our relief mission with an immediate objective to give food aid to unreached populations, and we were able to support 15,951 families, in rural and urban areas of Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
The lockdown has led to an increase in number cases of domestic violence across the world. Moreover, the gendered impact of the situation on women has been significant. Thus, along with distribution of food kits, we also provided emergency contact details on ration kits (delivered to families under relief initiative) for women to report violence, in Mumbai. This action resulted in following response -

-102 calls received (women 96, men 6)

-92 DV (87 economic violence, 5 sexual violence)

-10 other issues

Women are experiencing an increase in household chores and care-giving responsibilities. Additionally, most people working on the frontlines to combat COVID-19 are women, making them more vulnerable to the disease. People from marginalized communities are the most affected with income opportunities terribly hit and little to no means to provide for their families.
In the light of this, we decided to conduct a rapid assessment taking into account various aspects of the lockdown that have affected these communities, especially women with special focus on gender based violence and various factors of the lockdown that contribute to it. This assessment was conducted in the M East and M West wards of Chembur-Trombay region.
In the assessment we interviewed women, men, youth (men and women), children (girls and boys) and whole families, to get a comprehensive picture of how each of these groups have been affected. In total 329 interviews were conducted across 8400 households. These are 25 families (71 adults and 19 children), 69 men and 69 women, 68 young men and women and 33 children. Our team of 29 interviewers conducted these interviews in the span of a week.
Through quick feedback from our team on interviewing people from the community, we found that most people expressed financial distress, mental distress, no jobs and increase in restlessness among family members. As expected women are primarily responsible for household work and care giving responsibilities, which has doubly increased during this time. Men are experiencing the burden of being “the family breadwinner”, with almost no means to provide for them. The youth are worried about their education, where young men expressed fear of disruption of education and young women fear discontinuation.