Phase II: Media Tracking of Domestic Violence, Bangladesh

Concern has been expressed both nationally and internationally about the possible increase in domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic due to lockdown, increased isolation, stress and poverty. BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) has undertaken a media tracking exercise to understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on domestic violence, how it is being reported as well as the discussions surrounding it. Our previous brief focused on rising domestic violence reports in international media, the lack of visibility in the national press and the challenges in reporting cases. The second phase of this research tracks the media coverage of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis from the period of 16th March to 9th May 2020. Key findings among others include- availability of more data on the extent of domestic violence but no conclusive proof of an increase in rates, increased awareness of domestic violence in the digital community, demand for establishing virtual courts as closing of courts made filing cases difficult. The research recommends toll free hotlines in order to make access to online complaints and counselling services easier for abuse victims and states that special attention should be given to ensure that existing mechanisms to deal with domestic violence complaints remain functional in spite of COVID-19 pressures and difficulties.

Author: Mahpara, Pragyna
Type: Research Update
Year: 2020