New Delhi: With no avenues to escape, the coronavirus lockdown has become hell for many women in India as they continue to be the victims of abuse and assault by men. Trapped with their abusers at home, the lockdown might have kept them safe from coronavirus, but not from domestic violence and sexual harassment. Also Read - Fear of Job Loss, Anxiety & Abuse: India Sees A 20% Rise In Mental Illness Cases Amid Lockdown

From March 23 to April 16, the National Commission for Women received 587 complaints of crime against women, out of which 239 are related to domestic violence. Also Read - UN Chief Cites 'Horrifying Global Surge In Domestic Violence', Urges Countries to Protect Women

Disturbing numbers

According to data shared by the NCW, 123 cases of domestic violence were received between February 27 and March 22. In the last 25 days, the commission received 239 more such complaints.

From February 27 to March 22, a total of 396 offences related to women were reported to the NCW, while from March 23 to April 16, as many as 587 such complaints were received, according to the data.

Talking about the shocking figures, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma earlier said that the high number can be attributed to the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak which has locked the abuser and the victim together.

Owing to increase in such cases, the NCW had launched a WhatsApp number (72177135372) on April 10 to report domestic violence on an emergency basis during the lockdown. The commission also constituted a special team to handle these complaints on a fast track basis.

Since the launch of this dedicated WhatsApp number, a total of 40 messages were received reporting domestic violence, the data showed.

The NCW, in a statement, said these messages are first scrutinised and those related to domestic violence amid the lockdown are taken up on priority and to provide immediate security to aggrieved women with the help of state police and administration.

Not just India, inhuman cases of domestic violence meted on women have been on the rise across the world. Expressing concern over the same, UN Secretary General António Guterres on April 6, had appealed for peace in homes around the world and urged countries to redress violence against women.