London: Countries around the world have reported a significant spike in domestic violence as authorities have resorted to lockdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus.
According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 1.6 million women and 786,000 men experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales in the year ending March 2019.
In a video message on microblogging website, film star Michael Sheen has appealed to authorities to have a plan to deal with the ‘dramatic rise’.
Activists have said the quarantine measures will lead to a surge in domestic violence and make it harder for victims to seek help.
In France, government has revealed a rise of 36 percent in domestic violence in Paris, while a spike of 32 per cent has been observed elsewhere in France. French government has established 20 centres in stores around the country so women could drop in for help while getting groceries and an additional €1 million ($1.1 million) have been allocated for anti-domestic abuse organisations to help them respond to increased demand for services.
France introduced a separate initiative last week to encourage women to report domestic abuse in pharmacies.
The move follows a similar one in Spain where women can go to their pharmacy and request a “Mask 19” – a code word that will alert the pharmacist to contact the authorities.