Twitter Launched A New Initiative To Help Domestic Violence Victims Reach Out To Reliable Sources. This Is A Great Feature
Even before this lockdown was put into place, domestic violence was a very serious threat that women were facing. But in the last 4 months, the number of domestic violence cases reported has been blowing up. According to the NCW, the number of cases during this lockdown has nearly doubled, and that is extremely troubling. It has gotten so bad that domestic abuse is now being called the ‘shadow pandemic’. Hundreds of women have been left at the mercy of their assailants with no way to escape and extremely few reliable resources. For them, their home is probably far more dangerous than the streets.
We can only imagine the gut-wrenching fear they must feel and the harsh impact on their mental health. Which is why now is the time to help them get away from their abusive family members and into a safe environment. Now, there are multiple helplines and shelters that give refuge to these victims. But the first and foremost issue that these victims might face is difficulty in reaching out to them. Especially with their abusers around all the time monitoring their every move and delivering threats of more violence.
Although, there is an excellent way to counter this problem. On Wednesday Twitter India launched an initiative through which a search prompt with pop up for anyone looking up keywords relating to domestic violence. This search prompt will direct the user towards relevant and reliable information from the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the National Commission of Women.
Twitter India said in a statement “Every time someone (in India) searches for certain keywords associated with the issue of domestic violence, a prompt will direct them to the relevant information and sources of help available on Twitter.”
Also Read: Smriti Irani Did Not Say There’s No Surge In Cases Of Domestic Violence. She Chose To Not Answer It At All. Why Though?
This initiative makes it so much simpler for women to get to reliable sources of help quickly, especially when time is of the essence. I decided to try out this feature and typed the words “domestic violence” into my search option on Twitter. The first search prompt read, “You are not alone, We are with you”. Under it were links directing the user to the NCW and the Ministry of Women and Child Development websites. How amazing is this? Now, victims trying to reach out will know which helplines to call with just one search.
Mahima Kaul, Twitter India and South Asia Director Public Policy Director said, “”We are aware that many suffering domestic violence are isolated at home with abusers, without friends or bystanders around them who can step in to help. We recognise collaboration with the public, government and NGOs is key to combating the complex issue of domestic violence.”
This new feature is an extension of Twitter India’s earlier initiative, #ThereIsHelp. The campaign was specifically put in place to help people in need to find credible and reliable information about various social issues that plague our society. Some of the issues included in this initiative are dowry, dowry death, gender violence, gender-based violence, lockdown violence, marital rape and POSH (prevention of sexual harassment).
Also Read: The Number Of Cases Of Domestic Violence Have Increased During Lockdown. The NCW Is Taking Initiatives To Fight It. But Is It Enough?
— Indian Link (@indian_link) June 18, 2020
The addition of domestic violence to this campaign was because the NCW had recorded a two-fold rise in gender-based violence during thins lockdown period.
Rekha Sharma, chairperson of the NCW said “With social distancing norms in place, several women are unable to contact their regular support systems. This initiative by Twitter will provide big support to the survivors, who would otherwise be easily isolated without access to relevant information and help.”
The best part about this new initiative by Twitter India is that it has minimized all the search time for the victims. They will have all the reliable information in just one search.
This was much-needed!