Shah on Domestic Violence During India’s Lockdown

Public Policy Professor Manisha Shah spoke to Quartz about domestic violence in India during the COVID-19 lockdown. A study co-authored by Shah found a significant increase in domestic violence and cybercrime complaints in May in Indian districts with the strictest lockdown measures relative to districts with the least strict measures. Reports of rape and sexual assault declined as people avoided public spaces and workplaces during the lockdown. “We cannot rule out the possibility of some displacement of rape and sexual assault from public spaces outside homes to rape by family members inside homes,” explained Shah, director of the Global Lab for Research in Action at UCLA Luskin. Marital rape is vastly underreported in India, she said. “Women face a portfolio of danger, and policies such as lockdowns can improve certain types of violence outcomes while exacerbating others,” she said.

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