Cases of violence against women have gone up in AchhamMany men who have returned home from foreign jobs due to the pandemic have taken to drinking and hitting their wives and children, police say.
Cases of violence against women in villages in Achham have increased in the last few months, according to police. A growing number of women have been reaching out to the law enforcement agency with complaints against their husbands who have returned home from foreign countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We received 39 cases of domestic violence during the lockdown period. Among them, many complaints were filed by women against their husbands,” said Yogendra Singh Thapa, Deputy Superintendent of Police in Achham. According to him, incidents of murder, violence and suicide have also increased in the district since March. “Liquor consumption among men during the lockdown could have contributed to the rise in the incidents of violence against women.”
A 34-year-old woman in Ward No. 3 of Kamalbazaar Municipality, Achham, is currently taking shelter at her parent’s home after her husband started beating her and the children. Her husband, who used to work as a daily wage worker in India, had returned home some two months ago. “It was okay for a month. But, within two months, my husband started to get drunk and beat me and my children on a daily basis,” she said.
According to the woman, she had gone to the people’s representative to seek help but was asked to return home and make peace with her husband. “I was told it would be shameful for my family if I went to the police. But I couldn’t take his beatings so I left home with my two children.”
Another woman in Mangalsen also filed a complaint with the police against her husband recently. Her husband who is a returnee from abroad also started drinking and assaulting her and their two daughters.
“The police spoke to my husband at the police station and was given a warning but the beating continued,” said the woman. “I don’t have anywhere else to go so I endure torture at the hands of my husband every day.”
Saraswati Rawal, vice-chairperson of Ramaroshan Rural Municipality, confirms the rise in incidents of domestic violence and violence against women in the villages. She also attributes the violence against women committed by men to excessive alcohol consumption.
“Most men have returned to villages and they are now without jobs. Most of them have started drinking,” she said. “Homemade liquors are easily available in villages. Even though we are making efforts to stop the sale and consumption of local liquor, our efforts have been unsuccessful.”
According to Rawal, the municipality has started deploying volunteers in villages to discourage the sale and consumption of alcohol, but to little effect.
“In the last six months, we received complaints of violence equivalent to what we would receive in a year. The number is escalating and the crime rate has gone up in villages,” said DSP Thapa.