Tokyo, May 12 (Jiji Press)–Workplace and school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an increase in domestic violence and child abuse consultations in Japan.
Support groups fear that potential victims may face higher risks as many people stay at home due to the epidemic.
The Bond Project, an organization supporting females in their 10s and 20s, received a consultation from a woman in her early 20s.
She had been kicked and punched by a man with whom she shares her home from before, and the violence escalated and continued for longer after he started working from home.
As the woman spends almost all of her day indoors, she is virtually placed under constant surveillance, making it difficult to run away from her predicament.
A girl told the organization that she was suffering abuse by her parents. Until the pandemic, she had avoided them by going to school and coming home very late to shorten the time she interacts with them.
However, school closures have forced her to stay home, exposing her to more verbal abuse. She told the Bond Project that she has nowhere to escape to and spends every day at home in fear.
Domestic violence cases spiked after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami as well as the global financial crisis of 2008.
“When people are irritated or become lethargic, they may become violent toward their family,” said a staff member at the House in Emergency of Love and Peace, a private shelter for women. “It can happen to anybody, if uncertainty that can’t be helped continues.”