Quarantine centres and hospital isolation wards are a new hunting place for sexual predators
Women are vulnerable to crimes. Even in the Pandemic, the crime against women has seen a sharp increase. The coronavirus pandemic has brought the whole world on its toes. People in larger numbers were and are being quarantined to contain the spread of the coronavirus. But more than the infection, institutional quarantine centres and hospitals wards seem more threatening for women. Sexual predator seeking their preys even when the very existence of the humankind is under a scanner shows what kind of society we are. Here are 5 instances that will move from inside and will leave you thinking where we are heading?
- A teenage coronavirus patient was allegedly sexually assaulted inside a care centre of Coronavirus by two other patients in New Delhi. The Sardar Vallabhai Patel COVID-19 care centre is the biggest quarantine facility in the national capital. The police suggested that the incident which took place a week before could not be investigated as the accused had tested positive for the global pandemic coronavirus. Both the accused were arrested 5 days later after they had tested negative. One of the two accused apparently filmed the crime on his cellphone.
- On July 17, News report came that a 40-year-old woman was raped at a quarantine facility in Panvel, Mumbai. As per the woman, the accused, Shubam Khatu, entered her quarantine room as a doctor and asked if she has any symptoms or problems. The woman told him that she has back pain, then the accused told her that she needs a massage. On the pretext of giving a massage, Shubham Khatu started touching her inappropriately, and then dragged her to the bathroom before raping her.
- A 25-year-old girl was molested by a government doctor at the Deen Dayal hospital on July 22 in Aligarh. Dr Tufail Ahmad, 30 allegedly molested the girl who was recuperating in the isolation ward of the hospital. As per the allegation, Dr Ahmad allegedly touched the private parts of women on the pretext of examining her.
- A migrant woman was sexually abused in a Gaya hospital of Bihar where she was kept in an isolation ward. Three days later, she succumbed to death due to excessive bleeding. Her family members alleged that she was kept in an isolation ward when a doctor attending to her overnight outraged her modesty for two regular nights.
- Not just women are sexually harassed but also physically assaulted. A nurse was allegedly beaten by a man at a coronavirus isolation ward in Kerala’s Kollam because his tea was late. The nurse, who was working without a break for more than 14 days at a quarantine centre was later admitted to hospital with injuries.
These are only a few of the horrific incidents that happened throughout the country. Many similar or more severe incidents are happening in the quarantine centres and hospital wards during the coronavirus time. These filthy sexual predators took quarantine centres as an opportunity where they can target women.
Isn’t a sick mentality?
We all should be ashamed that women are not safe even when they are fighting for their and others life. If a women coach in Metro was not enough, it seems like we need to make special women-only quarantine centres where only female health and sanitization workers are allowed. This is what it has come up to.
Many women face domestic violence or verbal and physical abuse during normal times, but the coronavirus lockdown has aggravated the situation. As per official figures, Indian women filed more domestic violence cases than recorded between March to May in the last 10 years. But this is only the tip of the iceberg as 86 per cent women who experience domestic violence do not seek help in the country. Since the lockdown started on March 25 till May 31, 1,477 complaints of domestic violence were registered.
Rishi Kant, a social activist who works at Shakti Vahini NGO said, “Domestic violence has increased as per complaints in the Women commission but cases are not being reported in the police station. Lockdown is not an ordinary time as many people lost their jobs, many didn’t receive their salaries. This brought pressure on the household. Personal space for women was infiltrated as husband and kids were at home 24*7. Gradually a situation developed when compatibility issues rose and husband and wife started fighting. The stress, anxiety due to economic pressure led to this and women started facing the anger of husbands in both rural and urban areas. For the first few days, women beard the anger of husband but now later they started raising voices.”
While talking about the solution Rishi Kant said, “Both husband and wife need to understand that these are extraordinary times. They should understand each other sentiments and help each other. Also, meditation or yoga could be a good thing to try to find peace.”
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