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Home is not a safe space for victims of domestic violence

“Because of household chores, I am required to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. But the kitchen is also where I feel most unsafe, because I am scared that if he comes while I am cooking and gets upset, there is a range of sharp items on display in front of him.”Atifa.*

Last week, I have received a number of messages on Twitter from women in different parts of Pakistan, because the lockdown due to Covid-19 has isolated them at home with their abusive partners.

For many places where they often sought refuge on a daily basis are no longer accessible; whether that be their workplace. Their maternal home or at a restaurant with friends.

This is an unexpected consequence of the pandemic but a trend that we have started to see grow exponentially in different parts of the world. It was only a matter of time until we saw this spike in Pakistan. But we may be far less prepared to handle it.

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