Domestic Violence Awareness

Domestic violence, a prevalent problem in India, saw an increase during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. This article explores the factors associated with an increase in domestic violence incidents during COVID-19 by applying routine activity theory (RAT) framework. Data were drawn from the incidents of domestic violence reported in newspapers. Data was analyzed using content analysis and three major themes, i.e., three principle components of RAT—motivated offender, suitable target, and absence of capable guardian—were drawn. Findings reveal that sources of motivation in domestic violence perpetrators during the lockdown were alcohol and unemployment. The symbolic value that perpetrators associated with women, lower inertia, visibility, and accessibility to the perpetrators made women suitable targets of domestic violence. Lastly, shortage of police force and travel restrictions on formal and informal sources resulted in the absence of capable guardians. We conclude that changes in the routine activities of people during the COVID-19 lockdown provided more opportunities to the perpetrators of domestic violence.