Russia’s domestic violence reports more than double amid COVID-19 lockdown: official

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Reported domestic violence cases in Russia more than doubled during the country’s coronavirus lockdown, the human rights ombudswoman said Tuesday, painting a completely different picture than that provided by police data.

Complaints and reports made to Russian non-governmental organizations spiked from roughly 6,000 in March to more than 13,000 in April, Tatyana Moskalkova said. “The picture is rather non-optimistic,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted her as saying.

Her statement comes a week after Russian police said the number of domestic crimes fell by 13% during the lockdown, compared to the same month last year — a report dismissed by some women’s rights campaigners as inaccurate, as many victims don’t report domestic abuse to the police.

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Growing numbers of domestic abuse complaints have been reported all across Europe after governments instituted lockdowns and ordered residents to stay at home, as the frustrations of enforced isolation, often fueled by increased use of alcohol and dire economic straits, aggravated existing tensions or triggered new ones. Women and children are usually the victims.

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