Duvar English

STAR Women’s Association, a newly established women’s solidarity organization in the eastern province of Van, has said that hundreds of women are believed to have been exposed to domestic violence during the coronavirus period in the province.

Speaking at the launch event for the association, Chairwoman Serap Güvenç said that there has been an increase in domestic violence cases as a result of the mandatory COVID-19 isolation.

She said that 10 women have consulted them in the past two months for psychological or divorce counseling due to increasing domestic violence.

“Women’s shelters have become full and stopped taking in newcomers at one point during the pandemic. In some regions, police don’t accept applications anymore or refer women to courthouses,” Güvenç said.

The chairwoman said that many women who are experiencing domestic violence are reluctant to go through official channels due to lengthy and often ineffective legal procedures.

“We also see a lot of women carry fear and anxiety about going to officials. They say they don’t want to make an official report,” Güvenç said.

The chairwoman added that apart from physical violence, women and children have also experienced other forms of violence during the pandemic.