Published on April 5, 2020

AHMEDABAD: Just days into the lockdown, a Maninagar-based business couple entered into a big fight over house work and finances which resulted in wife smashing husband’s laptop on the floor. The angry husband reciprocated with a resounding thappad which sent the SOS 181 women’s helpline phone ringing.

“The couple is partners in life and business. Days into the lockdown, they were worried about the money getting blocked. Discussion over finances took a personal turn and wife ended up throwing her husband’s laptop on the ground. He got angry and slapped her,” said a 181 counsellor. The helpline team counselled the couple and matter cooled off only when the husband profusely apologized for the physical assault.

With people virtually locked inside their homes ever since the national lockdown was imposed on March 25 to arrest spread of Coronavirus, even as outdoors have fallen silent, the four walls of domestic dwellings are reverberating with domestic arguments and squabbles.

Infact, the 181 Abhayam Women’s Helpline run by the state government is virtually ringing off its hook with more than theefold rise in the domestic fued complaints.

“Earlier, we would get 10-odd calls daily of domestic discord which has risen to 35-40 per day. Majority cases of husband, wife getting in each other’s hair due to lockdown and people forced indoors picking faults and arguments with relatives and neighbours leading to feuds,” said Ahmedabad coordinator of 181 Abhayam Falguni Patel. 

Ghatlodiya-based couple entered into a major fight recently when the husband, dealing in plastic goods, who was rarely home due to demands of business suddenly was home due to lockdown. “The wife complained that with no work, the husband started picking faults with the wife saying she did not cook well, did not clean the house properly and even did not look after the children well,” a counselor said. 

Not a good time to fight: Experts

Tired of repeated pickings, the wife asked the husband to mind his own business and leave house management to him. “The husband got angry and slapped the wife who dialled 181 seeking help,” the counselor said. The couple was also counselled that Corona times was not a good time to fight over petty issues but time to be together and safe as a family!

In another case, a woman with a four-month old infant was thrashed when she asked her mother-in-law to help her with household chores as she was overwhelmed managing the house along with a child and sans any domestic help during lock-down. The mother-in-law in turn complained to the husband who thrashed the wife prompting her to call 181 for help.

A 16-year old girl who had eloped with her boyfriend four months back resulting in police complaint was sent to her paternal aunt’s house in Sarkhej during the lockdown.

Dr Hansal Bhachech, a city-based psychiatrist, said, “For first few days, people made most of the forced sabbatical from work but soon boredom set in. In one of the instances, a woman even tried to harm self after a domestic feud as now people have more time to mentally ponder over even trivial issues,” he said.

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