COVID-19 Domestic Violence Country Updates: Sri Lanka
Friday, July 10, 2020 2:35 PM


Activists and healthcare professionals in Sri Lanka have reported an increase in domestic violence since the beginning of the lockdown period in late March. The government has strengthened and promoted national hotline services so that it can reach more victims. However, first-responders have limited forms of redress to offer. Courts are only responding to cases regarding prisoner bail applications and police are focused on COVID-19 response, leaving domestic abuse cases by the wayside. Access to a smartphone is limited for many women in Sri Lanka and, therefore, restricts many women from being able to receive counseling without their partner noticing. Activist recommend that the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs to mobilize Women Development Officers to support helplines, participate in referral work, and to aid victims during the curfew in fleeing violence.