Domestic assault, violent crimes rise in Turkey amid coronavirus measures

Domestic violence hotlines have been strained in Turkey amid the novel coronavirus pandemic as many families spend more time indoors, in line with protocols to stem the spread of the disease.

Canan Gullu, president of the Federation of Women Associations of Turkey, said her organization received 80% more reports of domestic assaults last month compared to March 2019.

She said the rise comes as the police emergency number, 155, has been reportedly overburdened and the KADES mobile app, a state system used to report domestic and gender-based violence, is also facing service blackouts.

“Before the coronavirus, Turkey did not have strong mechanisms to combat domestic violence and now this crisis is overburdening some state systems and putting families at risk,” Gullu told Al-Monitor.

Women’s rights advocates say the rise in violence is not only being spurred by a string of urban curfews, which lock families in close quarters with potentially abusive relatives, but may also be the result of a prisoner-release bill passed on April 13 to reduce jail populations and curb the spread of COVID-19 in state penitentiaries.

Read the full story on Al Monitor.