Published : Thursday, 30 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM

Banani Mallick

A group of legal aid experts and rights activists have proposed introducing a virtual court
to prevent violence against women and children amid Coronavirus outbreak across the

They came up with the suggestion when different national and international
organizations said various forms of violence against women had increased amid
Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Talking to the Daily Observer many gender experts and women rights activists said
Coronavirus had exacerbated the violence against women and children more than ever

However, the rights activists and legal experts proposed this suggestion at an online
view-exchanged meeting titled ‘Violence against Women and Children amid
Coronavirus Lockdown: The Present Status and What to Do’.

The meeting was jointly organized by Paribarik Shahingsha Pratirodh Jote (a platform to
resist family violence) and Rape Law Reform Coalition on Tuesday.
Law experts participated in the meeting from the government and non government

They said members of law enforcement agencies must introduce an online-based case
filing opportunity and virtual courts across the country to prevent different forms of
violence against women and children.

The legal experts also noted that other government and non government organizations
linked with Paribarik Shahingsha Pratirodh Jote and Rape Law Reform Coalition must
compile all the hotlines and help lines from where victims can get legal support.
They also can publish news on violence in media so that victims can get support.
Advocate Sara Hossain said the government must open a virtual case filing opportunity
so that victims can file general diary.

She noted that the situation got worse because of the lockdown as women are not able
to get access to support or escape from violence.

“We receive lots of information on domestic violence by men in various parts of the
country,” she said. She also noted that the marginal women especially the disabled women are facing
extreme violence.

Tahara Yesmin, GIZ, said telecounseling and online number of the Ministry of Women
and Children Affairs should be disseminated among people extensively.
Jenefa Jabbar, Director, Human Rights and Legal Aid Services and Social ComplianceBrac, said victims of violence are not being accepted to the government and non government shelter homes due to Coronavirus outbreak.
“We must think of these victims. Where will they go?” she asked.

Sultana Kamal, an eminent human rights activist, said women and children have become
vulnerable to men who are now more ferocious than ever before due to Coronavirus
outbreak,” she said.

“Men used to go out of houses now pass their time at homes posing serious threat to
women and children,” she said.

Eminent economist Debapriya Bhattacharya said they were being informed about such
violence against women from different parts of the country.

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