Yangyel Lhaden 

Thimphu police, National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), and RENEW recorded 223 gender-based violence cases during the second lockdown from December 20 to January 15.

RENEW recorded 130 cases of which 92 victims are female, 16 are male, and 22 children. The cases included physical, emotional and economic violence. Some women and children were in difficult circumstances, and some suffered sexual abuse.

Records with RENEW showed that Wangduephodrang recorded the highest with 19 cases.

NCWC received 86 phone calls related to gender-based violence, which included domestic violence, intimate partner violence and non-partner violence, of which 22 are male.

NCWC also attended a case of a child under difficult circumstances resulting from child abuse, neglect, and destitute.

The commission also received 10 calls from women in difficult circumstances, a child in conflict with the law and a man in difficult circumstances.

Out of 86 calls, 31 cases needed immediate interventions, where the victims were rescued to emergency shelter homes.  The officials visited the scene and escorted victims to a place of safety. They also referred the cases to police and other service providers.

NCWC received a total of 196 calls and 99 calls were related to person in distress which required psychological support such as counselling, information, and advice.

Meanwhile, Thimphu police station recorded seven domestic violence cases, of which four cases would be charged to court while three cases were compromised and withdrawn.

Under the Royal command of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, emergency shelter homes are established in dzongkhags. It is coordinated by the His Majesty’s Secretariat, de-suups, NCWC, RENEW and dzongkhags.

About 30 women along with their children sought emergency shelter in the dzongkhags. Four men were also separated from their partner and kept in shelter home in Thimphu.

An official from Royal Office for  Media  said that the team in collaboration with RENEW and NCWC was  working on ways to empower the women and self-resilient programmes for life outside the shelter after the lockdown.