Crimes decrease, domestic violence increases in Istanbul

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With much of Turkey staying at home, domestic violence has increased by 38.2 percent in Istanbul, as many women are confined at their homes with their abusers.

Although crime rates have declined by approximately 40 percent, as the Turkish government has told its entire population to “stay at home” unless necessary or they have to go to work due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the number of domestic abuse cases is surging.

There were 1,804 domestic violence incidents in Istanbul in March 2019. The number of domestic abuse incidents increased to 2,493 in the same month this year, a 38.2 percent increase when compared to last year.

Although Istanbul saw a surge in domestic violence incidents, the city has seen fewer crimes committed.

According to information gathered from Istanbul Police Department data, 13,538 crimes took place in March last year, while 11,578 incidents of the same crimes occurred in March this year.

As 958 pickpocketing crimes were committed in March last year, it was seen that this year 393 of them happened in the same month, a 59 percent decrease compared to the previous year.

Compared to the previous year, the crime with the most decreases was snatching with 49 percent, while theft decreased by 44 percent and murder by 36 percent.

Increasing violence against women at homes is becoming a global trend.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned of a “horrifying global surge” in domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis and urged governments to step up efforts to prevent violence against women.

“We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19. But they can trap women with abusive partners,” Guterres said in a video message posted on Twitter.

“For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest in their own homes.”

In some countries, the number of women calling support services has doubled, healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed, and local support groups are “paralyzed” or short of funds, the U.N. chief said.

U.N. data reveals that domestic violence and violence against women have increased in a few countries, including Turkey.

Hurriyet Daily News

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