With people across Iran advised to stay home to stem the coronavirus pandemic’s spread, activists have reported a rise in domestic violence cases since the start of self-quarantines.
Meanwhile, Iranians received a text message on their mobile phones on Friday, sent by the Health Ministry, which asked people to call a hotline to report domestic violence cases.
In remarks on Tuesday, Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar said 123 is a national domestic abuse helpline serving as “Social Emergency Service” that provides advice and support to people.
The hotline can also prevent the commitment of crimes, because informing people about such social emergency service will deter the abusers and criminals from any wrongdoing, she noted.
123 is a free-phone 24 hour helpline run by the State Welfare Organization of Iran, which provides advice and psychological support to victims of domestic violence.
Ebtekar has announced that the helpline will greatly help strengthen the family foundations, since the service is not confined to a specific gender and is designed to address every type of violence that may harm the families.
She noted that while the social distancing programs have been carried out as a common protocol in the world to stop the spread of coronavirus, they have put family members in perpetual proximity to each other, which has increased the risk of tensions and domestic violence.
There has been a rise in the number of reports of domestic abuse in the world after the coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions, she added, saying the number of applications for divorce has risen by several times in Iran.
Ebtekar finally noted that the Vice-Presidency for Women and Family Affairs has prepared a series of podcast to help prevent domestic violence.