Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services Aishath Mohamed Didi revealed late Saturday that the number of domestic violence cases reported to the authorities saw an increase with the easing of certain lockdown measures at the end of May.
Answering media questions at the press conference held by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), Minister Aishath stated that there was a decline in reported cases during April and most of May, but reported cases picked up from the end of the month.
"We noticed the increase in reported cases were mostly regarding domestic violence, of which most cases were physical violence".
In addition to cases of violence, the number of individuals who reached out to the Gender Ministry over mental health issues also increased after the state began lifting lockdown restrictions.
Although she noted that cases of sexual abuse against children had also spiked during this period, the minister maintained that the number of reported incidents remain more or less the same compared to this time last year, as per statistics.
From January till now, a total of 387 cases of child abuse were reported, of which 221 are female victims and 166 are male.
Adults reported a total of 112 domestic violence cases within this duration, of which all except nine complaints were lodged by female victims.
"I want to note that these statistics are what is usually the norm", Minister Aishath said.
Globally, alarm has been raised over higher incidence of domestic violence and gender-based violence due to the COVID-19 lockdown, with several vulnerable individuals forced into at-risk environments.
Other countries have also revealed that the number of cases reported to the authorities decreased during lockdown when victims were locked-in with their abusers.