Turkey: Izmir women's advocates increase services as domestic violences creeps up during lockdown

Increases in domestic violence have been reported throughout Turkey amid the lockdown and curfews imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus. In Izmir, one of the country's largest municipalities, women's advocacy groups are doing what they can to increase capacity at women's shelters for survivors of abuse, footage filmed on Thursday and Friday shows. «Since the beginning of the year 2000, people... Еще were left with little time to spend together at home. One thinks corona would make lives happier and enrich sharing, which was the case for some. However for so many women, these days turned into torture,» said Neptun Soyer, who coordinates women's services for the Izmir municipality and is wife of Izmir mayor, Tunc Soyer. One such victim was Hande Salih, who fled her husband after he started using drugs while unemployed and forced to stay at home during the pandemic. «My husband has been a drug addict. He was smoking weed and started using crystal meth. He said he was going to give up. He had stopped for a while but during these corona times he started using again,» said Salih, currently a resident at a local women's shelter. «The gendarmerie dropped me here as I have no one to go to. This place actually charges me. This place is not free. I had some savings so I am using them here. I also have to eat and feed my baby, I am about to run out of money,» she added. According to Muzeyyen Alpsen, president of the Izmir Women's Solidarity Foundation which collects domestic violence statistics in Turkey, cases of domestic violence have doubled in comparison with the same time last year. With little privacy, it is much harder during the lockdown for women to seek help, and Alpsen manages several hotlines that allow vulnerable women to report abuse from their partners. «I was exchanging messages with a woman who needs support. She told me she does that secretly as her children and husband are at home all the time,» Alpsen said. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently announced that the weekend curfews imposed as of late, allowing individuals outside only for shopping, would continue past the Eid al-Fitr holiday in late May, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

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