200505 domestic violence
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Moscow: Reported cases of domestic violence have more than doubled in Russia during the lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the country's human rights commissioner said on Tuesday.

The number of reported cases in the country was more than 13,000 last month, compared to just over 6,000 in March, Tatiana Moskalkova said.

"The number of victims and cases of domestic violence increased by 2.5 times" from April 10, she said, citing NGO figures.

Many Russian women were unable to seek help from the authorities under confinement, and she urged them to be allowed out of the house to get support if needed.

"It is very important to give women the opportunity to visit rescue centres for victims of violence and not consider it a violation of self-isolation if they are forced to leave their home in this situation without special permission," she said.

Groups helping victims of domestic violence told AFP last month that the number of reported attacks has grown significantly since the lockdown started in late March.

Rights campaigners have called on the government to take emergency measures to protect victims during lockdown.

In April, lawmaker Oksana Pushkina and other proponents of a domestic violence bill urged Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova to approve protections for those at risk.

In 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin backed a controversial measure to decriminalise some forms of domestic violence, saying "unceremonious intrusion into the family is unacceptable".