During the three months of lockdown, “20 suicide cases” have been recorded in Kirkuk due to the spike in domestic violence and the loss of jobs, according to the Kirkuk’s office of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR).
IHCHR data reveals that the suicide rate surged in March, April and May, in which 20 cases were recorded.
“Seven cases of suicide were recorded in the first two months of 2020, but it increased to 27 in the last three months, when a national lockdown was imposed… The additional cases were 20,” said Sajad Jumma, head of the IHCHR office in Kirkuk.
The Iraqi government has imposed a nationwide lockdown since March, aiming at containing the spread of the coronavirus.
Jummma revealed that the data they have are officially recorded, but “I am sure the rate is higher because there are cases that are not recorded due to social problems.”
I am sure the rate is higher because there are cases that are not recorded due to social problems
The latest case was recorded on May 27, 2020, when two persons “shot themselves” in Dibis and Hawija districts, Kirkuk.
Ghalb Hama Salh, head of family police office at the police department in Kirkuk, said that, “unfortunately, suicide cases are significant in the city… we have also rescued many people and prevented other cases.”
The cases have not been recorded in a specific neighborhood or area in the province but rather in different neighborhoods of the city and districts of the province.
The primary reasons are family and social problems as well as financial difficulties
“The primary reasons are family and social problems as well as financial difficulties,” Salh said
Salh further explained that they try to solve the social problems and have hospitalized people to receive psychological treatments, who have attempted to take their lives.
A 19-year-old-girl “shot herself” in Darwaza neighborhood on April 19, which was the fifth women to take her life during the coronavirus lockdown.
Nizal Nazm, a woman rights activist and a member of the Women Rights Organization Board, told KirkukNow that, “suicide cases are on the rise and most of them are because of the situation brought by the COVID-19 and its consequences. We have tried hard to solve the issues and have convinced some women to reverse their decision.”
Suicide cases are on the rise and most of them are happening as a result of the situation brought by the COVID-19 and its consequences
She claimed that there was a woman who attempted to commit suicide because she did not have resources to have an operation, adding that they have helped her financially, which revoked her decision to commit suicide.
Kirkuk is yet to have a women shelter.
“There have been many women who have left their families and I have hosted them in my house due to lack of shelter,” she added.
On April 16, the United Nation (UN) in Iraq, in a statement, expressed its concern about the rise in gender-based and domestic violence in the country and called upon the Iraqi Council of Representatives to accelerate the endorsement of Anti-Domestic Violence Law.
Head of the IHCHR office in Krikuk, Sajad Jumma, said that, “the primary reason for majority of the incidents is that many families have lost their source of income because of the lockdown.”
Jumma claimed that the decision to impose a lockdown required a comprehensive understanding of the situation because domestic violence increased, in addition to the loss of jobs.
In Iraq, Kirkuk province ranked the top for the number of suicide cases in 2019, with the record of 106 cases.