DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN INDIA

Author: SHALINI S

College: TAMILNADU DR.AMBEDKAR LAW UNIVERSITY


ABSTRACT

Domestic Violence against women in India is now widely recognized as an

overriding public health problem, owing to its health consequences. Among the women

of many Indian communities, the violence against them goes unreported on regular

basis. The objective of this article is to divulge the ubiquity and other related issues of

various forms of domestic violence against women of India. This article enlarges the

legal provisions relating to the protection of women from domestic violence. The chief

content of this article deals with the worsen condition of women who face the domestic

violence to the peak during this current COVID – 19 Lockdown.


INTRODUCTION

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 defines

Domestic Violence physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and economic abuse against

women by a partner or family member residing in a joint family, plagues the lives of

many women in India. Most of the women are being tormented by Domestic Violence.

National statistics that utilise a modified version of the Conflict Tactics Scale ( CTS ) to

measure the prevalence of lifetime physical, sexual and/or emotional domestic violence

estimate that 40% of women experience abuse at the hands of a partner. Data from a

recent systematic review by the World Health Organization provides similar regional

estimates and suggests that women in South-East Asia ( defined as India, Maldives, Sri

Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Timor-Leste ) are at a higher likelihood for

experiencing partner abuse during their lifetime than women from Europe, the Western

Pacific and potentially the America.


COVID-19 AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE


Many countries took resort to ‘stay at home'; orders as the world is

trying to cope up with the current Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID- 19) crisis.

India ordered complete lockdown nationally. Though lockdown is a essential step, it has

brought some unintended negative consequences. One of the consequence is Domestic

Violence against women. The violence against women increased worldwide since the

lockdowns were implemented. National Commission for Women (NCW) India released

as per the statistics 100% of complaints related to violence against women has been

increased after the lockdown was imposed. The twofold increase of Domestic Violence

against women pushed NCW to announce Mental Health Helplines for those witnessing

any form of Domestic Violence. Only 7% out of 14.3% of victims reached out to

relevant authorities (Police, Doctors, Lawyers or Social service Organizations). But

90% of the victims sought help only from their immediate family.

MAIN CAUSES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE


(i) EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME

Employment and Income source for females acts as a buffer against

violence as their income supports the family to be financially better,

unemployment of females takes off this buffer and makes them vulnerable to

violence at the hands of spouses. Unemployment of female also results on

being dependent on Male spouse, loss of social ties and being locked up with

perpetrator 24 by 7, which again make them vulnerable to violence.


(ii) HOUSEHOLD WORK

India being a patriarchal society, primary job of women is widely

accepted as domestic work. As peoples are thrown into close quarters, absence of

domestic help and cabin fever adds fuel to the ongoing friction between the couple and

results in increased chance of Domestic Violence.


(iii) ECONOMIC INSTABILITY

Wise man absolutely understands that Alcohol is not a solution for

problem. They are rare too. Most of the man takes economic instability as a stress in

their hands to consume alcohol and it increases Domestic Violence independently.

During Lockdown, the perpetrator might inflict violence on the spouse demanding to

fulfil his alcohol consumption needs or might consume alcohol at home, in presence of

his family members, as the liquor outlets are closed.


(iv) SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Sexual violence increased rapidly during this Lockdown. It was noted

that there was surge of porn usage and sales of condoms and sex toys, reflecting rapid

increase in sexual activity thereby indirectly indicating increase in chances of sexual

right violation.


“Lockdown is the world’s best bet against COVID- 19 but it has left victims of Domestic


Violence even more vulnerable and helpless”


THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

ACT, 2005

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA),

instituted in 2005, is a legislation aimed at protecting women from violence in domestic

relationships.


Section 3 of the act categorizes the types of abuse as

  • Physical Abuse

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Verbal and Emotional Abuse

  • Economic Abuse


PHYSICAL ABUSE

Act which cause bodily pain, harm or danger to life, limb or health or

impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and includes assault, criminal

intimidation and criminal force.


SEXUAL ABUSE

Act which involves abusing, humiliating, degrading or otherwise

violating the dignity of woman.


VERBAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE


This abuse subject to the act of insults, ridicule, humiliation, name

calling and insults or ridicule specially with regard to not having a child or a male child

and repeated threats to cause physical pain to any person in whom the aggrieved person

is interested.


ECONOMC ABUSE

Alienation of assets whether movable or immovable, valuables,

shares, securities, bonds and the like or other property, deprivation of all or any

economic or financial resources, prohibition or restriction to continued access to

resources or facilities which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of

the domestic relationship including access to the shared household.



IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS


  • AGGRIEVED PERSON includes any woman who is or has been in a domestic

relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to

domestic violence by them (Sec 2(a)).

  • RESPONDENT includes any adult male who has been or is in a domestic

relationship with the aggrieved woman, and against whom the woman has

sought a relief or any male or female relative of the husband or male partner of

a married woman or a woman in a relationship in the nature of marriage (Sec

2(q)).

  • DOMESTIC RELATIONSHIP  is any relationship 2 persons have lived

together in a shared household and these people are:

  • related by consanguinity (blood relations)

  • related by marriage.

  • Though a relationship in the nature of marriage (which would include live-in relationships)

  • Through adoption

  • Are family members living in a joint family (Sec 2(f)).

  • CHILD  is any person below the age of eighteen years, and also includes foster adopted, or step child ( Sec 2(b)).


VICTIM

Victim can only be a female.

RESPONDENT

Respondents are adult males who have been in a domestic

relationship with aggrieved women and male/female relatives of the

husband/male partner. Live-in relationships are also protected.


IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE ACT

  • SECTION 14 – Counselling should be given to both the parties as per the requirements.

  • SECTION 9 – Government appoints protection officer for each district and their duties is to file a domestic incidence report, provide shelter homes, medical facilities and legal aid for the victims and to ensure that protection orders issued against the respondents are carried out completely.

  • SECTION 18 – Protection orders for the victim's safety can be issued against the respondent.

  • SECTION 19 – Respondent is restricted from the place of both the parties if the magistrate feels that it is for victim's safety and respondent cannot evict victim from the place of residence.

  • SECTION 20 – Respondent has to provide relief to the victim to compensate for all loss.

  • SECTION 21 – Custody of children should be granted to the victim with visiting rights to the respondent if necessary.

CONSEQUENCE ON CHILDREN

Presence of children in every house is almost common. Domestic

Violence leaves emotional scars on children. It sways children to do the same dreadful

thing in coming times. It upset the child mentally and creates fearsome. This totally

reflect on their studies. Fight cant be completely ignored in a relationship but fight shy

of in front of children.


CONCLUSION

The problem against women are common in India. Most of

the crimes against women occurs in their dwelling house. The violence gets

worsen day by day. The bitter truth is 90% of domestic violence goes

unreported. Most of them doesn’t seek for any help and it results in

suicidal acts. Suicide is not a solution for any problem , seeking for better

way to get out of such problem and facing it boldly is the only solution. If

the violence gets worse there is lot of legal way to get rid of from it. Men

too suffer violence. Violence against both women and men should be

stopped to make their children life peaceful.

“Not every women suffers, Not every man makes women to suffer"



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