Author: SHALINI S
College: TAMILNADU DR.AMBEDKAR LAW UNIVERSITY
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.
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
“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
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA),
instituted in 2005, is a legislation aimed at protecting women from violence in domestic
Section 3 of the act categorizes the types of abuse as
Verbal and Emotional 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.
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
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.
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
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)
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 can only be a female.
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.
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"