Author: Cyndhia. JR
College: School Of Excellence in Law
Every Creature has been created with an inborn right of freedom. No one is guaranteed the right to use any kind of violence against the fellow creations. Violence not only means physicial injury but also includes the emotional hurt and is gender . It is the extreme form of aggression which would even lead to death. Any kind of hurt faced by anyone in any place can be brought under the term of ‘violence’. But what the society has potrayed becomes more evident. One generally uses violence on the other to prove their dominance. Since we live in a society which is human dominant, there seems to be a competition even among the humans to exhibit the dominance. And this paper deals exclusively with the violence faced by people inside their homes.
Domestic violence is the violence faced by any gender within their houses. It is not only physical but also emotional. Any kind of behaviour by which one can gain control and power over the other who may be a partner, spouse, or a family member comes within the purview of domestic violence. Abuse is a knowledgeable behavior and it doesn’t arise out of external factors such as mental problems, anger, alcohol, drugs or other common excuses.
This paper deals with the increase in domestic violence during this pandemic period and how the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 helps the victims to get through it. It mainly analyses the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 with the help of certain case laws. The final part includes my views and suggestions in this regard.
KEYWORDS: Domestic Violence, Victims, Domestic Violence Act, 2005, domination, control
“Home is where the heart is”
Every creature needs a shelter to stay, relax and be themselves which is called a house. House becomes home when we soulfully live in it with love and affection amidst certain misunderstandings. Home is a place where we can feel ourselves spiritually alive despite having several quarrels outside. This wonderful domestic place becomes hell when violence enters into it. Domestic violence which is also known as domestic abuse takes place due to the external and situational factors. This can be enforced on anyone living under the same roof but most frequently on the intimate partners when there arises a factor of dominance.
Domestic violence has worst effects that it even leads to death at times. The children who are exposed to such conditions become mentally disturbed and are probable to be mislead by the society. This dangerous domestic violence has reached its peak during pandemic in quarantine. We have a special legislation which deals with these offences and that is the Domestic Violence Act of 2005. There are various precedents which lead to the enactment of this act. Statistics of the alarming rise in these cases show mostly women are subjected to this situation. Men also go through such conditions. Since we do not have any peculiar laws or statutes dealing with them, they go unnoticed. To bring into light the struggles faced by men, gender neutral laws have become the need of the hour.
WHAT CONSTITUTES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence is an act through which one gender hurts the other either physically, emotionally or sexually. The victims may be men, women, children or the elder people. But most commonly, women are exposed to such crimes. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 talks about the term domestic violence in its Section 3. Domestic Violence admit four class of abuse which are
l verbal/emotional and
Physical Abuse is any act or behavior which leads to bodily pain,life danger or harm,danger to limb, or health or vitiate the health or improvement of the aggrieved person. It also considers assault, criminal aggression and criminal force.
Sexual Abuse is any sexual behaviour that ill-treats, humiliates, disgraces, or violates the self-esteem of a woman. The definition of the trem ‘sexual abuse’ is universal in nature. Other forms of sexual abuse, such as demands to involve in oral sex , forced sexual intercourse, or demanding to watch pornography have also been recognized.
Verbal and Emotional Abuse admits insults, disrespect, disgrace, name calling particularly with regard to not being able to give birth to a child or not giving birth to a male child and continued threats to cause bodily pain to any person in whom the aggrieved is concerned with. Other forms of verbal and emotional abuse include character assassination of the affected woman, name calling, passing unjustifiable comments for not bringing dowry, forbidding to commit suicide as a method of compulsion, not letting a woman to marry as per her wish etc.
Economic Abuse is withholding the aggrieved woman from all available forms of financial resources to which she is eligible under any law, statute, custom or which she needs necessarily, such as to maintain the family, looking after the children etc.. Not allowing the woman to make use of the things and selling things in which she has the right, making her starve, not allowing her to get employed or forcing her to give up also constitutes the economic abuse.
ALARMING RISE IN THE NUMBER OF CASES
The intimate spouse ill-treatment is a major open health problem since it affects 8,00,000 men and 2 million women resulting in injury or deaths or homelessness. There are several reasons for the domestic violence to take place. The main thing is to expose the dominance and control over the other gender. Eventhough this issue majorly affects women, the saying that men are not subjected to violence is adsurd and incorrect. About 25% of gay, transgender, bisexual and lesbian individuals are victims of this issue just like the heterosexual women. About 1,300 deaths take place due to domestic violence as of 2003 report.
Research into deaths that occur due to domestic violence in the United States of America and Austria show that more than 50% of women are killed a gun. About 4%-9% of men are forced to death due to domestic violence. About 65% of the 1,300 murder-suicides that take place in the United States every year admit married person. Young married persons discourtesy occur at an horrifying rate. Facts on domestic violence in this age group says that 12% of adolescents in 7 through 12 grades are victims of material dating violence, and 20% of adolescents suffer from mental dating violence.
In 2020, between March 25 and May 31, a total number of 1,477 complaints of domestic violence were filed by women. This period has noticed more number of cases filed than ever before. Approximately 86% women subjected to violence never reached out for help, and 77% of the aggrieved persons did not even talk about the incidents to anyone. Amidst the 14.3% of victims who reached out for help, only 7% were directed to the relevant authorities - the police, lawyers, doctors or social service organisations. But more than 90% of the aggrieved persons receive help only from their family.
THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005
This act was enacted on 26 October 2006 to exclusively deal with all sorts of domestic violence and comes under the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women is the parent legislation for all Indian Laws relating to Women and Children. This act is the first statute to define the term “domestic violence”. This act is made with the primary motive to help the women victims. This act includes 5 Chapters and 37 Sections. This act defines each and every term carefully and involves a Protection Officer who is specially appointed in every district to look after the domestic violence cases. The victims or even the third party can directly report the cases to him and has no liability. There are five kinds of orders that can be given to the victim such as the
Compensation order to address her grievance.
The act overall covers all sort of violence, its remedies as a whole.
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION
“When it comes to abuse, you believe there’s no way out. There is always help. There is always
a way out.”
- Rev. Donna Mulvey
Having known all the above data, it is clear that we are in urgent need for the gender neutral laws so that the sufferings of men do not go unnoticed. Though many victims get help and justice through this act, there are a few women who also misuse the law for revenge,etc.. To sort out all these issues, a thorough investigation and background check is required. Periodic check on laws is necessary because violence takes much more unimaginable forms nawadays.
 Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, s.3  Aanchal singh, What is Domestic Violence? An introduction to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, (Dec 5,2018),https://www.theleaflet.in/know-your-rights-domestic-violence-an-introduction-women-2005-act-aanchal-singh/#  Domestic Violence, Available at: https://www.medicinenet.com/domestic_violence/article.htm#domestic_violence_facts  Domestic violence complaints at a 10-year high during COVID-19 lockdown, Available at: https://www.thehindu.com/data/data-domestic-violence-complaints-at-a-10-year-high-during-covid-19-lockdown/article31885001.ece