Did you know In India, 4% of all pregnant women have encountered marital abuse at some point throughout their pregnancies? In comparison, according to statistics, 30% of women have experienced domestic violence at least once since the age of 15.
The concept of domestic violence has existed in Indian society for a long time and thus needs to be discussed and found solutions.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence results when one person tries to dominate and control another in a familial or domestic relationship. Power abuse is a component of domestic violence and can manifest as:
Physical violence, sexual assault, emotional or psychic harm, verbal abuse, stalking, physical or emotional isolation, financial exploitation, animal cruelty, property damage, or threats of using violence of this nature.
Domestic abuse frequently involves a pattern of repeated behavior with the overriding goal of dominating the victim. Fear is the main effect.
The majority of guys who commit domestic abuse against women are men. Nevertheless, violence can be committed by women in heterosexual as well as LGBTIQ partnerships.
Types Of Domestic Violence
Domestic abuse of women can take many different forms, including physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, as well as economic abuse.
The most obviously noticeable type of domestic violence against women is physical assault. The Domestic Violence Act defines domestic violence as any act that harms the victim physically or puts their life, limb, health, or development in jeopardy. Physical abuse includes assault, unlawful force, and criminal intimidation.
Sexual coercion is the basis of sexual and reproductive abuse against women. Marital rape should typically fall under the category of sexual abuse. However, unless the woman is under 15, marital rape is not prohibited. Sexual abuse is defined as any sexual abuse that “abuses, humiliates, degrades, or otherwise violates the dignity of a woman,” as per the Domestic Violence Act.
Verbal And Emotional Abuse
Comments and threats used by family members during domestic violence against women are considered verbal abuse. From a human rights standpoint, verbal abuse is a very frequent kind of domestic violence that eventually progresses to emotional abuse. A woman’s sense of self-worth is damaged when verbal and emotional abuse is combined, as this causes psychological abuse.
The government made a surprising move by adding economic abuse to the list of abuses covered under the Domestic Violence Act. Economic abuse is typically defined as a technique used to deny the victim and her children access to financial resources or assets.
Top 5 Laws Against Domestic Violence
Protection Of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, 2005
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 aims to accomplish the following goals:
- To recognize domestic abuse as a crime that must be punished by law and to establish this.
- To offer defense to victims of domestic abuse when such crimes are committed.
- To swiftly, affordably, and conveniently deliver justice to the wronged party.
- To stop domestic abuse from happening and to respond appropriately if it does.
- To put in place suitable programs and initiatives for domestic abuse victims and ensure their recovery.
- To raise people’s awareness of domestic violence.
- To enforce harsh punishments and hold those culpable for such heinous acts of violence accountable.
Section 498A Of The IPC (Indian Penal Code)
Talks about the Husband or relative Husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
“Cruelty here means.”
(a) any deliberate conduct that is likely to result in the woman’s death, serious injury, or imminent danger to her life, limb, or health (whether physical or mental); or
(b) harassment of the woman when such harassment is intended to coerce her or any person associated with her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is as a result of their failure to do so.
Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
The goal of the July 1, 1961, act passed by Parliament known as the Dowry Prohibition Act is to outlaw the giving or receiving of dowries. It covers the entirety of India, with the exception of the former state of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Act defines dowry given or agreed to be given by one party to a marriage to the other as any asset or valued security, by either party’s parents, or by any other person to either party, whether directly or indirectly.
The gift of the property or security may occur at the time of the wedding or sooner. In the case of people to whom Muslim Personal Laws apply, “dowry” does not include dower/mahr (the bridegroom gave gifts to the bride at the time of marriage).
The Act was amended in 1984 & 1986, adding provisions on, among other things, the penalties for demanding dowries, the minimum and maximum fines for offering or accepting dowries, the prohibition of advertisements offering money in connection with marriage, and the types of gifts that may be permitted to be given to the bride/bridegroom at the time of marriage.
Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013
The Indian Parliament approved the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (also known as the Nirbhaya Act) on March 19 and March 21. It modifies the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Evidence Act, and Indian Penal Code to address sexual offenses. The Bill became operative on February 3, 2013, after receiving presidential assent on April 2, 2013. In response to the demonstrations around the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, President of India Pranab Mukherjee first issued an Ordinance on February 3, 2013.
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012
“An Act to Protect Children from Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment & Pornography Offenses & Provide for the Establishment of Special Courts for the Trial of Such Offenses & Matters Connected Therewith or Incidental Thereto” is how it is defined.
It was adopted in 2012 by the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
The POCSO Act was designed to safeguard kids from sex crimes.
To safeguard minors from crimes including sexual harassment, sexual assault & pornography, the Act was passed and established Special Courts for trialing such crimes & occurrences related to them.
In 2019, this Act was revised to include provisions for stiffer penalties for certain offenses to deter offenders and guarantee that children grow up in safety, security, and with a sense of dignity.
How Can You File A Case Against Domestic Violence In India?
To report any domestic violence you have experienced, you or someone acting on your behalf may contact one of the following agencies:
(Visit the police department)
You can go to the police station in your neighborhood or any other police station and report domestic abuse. The police will file an FIR/DIR and/or refer you to the district’s protection officer, who’ll be able to provide you with more assistance.
(Approach the Protection Officer)
The district’s protection officer should be your initial point of contact if you want to register a complaint. The protection officer will work with you to submit a Domestic Incident Report (DIR), as well as petitions to the court for financial assistance, protection, and other things. Here is a list of Protection Officers broken down by state. Reach out to NGOs, civil society groups, and service providers if you are unable to locate the Protection Officer for your region; they will put you in touch with one.
National And State Commissions For Women
Getting in touch with the National/State Commission for Women by the National and State Commissions for Women
The NCW (National Commission for Women) is a national-level government agency with the authority to look into complaints about problems that affect women, including rape, dowry harassment, and domestic violence. The NCW can assist you by:
- Monitoring and accelerating the police-led investigations.
- Arranging for counseling or a hearing before the NCW so that the two parties can address their differences.
- Form an investigation committee that conducts on-the-spot investigations, interviews witnesses, gathers evidence and produces a report with recommendations about domestic abuse.
Domestic Violence Helplines In India
Some domestic violence helplines in India are as follows-
- Women Helpline ( All India ) – Women In Distress: 1091.
- Women Helpline Domestic Abuse: 181.
- Police: 100.
- National Commission For Women (NCW) ( Domestic violence 24×7 helpline for Sexual Violence and harassment ): 7827170170.
- National Commission For Women (NCW): 011-26942369, 26944754.
- Delhi Commission For Women: 011-23378044 / 23378317 / 23370597.
- Outer Delhi Helpline: 011-27034873, 27034874.
- Student / Child Helpline: 1098 State level
- National Commission for Women: 011-23237166, 23234918.
- Delhi Commission for Women: 011-23379181, 23370597
- Delhi Women Protection Cell: 011-24673366/ 4156/ 7699.
A Word From Lawzik
As part of a husband’s entitlement to control over his wife’s resources and services, the majority of legal systems in the early 1800s tacitly supported wife-beating as a husband’s right. By the turn of the 20th century, most courts had determined that husbands had no right to “chastise” their wives, thanks to the feminist movement that changed public opinion in the late 1800s.
Today one of the most horrible crimes affecting people is domestic violence, regardless of age or gender, as we stand in the 21st century. Although there is no other way to address these pressing problems than with a mentality shift and more awareness, the necessity for those who are silenced to speak up must persist since it serves as the strongest defense against such violence.