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Author: Amisha Mathur, II Year of B.A.,LL.B from Ajeenkya DY Patil University, Pune.

Talking for the repression of violence is a symbol of evolution. The United Nations defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."(1).

The practice of domestic violence is very common in many countries including India. The practice of domestic violence is present not only at the global level but also present in every aspect of society. It was found that worldwide, nearly 1 in 3, or 30%, of women, have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or non-partner sexual violence or both. (2).

Domestic violence put a serious impact on women’s health and well-being. Women can suffer from domestic violence anywhere, at home, the workplace, in public spaces, and even on online platforms also. Violence against women and girls can be committed by anyone, it can be committed by their family members, intimate partners, friends, employers, community members, state and even by government also etc.

There is no single or uniform reason that leads to domestic violence. Types of domestic violence include Physical abuse which includes assault, criminal force, and criminal intimidation are forms of physical abuse that can range from normal slapping to even can cause the death of a person.

Emotional abuse consists of yelling, blaming, and controlling behaviour are also forms of emotional abuse. Economic abuse, controlling victim through financial resources. There is no single or uniform reason that leads to domestic violence. It’s a combination of various reasons and factors that present in society that leads to domestic violence like the demand for dowery which is still in practice mostly in India (3), cultural factors such as the desire for a male child, religious factors such as still having thinking that just because she is having mensuration, she is impure, male-dominated society, lack of education system and many mostly these are all major factors that can lead to domestic violence against women. The practice of domestic violence can put serious impacts on victims such as they can suffer from emotional and psychological trauma, economic homelessness, financial effects, and can affect or put negative impacts on children and their behaviour. It can also lead to death, illness, injury, and disability.

When we talk about protection from domestic violence, more than one billion women around the world live in places that afford them almost zero protection against domestic sexual violence (4). It’s quite a disturbing fact that more than 600 million women live in nations with no laws protecting them against domestic violence in general. The highest concentration of these nations is located in regions in the Middle East, Western Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. There are different types of law in different countries but there are still 46 countries where women do not have any legal protection against domestic violence and there are a total of 15 countries where domestic violence is legal such as Niger, Pakistan, Lesotho, Latvia, Yemen and many. Here are some laws related to domestic violence by different countries, in India, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is a civil law that ensures the protection of not just married women against men, but also women who are in live-in relationships, as well as family members including mothers, grandmothers, etc.

Under this law, women can pursue violence, abuse, battery and can even further claim financial compensation and the right to live in their shared household. She can even ask for maintenance from her abuser in case they are living apart. This law assures women do not get kicked out of their own homes and are able to sustain themselves in case they have faced violence. A Magistrate can also pass a protection order to ensure that the abuser does not contact or is in close proximity survivor. When we specifically talk about Asia, most countries in Asia have laws against domestic violence, but nearly all laws exclude unmarried intimate partners, and half of the countries that have domestic violence laws do not include protections against economic violence which is one type of domestic as we discussed earlier. Globally, only one out of three countries protect unmarried intimate partners from domestic violence. Across all over Asia, most laws do not protect unmarried partners. Eighty-eight percent of women in the East Asia and the Pacific and 100 percent in South Asia are not protected against domestic violence by an unmarried intimate partner (5).

The conditions of rural areas regarding this practice are worst, victims don’t know how to take any actions, they don’t know any laws related to this practice because of a Limited awareness, capacity, and lack of political will that are the main reasons why women are behind in taking any actions regarding this practice mostly in rural areas. Although there are many campaigns and programs are started by the government to promote awareness but still, they have not accomplished actual targets.

So overall we can see domestic violence, which is a very common practice in the world, and currently, we can say many women are suffering from this problem, there are many factors that led to domestic violence as we discussed above, the main factor that contributes to this practice is lack of awareness among peoples regarding this practice, creating awareness is very important especially among women. Although there are many campaigns and programs are started by the government to promote awareness but still, they have not accomplished actual targets.

It’s important to talk about it openly on public platforms, if we see or we came to know about any such woman suffering from this practice, we should inform the police and try her to get justice. We should try to teach girls about domestic violence and how to take action against it. The government of the country should implement more acts and legislation related to this practice.

  1. United Nations. Declaration on the elimination of violence against women. New York: UN, 1993.

  1. A 2018 analysis of prevalence data from 2000-2018 across 161 countries and areas, conducted by WHO on behalf of the UN Interagency working group on violence against women.

  1. The dowry system in India refers to the durable goods, cash, and real or movable property that the bride's family gives to the groom, his parents, and his relatives as a condition of the marriage. The payment of dowry has long been prohibited under specific Indian laws including the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

  1. According to the Domestic Violence Act, sexual abuse is any abuse of a sexual nature that ‘abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of a woman.’

  1. Panellist Paula Tavares shared research conducted by the World Bank’s Women, Business, and Legal protections against domestic violence and sexual harassment.


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