DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Author: Vanshika Sanjay Agrawal, II year of B.B.A.,LL.B. from Symbiosis International University
ABSTRACT It has been apparent over the past few years domestic violence has been a great issue. It has now become a serious issue since lockdown as It has been observed that during lockdown all the members of the society were seen at home which made a sudden increase to domesticviolence cases. The women who has been a core of a family and a society, the one who gives birth to the child nurtures their life carriesa child for a period of 9monthsin her womb faces their family society shapes an individual strength them, follows culture generation to generation and the biggest thriller is the greatest injustice is done to women. Almost in India every house is facing this issue whether daughter, wife, daughter in-law are being abused physically, mentally, verbally or emotionally. Men and women in India have the same basic rights but women are always discriminated against due to which they get used to it and do not have the freedom and become the victims of domestic violence. So basically this paper draws attention towards domestic violence its causes, types of violence, recommendations, acts for the prevention of domestic violence, consequences, during pandemic. INTRODUCTION The most prevalent form of violence globally of women is domestic violence. It is as old as recorded history which is reported basicallyin every society.It has become a seriousissue of public health concern in every community. Discrimination and prolonged cruel based on physical, mental,emotional has been a sociallyaccepted form of every patriarchal society.
Domestic violence has gaineda severe attention of the healthsector because of the detrimental and negative effect on mental, physical health of a female. The two major elements that are combined together are expecting a woman to be an ideal so- called 'role model' and secondly male dominance and consideration of women to be their own property and object belonging to them. Men wanted women to be their puppet and work according to them and not according to their whims and fancies. Violence is not often restricted to husbands, but may extend to boyfriends or other family members who may include parents, siblings or in-laws. Domestic violence is highly prevalent but women try to hide it and keep it confidential. Particularly being torched, beaten or any physicalharm is very commonly seen in many Indian homes.
Domestic violence is definedas behavior in any of the relationship which is used to gain power and control over an intimatepartner. Domestic violenceoccurs when an intimate partneror the family member tries to harm or dominate physically or psychologically to other. It occurs in all religions, culture, race ethnicities can be a predators of domestic violence. Violence against women in particular, sexualviolence are the major concernsand violation of woman’s right. In the year 2021, over “2300” domesticviolence complaints were filed betweenJanuary and May with the National Commission for women. MEANING OF DOMESTIC Domestic is defined as running of a familyrelation or a house. MEANING OF VIOLENCE Violence is defined as any behaviorinvolving physical forceintended to causea harm or any damage or injuryto a person or property. Oxford dictionary states: “Violence as behavior involving physical force intendedto hurt, kill or damagesomeone or something.” WHO defines Violence: “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual,against another person,oneself, or againsta group, which either resultsin or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, psychological harm, death and deprivation”. Domestic violence means an aggressive or violent behavior within the home that typically involves the violent abuse of an intimate partner or of a spouse. It is the violence that occurs in a domestic setting cohabitation or marriage. It happens behind closed doors and women often definewho has been a victimof violence. Domestic violence against women means act of violence that results in physical, sexual or psychological harm to women, including coercion, acts, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whetheroccurring in privateor public life. CAUSES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE There is no single factor for the cause of violence perpetrated against women. It is an amalgamation of historical, religious, cultural and sociological factors that lead to domesticviolence. Following are the causeslaid herewith: ● Historical Factors: Historical factors can be tracked back as superiority complexand a history of the inherent evil of patriarchy society that has prevailed for centuries among men. This form of practice has being followed since past years. ● Religious Factors: This is an another factor which is the root cause of a domestic violence as this can affect to any person who practices any religion, multiple religion, or religion or who engages in any spiritual practices. Abusers may employ religious texts and try to harm. ● Cultural Factors: It usually meansto desire only for a male child over female.All the backward class societies prefer a male as they think that male can do everything for their livelihood whereas female children are born with the mindset of just running the family, doing household work as the family thinks it a waste of money towards a female education. They henceforth do not seek an attention to females althoughbeing aware of the fact that any child is born by a female.
● Sociological Factors: The sociological or the behavioral factor includes factors such as dominating status, anger issues, aggressive attitude, economic hardships, depression, stress, difference in status among others. These are some of the factors for the root cause of domestic violence as due to any anger or stress a man comes home with the same mindset and lashes out at a woman. Neglect of responsibilities due to lack of trust or any other extra marital affairs also leads to domesticviolence. TYPES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE • Physical Abuse: Physical form is one of the very prominent form of domestic violence against women which involvesa physical or visible touch to a women. It has been defined in the act of domestic violence wherein it includes any act that causes bodily injury or danger to life, development of the victim. Criminal force, criminal intimidation and assault are forms of physical abuse. Some more forms are listed as below: 1. Threatened to hurt with a weapon. 2. Thrown object, hit or pushedyou. 3. Driven recklessly or forced you off the road. 4. Slapped or chokedyou. 5. Beaten or kicked you. •Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is any abuse of a sexual nature which humiliates, abuses or degrades the dignity of a woman. This is done sexually for the mean purpose of derivingpleasure or to harm the reputation of a women. Sexual abuse women is the nature of reproductive coercion. Abusing partner after having sex and causing harm to a sexual part is again considered as sexual abuse. Sexual abusesincludes: 1. Raping a women. 2. Unwillingly without a consent having sex. 3. Forced sex when sick or after a physical abuse. 4. Criticizing sexually. •Economic Abuse: Economic abuse is the method of threatening to deprive the victim and children of the family from the use of financial assets. Abusers may exploit and sabotage the victim’s access to one’s own financial assets. This abuse includes acts such as denial of food shelter and basic needs, denial of funds, controlling access to health care and refusal for contribution of funds financially. •Emotional/Verbal Abuse: This abuse includes threats or remarks made during a domestic relation againstwomen. Empting victim’sself-esteem, humiliating, disrespecting and insulting are the forms of emotional or verbal abuse. Combination of emotional and verbal abuse leads to a psychological abuse. Threats of taking away children is also an emotional abuse. In short,threatening the victimto take away her most valuable thing away from her
leads to an emotionalabuse. Criticizing, shoutingloud, manipulating are again some of the emotional abuse that is caused. All the aboveforms of abusesmake-up to the domestic violenceagainst women in India. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWS IN INDIA There are two laws in Indiathat deals with the protection of women againstdomestic violence: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005 The protection of women from domestic violence act is a civil law that provides protection to a woman from men in a household. This law is not just applicable to the married women; rather, it is applicable in living relationships, as well as the family members includingmothers, daughters, etc. Under this law, women can seek protection of their right to live, violence, financial issues, and maintenance if living apart. It tries to cover a woman who has been in a relationship with an abuser where both the parties have lived together, has shared households and related to marriage, or adoption or relationship in the nature of marriage, family members living jointly are also included. This is an act of the parliament enacted to protect women from domestic abuse. “It was brought into force on 26 October 2006 by the Indian government and Ministry of Women and Child development. The act provide the definition of domestic violence for the first time and thus not include just the physical abuse rather covers emotional, sexual abuse as well. This act provides the appointment of the NGO’s and protection officers in order to provide help to the women with respect to medical assistance, legal aid, safe asylum etc. Women are given the right to seek protection against domestic violence. If the women are evicted from the matrimonial households, she is liable and has the right to seek compensation, free legal aid and medical assistance as well as safe shelter. The section 3 of the act includes threat to life, health safety, etc. Harassment of any form of injuries to the aggrieved party by unlawfully demanding any security or dowry or by way of coercing her. This also includes causing harm or injury through mental or physical assault to the aggrieved party. The aggrieved party includes any women who has been in a domestic violence and is subjected to it by the responded.1 The purpose of this act is to achieve the following goals: 1. To implementsufficient programs for the survivorof domestic violenceand to ensure a recoveryof the health and a normal life of a victim. 2. To ensureproper protection to a victimwhere the act has occurred. 3. To serve the justiceto a victim in any circumstances cost effectively and efficiently and in a convenient manner. 4. To take all the measures to stop the abuser from committing the violence and support them in the rehabilitation center. 5. To complywith the international standards for the protection of domestic abuseand to enforce and apply relevant principles of justice in accordance with such standards. Section 498A of the IndianPenal Code 1 The Protection of Women from Domestic violenceAct, 2005
Domesticviolence section498A of the Indian penal code coversthe cruelty of a husbandor the husband’s families towards the married women. Cruelty in this sense refers to any kind a misconduct or misbehave that causes a severe impact on women’s life or her health including mental health or causing a suicidal attempt. It also includes the harassment of the women in terms of the dowry by the family members or the husband. Act of cruelty is not limited to the extent rather includes • Giving punishment to her by locking insidethe room or outside the house. • Demanding sexual touch in compensation or bad behavioragainst woman’s will. • Mental torture. • Physical touch or abuse. • Not providing sufficient food for their survival. • Denying basic requirements This section gives the right to lodge a complaint to the members or the relatives of the women against the abuser. This section is particular and important when a woman is scared to complain or open up about her abuse to others for herself. This law states that if convicted under this law the husband or the family members of the husbandare levied a high fine and the imprisonment up to threeyears.2 EFFECT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DURING COVID 19 There is preliminary evidence that domestic violence cases have increased globally during the pandemic. The restriction imposed to curb the spread of corona virus made a suddenincrease in violence. Everyone was locked at their home due to the pandemic which made a man to frustrate their anger solely upon women which is also the main reason for a sudden rise in domestic violence cases. There was a rise in other violence as well. According to the Ethiopian study it found that almost one in five women faced domestic violence during Covid-19 pandemic. It was also discovered that the homemakers tied in an arranged marriage were at a higher stake of experiencing violence rather than housewives in a love marriage. The domestic violence cases in the first week saw a high rise and the count went on increasing. Extended social distancing and the lockdown imposed for the curb of pandemic led women more vulnerable to domestic violence cases. Women were fighting the shadow pandemic inside the four walls of their house. Tamil Nadu Police received an increase to the number of cases where they received approximately 26 calls and at least 42 such cases every day during the pandemic period. “Similarly, Bangalore police reported a spike in the complaints from 10 calls to 25 calls every day from the victimsof domestic violence”. Thus, this indicatesthat the data stated above,the cases of domestic violence were at a larger number during the course of the Country wide lockdown.” The National commission for women registered an increase of 94% in complaint cases where women were assaulted in their house during the lockdown”. Therefore considering all the facts and circumstances it’s been seen that nearly half a billion of women in India are at a higher stake. As covid-19lockdown caused people to spend their more time in their house, more women were assaulted as to early morning markets and were subjected to more of a sexual and verbal harassment while waiting in a water queue. 2 The Protection of women Section 498A of the IPC
Here are some data of the unfortunate realities: •Cases of domestic violenceduring Covid-19 rose to about”53%” in the first week of lockdown. •“86% women in Indiahave experienced violencenever seek help while 77% women have not mentionedthe incidents to anyone”. •“31.1% women aged 15-49 years had experienced at least one in their lives the spousal violence”. RECOMMENDATIONS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ● Extensive and comprehensive premarital counselling should be providedto a couple as to how to manage their life and their maritalrelationship. ●Women who discloses their physical or sexual abuse done by the intimate partner should be offered a support. Healthcare workers shouldbe the first line off to offeran immediate help. ● Religious leaders should strenuously spreadand make people aware of the domesticviolence in theirplace of worship. ●Youths should be encouraged and must be taught to not behave and detesttowards the women or theirwives. ●There should be public enlightenment and various camps and throughmass communication on the cons of domesticviolence. ●Women opening up and tellingtheir grievances should be supportedand immediate remedyshould be takenas to set an exampleof harassment done to a woman. ● Punishment given to the husbandgrievously should be publicized, so that can be serve as a dissuading to others. ●There should be psychotherapists and counselors to the victim to provide them with proper assistance and help her to overcomethis issue. Government should issue a straight rule for the victims of domestic violence. Women must be made awareof their rightsand some of the basic provisions. CONCLUSION Domestic violence is one of the very vulnerable abuses which women are facing. Domestic violence is something which is not seen and is like a parcel of her life. Having looked at this sensitive topic there is a need for raising up the topic for the discussion and bringing it to the notice. Women are also part of a family. she is just not born with this violence against her and running of her family. As we know that, many of the women are illiterate and are from a backward class of the society. They should be made aware of their rights and the basic provisions of law, and should be motivated to take their stand and to lodge a complaint against the abuser. The various causes for the spark of domestic violence within the four walls of the society should be considered and a wise study of the factors involved during violence may prevent various sections of the society from the menace of the domestic violence. Domestic violence has much wider meaning and the relevance but than what is being said in the research paper. In our society which is male dominated and traditionally bounded still treat women as secondarysex which than make her to silentlysuffer the violence.Women in our community are often ignored and neglected. In order to eliminate this horrendous abuse, all must take a stand and make tougher laws for the protection of the victims of the abuse. There is an urgent need for analyzing the factors provoking a particular form of domestic violence. Once these factors are controlled then there could be more number of the victims that could be saved from many other forms of domestic violence to women and our society and India would become a better place to live in. From my study of a research it can be concluded that my theology on domestic violence is proved correct to a greater extent. It would be really appreciable if this act of domestic violence is stopped and may seek an importance to a families to some extent. It’s my sincere request to the nation to stop this violence and help women in any of the possible ways.