Domestic violence burdens all facets of society and has a subtle but significant
impact on a country's progress. In terms of law enforcement, healthcare, lost work, and
general development, batterers cost countries a great deal of money. These expenses don't
just harm the current generation; what starts as an attack on one individual has a ripple
effect throughout the family and community for years to come.
Domestic abuse is a global problem that transcends racial, socioeconomic, cultural, and class
barriers as well as national boundaries. This issue is not only geographically widespread, but
it also occurs frequently, making it a common and acceptable behavior. Domestic abuse is
pervasive, deeply ingrained, and seriously detrimental to the health and wellbeing of
Its prolonged existence cannot be justified morally. Individuals, healthcare
institutions, and society all pay a hefty price for it. However, no other significant issue
relating to public health has received such a lack of attention and comprehension.
According to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005, domestic violence is
defined as any act, conduct, omission, or action that causes injury to, injures, or has the
potential to cause harm to, another person. Domestic violence can be defined as even a
single act of omission or commission, so that women do not need to endure a sustained
period of abuse before seeking legal help.
Children are covered by the legislation. Both men
and women commit and are the victims of domestic abuse. However, especially in our
nation, women are the most frequent victims. According to reports, even in the United
States, incidences of intimate partner violence account for 85% of all violent crimes
involving women, compared to just 3% for men. Therefore, domestic violence in the context
of India primarily refers to violence against women.
Extent of Domestic Violence In India:
According to a National Crime Records Bureau
(NCRB) report, one Indian woman is mistreated by her spouse every 33 minutes. According
to India's National Family Health Survey-III, which was conducted in 29 states between
2005 and 2006, a sizeable percentage of married women had experienced physical or sexual
violence at some point in their marriages.
According to the poll, 37.2% of women in the
country reported having experienced violence after marriage (National Family Health
Survey III, 2004–2005). Social harassment cases have increased by 40%, according to the NCRB, while dowry death cases have increased by 15.2%. The NCRB Report for 2011 includes additional startling data regarding DV against women.
From 3.8 percent in 2007 to
4.3 percent in 2011, the proportion of gender-based violence against women in cognizable
crimes increased. The maximum incidence of offences that are cognizable is four, while IPC's cruelty by a husband and family members is at number four.
According to data from
the NCRB, a total of 7803, 11,718 and 9431 cases of domestic violence (DV) under the DV
Act 2005 were registered in the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively, demonstrating a
fluctuating pattern. Out of all crimes against women reported under the Indian Penal Code
(IPC), ;Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives; (31.9%) and ;Assault on Women with Intent
to Outrage her Modesty; (27.6%) accounted for the bulk of incidents (National Crime
Records Bureau, 2018).
According to the National Family Health Survey-III, 34% of all Indian women between the ages of
15 and 49 had experienced violence at some point since turning 15 years old (IIPS, 2007).
Despite the low number of crimes against women that are reported, according to the NCRB
of the Government of India, the rate of such crimes grew from 13.2 percent in 2003 to 52.24
percent in 2013 (National Family and Health Survey - IV, 2015-2016). DV is acknowledged
as a significant yet underreported social and public health issue among heterosexual and
The most frequent type of violence against women occurs in the home. It
has an impact on women throughout their lives, ranging from forced suicide and abuse to
sex-selective abortion of female babies, and it is to some extent present in every civilization
in the globe.
According to the World Health Organization, the percentage of women who had ever been
subjected to physical, sexual, or both types of abuse by an intimate partner ranged from 15%
to 71 percent, with the majority falling between 29 and 62 percent.
A significant percentage of married women in India reported experiencing physical or sexual abuse
from their spouses at some point in their lives, according to the National Family Health
Survey-III, which was conducted in 29 states between 2005 and 2006.
According to the report, 37,2 percent of women nationwide & experienced violence after marriage. With a 59
percent abuse rate against married women, Bihar was discovered to be the most violent
state. Surprisingly, metropolitan households reported 63 percent of these instances rather
than the state's most underdeveloped areas. West Bengal (40.3%), Madhya Pradesh (45.8%),
Rajasthan (46.3%), Manipur (43.9%), Uttar Pradesh (42.4%), Tamil Nadu (41.9%).
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of India recently brought attention to the trend of
violence against women by reporting that, compared to 2000, where an average of 125
women experienced domestic abuse per day, that number rose to 160 in 2005.
Additionally, a recent United Nations Population Fund report found that around two-thirds of
married women in India experienced domestic abuse. In India, violence kills and disables
more women between the ages of 15 and 44 than cancer and has a greater impact on
women's health than both malaria and traffic accidents put together.
Given that family violence continues to be a taboo topic in both industrialised and developing
nations, even these distressing numbers are likely to be greatly underestimated.
Reasons for Domestic Violence:
There is no single cause of domestic violence; instead, it
can take many different forms and be very personal.
It's critical to keep in mind that domestic violence is a decision, not an unrestrained impulsive
behaviour. Abuse cannot be brought on by a survivor.
If a woman is experiencing domestic violence, then she is never to be blamed.
A man has no right
to abuse his female spouse, no matter what an abuser may say.
In some cases, circumstances-including your own level of behavioural well-being-can have an
impact on intimate partner violence. For instance, if both you and your spouse have a history
of domestic violence, things might easily get out of hand.
Children who witness domestic violence may develop the belief that using physical or
psychological force to resolve disputes is appropriate when they get older. Similar to how teaching children that people of a different gender are inferior can lead to dominating behaviour later in life.
Following are the factors that should lead to domestic violence:
- Less access to education
- Personality disorders
- Substance use
- Cultural attitudes
- Gender ideologies
- Low self-esteem
- Struggling with anger management.
Forms of Intimate Partner Violence:
Any behaviour in an intimate relationship that hurts
the other person physically, psychologically, or sexually is referred to as intimate partner
violence (IPV). Here are some examples of many forms of behaviour.
Acts of physical violence, like slapping, hitting, kicking and beating
Sexual violence including, forced sexual intercourse, and other forms of sexual coercion.
Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, like insults, constant humiliation, belittling,
threats of harm, threats to take away children, intimidation like, destroying things.
Controlling behaviours, including excluding someone from contact with family and friends, keeping
an eye on their whereabouts, and limiting their access to financial aid, employment, education, or
Signs of Domestic Abuse:
A person might be unsure of whether what she is going through,
and it counts as domestic abuse because it can be nuanced and complicated.
Violence isn't the only form of domestic abuse. Controlling or domineering behaviours might still
be deemed domestic abuse even if they don't physically damage a woman.
Following are the signs of financial abuse:
Following are the signs of sexual abuse:
- All finances are under the husband's name.
- The wife's name is used for legal purposes without her knowledge and
- The woman is not permitted by her in-laws to work beyond the house.
- The allowances that are provided to the wife are unrealistic and not
Following are the signs of physical abuse:
- The woman is forced to commit sexual acts without her consent.
- The woman is harmed at the course of sexual assault or intimacy.
- The birth control is either forced or on the woman or is with held
without her consent.
Following are the signs of emotional abuse:
- The woman experiences physical assault.
- Unwanted and a rough play occurs on the woman.
- The man may act violently against items the woman may value, like people
- The women is coerced or under pressure to use drugs without her consent.
- The man deprives his better half from food, water, or sleep.
- When a man with holds or keeps her imprisoned.
Following are the signs of verbal abuse:
- When the man minimises or disregards his wife's convictions.
- When the husband refuses to express gratitude or admiration.
- When a man is excessively jealous over his wife.
- When a woman is frequently accused of being unfaithful.
- To convince the wife to collaborate, the male spouse harms or threatens
to harm themselves.
- When the male partner constantly makes the female better half feel that
she deserves to be treated
like a slave and deserves to be punished.
Following are the signs of patriarchal domination:
- When a male partner demeans his wife.
- When a male partner calls his wife names.
- When he yells, screams and rages over a small issue.
- When he defames his wife in front of other persons.
Following are the signs of control and isolation:
- When the male partner obstructs her to fulfil her woman-only chores.
- When the decisions of the woman are never considered by him.
- When it is considered that the female partner should behave in a
- When the male partner constantly monitors her calls, messages and her
- When the male partner constantly asks her to prove during his absence.
- When the male partner constantly pushes her away in attending social
- When the wife is barred to bring her friends and family members to her
- When the woman is not allowed to wear certain clothes, or apply make up, or is not allowed to wear
certain kind of jewellery, provided that those are considered to be just by the rest of the society, and
is punished severely in case it is not maintained.
Examples of Norms and Beliefs That Support Violence Against Women:Following
are the norms that are believed to support violence against women:
- It is believed that men can show their power over women, and it is considered as masculinity.
Alongside, it is believed that if a woman goes wrong, and behaves incorrectly, then the man has the
ultimate power to treat her by using physical force.
It is believed by many that physical force by a man shows the way to solve an issue.
- People believe that sexual intercourse, including rape is a man's right
The society believes that women should learn to stay together and maintain the
family by tolerating
all sorts of violence.
- Many till date believe that girls are considered to be responsible for
controlling a man's sexual urges.
Legal Aspects Of Domestic Violence:
Following are the aspects of domestic violence: Constitutional Perspective: The Indian Constitution accords women the same rights as males.
Equality before the law and equal protection under the law are guaranteed by Article 14. Article 15
prohibits discrimination against any person based only on their place of residence, race, caste, sex,
or any combination of these.
Article 16 establishes a code of equality between men and women and
prohibits the state from discriminating against women only on the basis of sex. The fundamental
rights guaranteed by Articles 21 (protection of life and liberty of every person, regardless of
gender), 23 (interdiction of trafficking in persons, regardless of gender, including their forced
labour), and 25 (freedom of conscience and free exercise, expression, and proclamation of religion
by everyone, regardless of caste or creed) are the Fundamental Rights that are guaranteed
irrespective of the gender.
Dowry Prohibition Act:
The DPA was adopted by the Indian Parliament in 1961, and it was later
amended in 1984 and 1986. Any anyone who provides, receives, aids in providing, or facilitates the
provision of dowry is subject to punishment under the DPA. Any property or valued security given
or agreed to be given in connection with the marriage is referred to as dowry (DPA, 1961).
gifts are given at the time of marriage without any demand being made, the punishment for
providing or receiving dowry is not applied. The IPC Sections 304-B, 306, 300, 302, 405, 406,
and 498-A (3) have been made relevant to the DPA, making it an incomplete Act.
Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 498A: This clause enables women to make criminal complaints
for any cruelty they experienced at the hands of their spouses and husband's relatives.
offence is both cognizable and nonbailable. Cruelty is defined as any intentional act that "is likely to
cause serious harm or danger to life, limb, or health (mental or physical) of the woman," as well as
harassment that "involves coercing the woman or any person related to her to meet any unlawful
demand for any property or valuable security, or is on account of failure by her or any person
related to her to meet such demand."
Cruelty also includes harassment committed in the guise of
dowry and any behaviour that threatens a woman's life or health seriously, including her mental
health (Criminal law Act, 1983).
Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act:
The Protection of Women from
Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) was enacted by the Parliament in 2005. It is a civil law
that safeguards women in a household from male household members. In addition to
protecting women who are married to males, this rule also defends women who are living
together, as well as women who are dependent on them such mothers, grandmothers, and
In accordance with this law, women are entitled to protection from domestic
violence, monetary compensation, the right to dwell in their joint home, and maintenance
payments from their abuser if they are no longer together. The state is required by this Act to
take proactive measures to safeguard women from assault.
Police officers must receive
frequent sensitization and awareness training" on DV concerns from the state. The act also
gives the state the authority to issue protective orders, which the police must uphold, and to
designate designated protection officers' who will aid domestic violence victims in
receiving medical attention and reporting the incident (PWDA, 2005).
After being amended in 2005, the Hindu Succession Act now acknowledges that women have an
equal entitlement to their families' ancestral possessions. It provides a legal guarantee that
they would receive the same portion as their brothers (Hindu Succession [Amendment] Act,
Misuse of The Law: In Sapneswar Dehuri v. State of Orissa
, the court noted that when a young
wife passes away naturally, suspicion is instantly levelled at the in-laws. The Supreme Court
issued guidelines stating that every complaint received by the police must be forwarded to a
Family Welfare Committee before the police can arrest the offender in order to prevent the
misuse of section 498A.
Additionally, it claimed that because "perpetrators and abettors of
DV" can also be women, this clause undermined the goal of the law. Since then, the DV
legislation has been amended to remove the phrase "adult male." In the case of
Devi v. Jaipal and Others
, the Indian Supreme Court ruled that a merely vague claim was
insufficient to bring the matter inside the purview of the DV Act.
Only women are given
remedy under the statute. In India, men are not similarly protected by the law against DV by
either men or women. The current legislation does not provide men with even the most basic
relief of having a male or female attacker keep away from them by obtaining a restraining or
Ways of Preventing Domestic Violence: A number of worldwide evaluations have recently
compiled data on strategies for avoiding and responding to violence against women that are
effective, or at least promising. These reviews indicate that at all scales of the ecological
framework, governments and civil society must work together comprehensively, cross-sectorally, and over an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, evaluation of comprehensive,
multi-level, multi-component programmes and institution-wide reforms is more difficult
than that of individual-level interventions. As a result, even though these approaches are
almost certainly the most effective for long-term prevention, they are also the ones that have
received the least amount of research.
Following are the set of strategies that
demonstrated as effective:
- Amendment of civil and criminal legal frameworks.
- Organise media and lobbying activities to increase knowledge of current laws;
- Bolster the legal rights of women in matters of divorce, property, child
support, and custody;
- Utilising a gender perspective, completely restructure every sector's
institutions; in particular,
incorporate attention to violence against women into sexual and reproductive
- Communicate behaviour change to effect societal transformation;
- Create a solid evidence base for advocacy and education;
- Encourage the economic and social empowerment of women and girls;
- Create life skills and educational programmes.
Homicide and Other Mortality: According to studies from several nations, between 40 and
70 percent of women who were murdered were killed by their husbands or boyfriends,
frequently in the course of an abusive relationship. Evidence also points to an increased risk
of suicide in women who use IPV, as well as a possible increased risk of HIV infection and
Effects on Children Due To Domestic Violence:
Numerous studies have linked IPV
against women to adverse social and health effects for kids, including anxiety, depression,
subpar academic performance, and bad health outcomes. Exposure to IPV against the mother is one of the most often occurring factors linked to male perpetration and female
experience of IPV later in life, according to a vast body of evidence. Several studies have
discovered a link between IPV and child maltreatment within the same household.
can be instances where there can be certain occurrences like:
- Less immunity of the children.
- Higher rates of diarrhoea.
- Chances of dying before the age of five.
Ways to Prevent Domestic Violence:
The issue of violence against women, especially
domestic abuse, is mostly invisible in the transition zone, as it is in the rest of the
world-unrecognized, unmeasured, and ignored. Similar obstacles hinder women from
being protected from and prevented from assault throughout the world. The majority of
times, someone the victim knows-a boyfriend, a partner, a parent, a relative, or a
coworker-commits violence against her.
The severity of the crime is often downplayed and
the victim is stigmatised since the violence is sometimes seen as a private or family matter.
Both family members and police frequently accuse the victim of inciting or bringing the
abuse upon herself. There are frequently not enough alternatives to an abusive environment
as well as a lack of understanding, empathy, and support for victims of violence.
The legalisation of violence against women must be accompanied by active enforcement on the part
of the authorities. This is particularly true when dealing with the complex issue of domestic
violence, which poses unique difficulties for all parties. Law enforcement officials in the
transition region have received numerous requests to expand help for victims of domestic
violence from organisations and groups working on the issue of violence against women.
The bias against victims on the part of police, doctors, prosecutors, and judges appears to be
endemic in several criminal justice systems. This bias manifests itself in the following ways:
refusal to investigate, abuse, delayed referrals, inaccessibility of doctors, abusive
examinations, failure to safeguard the victims, intrusions of privacy, and early case
Multi-sectoral collaboration is necessary to guarantee survivors access to comprehensive services because, as Heise and colleagues (1999) noted, women who experience IPV have complex
needs and may require services from many different sectors, including health care, social
services, legal entities, and law enforcement.
Evidence from a variety of industries shows
that institution-wide reforms, as opposed to focused policy changes or training, are the best
method to improve the services provided to survivors. This approach is sometimes referred
to systems approach."
Systems approach may include the following:
- Rules and systems that safeguard women's confidentiality and privacy;
- To ensure efficient service delivery, workers must get continual
training and assistance;
- Established guidelines and methods for referring survivors to other
- Initiatives to improve the institution's people and physical resources;
- Educating customers and service providers about violence;
- Data collection system;
- Monitoring and evaluation to evaluate the effectiveness of service
delivery and the advantages
compared to hazards for women.
Domestic violence refers to any actions used with the intent of dominating or
controlling a husband, partner, girlfriend/boyfriend, or close family member. It is pervasive
and cunning, occurring in private property, can go on for a while, and restricts the victim's
options for escape.
There have been numerous attempts to offer a single, conclusive
explanation for why domestic violence happens. Therapists and the legal system can benefit
from a shared understanding of the factors that lead to domestic violence. For the therapist
to effect long-lasting good changes, language is a powerful tool. Instead of emphasising deficits and blame, it should concentrate on solution and strengths.
The Indian judicial
system contains numerous laws for domestic violence prevention and repression. The
hardest part is figuring out who the victim is and doing a thorough evaluation. The focus of society should be on reintegrating the victim and rehabilitating the perpetrator, despite the
fact that there is no justification for domestic violence.
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