The Crime Of Domestic Violence
All of us must have heard from our friends, neighbours, relatives, or colleagues
about some kind of violence suffered by them at their house which is known
domestic violence. Most of the time the reports of such violence are received
from females but this does not mean that domestic violence is a crime only
against the women, it is also suffered by men in most of the cases. Domestic
violence is a sort of physical, verbal or mental abuse that a person goes
through in a domestic setting. This occurs mainly where two people have some
sort of intimate relationship like in a marriage, live in or simply by a dating
Domestic violence, which is also called as spouse abuse, is a cycle of
repetitive abuse which is in most cases physical abuse that not only affects the
physical being of an individual but also affects the mental health of a person.
It is not a part of any specific religion, country, caste, or background it is a
crime against mankind. 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 private life 
Such kinds of violence against women exists in male dominating societies where
there is very little or no freedom available to the women. In most cases,
domestic violence reports are received from women who are not employed or under
educated . This happens mainly because in such cases the man exercise a lot of
power over the woman and the woman is dependent on the man for her living.
Women are subject to domestic violence not only by their partner but also by the
family of her partner. This may happen in cases where dowry is involved. If the
family of the husband is not satisfied with the dowry then they may torture the
wife because of this.
Laws dealing with domestic violence in India
Section 2 of protection of women from domestic violence act 2005 defines
domestic violence as harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life,
limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends
to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional
abuse and economic abuse. This act tries to give legal protection to women
who are subject to such violence.
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects
such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may
extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. Here cruelty refers
to any kind of physical or mental harm caused to the woman by the husband or his
family or unlawfully demanding any kind of property or security from the woman.
The offense under this section is a cognizable offense which means that the
police can arrest the husband even without an arrest warrant. If a woman
committees suicide within 7 years of marriage and if she was subjected to any
kind of cruelty by either the husband of the family of the husband than in such
case the court may presume that the suicide has been abetted by the husband or
by the relatives of the husband.
Covid-19 and violence against women
Where the whole world is struggling to end the Covid-19 crises there is a
struggle that many women are facing at their homes. Whenever some kind of
emergency is declared by the government it is seen that for most of the women
their house becomes a home of horror. 1 out of 3 women globally have experienced
some kind of sexual or physical abuse mostly by their intimate partner.
The recent data released by NAlSA (National Legal Service Authority) shows that
the COVID-19 lockdown period has led to a great increase in the domestic
violence reports in India. The report provided by NALSA also states that
Uttrakhand has reported around 144 cases of domestic violence which is the
highest so far followed by 79 cases in Haryana and around 63 cases in the
national capital during the 2 months of nationwide lockdown.
During the lockdown period, the country has seen a 21% increase in domestic
violence cases. According to NCW (National Commission for women) around 69 cases
of domestic abuse have been reported from 24th March to 1st April. According to
NCW, there is a sharp increase in the cases and the reason for the same may be
the frustration of men who have to stay at home for so long due to the lockdown
and so this frustration is taken out on the women. And the case is not only with
India, it is now a global problem.
There is a sharp rise in cases in the United States of such violence against
women. Such complaints are also being received from turkey where women are not
only being physically abused but also being murdered by their husbands. 90,000
gender-based cases have been received from South Africa during the lockdown.
In France, the French minister has stated that there has been a 32% increase in
domestic violence cases during the nationwide lockdown imposed to fight the
coronavirus. The main reason for such an increase in cases of domestic violence
being reported is because the women are forced to stay at their home during the
lockdown as any kind of movement has been restricted by the government. All
kinds of transports have been shut down and so women donít have many choices
left with them.
Our house is considered to be the safest place for us but this isnít true for
all. There are very less women who report such kinds of violence faced by them
from their partner. The question why didnít she report is often asked to them
but the reason for being quiet is the fear of facing the worst.
The victims of such violence refuse to fill any complaint of the same because
they are then threatened to be killed by their partner, which is the final step
of such violence. Most of the time such kind of violence is faced by the women
of rural areas because the men here are less educated and women are not aware of
the helps that are available to them since they do not know about the internet
and various laws dealing with the problem. They also fear that if the complaint
than their husband would torture them, even more, when he comes out of the jail.
To stop domestic abuse it is time for all the women around the world to
recognize their worth and take a step to give up on such toxic relationships and
leave their house immediately which indeed may be hard and scary but would lead
to a better life for them. There is a need to provide good education to the
women so that they donít have to depend on their partner for their survival.
Gender equality should be promoted in all phases of life.
Women should connect to various counsellors or legal advisors if they are facing
such issues in their houses. They should be made well aware of all the rights
that are available to them. If there are children in the house than such kind of
violence may also affect the mental health of the children to a great extent.
Therefore it is necessary for women to come out of their shells and speak openly
about such violence faced by them and provide ways to deal with it so that other
women who are facing such problems can also gather the strength to fight against
- United Nations. Declaration on the elimination of violence against
women. New York: UN, 1993
- Protection of women from domestic violence act 2005
- Section 498A Indian penal code 1860
- Section 113A Indian Evidence Act 1872