It is an age-old phenomenon that women have been victims of domestic
violence. In a patriarchal society, women often fail to protect themselves if
their partners become violent. Cultural patterns, religious practices, economic
and political conditions majorly set the precedent as the main cause of domestic
violence. This custom of domestic violence may be followed by observing violence
between one's parents while growing up, absent or rejecting father, antisocial
peer associations, etc.
The imbalance of gender in domestic violence is related
to differences in physical strength and size being compared between a man and a
female. Nowadays Domestic violence is not simply an argument. It is moreover a
pattern of forced control that one person uses over another. Domestic Violence
primarily includes - use of physical and sexual violence, threats, emotional
insults and economic deprivation as a way to dominate their victims and get
Laws on domestic violence
It must be explained to the victims of domestic violence, that now they not
only had relief under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code, but also had a
remedy under civil law, in the form of the Domestic Violence Act. This
legislation is a potent weapon to fight against the evil of domestic violence
against women in all its forms, which is widely prevalent but still largely
remains invisible in the public domain. All the laws are hereby explained below.
Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961As per today there are several laws which have been enacted to protect a married
woman from abuses and violence from her husband as well his relatives. Within
the ambit of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, harassment for dowry by the
husband or his family is considered a crime. The harassment can be caused either
mentally or physically, example being forced sex with one�s wife.
Section 498 A has a very wide scope as it covers any wilful conducts against a
woman which may force the woman to commit suicide or injury or risk to life,
limb or overall health. Now, the practice of dowry stands no value under the
Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, but yet if dowry has been given to or taken by
anyone other than the woman, the woman is entitled to that money/property as the
case may be under this Act.
The Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005Looking, with the perspective of this Act, any conduct, omission, or commission
that harms or injures or has the potential to harm or injure will be considered
domestic violence by the law. This law covers children also.
common victims are women, especially in our country. Expressly, in the United
States, it has been reported that 85% of all violent crime experienced by women
are cases of intimate partner violence, compared to 3% of violent crimes
experienced by men. Therefore, it can easily be said that domestic violence in
Indian majorly refers to domestic violence against women.
Who is covered under this Act?
- All the women who may be a mother, sister, wife, widow or partners
living in a shared household are covered in this act.
- The relationship should be in the nature of marriage or adoption.
- Simultaneously, relationships with family members living together as a
joint family are included as well.
Who can file a complaint?
- Any woman who claims to have been subjected to any act of domestic
violence by the offender.
- Any person on behalf of the accused may file a complaint on her behalf.
- A child is entitled as well to relief under the Domestic Violence Act.
The mother of such child can make an application on behalf of her minor
child and under such circumstances where the mother makes an application to
the court for herself; her children can be added as co-applicants.
Against whom can a complaint be filed?
- Any mature and adult male member who has been in a domestic relationship
with the woman.
- Relatives of the husband or the male partner.
- Even includes male and female relatives of the male partner.
Who can be informed or to whom the complaint be made?
Information regarding the complaint of domestic violence can be made to:
- A police officer
- Protection Officer
- Service provider (an NGO) or,
- Orders which a Magistrate may pass under the Act
The Magistrate may:
- Firstly, direct the respondent or the aggrieved person undergo
- Directs that the woman shall not be evicted or excluded from the
- It may be directed to record the proceedings in camera.
- May issue a Protection order, providing protection to the woman.
- Grant monetary relief, so that the aggrieved person can meet her basic
- Grant custody orders if the aggrieved is in proper condition to take
proper care of her children.
- Grant compensation for the injuries made to the victim which includes
mental torture and emotional distress caused by the acts of domestic
violence committed by that respondent.
Domestic Incident Report (DIR)
Some Judicial Pronouncements
- On receiving a complaint of domestic violence, the Protection Officer or
the Service Provider prepares a DIR in Form 1 (as mentioned in the Domestic
Violence Act) and then the same is submitted to the Magistrate and copies of
the same are submitted to the police officer in charge of the nearby police
- The Protection Officer or the Service Provider supports the woman in
fling the applications of complaint for reliefs. Then a copy of the DIR is to be
annexed with such an application as per the desire of the victim.
The current scenario and statistical data
- In V.D. Bhanot v. Savita Bhanot, on 23rd August, 1980 and till 4July,
2005, they lived together. After some time there were misunderstandings between
each other, as a result on 29th November, 2006, the respondent filed a petition
before the Magistrate under Section 12 of the Protection of women from Domestic
Violence Act, 2005, hereinafter referred to as the Domestic Violence Act, 2005
seeking various reliefs.
By his order dated 8th December, 2006 the learned
Magistrate granted interim relief to the respondent wife and directed the
petitioner husband to pay her a sum of Rs. 6,000/- per month. By a subsequent
order dated 17 February, 2007, the Magistrate passed a protection/ residence
order under Section 18 and 19 of the Domestic Violence Act protecting the right
of the respondent wife to reside in her matrimonial home in Mathura.
- In Raj Kumar Rampal Pandey v. Sarita Raj Kumar Pandey, Bombay High Court
passed the residence order in favour of wife under the Protection of Women from
Domestic Violence Act, 2005. In this case the husband has the undivided interest
in the house in question after the death of his father.
During the course of
hearing to defeat the legitimate right of the wife, the husband has produced a
bogus document of sale of house executed by his mother and also made a statement
that the share certificate was issued by society in favour of his mother. The
court observed that the husband had interest in the house by virtue of
inheritance and he was not a party to the alleged sale transaction. House can be
treated as a "shared household'' wherein a wife lives in a domestic relationship
with her husband.
The most common form of violence against women is Domestic Violence. It
adversely affects women and their health conditions such as sex selective
abortion of female foetuses, forced suicide.
Importance of �Women Cell�
- According to The World Health Organization the proportion of women who
had ever experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner
ranges from 15% to 71%, with the majority percentage between 29% and 62%.
- According to India's National Family Health Survey-III, which was
carried out across 29 states during 2005-06, it was found that a significant
part of married women have been physically or sexually abused by their
husbands at some time in their lives. The survey clearly displayed that,
nationwide, 37.2% of women �experienced violence� after marriage. 
- The trend of Domestic violence against women was recently highlighted by
the India's National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which stated that while in
2000, an average of 125 women faced domestic violence every day, the figure
stood at 160 in 2005.
- Similarly a recent United Nation Population Fund report also revealed
that around two-thirds of married women in India were victims of domestic
One of the most important gains of the women�s movement in India has been the
creation of legislation affecting women and, specifically, violence against
women. Increasingly, the women�s movement and the law enforcement machinery of
the police have begun to collaborate to make justice accessible to women. Some
outcomes of this collaboration are women�s police stations, women�s cells within
general police stations, gender training programs, and police counselling cells.
The Special Cell for Women and Children, collaboration between the Tata
Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and the Mumbai Police, is a unique
partnership between the women�s movement and law enforcement. The Special Cell
came in 1984, with TISS which aims at providing trained social workers and the
police offering infrastructure and administrative support.
This Special Cell works with women, for their families, and with the community
in providing a range of services which includes interface with police, emotional
support, counselling, and crisis intervention.
At the hours working with the police department, the Special Cell tried to
influence the interpretation of legal provisions to widen the police umbrella so
that they can get the direct reality of the innocent women as well as the TISS
researchers, who worked with the Special Cell, undertook a study of the Special
Cell records to analyse the existing database on violence against women.
The specific objectives of the study were to:
- Identify patterns and trends of domestic violence from the records at
the Special Cell;
- Study the nature of violence expressed by women and its reflection
within police records;
- Examine the nature of intervention sought by women and the
organizational responses to them; and
- Analyze the police construction of violence cases and the responses of
the Special Cell.
Domestic violence has been a social evil since the early times and it is still
prevalent in the present scenario, especially in the Indian society. Violence
against women � particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence � is
a major public health problem and a violation of women rights.
It can negatively
affect women�s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may
increase the risk of acquiring HIV in some settings. All in all, it takes away
the right to freely live from women and hinders with the basic human rights that
must be guaranteed to all natural human beings.
Earlier, women were not given any protection against this as it was seen as a
right of their spouses or partners to control them but now several Acts and laws
have been passed to prevent and reduce such violence against women.
The Women Cell is constituted to help maintain a harmonious atmosphere at the
Institute, to enable women to pursue their work with dignity and reassurance.
The Cell has been working to raise awareness on gender equality issues. The
complaints which fall within the Commission�s adopted procedure to handle
complaints are registered, processed, analyzed, and then, required help is
provided to the needy. It has become a single united association that works for
the protection and betterment of women and is easily available to the general
- 237Th Report On Compounding Of (Ipc) Offences
- 243Rd Report On Section 498A Ipc
- National Commission for Women
- (2012) 3 SCC 183
- World health organisation https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women
- National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) India 2005-06 [FRIND3-Vol1 and
- Indian J Community Med. 2008 Apr; 33(2)
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Aayushi Kiran
Authentication No: AU123821884600-26-0821