Domestic violence refers to any form of harassment that occurs between adults
or adolescents in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship. With the
introduction of section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code in 1983, it became a
criminal offence. This section specifies that a husband or relative of husband
who subjected a woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term
which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
Women are covered by the protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
Domestic violence affects not only Women, but also men, teenagers. On an average
more than 2 million women and 8,00,000 men are subjected to domestic violence
with death rates rising at an unprecedented pace. Domestic violence issues still
exist in our country in various forms which I will be dealing in my article.
Any aggressive act, abusive behaviour, or harassment in different forms between
adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of
gender or sexuality, is considered domestic violence, it is committed by someone
in the victim's domestic circle and they maintain a domestic relationship.
It is not just the physical violence or the visible injuries which are treated
to be domestic violence but actions such as taking control over the spouse,
sexual abuse, emotional abuse or isolation and coercion, threatening would all
come under domestic violence. This is not just pertaining to an area, a city or
a country this is a global topic that transcends national borders,
socio-economic, educational, ethnic, and class divisions it is widely spread and
Most of time it's the women who suffer either in their own house or in their in
-laws' homes by intimate partners in various forms. United Nations report says
that around 70% of women around the globe have suffered domestic violence at
some point in their life.
Intimate partner abuse or domestic violence is most often caused by marital
dispute or discord in a relationship. Studies have shown that domestic violence
mostly happens in a family with low level income and low educational level, so
in situations when a woman has a higher educational status, she tends to be less
affected by such problems but few other studies have shown that women with
higher educational qualification are abused more by their intimate partners.
In India, for example, approximately 75% of working women are harassed as a
result of their job status. The reason for this can be attributed to prestige
where men feel that they are dominated by the working women. There are few men
who are also subjected to domestic violence by their partners but they don't
report it as in a male-dominated society they consider reporting to be shameful.
In the present scenario, the pandemic and the lockdown has led to increase in
the cases of domestic violence, the population has been confined to their homes
as a result of the pandemic, which has resulted in a rise in domestic abuse,
making it more common and dangerous. In the month of April 2020, Europe saw a 60
percent rise in emergency calls from women who had been victims of domestic
The reasons to this could be because of increase in stress levels as there had
been serious problems faced by the citizens. The situation in India was even
worse where the cases of domestic violence had an increase of 100% as per the
reports of National Commission of women of India. Measures were taken by NGO'S,
Police and other higher authorities but it did not show the results as expected.
There are several women all over the globe who have not even come forward to
register a case. Domestic violence affects more than 55 percent of Indian women,
mostly in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and other northern
states. Apart from men and women, children are also subjected to domestic
violence. According to a UNICEF report from2006, 275 million children worldwide
are vulnerable to domestic violence. Children who have been abused are more
likely to develop distrust problems later in life.
Women are protected by various acts one such Act is Protection of women from
Domestic Violence Act, 2005
or Prevention of Domestic Violence Act 2005 (DV
Act) was enacted Under Section 3 of the DV Act, here the woman should be in a
domestic relationship or should have been in such relationship with the person
who subjected her to domestic violence, section 3 of this act gives definition
of domestic violence. This law protects such women and keep them in safe hands.
There are few drawbacks to this law, for instance, marital rape is not
specifically defined even if sexual abuse is considered as domestic violence,
also this act is not gender neutral in a country where even men, children are
subjected to domestic violence.
There are other laws too which protect women from domestic violence such as:
- Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961
- The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 etc
Children too have many acts which prohibit abuse against children which
covers majorly all forms of abuse against children.
Despite numerous technological advances and numerous laws and regulations aimed
at improving the lives of women and children, violence against them continues to
rise on a daily basis. There has been increase in the literacy rates since the
past few years but there's no decrease in rate of domestic violence.
Women being major victims, men, teenagers are also victims of domestic violence.
Women should be encouraged to come forward to report the offences happening
against them, only then necessary action can be taken and they can be protected.
The laws should be neutral having with regard to all genders, including men, to
encourage men to speak out against the atrocities which their partners have
suffered. Indian laws still have to be improvised so that victims subjected to
domestic violence can grow and evolve in a safer environment.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Sai Sindhura Kongara
Authentication No: FB204216304559-11-0222