Abstract-Domestic Violenceis the crime done against women which she has to bear in their husband’s house.It acts as a barrier against empowerment of women and creates disturbance inthe society. The reason for it being so prevalent is the orthodox mentality ofthe society. From the cradle to the grave, women are objects of violence fromthose nearest and dearest to them. And it is a never ending cycle for there isconsiderable evidence of intergenerational transmission of domestic violence”1.
Still in today’s society, domestic violence is thought and believed to be anissue that can be solved within the four walls of the house and some amount ofviolence is considered to be the wear and tear of marriage. Even though onehalf of the total world’s population is constituted by women but still theyface disadvantages and are considered inferior due to bias. In Indian society,women are being exploited since time immemorial in the name of religion, socialsanctions and sometimes on the pretexts written on scriptures.
The hypothesis isthat, in India large number of women are subjected to domestic violence by themen and The Protection Of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, has savedmany women and has breached the system of the Indian family and is a pro womenlaw. Methodology-Secondary sourcewas taken as a way of research. The data is collected from the websites andbooks. Introduction-Human rights arethe rights which cannot be taken away but can be restricted sometimes. everyperson has this basic rights from birth until death no matter from where youbelong, what are your beliefs or how you want to live your life. It is purelybased on values like fairness ,equality, respect, dignity etc. They can also bedefined as the ‘the foremost statement of the rights andfreedoms of all human beings’.
2Human rights includes various types of rights like freedom of expression andopinion, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, right to life, etc. TheUniversal Declaration Of Human Rights is the most translated document in theworld which has been translated into 501 languages .It has two covenants-Internationalcovenant on civil and political rights(ICCPR), International covenant oneconomic social and cultural rights(ICESCR).Since the earliertime, the women has been considered below than the men.
This has led to genderdiscrimination and suppression by the men towards the women. This humanity ismale and man defines woman not I herself, but as relative to him; she is notregarded as an autonomous being, she is defined and differentiated with respectto man and not he with reference to her; she is the incidental, the inessentialas opposed to the essential, he is the subject, he is the absolute, she is theother.3Now if we talkabout Domestic Violence, the need is toprovide protection of women from domestic violence, and for this purpose “TheProtection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act,2005” has been enacted.
Thisprovision provides effective protection to women against any kind of violenceoccurring within the family and for the other matters connected, guaranteed bythe constitution. Violence-It can be definedas the act of aggression that crosses the boundary of an other person’sautonomy and identity. It is a coercive instrument to “assert one’s will overanother, to prove or feel a sense of power.
“4 Domestic Violence-The term domestic violenceimplies the incidents of familiar or intimate battering having reference to anidealized family unit functioning in a protected and secluded manner,appropriately shielded from the public.5Definition-For thepurposes of “The Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act,2005”,any act,omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domesticviolence in case it-(a) Harmsor injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whethermental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includescausing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse and economic abuse; or(b) Harasses,harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her orany other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry orother property or valuable security; or(c) Hasthe effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her byany conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or(d) Otherwiseinjures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person.6Domestic violencemeans the violence between members of the household, usually spouses, anassault or any other act committed by one member of a household againstanother.7The different types of domestic violence includes-Physical abuse,emotional abuse, isolation, intimidation, economic abuse, sexual abuse etc. Nowtaking into account the fact that a man can control the woman with hisdominance in various fields. By using intimidation, he can make her afraid withhis actions, gestures and looks, by smashing things and destroying propertyetc.
Economic abuse includes preventing her to get a job, making her ask formoney to him; not making her aware about the family income; by taking her moneyetc. By using isolation, he can control the thinking of the women and her dayto day activities. Minimizing, denying and blaming is also a kind of domesticviolence.
The man also uses his male privilege by treating her like a servantand not including her in major decision making. Men also use their children inorder to suppress women by threatening her to take her children away from herand by making her feel guilty. Psychological violence is caused by humiliatedtreatment, denial of human existence etc.One of the majorcause for domestic violence includes the demand for dowry.
If the bride’sfamily does not present sufficient amount of dowry, then she is subjected tocruelty and domestic violence by her in laws and is forced to fulfil the dowrydemand. In majority of the cases, such cruelty and domestic violence for dowryleads to death of the woman. If the death of a woman is caused by any burns orbodily injury or occurs otherwise than the normal circumstances within sevenyears of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she wassubjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of herhusband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall becalled “dowry death”.
8Cruelty against a woman by her husband or relatives of husband is punishableoffence.9Under the Indian Penal Code meaning of domestic violence can be inferred fromvarious provisions such as murder, culpable homicide, abetment of suicide,misappropriation of the spouse’s property, wrongful restraint or confinement,hurt, grievous hurt, use of force and assault etc.One of the causeincludes lower literacy rates, educated women tends to fight back against anyinjustice which is done to her.
Effects of domestic violence-It affects a womanin a drastic manner, she becomes emotionally instable and looses all herconfidence which results into lower self esteem.Many women undergo throughdepression which leads to suicidal tendencies. She cannot sleep properly or eatproperly and even becomes afraid for any kind of interaction. She loses theability to trust a person. It causes anxiety, dehydration, dissociative states,panic attacks etc.
Domestic violence is violent victimization of women by themen. The women irrespective of her age may be a girl child, unmarried women,married, elderly women, widow etc. Violence can be psychological, sexual andphysical. It does not know age, race, religion etc. Civil law for domestic violence- It takes intoaccount the facets of domestic violence without any specific definition ofdomestic violence. The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939(DMMA) and TheHindu Marriage Act, 195510 ,The Special Marriage Act,195411,The Indian Divorce Act12and the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act13 takesinto account cruelty14asa base for divorce.
Domestic Violenceis a violation of the fundamental right to live with dignity, and of the rightto equality and the equal protection of the law guaranteed under theconstitution of India.15It has been observed that total lifetime prevalence of domestic violence was 33.5%for sexual violence among aged 15-49.16Around two third of married Indian women are victims of domestic violenceand asmany as 70% of married women in india between the age of 15 and 49 are victimsof beating, rape or forced sex. In India, more than 55% of the women sufferfrom domestic violence, especially in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh,Uttar Pradesh and other northern states17.
The declaration onthe elimination of all kinds of violence against women has been adopted by TheUnited Nations General Assembly on 20th December 1993. Violenceagainst women means any act of gender based violence that results in, or islikely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering towomen, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation ofliberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.18 Prevention and solution-In order to endand minimise the practice of domestic violence, it is very necessary to reportthe problem to the authorized person so that he can take the appropriate steps.If a person does not report the problem, the authorities would never come toknow about this injustice and this practice will continue to remain prevalentin the society as a social evil and barrier towards women empowerment.
Any personwho has reason to believe than an act of domestic violence has been, or isbeing, or is likely to be committed, may give information about it to theconcerned Protection Officer.19The protection officers are appointed by the state gouts to monitor the casesof domestic abuse under section 8 of The Protection of Women From DomesticViolence Act,2005. If the protection officer refuses to discharge his duty, hewill be penalized. Moreover Service Providers play a major role in providingshelter homes to the aggrieved person. The magistrate can frame the charges inthe case where the rights of the women are violated. The offences for breach ofprotection is made cognizable and non bailable punishable with one yearimprisonment or fine of 20000 or both. The rights of the women under this actare-1. Right to residein shared household2.
Right toalternate accommodation if required3. Right toservices of Protection Officer and Service Providers4. She can getvarious reliefs like Protection order, resident orders, monetary relief,custody order forher children, compensation order, interim/ex parte order etc.20Conclusion-The need of thehour is to improve the education level of women in the society so that they canbe empowered. They should be provided proper professional guidance andpsychological counseling.
Integrity of body and soul should be ensured. Womenshould not be afraid to file a complaint against her husband or her in laws,instead she should be made aware and fight back against it. A support can bemade to heal all the other victims of domestic violence. The poor victimsshould be provided with adequate resourcesso that they can also file a case orsomebody on their behalf should take a step forward.
1 Freeman,1979,p2392 https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/what-are-human-rights/what-universal-declaration-human-rights 3 Simonede Beauvoir4 RobertLitke;”Violence and Power”,International Social Science Journal,19925 Fineman MA: Preface inThe Public Nature of Private Violence:The Discovery of Domestic abuse6 The protection of womenfrom domestic violence act, 20057 Black’s Law Dictionary8 Section 304-B, IndianPenal Code9 Under section 498-A ofIndian Penal Code10 Section 13, HMA11 Section 27(1)(d),SMA12 Section 10,IDA13 Section 32(dd),PMDA14 Section 2(8),DMMA15 Law of domesticviolence,2000,pp.v,vi,ix16 National family andhealth survey,200517 United NationPopulation Fund Report18 The declaration on the elimination of all forms of violence againstwomen adopted by G.A of the U.N19 Section 4 of Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence,200520 The protection of women fromdomestic violence act,2005