Domestic violence- A Harsh Truth
Author : Shivanjali Mane
“Women are the only exploited group in history has been idealized into powerlessness”[i]
Domestic violence is one of the sad realities on Indian society. India since very long back following patriarchy system of the society, and now it was accepted that abusing women is acceptable practice in Indian society. This was one of the reasons of domestic violence. It is behavior in the home occurs from marital relationship.
The domestic violence is the term not confine over only the physical abuse or treatment but it includes the humiliating, manipulating, frightening, hurting, insulting treatment given by one partner to other partner. There are so many constitutional and statutory protections given to women still it is major concern not only in poor family but at wealthy family too.
Definition of Domestic violence
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act is laudable piece of legislation enacted in 2005 to tackle with the situation of Domestic Violence. As per this act[ii], the act shall constitute domestic violence if his act causes harm or injury to the victim’s life which includes verbal abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, emotional abuse or physical abuse with the view to meet any unlawful demand for dowry, other property or other valuable security. The act further states the types,
Physical abuse- in involves the activity which causes harm to the body of the victim i.e. kicking, punching, grabbing, murder etc.
Verbal and emotional abuse- emotional abuse verbal and non-verbal abuse Verbal abuse means insulting, humiliating and name-calling etc. non-verbal abuse means without the use of the words, which includes isolation, intimidation or any such conduct without saying anything which emotionally hurts. In involves the destruction of victim’s self-worth.
Sexual abuse- sexual abuse includes sexual assault, harassment, and other demeaning behaviors that violate the dignity of women.
Emotional abuse- includes controlling one intimate partner over the other partner access to economic resources. It includes withholding cash, preventing from choosing own career, forcing her to work against her will.
Covid 19 pandemic and Domestic violence
This covid-19 created huge chaos in the live human being and also affected entire economy of the country is it develops countries or developing countries. One such problem caused by the pandemic is increasing the cases of domestic violence.
As the entire country of the world were under lockdown still major sector of the economy is under shocking phase. National Commission for Women registers 587 complaints of domestic violence between 23 marches to 16 April. 45% of complaints have been increased from the previous 25 days.
A report by UNFPA shows that how the Covid 19 pandemic undermines the progress made towards family planning and ending gender based violence as health facilities I many places have been limited and are reducing prevention and protection efforts, social services and care.[iii]
The mandatory stay at home rules, physical distancing, economic vulnerabilities, and anxieties brought about by the pandemic, domestic violence has increased worldwide. Across the world, countries including Australia, the United States, they have reported cases of increased domestic violence.
India notorious for gender based violence ranked fourth as per some reports[iv]. As per National Commission for Women, there has been a rise in crime against women across the nation due to complete restriction imposed to battle Covid-19.[v]
There are some international conventions to protect women from various types of violence. These are as follows:
- Declaration on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 1967
This convention was adapted on 7th November 1967, by general assembly of united nation to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the women. It is also ensure that women married or unmarried equal right equal right with man in the filed of economic and social life.
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Agent Women, 1979
The convention was adapted on 18th December 1979 by the general assembly. This convention was made to fulfill the purpose stated in art 12 and 55 of the above declaration. The convention grants equality and freedom from discrimination that occurs in public and private sector.
- Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1993
It was first instrument that executively deals with the issue of violence against women.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
The offence of domestic violence in India is governed by the law which was enacted in the year 2005, with the view to protect the women from domestic violence and also to provide the protection to the victim. This is civil law in nature.
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 498A, states that the violence done on married women withers by her in laws or by her relatives of her husband. This section gives penal perception for crudity and dowry demand.
Role of judiciary
Paniben vs. state of Gujarat[vi]
Broadly reflects the judicial approach on the present matter. The court observed that every time a case relating to dowry death comes up, it accuses ripples in the pool of conscience of the court. Nothing could be more barbarous, nothing could more heinous than this sort of crime. The main accuse for killing young married women or daughter in law is basically greed.
Ahmadabad Municipal Corporation vs. Nawab Khan Gulab Khan[vii]
The Supreme Court observes that the righty to dignity would include the right against being subjected to humiliating sexual acts.
S. Gopal Reddy vs. State of A.P[viii]
The court observed that the alarming increasing in cases relating to harassment, torture, abetted suicides and dowry related to young innocent married women has always sent shock waves to the society.
- Comprehensive and extensive premarital counseling should be given to intending couples of how long manage their marital relationship.
- Public awareness should be taken place in large level through mass media.
- Religious leaders too should vigorously teach against marital violence in their places of work ship.
- Youth should be encourages and taught to detest and not imitate brutish treatment of wives around them
- Medical professionals, after physical treatment should refer the victims to cancellation and to the psychotherapist.
- Punishment given to such crime need to be stricter and implementation takes place in public so the public can deter while committing this crime.
Violence against the women in India is deeply rooted in Indian social norms and economic dependence. Having looked into issue of domestic violence it is cause of varying reason. International convention and domestic laws are now that sufficient to address this issue.
There is needed to make more literacy among the youth ad also in women how to tackle this. Sometimes the women in rural area not known about the statutory protection she has under the India, so go on suffering and victims of this violence. What is r4equired to see closely associated of the factors provoking a particular form of domestic violence.
So we can get what factor we need to control and more than that the steps need to take so such problems will not be arises at all. If people will get that to rove how staring they are no need to hurt and harm weaker section of the society India will be much better place to live in.
[i] Karl Marx
[ii] Sec3 of the Act
[iii] Interim technical note, Impact of Covid 19 pandemic on family planning and ending gender-based violence, femaakle Gential Multilation and Child Marriage, United Nations Population Fund (Apr, 27 2020) available at http://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/covid-19-impact-brief-for-UNFPA-24-April-2020-1.pdf
[iv] Sintta Radu and Staff Writer the 10 worst countries for gender equality (feb.10, 2020) available at- http://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/slidshare/10worst-counties-for-gender-equality-ranked-by-prception
[v] PTI, India witness steep rise in crime against women amid lockdown, 587 complaints received: NCW,THE Economic Times (Apr, 17, 2020) available at http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation-women-amid-covid-19
[vi] AIR 1992 SC 1817
[vii] AIR 1997 SC 152
[viii] 1996 SCC 596