Legal Guide

What is Domestic Violence in India?

by Bhavya Choudhary · 3 min read

Domestic violence in India

Introduction

  • Domestic violence in India is a systematic strategy of creating fear and subservience in an individual in a domestic environment such as a home. The motivation for this aggression might range from a desire to retain a person’s power structure over another to instilling/coercing another individual for self-gratification.
  • Domestic violence in India primarily refers to violence experienced by an individual at the hands of biological relations, but it also includes abuse experienced by women at the hands of male family members or relatives.
  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 defines domestic violence. Prior to the Domestic Violence Act, matters regarding domestic violence in India were controlled by Section 498-A of the IPC. Section 498-A has two flaws.
  • The first is the lack of any provision offering relief or compensation to the victim under this section. Second, Section 498-A exclusively applied to married women. To address these flaws, the Centre adopted the Domestic Violence Act of 2005.
  • The Domestic Violence Act provides redress such as refuge, medical facilities, a protective order, a compensation order, and so on. 

In this blog, we’ll talk about what constitutes domestic violence in India, its causes, its effects, and the related legal requirements.

What shall be considered domestic violence in India?

  • Domestic violence in India, according to the Domestic Violence Act, is defined as damaging or harming a woman in a domestic relationship.
  • It encompasses physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and financial abuse. Domestic violence in India under the Domestic Violence Act covers both real and threatened abuse.
  • The term domestic violence in India includes any harassment caused by illegal dowry demands made on the lady or her family.
  • The Domestic Abuse Act primarily protects wives or female live-in partners against domestic violence in India perpetrated by their husbands or male live-in partners, as well as their families. Women are advised to take legal consultation from professional lawyers if they are facing any such issues.

Types of Domestic Violence in India against Women

Domestic violence in India against women can vary from physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse to economic exploitation.

  • Physical abuse: The most apparent type of domestic violence in India against women is physical assault. The Domestic Violence Act defines domestic violence as any act that causes bodily pain or endangers the victim’s life, limb, health, or development. Physical abuse includes assault, unlawful force, and criminal intimidation. These matters require immediate action, and women must take legal consultation from a lawyer.
  • Sexual violence: Sexual violence against women is a kind of sexual/reproductive coercion. In general, marital rape should be considered sexual abuse. However, marital rape is not illegal unless the woman is under the age of 15. The Domestic Violence Act defines sexual abuse as “any sexual abuse that abuses, humiliates, degrades, or otherwise violates the dignity of a woman.”
  • Verbal and emotional abuse: Verbal abuse involves comments or threats made by domestic partners during domestic violence in India against women. From a human rights standpoint, verbal abuse leads to emotional abuse, which is an extremely widespread type of domestic violence in India. A woman’s sense of self-worth is eroded when she is subjected to both verbal and emotional abuse.
  • Economic abuse: The government’s inclusion of economic abuse among the categories of abuse under the Domestic Violence Act was a noteworthy development. Economic abuse is commonly defined as denying or threatening to deny the victim and her children access to financial resources/assets.

If any of the above situations arise, women are entitled to file a divorce suit. The concerned party should contact a divorce lawyer, and the divorce lawyer will look after all the necessary paperwork and can provide you with professional guidance on how to handle your divorce.

Domestic Violence in India: What Causes It?

There is no one or consistent cause of domestic violence in India. Domestic violence in India against women is caused by a mix of sociological/behavioral, historical, religious, and cultural causes.

  • Sociological factors: Anger issues/aggressive attitude, poverty/economic hardship, the difference in status, controlling/dominant character, drug addiction, upbringing, and psychological instability (bipolar, depression, stress, etc.) are examples of social, behavioral, and cultural influences. Domestic violence in India is exacerbated by the neglect of conjugal obligations as a result of extramarital encounters or a lack of trust.
  • Historical Causes: Historical factors may be traced back to the inherent evil of patriarchy and the superiority attitude that has persisted among males for ages.
  • Religious Factors: Religious sanctifications represent a subtle type of tyranny over women, if not blatant and obvious domination. Domestic violence against women is also facilitated by this.
  • Cultural Factors: Desire for a male kid is one of the cultural factors that contribute to domestic violence. Domestic violence against women is perpetrated as a result of this fixation, which stems from a lack of understanding and innate male superiority. This is not a complete list of variables, and the motivations or triggers for domestic violence may vary.
  • Dowry: Dowry is a type of socio-cultural element. However, due to the widespread domestic violence incidents caused by the illegal demand for dowry, it is necessary to discuss it individually. This was also recognized by Parliament since dowry-related domestic violence has been designated as a separate category under the Domestic Violence Act’s scope of abuse resulting in domestic violence.

To whom should I report a case of domestic violence in India?

  • According to Domestic Violence Crime, any woman who has been harmed or anybody who has seen the act can contact the local Police Station or Protection Officer. To implement its instructions, the court might appoint a protection officer.
  • The protection officer is a unique position designed to act as a link between victims of domestic abuse and the system. A complaint can also be filed directly with the magistrate to obtain orders of relief under the Domestic Violence Act.
  • Anyone who gives information about the crime to the appropriate authorities is exempt from civil/criminal culpability.
  • The court is obligated to schedule a hearing within three days of receiving the complaint.
  • If the court determines that the complaint is legitimate, it will issue a protective order.
  • A complaint can also be made under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code, which recognizes and punishes marital cruelty in case of domestic violence in India.

Conclusion

There are four sorts of domestic violence in India: sexual, financial, emotional, and physical. Intergenerational violence, socio-economic problems, biological and psychological problems, and other societal problems can all contribute to domestic violence.

Patriarchy, however, is the primary cause of domestic violence and a factor in the aforementioned causes. Although women are the most frequent victims of domestic abuse, males, the elderly, and members of the LGBTQ+ community can all face special difficulties. Therefore, action must be taken to fight domestic abuse against all victims, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, not only women.

Anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse must avail of the legal remedy without giving it a second thought. Consult a Lawyer to get out of the situation immediately.

Bhavya Choudhary

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Bhavya Choudhary

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