Domestic Violence against women in India

(A Test of Indian Legal Mechanism)

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Prity
Singh*

ABSTRACT

In our society, violence is bursting. It is present almost
everywhere and nowhere is this eruption more intense than right behind the
doors of our homes. Behind closed doors of homes all across our country, people
are being tortured, beaten and killed. It is happening in rural areas, towns,
cities and in metropolitans as well. It is becoming a legacy being passed on
from one generation to another and this violence has a tendency to explode in
various forms such as physical, sexual or emotional. It may be worth pointing
out that in India, the ‘possession’ of women by malevolent spirits is socially
and culturally accepted; elaborate procedures for exorcism—which are often
violent in nature- bring into focus the woman or girl, who as a victim of this
particular affliction, is expected to behave in ways which violate conventional
norms of appropriate conduct. According to United Nation Population Fund Report,
around two-third of married Indian women are victims of domestic violence and
as many as 70 per cent of married women in India between the age of 15 and 49
are victims of beating, rape or forced sex. In India, more than 55 percent of
the women suffer from domestic violence, especially in the states of Bihar,
U.P., M.P. and other northern states. Though Indian Legal Mechanism is very
keen on this and prevention of this transgression is the matter of concern for
legal system, it is still out of the reach for the state machinery to take over
this social idiotic and to provide the desired security to women at home. This
paper presents a scenario of intensity of domestic violence against women in
India and status of effectiveness of legal prevention of this problem.

Keywords:
Domestic Violence; Malevolent; Exorcism; Transgression.

 

 

 

*Prity singh, Assistant Professor,
IPEM Law Academy

 

Introduction

The genesis of violence against women is found in the
tradition of Indian society, which has been prevailing for the centuries. Women
have been victims of violence and exploitation by the male all over the world.
This exploitation is continues in developed and developing countries. Just
being a woman they are denied certain rights and are discriminated against men
and often becomes victims of men’s ideology. Different form violence is an
obstacle to achievement of the objective of equality, development and peace. In
patriarchal society dependence of economic subordination of women all over the
world also go long way in making her vulnerable to domestic violence, irrespective
of culture, race class or age. Abuse against a woman
can be mental, physical, emotional, sexual, economic, social or spiritual. Domestic
violence against women is a common occurrence in most societies whether the
Domestic violence is physical or mental. In south Asian countries it is a daily
and often deadly fact of life for millions of women and girls. Domestic
violence against women is among the most serious threats to overall development
and progress in India. Domestic violence that is any act of physical, sexual or
psychological abuse, or the threat of such abuse, inflicted against a women by
a person intimately connected to her through marriage, family relation or
acquaintanceship is universal and has
its root in socio-cultural set up of the society. Internationally one in three
women have been beaten, coerced into sex or abuse in their lifetime by member
of her own family.1
Domestic violence is the most prevalent yet relatively hidden and ignored form
of the violence against women and girls. Many victims of domestic violence also
justify the wife beating; a study was conducted on Domestic Violence in India:
An Empirical Analysis by Harihar
Sahoo & Manas Ranjan, upon
90303 ever married women and discovered widespread prevalence of domestic
violence (21 %, since age 15) in India but also the acceptance of majority of
ever- married women (57%) to at least one reason for justifying a husband
beating his wife.2
Crime against women increased 34% over the last four years to 2015, with
cruelty by husband and relatives being the most widely reported crime,
according to the national crime records bureau. The
rate of crime against women defined as crimes reported divided by total
women population- has gone up from 41.7 %to 53.9 % between 2012 and 2015.

 

Figure 1: Crime against Women (2012 to
2015)

Source:http://www.firstpost.com/india/crimes-against-women-up-34-in-four-years-most-reports-from-up-maharashtra-west-bengal-2991754.html.,
Accessed on 22 September 2017.

 

Uttar pradesh (35,527)
maharashtra (31,126) and west begal( 33,218) reported the most crimes against
women in 2015 acording to national crime bureau.

 

Forms of domestic violence

Domestic violence not always refers to the physical
assault or the visible injuries of the victim. There is several form of abusive
behavior against women and each and every abuse behavior has its own
devastating consequences. Types of domestic violence are as follows:

1)     
Physical abuse:
physical abuse is the use of physical force against person in a way that ends
up injuring the person, or puts the person at risk of being injured.

2)     
Verbal or nonverbal abuse:
Mental, psychological or emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal.3

3)     
Sexual abuse: it
involves the violation of an individual’s bodily integrity (sexual assault),
including coercing sexual contact, and prostitution, as well as any unwelcome
sexual behavior ( sexual harassment), including treating someone in a sexually
demining manner or any other conduct of sexual nature, whether physical,
verbal, or non- verbal.

4)     
Stalking or cyber stalking:
 stalking is harassment of or threatening
another person, especially in a way that haunts the person physically or emotionally
in a repetitive and devious manner. Stalking is unpredictable and should always
be considered dangerous. Many tactics are there for stalking like: repeated
phone calls, sometimes with hang-ups, sending unwanted packages, cards, gifts
or letters, monitoring the victims’ phone calls or computers use.4

5)     
Economic abuse or financial abuse: when abuser has complete control over the victims money and
other economic resources that is called economic abuse.

Women experiencing domestic violence or living with
its consequences are under reported because in most cases violence is
considered as personal or family matter. moreover, the way of treating women socially
is not gender sensitive, and sometimes the fear of increasing suffering or
vulnerability by the victim reduce the number of violence to be reported and
even expressed to others. A sufficient number of domestic violence in India is
under reported due to social stigma, women are accused of provoking the
violence by their disobedience, failure as a wife, or infidelity. Women report
about it when it becomes serious problem or threats to life. Physical abuse or
beating wives by husband is almost a universal form of domestic violence
against women. Worldwide 10-70% of women found being physically violated by
their intimate partners in their lives.5
Around seven in ten (66.8%) women were vulnerable to abusive words against them
and their parents by their husband, and most of the women were physically
abused by their husbands and were seriously injured to consult a healthcare
provider. Violence in marriage or within
families is perceived as the most undesirable situation for women because at
home where they should have security and worthy position, instead they are
usually in threats of possible international attacks by the closest ones which
consequently have physical impact as well as mental tolls. A
diagram called “power and control wheel” developed by the domestic abuse
intervention project in Duluth to identify the various behaviors that are used
by batterers to gain power and control over their victim. A single incident of
physical violence or the threat of such violence may be sufficient to establish
power and control over a partner.

Figure
2: power and control wheel

Source:
Developed by: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

 

The
wheel demonstrates the relationship between physical and sexual violence and
the tactics of intimidation, coercion and manipulation that are often used by
the batterers.

In
India, different social and behavioral traits like age, education,
socioeconomic status.  Family pattern,
religion etc. are associated with domestic violence. Men from socioeconomic
levels have greater probability of perpetrating violence against wife. In
India, due to existing socioeconomic and political system domestic violence
against women is not only manifestation of gender inequality, but also severs
to continue this and a s a result Domestic violence is accepted and tolerated
here, and once a women is victimized by domestic violence her probability to be
victimized again is very high.

Domestic violence, women’s rights
and international rights framework

 

The universal declaration of human
rights 1948 followed by the international covenant on economic, social and
culture rights (ICESCR) and the international covenant on civil and political
rights (ICCPR) in the first instance provide the initial basis of equal right
to men and women. And many other international agreements have been upheld such as the
convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women
(CEDAW) and 1993 UN declaration on the elimination of violence against women.
UN works with countries to eliminate all type of violence against women at the
global level to advance the international normative framework through support
provide to inter-governmental process, such as the general assembly and the
commission on the status of women. The Commission on the status of Women is
instrumental in promoting women’s right, documenting the reality of women’s
lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and
the empowerment of women.6

 

Combating
domestic violence in India

 

The extent and
magnitude of the problem of domestic violence in India requires identifying the
priority areas for intervention. As stated before, at least half of the women
in India experience domestic violence at least once in their lives. For too
long now women have accepted it as their destiny or have just acquiesces their
right to raise their voice, perhaps because of the justice system or lack of it
or because they are vulnerable, scared or being ostracized by their own because
domestic violence still remain a taboo for most women who suffer from it.

Domestic Violence
Act 2005: Domestic violence act 2005,
referred at protection for women against domestic violence (PWDVA), Domestic
violence act come into force in october 2006. The act covers those women who
are in relatiuonship with the abuser or where both parties have lived together
by consangunity or by mrriage, are entitled to lega protection under this act.
The offence under this are cognizalbe and non-bailable. DVA extent its protection
to women who are sisters, widows and mothers.the Domestic violence act 2005
ensure the reporting of cases of domestic violnce against women to a protectoin
officer. Protection officer prepares a report of incidence to the magistrate
and forward copies thereof to the police officer incharge of the police station
with in the local limits of jurisidction. Since the protection of women from
domestic violence act (2005) PWDVA has passed over 1,000,000 cases have been
filed across the country under sections pretating to cruelty by husband and
dowry, as per data provided by the natuoinal crime record bureaue (NCRB) show.
Cases registered under the abetment of suicide of women, collected by NCRB
since 2004, increased by 34% from 3034 in 2014 to 4060 in 2005.7

                          There
are various regulations or provisions being made for protection of women
againtsdomestic violence under the statute such as sec.304B of IPC pertatining
to dowry death. Under section 313-316 of IPC female infanticide has been made
punishable which means forcefully teraminating the pregnancy of a women.     A complain can also be filed under section
498 A of IPC For cruelty which also falls under domestic violence.8

                          Although government has constituted several laws and
Acts in favour of women, but unfortunately, 
in spite of all the support by the constitutional and legal rights they
are still suffering from domestic violence. Their Freedom is overlooked, in
reality, they still lag behind to enjoy to them.

Conclusion

Violence within the four walls needed to be taken
seriously. The domestic violence may have a wider and deeper impact in life of
the victims. Mostly Domestic violence issues are unreported; women always hesitate
to reveal their family issue in front of others. In India the laws are improper
and inadequate to protect the women from domestic violence. Domestic violence
in India is a major concern of development interventions as well as in human
right perspectives. A coordinate efforts for practical and efficient
interventions need to be made to eliminate this problem where men’s supremacy
over women need to be challenged.

Bibliography

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control’ Violence Against Women, Vol. 15, No. 12: 1444-1457.

 

Ahmed, S.M. (2005); “Intimate
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Agnes, Flavia (1992):
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Butalia, Urvashi (2003): “Confrontation and
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Choudhury., et, al. 2017);
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22, Issue 8, Ver. 9

 

Farouk, S.A. (2005) Violence against
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and WHO, Geneva,11-14 April 2005, UN Division for the Advancement of Women

 

Gill., and bish,
(2013); addressing violence against women as a form of hate crime: limitations
and possibilities, Feminist Review,
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Gupta., (2014), Reporting and incidence of violence against
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Compassionate Economics

Heise L.L.,
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Johnson, H, N Ollus and
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Nagaraja, B. (2013).
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Shettar  A
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Tina., et, al. Domestic Violence and Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms,
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 “The Dowry Prevention Act”, Ministry of
Women and Child Development, viewed on 18 July 2014
(http://wcd.nic.in/dowryprohibitionact.htm)

 

1 Heise, L., et., al. (1999). Ending
Violence Against Women. Population Reports, Series L, No. 11. Baltimore,
John Hopkins University School of Public Health, Population Information Program,
December

2 Sahoo , et., al (2007). Domestic
Violence in India: An Empirical Analysis, Paper presented in National
Seminar on Gender Issue and Empowerment of Women, Indian Social Institute,
Kolkata, February

3 Tina., et, al. Domestic Violence and Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects.,
The
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress,.
http://www.aaets.org/article144.htm

4 Choudhury., et, al. 2017); Domestic
Violence and Some Socio-Economic Parameters., IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume
22, Issue 8, Ver. 9

5 Ahmed, S.M. (2005); “Intimate
Partner Violence against Women: Experiences from a Woman-focused Development
Programme in Matlab”, Bangladesh, J Health Popul Nutr, 23(1): 95-101, ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research

6 Commission on the Status of
Women, URL: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw

7Chachra., (2017), “Ten
years of domestic violence act: Dearth of data, delayed justice”., http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ten-years-of-domestic-violence-act-dearth-of-data-delayed-justice/story-LXURnrURYWMOo0OAg6K7nN.html

8 Srivastva., (2016), “Domestic
violence laws in India”,
https://www.lawfarm.in/blogs/domestic-violence-laws-in-india

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