Violence against women has become an important topic for discussion in India in recent years. Politicians and media have placed a great attention on the issue due to continuously increasing trends of violence against women. Domestic violence (also named as domestic abuse, family violence) is a pattern of behaviour. This involves violence or abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting . According to a national family and health survey in 2005, total lifetime prevalence of domestic violence was 33.55 and 8.5% for sexual violence among women aged 15-49. 65% of Indian men believe women should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together, and women sometimes deserve to be beaten. Domestic violence can take place in number of forms including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious aspects. Domestic violence murders including stoning, bride burning, Honor killings and dowry deaths. Globally, the victims of Domestic violence are overwhelmingly women and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence. The Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is an Act of parliament of India enacted to protect women from Domestic Violence . The act of domestic violence towards women is a human rights violation as well as an illegal act under Indian law. The Domestic Violence Act of 2005 has been used to prosecute domestic violence cases, but activist’s state that it discriminates against men. The Delhi high court clarified that the Act could be used to prosecute women.
Our Indian constitution defines violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women . Domestic violence occurs daily in homes throughout the world. The National Coalition against Domestic violence reports that 1.3 million women are victims of domestic abuse each year. The four causes of Domestic Violence to persist in India. They are Male dominated society, Lack of Awareness of laws, Laxity in implementation of existing Acts, Bureaucracy and Fear.
• To study about domestic violence in India with special reference to Chennai.
• To analyse the existing laws in India to prevent domestic violence.
Domestic violence is not the cause for increase in death rate of married women.
Domestic violence is the cause for increase in death rate of married women.
A descriptive approach to research is called as the foundation for research. The researcher referred more descriptive information’s from books, articles, journals to gain more knowledge for the study in Domestic violence .
Analytical approach concentrates on the process of the final result rather giving importance to the result. The researcher analyses various issues on Domestic violence and gives the major cause for domestic violence.
The researcher obtained primary sources by interviewing with women who faced domestic violence in the form of questionnaire and by conducting a field survey in Chennai city for the factors influencing domestic violence .
The researcher obtained secondary sources from books, articles, journals.
Protection of women from domestic violence act, 2005
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to protect women from domestic violence. It was brought into force by the Indian government from 26 October 2006. The Act provides for the first time in Indian law a definition of “domestic violence”, with this definition being broad and including not only physical violence, but also other forms of violence such as emotional/verbal, sexual, and economic abuse. It is a civil law meant primarily for protection orders and not meant to penalise criminally . The act does not extend to Jammu and Kashmir, which has its own laws, and which enacted in 2010 the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2010. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 contains five chapters and thirty seven sections. This article highlights some of the important provisions which are essential for the nuance understanding of the statute. Domestic violence is quite widespread in Indian society. Generally men are the perpetuators and women are the victims. It has become inseparable part and parcel of family life – men’s right and women’s due. Women in India have been resenting the practice in various forms and demanded legislative protection against violence . Under the pressure of women’s movements and international community the Government of India has enacted. Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 and its rules in 2006. The PWDAV Act 2005 is a unique enactment. This is a secular law applicable on all religious faiths. This is a civil law aimed to protect the women and not intended to penalise the perpetrators of violence. It defines domestic violence comprehensively – covering physical, psychological, economic and sexual violence. It is applicable on all relations – sister, daughter, wife, mother and live-in relationship. This act recognises various rights of the victim . It laid down simple procedure for using these rights as to do not lay emphasis on evidence. The Act also seeks to protect the rights of women to secure housing. The worst form of verbal, physical, psychological and sexual violence are committed against women in their homes. The law envisages setting up a protection officer whose functions are spelt outing the law. Though this officer is appointed by the state government, he/she will be in the Court and monitor the cases of domestic violence [9-13]. The Protection officer will make the Domestic Incident Report on behalf of the Court and make an application for an order for an order on behalf of child. He/she will provide medical services, safe shelter and other requirements. The protection officer is liable for punishment if he/she fails or refuses to discharge his duty. The services provided play a major part in the implementation of the Act.
Beneficiaries of domestic violence Act 2005
Women: The domestic violence Act 2005 covers women who have been living with the respondents in a shared household and are related to him by blood, marriage or adoption include women’s as sexual partners in a relationship that is in the nature of marriage. Women are fraudulent or bigamous marriages or in marriage deemed in invalid laws is also protection.
Children: The domestic violence Act 2005 also covers the children who are below the age 18 years and includes adopted, step or foster children who are the subject of physical, mental, or economical torture. Any person can file a complaint on behalf of a child .
Respondents: The domestic violence Act 2005 defines the respondents as any adult male person who is or has been a domestic relationship with aggressive person and includes relative’s husband or male person (Tables 1-18 and Figures 1-18).
Table 1: Interview schedule for domestic violence: Age.
Table 2: Interview schedule for domestic violence: Occupation.
|Not aware of Domestic Violence||4|
Table 3: Domestic violence in marital house.
|Mental / emotional violence||23|
Table 4: Kind of abuse or violence faced in marital house.
|Not all times||27|
|Not at all||2|
Table 5: Perpetrator of domestic violence is man.
|Not all times||14|
|Not at all||14|
Table 6: Does domestic violence occur due to economic disadvantages in family.
Table 7: Does exposure of domestic violence affect your children.
Table 8: Is it hard for women who are victims of domestic violence to report the abuse and leave their partners.
Table 9: Are you having problems with your partner.
Table 10: How does your partner and marital family treat you.
Table 11: Have you been physically hurt or threatened by members of marital family.
|Only in some cases||18|
Table 12: Are your friends and family aware of what’s going on.
|A month ago||8|
|Three months ago||17|
Table 13: The last episode of abuse.
Table 14: Does your partner have alcohol problem.
Table 15: Does your partner have any mental health problem.
Table 16: Do you have safe place to go in emergency.
|I don’t know in detail||15|
Table 17: Have you come across deaths caused due to domestic violence.
|I don’t know in detail||20|
Table 18: Are you aware of “protection of women from domestic violence act”.
Figure 5: The above diagram shows that 32% of respondents reported that men is the perpetrator of domestic violence, 54% of respondents report it is not all times that men is the perpetrator, 4% of respondents report men is not at all a perpetrator of domestic violence, and 5% of respondents report other reasons.
Figure 6: The above diagram shows that 31% of respondents said domestic violence is due to economic disadvantages, 31% of respondents said it is not in all times that domestic violence occur due to economic disadvantages, 27% of respondents said economic disadvantage is not at all a cause for domestic violence and 11% of respondents said other reasons.
Figure 7: The above diagram shows 44% of respondents reported that exposure of domestic violence affect the children more severe, 34% of respondents reported exposure of domestic violence affect children very less, 16% respondents report that exposure of domestic violence to children have no effect and 6% of respondents report other reasons.
Figure 12: The above diagram shows 16% of respondents said their friends and family are aware of domestic violence taking place in their marital house, 36% of respondents said their friends and family are aware of some cases of domestic violence taking place in their marital house, 40% of respondents said their friends and family are not aware of domestic violence taking place in their marital house and 8% respondents stated other reasons.
1. The analysis shows over 60% of the respondents have faced domestic violence in their marital house.
2. It shows 31% of respondents face domestic violence due to economic disadvantages.
3. It shows 44% of respondents reported that the exposure of domestic violence affects their children in a severe manner.
4. It shows 70% respondents reported that it is hard to report domestic violence and leave their partners.
5. It shows 40% of the respondents have problems with their partners.
6. It shows 62% of the respondents have been physically hurt or threatened by members of the marital family.
7. It shows 50% of the respondents reported that their partner have alcoholic problem.
8. It shows 26% respondents reported that their partners have mental health problem.
9. It shows 42% respondents have come across the deaths due to domestic violence.
10. It shows 40% of respondents don’t know about the domestic violence act in detail and 18% respondents don’t know anything about domestic violence act.
Domestic violence against women is a problem around the world. It affects women of all races, ethnic groups, classes and nationalities. It is a life – threatening problem for individual women especially married women and it is a serious problem for societies. Violence affects the lives of millions of women worldwide in all socio-economic and educational classes. Society is in continuous process of evolution . It will take several decades for these imbalances to be rectified. Education of both men and women will lead to change in attitudes and perceptions. It is not easy to eradicate deep-seated cultural value or alter tradition that perpetuates discrimination. In the final analysis, we come to a perspective that gender violence is a violation of human rights that needs to be combated by both men and women who believe in justice for all citizens irrespective of their class, caste, racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Starting from childhood to the end of her life women has to be under the control of father or husband or the son. The subordinate status of Women combined with socio cultural norms that are inclined towards patriarchy and masculinity can be considered as an important factor determining the domestic violence . Domestic violence gradually grew day by day with growing nature of aggressiveness of Men. The following consequences are health effects, injuries, death, sexual and reproductive health, social and economic costs etc. The researchers are finally proving the alternative hypothesis that domestic violence is the cause for increase in death rate of married women.
On the basis of above discussion, it is clear that crimes against women are on the rise. Hence, it becomes necessary to suggest some measures to prevent woman’s abuse and exploitation in our society, for tackling various crimes against women, and for dealing with female depersonalisation trauma. For our convenience, the suggested measures may fail into five categories:
Socially redefining patriarchal norms and removing gender bias
Women have to now say things publicly against gender discrimination and against women’s humiliation and exploitation which they did not dare earlier . The masses have to be awakened by holding conferences, pressurizing legislatures, demonstrating before police stations, and in many other ways to make them realize and accept the need for changing old patriarchal norms. Only collective acceptance of new norms can help in understanding victimization of innocent women.
Change in women’s values and their parent’s thinking
Women don’t realize that a divorce is better than continuing with a marriage where money is the be-all and end-all of all relations. They don’t think that by committing suicide, they are creating problems for their children and an emotional trauma for their own family. Suffering violence is so deep-rooted in our cultural milieu that not only illiterate, less educated and economically dependent women but also sophisticated, highly educated and economically independent women don’t seek legal or police protection .
Strengthening women organizations
The voice of individual women perhaps carries no weight. However, if a number of women of like-minded views join hands, from an organization and raise their voice against women’s suffering, they can make their presence felt as also make impact . It is thus through these organizations alone that women can attack outdated social norms and values which need to be discarded or overhauled.
Adopting humanistic approach to victims
It is necessary to develop a humanistic approach to victims of crimes committed against females by males. This approach may include two things:
Changing of sex roles: this suggestion implies that woman is not to be blamed for the aberrant and deviant behavior of man against her .
Evaluation of organizational procedures: for protecting the rights of victims and providing benefits to victims, an evaluation of organizational procedures of police, courts, rescue homes, etc. is necessary from time to time.
Changing criminal justice system
Before the public loses faith in the judiciary, as it has lost faith in the police, before the judicial judgments have a dampening and demoralizing effect on the people, magistrates have to learn to depend on sociological interpretation of law rather than continue to rigidly stick to legal precedents.