DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - AN UNFINISHED AGENDA
Date- 19th July 2021
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - AN UNFINISHED AGENDA
In India, violence against women, also known as gender-based violence, is a very
complicated and pervasive problem that is one of the most significant violations of women's human rights currently in existence. In addition, any act of gender-based violence that results
in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional injury or suffering to
women, whether committed in public or private life, is prohibited. In recent years, violence
against women has gained widespread recognition as a severe human rights violation and a
paramount public health concern with significant repercussions for women's physical,
psychological, sexual, and reproductive health. Domestic violence data from a systematic
reviews are required to support policy and program recommendations in this area. To develop effective prevention and intervention measures, it is necessary to properly comprehend the nature of domestic violence, its causes, and the prevalence of the problem. Recently, domestic abuse has become a social problem that has drawn people of various backgrounds and beliefs. Domestic violence is considered domestic violence perpetrated by an intimate partner, regardless of where it occurs or in what shape it takes. Violence against women is defined as any act of gender-based violence that causes or is likely to cause bodily, sexual, or psychological injury or suffering to a female victim.
Keywords: domestic violence, Crime, Harassment, Women
Violence against women manifests itself in a variety of ways. In particular, the World Health
Organization (WHO) defines violence as the intentional use of physical force or power,
threatened or actual, against one's self or another, against a group or a community that might result in severe issues like death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation as one's the primary goal.
In a relationship, domestic violence happens when one person attempts to exert authority and dominance over their partner by force or threats. Abuse can take many forms, including
physical, emotional, financial, and sexual. These frequently overlap with one another. It may
happen to any woman, and it can happen in any household; 25per cent of all recorded violent offenses include a male attacking his wife or partner,
The most common kinds of abuse performed against women who are victims of domestic
violence are as follows:
1) Physical abuse: It is the most arguably and the most well-known type of abuse. It can
result in physical harm, and in some circumstances, it can be life-threatening or
deadly. This form of abuse includes slapping, stabbing, beating, and raping women, as
well as throwing them downstairs when they are pregnant, Physical abuse is defined
as any touch with the intent of causing fear, pain, injury, or other physical suffering or
bodily damage to the victim. The purpose of physical abuse in the context of coercive
control is to exert control over the victim. The mechanics of physical violence in a
relationship may be difficult to comprehend at the best of times.. Other abusive
behaviors, such as threats, intimidation, and the restriction of victim self-
determination via isolation, manipulation, and other restrictions of personal freedom,
may lead to the use of physical violence. Physical abuse may take many forms,
including denial of medical treatment, sleep deprivation, and forced drug or alcohol
use. The act of inflicting physical damage on other targets, such as children or pets,
to cause emotional anguish to the sufferer is also included.
2) Emotional abuse: it is a method of developing power imbalances within a relationship
and maybe just as destructive as physical violence. It frequently includes physical or
sexual abuse threats, being put down, being continuously chastised, being controlled,
and being watched.
3) Financial abuse: it is a type of domestic violence in which the abuser manipulates his
or her partner's finances as a method of maintaining control. To isolate a woman is
meant to place her in a condition of total financial dependency. It entails having
complete control over the family's money and being denied the right to earn an
Finances and being restricted the ability to make a separate income The destruction of
property, such as a passport or other vital documents, may also be a part of this crime. Sexual violence happens when a dynamic of control and abuse defines an intimate connection. It is difficult for women mistreated by a spouse to negotiate a sexual connection on an equal footing with that partner. Women endure frequent rapes and beatings, are told it is their responsibility to have sex with their spouse, and are raped in front of their children. Sexual degradation also includes the coerced consumption of graphic and extreme pornography.
The epidemic has generated issues, not just economic and health-related but also human
rights-related: human rights, particularly women and children. Before Covid-19, one in
every three women in the globe had encountered domestic abuse at least once throughout
their lives. Domestic violence has been brought to the government's attention, but no
meaningful action has been done.
The Indian Constitution guarantees universal freedom and affirmative action for women
and children. Women are trapped at home and vulnerable to physical assault as a result of
the lockdown's absence of checks and balances. Throughout the epidemic, the safest place to be has been designated as one's own home. From March 2020 to April 2020, the National Commission on Women recorded a steady increase of about 94 percent in
domestic violence occurrences. 2 . Women are placed in a position where obtaining external
aid is difficult. They confront a threat to their wellbeing when they are locked within their
homes and their abusers are confined to restrictive places with limited movement and
privacy. Abusers take advantage of the solitude and abuse their ostensible authority.
However, this preventive measure used to fight off the infection is endangering women.
To envisage a world devoid of gender-based violence against women, it is necessary to
impose a lockout on the imagination, continuously quarantining and isolating patriarchy.
Both sexist attitudes must be eliminated from society, and women must be granted
constitutionally protected fundamental human rights.
2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This study's primary objective is to achieve the following:
1) To obtain a better grasp of the issue of domestic violence
2) To discuss the implications and laws related to violence against women
3) To examine the future of physical abuse against women.
Method of Data Collection
Secondary sources, rather than primary sources, were used to compile the information and
statistics presented in this work. Primary and secondary sources include news articles,
research papers published by a variety of scholars, and different national and international
periodicals, among other things.
3 . LEGAL PROVISIONS
The following provisions of the Constitution pertain to women: (Article 14 imposes Men and
women have equal rights and opportunities in political, economic, and social arenas. Article
15 bans discrimination against any citizen on the basis of religion, race, caste, or sexual
orientation, among other grounds. Article 16 ensures equality of opportunity in all areas
pertaining to employment or appointment to any governmental position. Article 39(a)(d)
refers to the policy security of state equality for men and women, including the right to a
means of subsistence and equal remuneration for equal effort. Article 42, Direct the State to
provide for equitable and humane working conditions and maternity leave.
Factories Act 1948: This Act prevents a woman from being compelled to work more than
eight hours per day and prohibits women from being employed except between the hours.
Maternity Benefit Act of the year 1961: a woman is entitled to twelve weeks of paid
maternity leave. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961: This Act makes it an offense to demand
dowry before too, during, or after marriage.
The Equal Remuneration Statute of 1976: This act establishes equal pay for equal labor by
requiring employers to pay equal compensation to men and women workers performing the
same or equivalent job. Additionally, it bans discrimination against women in the recruiting
The 1976 Child Marriage Restraint Act increases the age of marriage from 15 years to 18
years and for boys to 21 years. Indian Penal Code Section 354 and 509 protect the rights of
women. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971: This Act protects women
against unwarranted and coercive abortions. Amendments to the 1983 Criminal Law, which
establishes a maximum sentence of seven years in non-custodial rape cases and ten years in
custodial rape cases. The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts allocated 1/3 of
Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies seats to women. The National Commission for Women
Act of 1990 established the Commission in January 1992 to evaluate women's constitutional and legal protections.
4. AN UNFINISHED AGENDA
For a long time, India has had a patriarchal system, which is characterized by a male-
dominated society. The fundamental cause of violent attacks is a power imbalance in the
interaction between people. It is also necessary to modify attitudes between men and women in order to prevent women from becoming victims of domestic abuse. Internalization of Legal Norms in the Face of Widespread Public Support Domestic abuse in our nation is still considered an interfamilial matter which precludes the involvement of close relatives,
strangers, and the government in the situation. True effective execution of any legislation
requires the assurance of broad public support and approval through democratic processes.
This is the case with any legislation. Thanks to the strong legislative mandate that has been
given for them, it is the officers and the institution that is accountable for the more efficient
execution of the Act. Gender discrimination, patriarchal society's conventional relationships and male domination must all be eliminated in order to achieve this. Training in the gender perspective is important. Gender perspective training should be mandatory by law because it is critical for changing the essential mindsets of patriarchal society, police, service providers, medical practitioners, protection officers, and, most importantly, magistrates, who frequently advise women to put up with violence and "stop complaining. Domestic Violence cases should be taken up immediately and completed without delay to prevent putting them under additional pressure and stress. Mobile courts should be used as a viable approach for reaching out to an increasing number of victims in rural and metropolitan regions. Amendments must be made to existing laws about women that are enforced effectively and adequately.
Government agencies/departments should enlist non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to raise public awareness about domestic abuse. Not only can violence cause bodily injury, but it also has a detrimental effect on the victim's social, economic, psychological, spiritual, and emotional well-being and the well-being of the offender and the entire society. Domestic violence is known as a critical contributor to women's bad health.
This practice seriously harms female emotional and physical health and reproductive and
sexual health. Injury, gynecological difficulties, temporary or permanent disability, despair,
and suicide are amongst them.
Given that violence against women is both a symptom and a cause of gender inequality,
primary prevention initiatives addressing gender inequality and addressing the fundamental
causes of violence are critical. Public health professionals are responsible for raising
awareness by developing and disseminating materials and creative audio-visual
communications that portray a good picture of the female child and women in society.
Domestic abuse must be shown as abhorrent through an integrated media campaign
encompassing internet, print, and cinema media. The importance of strengthening male
accountability in the fight against domestic abuse cannot be overstated. Pandemics, like the
current SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) outbreak, profoundly affect people, families, and entire
countries. Individuals must deal with the illness's repercussions and the preventive measures
employed to limit the infection, such as isolation, social distance, and movement restrictions.
In a COVID-19 pandemic situation, assistance is frequently unavailable since women cannot
return to their mothers' homes. Due to the present limitations and anxiety associated with the COVID-19 epidemic, It is possible that family members will not be able to offer the support that they would have normally supplied. Victims of domestic abuse often come into touch with medical and law enforcement professionals as their first point of contact. COVID-19 has posed a major danger to the healthcare system in the country. A sizable amount of available resources has been dedicated to combating the pandemic — routine outpatient consultations have been reduced, elective operations have been restricted, and many hospitals have been restructured as COVID-19 care centers. Unless the treating physician is actively seeking for symptoms of DV, the odds of obtaining critical information are slim. The disparities in health care policies between states contribute to the challenge of treating DV. Additionally, the lockdown has increased the number of police officers patrolling and enforcing the lockdown.
It is not that women are not mistreated in their homes prior to the lockdown; rather, during
the lockdown, the virus reflects and magnifies the discrimination, inequalities, oppressions,
privileges, and patriarchal violence that are already prevalent in the male-dominated
hierarchical and stratified society in which they live. " Women who are already considered to be at or near the bottom of the family hierarchy are further disempowered as a result of the lockdown, which contributes to systematic gender-based violence in the community. Even in a world where men and women are treated equally, the home remains a contentious space for unequal gender relations, with men seldom sharing unpaid care responsibilities in the family.
Women are required to do domestic care work as a result of gendered social norms, and they are evaluated on the basis of the quality of their work. Prejudices based on culture and society are detrimental to the interests of women. It is anticipated that women would adopt traditional gender roles and will undertake home duties with little or no help from men during the duration of the lockdown. Shekhar DJ (DJ Shekhar, 2020).
Since the beginning of recorded history, violence against women has persisted, in both
peace and war. This violence manifests itself in a variety of ways, ranging from mild
teasing to rape and murder. It may occur everywhere, including the family, the streets, the
workplace, and prisons, to mention a few locations. Criminal offenses against women are
seldom reported, even fewer are prosecuted, and only a tiny proportion of those accused
are punished. Without thorough statistics on the incidence of such violence, it is difficult
to provide suggestions for decreasing if not completely eradicating such violence in the
future. Further study on this kind of violence is urgently required in order to get a better
understanding of the mindset of those who perpetrate it. It is necessary to conduct a
thorough investigation of violent events and to develop measures for decreasing their
recurrence. A quick and harsh penalty for those found guilty is required, which would also
act as a deterrent to such offenders in the future. It is necessary for any civilization that
cannot ensure the safety of at least half of its citizens to reconsider its claim to civilization.
1 The author is a Second-year student at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
2 'India witnessed a steep rise in crime against women amidst lockdown' Economic Times (17 April 2020)
women-amid-lockdown-587-complaints-received-ncw/articleshow/75201412.cms> accessed 5 May 2021
__________________________________________________________________________________ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MODIT JOHAR (RESEARCH INTERN, STAMBH)