In a country like India with an almost
equal population of males and females. Gender-based violence is the reality of
many girls and women. It is seen in every part of India, majorly where there
less literate people live. Women who nurture the family, take care of husbands
and give birth to children are the one who goes through these gravest things in
life like domestic violence. The women silently suffer the atrocities which
ultimately gives freedom to men to do anything and everything they want. It’s
not that there are no rights to women, they have but the loopholes in the
system and unawareness among women prevent them to take action and reporting.
Domestic violence is not only related to the women in marital relationships.
All the females either sister, mother, daughter, or even males face domestic
violence. But majorly it is seen in marital relationships because of the
ancient thought that women become the property of men after marriage and they
can do anything. Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, psychological
abuse, intellectual abuse, and tolerance of abuse are forms of domestic
violence. Even children are subjected to domestic violence. Once a female used
to report everything and every time she was subjected to domestic violence, but
now she thinks that it is better to live with the husband only because the
country is not meant for single women after divorce. It is a great task to live
in a country like India after divorce. Also, the psychiatrists recognize that
after so much humiliation in the house only the women lose their self-esteem
and the only treatment can be counseling and creating Awareness for their
rights. We’ll further study the forms, causes, consequences, and measures to
overcome the evil named Domestic violence.
Domestic violence, physical,
psychological, women, men, abuse, The Protection of Women from Domestic
Violence Act, 2005, Indian Penal Code, 1983.
“If you alter your behavior because you
are frightened of
How your partner will react, you are
Domestic violence is a part of society
for a long time because of the inequality among males and female. Discrimination
leads to physical, emotional, and mental violence is everywhere in this
patriarchal society. Some common examples are the death of the bride for dowry,
deaths on property disputes, children beaten by fathers when they refuse to go
to schools. Domestic violence is not only with women in marital relationships
or live-in relationships. It is seen against the child to the most elder person
in the family. In ancient times Domestic Violence was socially and legally
accepted by society as the right of men. The women were considered as property
owned by men. Physical, sexual, or psychological abuse can be against anybody
in the house including women, men, and children.
Thus the present paper will talk about the forms, causes, consequences of domestic violence followed by the concept of domestic violence against women. Then we will discuss the measures to prevent and protect women from atrocities. Then the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 with its criticism. And at last, we will end with some suggestions and recommendations and conclusion.
Violence is the intentional physical
force to hurt or kill someone which results in injury, deprivation, or death of
the victim. There is no specific definition of violence against women. Domestic
violence is gender-based violence that is usually against females within
domestic boundaries. Domestic violence not only covers the cruelty of husband
on wife but covers the violence in the family by siblings, parents, in-laws,
and relatives. The damage by domestic violence is both physical and
psychological. It is generally not being reported by women as it is behind
Domestic violence includes slapping, kicking, pushing roughly, biting, hitting,
and throwing objects. It is a global pandemic that hits 1 in every 3 women in
their lifetime as per reports. Though it is a crime under section 498A of the
Indian Penal Code, 1983, it is still the gravest threat to women in India. This
section punishes the wrongdoer with imprisonment of up to 3 years or imposes a
fine or with both. The main reason for domestic violence against women is
caste, class, color, religion, age, and education.
based on gender is seen before the females are born and continues till they
die. A girl being touched on the breast or her rear by family members will
amount to violence. Mostly domestic violence against women has been witnessed
in spousal relationships. The highest rate of spousal violence is reported in
Karnataka, Bihar, and Manipur as per the recent data on states from the fifth
NFHS (2019-21). In ancient times the main reason for domestic violence against
women was Dowry but as time passed more reasons came into the spotlight. Women
in India have no doubt many legal rights to protect their dignity and integrity,
the problem is with unawareness among them about the same. One major reason why
the women do not report a case in court is the unawareness among them regarding
the signs of abusive relationships.
FORMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
There are many types or forms of
domestic violence which include all the aspects of reported and unreported
1. PHYSICAL ABUSE
Physical abuse is the most visible form
of domestic violence. Section 3 of the Protection of Women from Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 describes Physical abuse as any action of physical force
intended to harm, damage, or kill thewomen. It
includes slapping, kicking, pushing roughly, biting, hitting, throwing objects, clocking, or any other
physical threatening effect. It is one of the most ancient domestic violence
used to control the female spouse within the domestic sphere. Locking the women
by the husbands or any other family members also amounts to domestic violence
under physical abuse. Refusing to help when the woman is sick, injured, or
pregnant is also physical abuse. Physical abuse under domestic violence is easy
to prove in courts as the evidence is on the body of the victim itself which
can be proved by doctors.
2. PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE
The Protection of Women from Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 categorizes psychological and emotional abuse as verbal
abuse which includes humiliation, name-calling, insults relating to not having
a child or male child, putdown, disrespectful behavior, and undermining
self-respect of thewomen. It
is one of the major forms of abuse female faces. Verbal abuse causes distress
and trauma. The consequences of violence by an intimate partner are anxiety,
depression, antisocial behavior, low self-esteem, inability to trust others,
fear of intimacy, emotional detachment, sleep disturbance, and replaying of
assault in mind. Criticism is one form of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse also
includes the controlling behavior of parents. It is very common among Indian
parents. They force the child to do what they dream at any cost whether the
child is happy or traumatized. Threatening to commit suicide is also a form of
emotional abuse. The threat to commit suicide weakens the woman and ultimately
forces her to do what men want making the women feel inferior. The highest
reports of this type of abuse are seen in Odisha and Uttar Pradesh with more
than 70% of men committing emotional abuse towards their wives or partners.
There are no specific laws for emotional abuse and psychological abuse and are
quite hard to prove.
3. SEXUAL ABUSE
The Protection of Women from Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 includes any acts of sexual nature which harm the dignity of
women. Sexual abuse is the specific form of domestic violence that is between
men and women in marital relationships or otherwise. It is mostly seen in the
house where the men ate illiterate. Men sexually abuse women to control them.
It includes rapes, gang rapes, and molestations within the domestic boundaries.
According to statistics of the National Crime Bureau (NCRB), every 16 minutes
woman is raped in India. In the present time, the husbands sexually abuse their
wives to maintain and prove their superiority. It is considered that the wife
must always give consent to any sexual activity asked by her husband.
Domestic sexual assault includes sexual
coercion and marital rape. Marital rape has not been criminalized in India to
date. 1 in every 5 men has forced his wife or partner to have sexual
intercourse as per the International Men And Gender Equality survey 2011. More
than two-thirds of married women in India aged 15 to 49 have been beaten or
forced to provide sexual intercourse, regardless of their Socioeconomic positions
as per the UN Population Fund. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), only
considers forced sex as a crime in marriage when the girl is less than 15 years
of age. It is a loophole as the marriage age is 18 years which has increased to
21 recently. Also the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
provides the civil remedy to the victims of marital rape.
Economic abuse is also known as
financial abuse. Economic abuse is making women deprived of money-related basic
requirements. This is majorly seen where the woman is financially not
independent. The perpetrator refuses to give money, preventing them from
obtaining education and limiting access to goods and services. The main reason
behind doing This is to make women dependent on men. Women and girls take this
thing as normal which is not in fact. Some economic or financial abuse examples
are preventing the female partner to open a bank account and if allowed then in
a joint account with a man only, refuses to spend money even if she earns and
controls finances. There is the controlling behavior of the male spouse on an
intimate partner which amounts to economic abuse.
5. INTELLECTUAL ABUSE
Intellectual abuse has been missing from
all the above discussed domestic violence forms. This is because there is a
perception that men can dominate women and thus accepts the inequality. Not
matching each other's mental levels is due to their different educational
Indian marriages are already seen as a
compromise. That is why women are seen as inferior in respect to men. People
think that the only work of women is to nurture their families and thus limits
their roles in the house only. Not only uneducated women but educated women
also faces intellectual abuse as the access to finances remains with the men
only. The women are judged and treated according to the patriarchal
authorities. Also, the Domestic Violence Act, of 2005 failed to address
intellectual abuse as it is a combination of economic and psychological abuse.
6. TOLERANCE OF ABUSE
In most cases, it happens in childhood when the parents are abusers. Then during adulthood, they tend to more abuse and their behavior and attitude become arrogant. Many women tolerate the abuse they go through for the sake of reputation. Many cases of abuse go unreported, not getting proper medical care after the abuse and never talking of the abuse they faced.
CAUSES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
There is no one single reason for domestic violence. There are many factors in different cultures which becomes the reason. All the forms of domestic violence are in society because of the inequality between men and women in relationships. The belief of male superiority prevails largely in the world which ultimately makes the female inferior. Family is also one of the major reasons, like stopping women from going out, forcing related to dowry and other societal rules and regulations. One cause of domestic violence is behavior like anger, poverty, depression, dominating nature, drug addiction, stress, andattitude.
CONSEQUENCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The consequences of domestic violence
are very harsh and no one can even imagine the psychological effect of the
victim. The lack of awareness among women prevents them to think beyond the
four walls of the house. The consequences also vary with different age groups.
In Broadway, the consequences of domestic violence are:-
A. PHYSICAL EFFECT
Some acute physical injuries are broken
bones, head injuries, bruises, and internal bleeding which can be
cured by proper medical care and hospitalization some major physical effects
are arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.
some physical injuries are even very difficult to scan by the doctors
and nurses. A lady who becomes a victim of domestic violence during the
pregnancy can go through severe problems like miscarriage, pre-term labor, and injury or death of the
B. PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT
The psychological effect includes
anger, fear, anxiety, stress, and oppression after the domestic
violence against women. Depression as a result of domestic violence in most
cases and with either the idea of suicide order suicide itself. The most common
prevailing psychological effect of domestic violence is post-traumatic stars
disorder (PSTD). Characteristics of post-traumatic stars disorder are
flashbacks, uninvited annoying
images, nightmares, and avoidance of
things that are related to the abuse or abuser.
These symptoms prevail for a long span in the mind of the victim of the
C. EFFECT ON CHILDREN
A child exposed to domestic violence
results in very ill effects in the future. children subject to domestic
violence sufferers in their development, tend to abuse more often in
schools. Post-traumatic starts disorder
is also seen and children. The symptoms
again are flashbacks, nightmares, physical pain, headaches, and fear to see and touch things
and people that were closely related to domestic violence. Emotionally and
behaviorally the child suffers from anxiety, fear, anger, and problem in socializing with
friends in the future. The attitude of the child victim develops with a lack of
problem-solving skills. They tend to behave younger than they are. Sometimes the mother and child both suffer
from the abuse at the same time.
THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE ACT, 2005
The acting board to safeguard women from
domestic violence. it came into effect
from 26th October 2006. This was the
first time when domestic violence was defined some will somewhere. The
definition of domestic violence under this act not only covers physical
violence but also emotional and psychological abuse. It provides only civil remedies for
protection. The act is an effective way to protect the rights of women under
The act extends to the protection of all
females either sister, daughter, wife,
daughter-in-law, sister in law or mother
in the household. This act includes sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and verbal abuse. It also includes Harassment relating to
dowry. Chapter 3 of this act talks about the rights of women which also
includes the right to live with dignity in in-laws' house or shared house
regardless of the ownership. The act also provides that the court has the power
to pass orders to stop or prevent the abuser to protect the victim of domestic
violence. The act also includes the
punishment if the abuser continues the wrongdoing even after the passing of
Protection Orders. The punishment is imprisonment which may extend to one year
or a fine which may extend to ₹20,000 or both.
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN
FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005
In order to safeguard women, the protection of women from domestic
violence act, 2005 made such laws which protect the women from even a minor
dispute which is a part of daily life and not so great. This is why even a
small dispute can be bought or challenged in court. The act gives a direct way
that the males are the only reason for domestic violence against women and not
women. The law is specifically made for
women's protection. It is a gender-based act. It does not protect men when they
are subject to domestic violence.
To protect two women, the act comes up
with the idea of extramarital relationships which were not recognized in
society according to law. The violence
should be given such a wide recognition and interpretation. According to the law, if a woman demands money
and the man refuse because he has also insufficient money, the woman can sue.
The magistrate must go through all these circumstances and not only through the women part of the verdict. Section 14 of the protection of women from domestic violence is a dangerous provision as it contains a starter magistrate can order the victim to jointly go with the respondent for counseling. According to the act If there are no other eyewitnesses then only the victim's words would be considered. there are still many loopholes left. The women sometimes misuse these loopholes to take their revenge which is unacceptable. The act should be considered again with the consequences in mind so that the innocent person can be saved.
FIGHTING AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
A. AT GOVERNMENT LEVEL
The role that a government can play
effectively is to arrest the wrongdoers of domestic violence and further
actions should be there to prevent and punish them. More lady police officers should be there in
urban as well as rural areas police stations. Immediate actions should be taken
to stop the accused to take the benefits of the loopholes of the law. Further,
criminals of heinous crimes must be punished with a speedy justice system, they
must not leave without any actions against them. Government should create
awareness among women so that they get to know what legal rights and remedies
they have. There should be a Women’s
Commission at the district and state level with a fixed number of women at the
head along with men.
B. ROLE OF NGOs
Non-governmental organizations and
institutions should conduct seminars and workshops two create awareness about
domestic violence against women. They
should be aware people about the gravity of this crime and the remedies which
are available to women.
The media should cover and bring the
cases related to domestic violence against women in the public domain. It is
one of the best ways to create awareness as many speakers on this topic can
join and speak, the victims of domestic
violence can share their unpleasant experiences and victims can also share how
they overcame that suffering.
D. AT FAMILY LEVEL
Family is the first institute in
everyone's life when they learn many things which becomes the permanent part of
one behavior as it is observed that what we learn at a younger age becomes
permanent in the subconscious mind. At a
young age, The children should be taught about equality among genders and not
create a gender bias situation among them.
E. ON WOMEN’ PART
The women who are the victim or not must
raise their voices for justice. They
should be aware others about the legal rights of women has and how to enforce
them. The silent bearing of the atrocities should be prohibited as it leads to
many health issues. It does not matter
If the woman is educated or not, upper
caste or lower caste, black or
white, all have equal rights and they
can raise voice for themselves. They
should train themselves in self-defense like karate and different
techniques. The woman should try to self
employ herself to attain respect and social status.
F. SOCIAL WORKERS
Social workers should provide services
to the victims of domestic violence by counseling and providing shelter. Individual counseling should be there. Social
workers should work to stop these kinds of atrocities in the first place. Social workers should empower women. They
should direct the organizations which work for victims of domestic
violence. Pre-marital and Post-marital
counseling should be arranged by their social workers.
Judiciary can contribute by setting up
special courts in every district with women judges and magistrates to handle
the cases of domestic violence. Domestic
violence cases against women should strictly lie under the woman judge and
magistrate. Mobile codes should be there.
There should be strict laws related to these social evils.
HOW TO FILE A CASE?
Section 12 of the domestic violence act
deals with the lodging of complaints against anyone who is the offender of
The women should go to the police station to
file a case of domestic violence against the offender as soon as possible. If
the woman can’t approach the police station anyhow, she must dial 100 (police helpline) to get in
contact with the police officer to tell everything relevant to the case. Then
the legal proceedings will start. It
should be kept in mind that pieces of evidence like emails, phone calls, videos, and images of abusive
nature should be kept safe for future reference. The women should consult the
doctor for medical care and report which can be used as evidence in the future.
At the time of complaining, every fact of abuse must be kept open. As soon as the Complaint is recorded one can
proceed with the action.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
Counseling is one of
the best ways to empower women. Counseling should be given to the aggrieved
person by an intellectual person having in-depth knowledge about the issue.
should be given to the children in schools at a very early age. The training
should be given to officers of various departments who work for and with
people. The training will surely result in clearing the clouds of unawareness
The attitude must need
a change among men and women. The ancient thought of male dominating society
needs a change. Discrimination based on gender needs a change. These all things
can be done with officers working for the common man by various means.
The level of knowledge
among women should be increased by various seminars, workshops, and speeches.
At least woman should know their legal rights.
Sometimes it happens
that police officers advise women to stop complaining and compromise with their
husbands. That must not happen anywhere. they should empower the women and her
thought of complaining.
Before marriage, the
couples should be given counseling on how to manage and live in a marital
The punishment to the
offender should be publicized so that others get to know about the consequences
of doing wrong.
As we have discussed
the sensitive topic of ‘domestic violence, it is not limited to this article,
it has a great impact on the victims which is next to impossible to explain
here. Serious measures should be taken to prevent these types of atrocities
largely prevailing in society. In our country where there are so many laws on
women, they are still considered secondary sex and inferior. If this factor of
violence can be prevented then there’s no doubt India would be a better place
to live in.
UNICEF (2000), Domestic Violence against Women and Girls, Innnocenti Digest N0. 6, available at
(Visited on 15 March, 2019).
Narwadkar, Dr. Pooja P., Law Relating to Domestic Violence in India
9, (Hind Law House Publication, 2014).
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence
 Indira Jaisingh, law of Domestic Violence, 9-10, (Universal Law Pub. Co. Pvt. Ltd. Delhi, 2001).
The Protection of Women
from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
Indian Penal Code
Narwadkar, Dr. Pooja
P., Law relating to domestic violence in India 9,(Hind Law House Publication,
Sanjeev Kumar and
Kalpana Devi, Domestic violence against women: Indian perspective, (A creative
connect International publication).
Dr. S. Prescila Sharon,
Domestic violence against women in India: A family menace (Indian Journal of
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