Wednesday, 2 February 2022





Domestic violence is violence or some form of abuse including mental, physical and sexual abuse in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation also commonly known as intimate partner violence. It is a common occurrence throughout the world but in India, it is prevalent here as the issues of dowry, male dominance and living in joint family set ups are the norm here. Therefore, these factors play an additional role in making the women, victims of domestic violence. Not only do the women suffer violence from the husband but also from the family members of the husband specially when the issue is of dowry whether lack of it or an unsatisfactory amount. A subset of violence against women, is domestic violence, defined as “violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner”. It is prevalent in India, as the Indian society is well defined by certain norms and practices that might be considered regressive.

In India, for example, approximately 75% of working women are harassed as a result of their job status. The reason for this can be attributed to prestige where men feel that they are dominated by the working women. There are few men who are also subjected to domestic violence by their partners but they don't report it as in a male-dominated society they consider reporting to be shameful.

 Prior to 1983, there was no provision in Indian legislation to deal with specifically with domestic violence. When the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), was amended in 1983, Section 498A was inserted. Section 498A deals with ‘Matrimonial Cruelty’ perpetrated on a woman. Matrimonial Cruelty in India has now been made a cognizable, non-bailable and non-Compoundable offence.

Clearly, it is a major issue that needs to be dealt with and women need to realise their rights and how can they protect them. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was introduced to deal with such cases.


The complaint for domestic violence can be filed by the aggrieved person under section 2 of the act. Aggrieved person here refers to the women who have been constantly facing abusive behavior from her spouse. In order to file a complaint under the act some requirements that need to be fulfilled are that the two people must be related to each other through marriage, family members or are related through blood relations. 

The act covers different kinds of abuses such as: 

Physical force which results in some kind of bodily injury to the women.

Sexual abuse is said to be done when the women is forced to do some sexual activity without her consent. 

Emotional abuse this refers where women is to deal with verbal abuse.

Economic abuse this kind is where women is not provided with proper finances to maintain herself and her children properly.


Primarily meant to provide protection to the wife or female live-in partner from domestic violence at the hands of the husband or male live-in partner or his relatives, the law also extends its protection to women living in a household such as sisters, widows or mothers. Domestic violence under the act includes actual abuse, whether physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic, or the threat of abuse. This definition also includes harassment by way of unlawful dowry demands to the woman or her relatives.


Any action done by a man leads to a problem when it has adverse effect on society. Some of general effects of Domestic Violence against Women are depression, anxiety attacks, low self-esteem, lack of trust in others, feeling of abandonment, anger, sensitivity to rejection, chronic health problems, sleeping problems, inability to work, poor, relationships, substance abuse. In addition to these, problems, physical abuse may result in serious injury or death if the victim does not leave the relationship. Also, children who witness domestic violence may develop serious emotional behavioral, developmental or academic problems. As they develop, children and teens who grow up with domestic violence household are more likely to exhibit violent and aggressive behavior. 

Violence is a complex issue because women are offer conditioned from birth to accept all treatment and even in sophisticated societies, they refrain from taking about if for fear of reprisal from family members, guilt and shame or the belief that the perpetrators are likely to get away with their crime.


Despite numerous technological advances and numerous laws and regulations aimed at improving the lives of women and children, violence against them continues to rise on a daily basis. There has been increase in the literacy rates since the past few years but there's no decrease in rate of domestic violence.

Women being major victims, men, teenagers are also victims of domestic violence. Women should be encouraged to come forward to report the offences happening against them, only then necessary action can be taken and they can be protected. The laws should be neutral having with regard to all genders, including men, to encourage men to speak out against the atrocities which their partners have suffered. Indian laws still have to be improvised so that victims subjected to domestic violence can grow and evolve in a safer environment.

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