Domestic violence or Gender Based Violence is a global phenomenon. It is the
physical, emotional and financial violence against a woman and is a repetitive,
assaultive and coercive behaviour against the woman by her husband or the
victim's domestic circle.
If any woman who has any harm, injury to health, safety, life, well being,
etc. done by any family member, all the actions are constituted as domestic
Domestic violence can be named as wife abuse, marital assault, woman battery,
spouse abuse, wife beating, etc. The act of violence is a pattern of purposeful
behaviour of the abuser towards to spouse or wife in order to achieve the goal
that he is in control of the woman's or the wife's life.
Domestic violence as defined by the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence
Act, 2005 Section 3 is.
"Any act or, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall
constitute as domestic violence in case it harms or injures the person
physically, verbally, mentally, economically and sexually." This is the main
summary of the definition as stated in the Section 3 of the Act.
The ill treatment towards the wife can mentally affect her and can even scar her
mentally, emotionally and even physically. Women who go through the assault and
violence seek medical help and support.
This violence against women is a global pandemic and about 736 million women
have become victims of intimate partner violence or non partner sexual
violence or sometimes even both.
There are 5 kinds of domestic violence, and they are as follows:
- Physical Abuse
The violence starts with less force like pushing but as the violence
continues and there is no stop to it then the violence starts getting
aggressive as time passes. The abusers mostly aim at hitting the wife or the
spouse at places that are covered with clothing so that the injuries and
their marks won't be visible to the others in the society.
Abuses can be in the form of pushing, restraining, shaking, slapping,
biting, pushing, kicking, strangulation and sometimes even homicide.
- Emotional Abuse
In this sort of abuse, the abuser wants to make their partner feel scared,
crazy, worthless, inferior and responsible for the abuse. The abuser is in
control over the wife who feels threatened and scared.
This abuse may include making the victim fear that they won't get food or
the care that they need, making jokes about the victim, insults, blaming the
victim for everything, withholding affection and threatening to take
children away from the victim. The relationship becomes strained between the
husband and the wife.
- Sexual Abuse
This is the unwanted sexual activity with force and in situations like these
the victims know the perpetrators. This sort of abuse is least discussed but
it is the most common sort of abuse and domestic violence.
It includes making sexual jokes about the victim or jokes to make them feel
uncomfortable, demanding sex, rape, sexual torture, etc
- Social Abuse
It is the isolation of the victim from the society and restrictions on human
interactions. This is aimed to cut off contact family, friends and hence
damaging the other relationships. As the victim is less or not at all
socially connected with anyone, it gives the abuser more control over the
This abuse has the abuser insisting that the spouses spend time with only
each other, not allowing to meet anyone else, monitoring the victim's mail
and phone calls if any.
The victim hence as a result cannot even ask for help if needed as there is
no way to contact anyone.
- Financial Abuse
This gives the abuser the control over the victim's finances. In most cases
the victim is financially dependent on the abuser and hence the abuser can
control their expenditure.
The abuser keeps secrets regarding the finances, keeps tabs on the
expenditure by the victim, making household and financial decisions solely,
minimum or controlled access of cash to the victim, refusing the victim to
work and earn money, etc.
The abuses take place when the abuser is frustrated because of job or even loss
of job, anxiety, non availability or withdrawal of alcohol and constant easy
accessibility of the victim. The abuser also takes advantage of the fact that
the victim cannot get in contact with anyone for help when there is shortage of
help and even police help.
During the lockdown due to COVID 19 in the whole of India, there was barely
any help available and not even many police stations were active. The abuser was
with the victim at all times due to the lockdown. This gave the abuser more hold
over the victim too.
During this time, National Commission for Women (NCW) had launched a WhatsApp
number for victims to reach out to them when in need to report cases of domestic
violence and when medical assistance was needed. In India, 25% of women have
access to a smartphone and even a lesser percentage have access to internet
services, hence they cannot contact or seek help from anyone.
In remote places, like the villages where there is no help or concrete set up of
police and even hospitals, the domestic violence is on the rise. The women
cannot seek help as there is no one around them. 68% of the population in India
reside in villages and there are barely any resources for help there.
Violence Against Women Womb To Tomb
Close to 5 million girls in India are aborted by sex selective abortion. If a
mother/ child bearer is beaten, the unborn child in the womb is harmed and this
could result in a miscarriage of the child or could be born underweight or still
In a few Indian villages, if a girl child is born, the child isn't accepted by
the family and she would be murdered by female infanticide or else would be
subjected to physical, mental or sexual abuse by the elders or would be married
off at an early age. It is the age old thinking of the society that having a son
or a boy child in the family is a necessity and that a girl child could be of no
use to the family.
70% women in India are often harmed or abused by their husbands.
Laws For Protection Of Women Suffering From Domestic Violence
The laws made for the protection of women are the Protection of Women Against
Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Under this act the victim is provided with
security, medical assistance and shelter if needed. The victim can either be
married or in a live in relationship (grandmother and mother). This act was
brought into force by the Indian Government and the Ministry of Women and Child
Development in the year 2006. The act protects women from all kinds of abuses
and is not only restricted to domestic violence.
The victim or aggrieved person can ask for the rights to apply for a protection
order against the abuser, an order of monetary relief and compensation order, a
residence order and a custody order. The victim can get free legal services
under the Legal Service Authorities Act, 1987.
Women who don't have money can get help too. The victim can apply for a
complaint under Section 498(A) of the Indian Penal Code which states that women
who were subjected to cruelty, the abuser shall be punished with imprisonment
for 3 years and a fine too can be imposed.
The victims are offered to stay in shelter homes which provide for protection
against the abuser. A Protection Officer is appointed to be with the victim.
Medical facilities are for free for the victim and the victim is treated
properly with all the medications and utmost care.
This shows that a strong support system has been created for women who have been
a victim of domestic violence and the various abuses
Warning Signs Of Domestic Violence
A person/abuser can be violent if he/she is showing extreme jealousy and
possessiveness, has a negative attitude towards women, refuses to take
responsibility and tries to put the blame of his mistakes on the others, is
often frustrated and selfish, uses violence as to handle conflicts, has drastic
mood swings, grew up in a violent household, etc.
If it is known that any woman is going through domestic violence in her
household, they should inform the police and not meddle in the matter as it
could aggravate it and make things worse. Help can be sought by contacting the
Ministry of Women & Child Development on the women helpline number 181.
The country and the judiciary still think that domestic violence is not a
criminal offense but in fact it is one of the serious crimes.
Steps By International Organizations For Eliminating Domestic Violence Against Women
The issue of domestic violence or gender-based violence is acknowledge by the
international community as well. In 1995, the Beijing Declaration and the
Platform for Action had called for a discussion on the elimination of violence
against women. A whole decade later, in 2015 the United Nations had adopted the
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This scheme included a global target to
eliminate all the forms of violence against women and girls in the public and
The World Health Assembly Resolution 69 in 2016 called for a global plan of
action to strengthen the role of the health systems within a national multi sector response to address interpersonal violence against women and young girls
Despite these steps being taken by the organizations, 49 countries have yet to
adopt a formal policy on domestic violence.