Domestic violence

Domestic violence has no fixed form or victim; Domestic violence perpetrated against a woman may be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual and economic in nature. It differs with households, individuals and situations and could result in anything from death to debilitating physical injuries. Any woman, regardless of ethnicity, religion, class, age, sexuality or lifestyle can face domestic violence.

Acts of physical violence such as beating, slapping, hitting with hand/objects, punching, kicking, pushing, shoving, pulling of hair, Sexual abuse in the form of coerced sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual acts etc. are all considered acts of domestic violence. Acts of emotional and verbal abuse are also included under the umbrella of domestic violence, some of which are;

  • Constant demands for dowry;

  • Threats of violence or desertion;

  • Ridicules, name calling insults regarding child bearing and son preference or not bringing dowry;

  • Taunts on looks, culinary skills, character assassination etc.

Economic or financial hardships suffered by women, can also be considered domestic violence, here are some examples:

  • Failure of a husband to maintain and provide for his wife

  • Failure of a son to maintain and provide for his mother

  • Husband preventing his wife from working

  • Husband taking away wife’s income

  • A male forcing his mother/wife/sister/daughter/live-in partner out of his house etc.

The National Commission for Women (NCW), State Women’s Commission, National Human Rights Commissions (NHRC), Crime against Women Cells, Special Cells for Women and Children, Non-governmental organizations, NGOs etc. are various voluntary organizations in the country providing support to women against domestic violence.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 aims to protect women specifically against ‘Domestic Violence’, it aims to provide immediate and effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.