Any act that endangers the well-being of a person is termed as abuse, while domestic violence is the structured method in which one partner obtain power and control by inducing fear and forcing inferiority. Violence is not just only physical abuse, but also emotional, economic, verbal, and sexual. The social shame of public dishonor is the prominent cause for a woman to become tangled in this brutal environment, and another main reason is economic dependence on her abuser.
In our culture and society the patriarchal system is still prevalent which ends up for being the reason of males being dominant and violent against their women counterparts. However, the time has changed and now even the women are no less than the men in every sphere of personal and professional life and this creates a gap between the man and woman according to the culture, society and the norms prevalent in our countries.
It also becomes one of the reasons for the growing grudge of a man against his wife which in most cases end up a man being a wife beater who physically abuses his wife.
Some of the reasons for a man being a wife beater are-
1. His own inferiority complex & insecurity.
2. His inability to achieve recognition or importance in his social circle.
3. His mistakenly perceived understanding on social standing.
4. Low social interaction skills.
5. Being Biased toward objectifying women and treating his wife as such.
6. Being Suspicious, possessive, control freak, conservative nature etc.
Domestic violence in the form of physical violence and abuse are prevalent in India. And by that, I mean it’s all around us. Everybody know about the people in our family or among our surroundings who have, at some point faced physical abuse, or have perpetrated it. But how frequently have we looked away and done not a single thing because we don’t know what to do?
Below mentioned are some of the tools a women can exercise in her protection from such violence:
- Women are generally afraid to report cases of physical abuse in fear that her husband will be arrested, and that a long legal proceeding will bring public shame. For this reason ‘Special Cells’ have been formed, it provides counseling to both husbands and wives, where they teach communication techniques, and the counselors gradually work to remove aggression. The first effort is always to save marriage, as the solution to such violence is not always separation. Yet this descretiton is in the hands of the wife, if she does not want to cohabit with her husband then she is not obligated to go through counseling.
- If there is any suspicion that any act of domestic violence may be committed, they can inform the Protection officer (PO). The State Government deploys POs in each district , though the real-life scenes can be different in different districts. Under this law, you have to proceed towards the PO to make a complaint.
The Protection Officer (PO) is there to perform the following duties:
- Assist the victim to file a complaint, if she wants to file a complaint.
- Provide her with the information on her rights as per the Act (Form IV).
- Help her draft an application to the magistrate for relief.
- Prepare a safety plan that will have course of action to prevent further domestic violence with her details provided.
- Impart her with legal aid through the State Legal Aid Service Authority.
- Aid her or any child in obtaining medical aid at the medical facility.
- Supply any transportation to the medical facility or shelter homes.
Similarly, the law has also provisioned for a service provider. There are various organisations, which help women in trouble by providing free legal, medical, or financial assistance. Such organisations are mandatorily required to register themselves under the Act and once registered, they are called ‘service providers’.
There are also certain state-designated hospitals and shelter homes, which have the duty to supply medical help and safe shelter to victims of such violence violence. The victim can reach these services either by themselves or through the Protection Officer or the Service Provider.
There are these laws in place in India that deal directly with domestic violence which includes beating and abusing: The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.
- The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, passed in 2005 was the first legislative action to define domestic violence in broader terms. It is a civil law that imparts protection to women in a household, from men. This law not only secure women who are married to men but also protects women who are in live-in relationships, moreover it secures family members including mothers. Under this law, women can obtain protection against domestic violence, the right to live in their shared household, and they can get maintenance from their abuser in case they are living apart.
This law is to make sure that women don’t get kicked out of their own homes and to become able to sustain themselves if they have been abused. It is also meant for securing women from their abusers – a Magistrate can pass a protection order under this Act to make sure that the abuser doesn’t contact or get close to the survivor.
- The second law which exists to help women who are facing violence at home is Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. This is a criminal law, that applies to husbands or relatives of husbands who are cruel to women. Cruelty means any conduct that drives a woman to suicide or causes grave injury to her life or health – which includes mental health – and also includes harassment in the name of dowry. If convicted, then the person can be sent to jail for up to 3 years under this law.
Domestic violence in all forms is a social evil that is revolving all around us and It’s high time that we stop ignoring it, and start equipping ourselves and the society to deal with it.
Edited by Pushpamrita Roy
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje