Sexual Abuse under the Domestic Violence Act

“The quality of a nation’s civilization can be largely measured by the methods it uses in the enforcement of its criminal law. “

– P. Venkatrama Reddi

Sexual Abuse in domestic space is an offence which is often forgotten and a rampant area in criminal law. It is a criminal offence which is often not checked and investigated thoroughly because the said act of abuse find its cover from the law as it is performed inside four walls of an individual’s home. The domestic violence is highly active and pervasive against women and starts at a young age shows new data from WHO (World Health Organization). Abuse against women is always wrong, whether the abuser is someone older than you age, someone you date/dated, a family member, friend or anyone. In a country like India, with a prevailing illiteracy and backwardness, the society is plagued with the problem of sexual abuse in private space.

In order to eradicate this social evil, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was passed in the year 2005. The act is made for the welfare of women and to protect them from domestic abuse which includes emotional abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse, and physical abuse.

Sexual Abuse and the Protection Granted to Aggrieved

Sexual Abuse is defined under Section 3 in The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005). Sexual Abuse comprises of any activity which degrades, humiliates, abuses or otherwise violates the dignity of woman. It is a civil law and the primary goal of the mentioned law is to protect the women facing sexual abuse in private spaces. The thing about this law is that due it being civil in nature, it does not actually prosecute the offender criminally until and unless the offender violates the order given by the magistrate. The law is not just beneficial for the women in marriage but also for women who are in a live-in relationship with their male counterparts. Protection Officers are appointed by the state government to assist in enforcing PWDV legislation. If possible, the officer should be female. The guardian receives the complaint and prepares a report to be submitted to the judge. Protection Officer helps victims receive medical assistance and manage their homes. Officials enforce the orders of the Justice of the Peace and ensure that they are carried out properly. Any company or voluntary organization that provides legal, medical, financial, or other support to women must register with the state government as a service provider. At the request of the victim, the service provider permits reporting of accidents at home, investigation of medical conditions, and provision of medical support through medical facilities and accommodations through emergency shelters assisted by the protection officers. Magistrate can issue a compensation order to provide financial relief to the injured party. The injured party is entitled to financial compensation for expenses incurred as a result of domestic violence, including evidence of medical expenses and living conditions in the case of separation. The aggrieved party is also entitled to monthly child support and child support is completely based on court decisions and the circumstances of the case.

Marital Rape and the Encompassing Controversy

From the time immemorial to the contemporary time, if an individual is asked about an era for a woman who is in a marriage is felt equal or above the status of man, there would be no answers at all. However, in this country where goddesses are worshipped, male give satisfaction to their masculinity and masochism by forcing their respective wives for non-consensual sex, which is considered no less than rape but is done within the sacred iron tag of marriage. In this country, marital rape is not against the Indian Laws which actually gives legalization of committing rape on his wife on the pretext of marriage without any fear of criminal action from the state’s side.

India is one of the thirty six countries of the world who haven’t criminalized marital rape yet. The Apex Court and the high courts of all the states are flooded with petitions pertaining to criminalization of marital rape. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution guarantees that states must not deny equality before the law or the same protection of law within the Indian Territory. The Constitution guarantees equality to all, but the criminal law discriminates against women victims who are raped by their husbands. It is high time when whole of India takes a stand against this pertaining social evil in our society and pledge to eradicate this evil from the roots. There is no chance of gender equality and women empowerment until  marital is rape is criminalized.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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