Women, Domestic violence and Law

Who are Women? She is the creative force of the universe in almost all its expressions. Life begins in her womb and it is in her guiding hands and tender care that it finds expression. She works relentlessly; often putting in more hours than are there in one single day: chopping, cleaning, cooking, nursing and still managing to look fresh all the time. She essays different roles, that of mother, wife, daughter, friend, counsellor, all at once; juggling it all to perfection. She has a dual personality. Almost every woman has two personalities.

She can be helpless, quivering, and vulnerable on one hand and be strong and dependable on the other. She is soft to touch and you want to comfort her and keep her from harm, but in a crisis, she is the one who will support you and give you strength. She might cry at the drop of a hat; whether it’s a soap, opera, or a movie song; but come the time to be strong she will stand like the rock of Gibraltar, tall, and impregnable. It’s the duality of her personality, her varied capabilities, which make you want to bow before her in wonder. She is worthy of being treated like a Goddess and no less.

Besides, having numerous characteristics the women suffer a lot in our society violence against women is increasing day by day. Violence against women in India refers to physical or sexual violence committed against Indian women, typically by a man. Common forms of violence against women in India include acts such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, and murder. Crime against women such as rape, acid throwing, dowry killings, honor killings, and the forced prostitution of young girls has been reported in India. Police records in India show a high incidence of crimes against women. According to the annual National Crime Record Bureau’s “Crime in India” 2021 report 46% rise in crime against women in 2021 as compared to 2020.

Domestic violence against women in India takes several forms. Mostly, these crimes result in lifelong trauma or death. Dowry deaths are one such example of a crime committed domestically against Indian women. According to the age-old Indian tradition, the bride’s family is supposed to reward the groom with a considerable sum of money; this is the concept of dowry. In rural areas, the bride, usually belonging to a poor household, is unable to meet the groom’s high demand for dowry money. They fail to fulfill and pay the amount the groom asks for. In such cases, often, the bride falls victim to verbal and physical abuse of the groom. The woman is beaten, abused, and regularly molested, for her family’s incapability to fulfill the dowry. Dowry deaths are mostly seen in the rural parts of India and form an accountable part of the domestic violence crimes committed against women.

Marital rape is yet another prominent example of domestic violence against women. Marital rape is the non-consensual sexual intercourse carried on between a married couple. Husbands often impose and force themselves upon their wives without their consent. This leads to a great deal of abuse and physical molestation committed upon the female body. Other forms of violence committed against Indian women include child marriage, domestic abuse & Female infanticide, and sex-selective abortion.

Men carry out nine out of every ten crimes committed against women; this proves how the origin of crimes against women stems from the deep-rooted patriarchal ideology in the minds of Indian men. Their belief that the male is physically superior to the female leads them to force themselves on their female counterparts and inflict pain on the female community.

Ending violence against women is the single most important issue identified by women organizations across the world. Three pieces of legislation that address women’s s rights violations throughout India are : 1) Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005; 2) Prohibition of Child Marriage Act; and 3) Preconception and Pre Natal-Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. However, there is an alarming rise in domestic violence against women in India. The human rights of Indian women are violated every day.

In India, most population (about two-thirds) is rural, and, as such, lives in tight-knit communities where it is very easy for a woman to ruin her family’s ‘honor’ through her behavior. The concept of family honor is especially prevalent in northern India. Izzat is a concept of honor prevalent in the culture of North India. Izzat applies to both sexes, but in different ways. Women must uphold the ‘family honor’ by being chaste, passive, and submissive, while men must be strong, brave, and be willing, and able to control the women of their families. The rural areas surrounding mainly in central India and northern India are most conservative in nature: it has been estimated that 30% of all honor killings of India take place in this part of India, while another part has been described as “one of India’s most conservative when it comes to caste, marriage and the role of women. Deeply patriarchal, caste purity is paramount and marriages are arranged to sustain the status quo.”

Important steps to eradicate domestic violence against women:

(1) We will have to change the ancient culture of the male dominant society and need to provide equal respect and opportunity to women like men.

(2) The women of our country must need to be educated and economically independent at the various levels of society. The socially marginalized women must need to educate that equal right and opportunity is the basic fundamental right of society the concept of ‘Pati Parameswara’(Husband is God) has no longer stand in this civilized era.

(3) In dowry death cases the police investigation should be rapid and impartial instead of being corrupt, and careless.

(4) As recommended by the Supreme Court in the case of Bhagwant Singh v. Commissioner of police 1985 AIR 1285, 1985 SCR (3) 942, more women police officers should be involved in the proper investigation of crime against women.

(5) Moreover, there should need to be speedy disposal of dowry death cases. Guilty should be punished while events are still fresh in the public mind so that it can work as a lesson for society. For this purpose, special courts may also be established.

(6) Dowry is a social problem and public opinion has to be mobilized against this dangerous practice. It cannot be contained by only legal and police action. The memorable words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Acceptance of dowry is a disgrace for the young man who accepts it as well as perhaps dishonor for the woman folk should ring in the ears of every unmarried young man or woman”.

(7) Besides general literacy, a legal literacy programme should also be started to make the women of the underprivileged class aware of their legal rights. All these voluntary organizations can play an important role.

(8) Marital rape & non-Consensual Intercourse in marriage Must be criminalized in India.

 To Summarize the above context, we must need to remember the famous quote by Jawaharlal Nehru on women that “You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.” the status of women depicts the social, economic, and mental condition in a nation. Women have been regarded as a symbol of spirituality in our scriptures.

Yet, they have been treated badly and unequally to men. Social evils such as dowry, child marriage, and female infanticide were widely prevalent in the early ages. There has been a steady transformation in the status of women in comparison to earlier periods. Women of today take part completely in areas such as politics, status, military sectors, economic, service, and technology sectors. Moreover, they have contributed wholly to sports too. Thus, they have occupied a dignified position in family and society.

However, ending crimes and domestic violence against women is still a challenge. We can prevent ills by ensuring women’s autonomy, also increasing participation and decision-making power in the family and public life.

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.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at secondinnings.hr@gmail.com

In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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