DOMESTIC VIOLENCE : AN ABUSE

if you alter your behaviour because you are frightened Of how your partner will react, you are being abused

Sandra Horley

Violence is the intentional physical force to hurt or kill someone which results in injury, deprivation, or death. There is no specific definition of violence against women. Domestic violence is gender- based violence that is usually against females within the boundaries of family. Domestic violence not only covers the cruelty of husband on wife but covers the violence in the family by siblings, parents, in-laws, and relatives. The damage by domestic violence is both physical and psychological. It is generally not being reported by women as it is behind closed doors. It includes slapping, kicking, pushing roughly, biting, hitting, and throwing objects. It is mostly observed in spousal relationships. Though it is a crime under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1983, it is still the gravest threat to women in India. It is a global pandemic that hits 1 in every 3 women in their lifetime as per reports.

There are many forms of domestic violence against women in India. These are physical abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, intellectual abuse, and tolerance of abuse. Section 3 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 talks about the physical form of Domestic violence. It is one of the most ancient domestic violence used to control the female spouse within the domestic sphere. Psychological abuse includes all the verbal abuses like humiliation, name-calling, insults relating to not having a child or male child, putdown, disrespectful behavior, and undermining self-respect. Verbal abuse causes distress and trauma. Criticism is one form of emotional abuse. The controlling behavior of parents also comes under emotional abuse. Threatening suicide is also a form of emotional abuse. This type of abuse is quite hard to prove. The highest reports of this type of abuse are seen in Odisha and Uttar Pradesh with more than 70% of men committing emotional abuse. The next type of abuse is sexual abuse which includes the activities of sexual nature which harm the dignity of women. It is mostly seen in marital relationships. Marital rape has not been criminalized in India to date but the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides a civil remedy to the victims of marital rape. Sexual abuse includes rapes, gang rapes, and molestation within domestic boundaries. Economic abuse is seen when the woman is not financially independent. The man controls all the finances and limits access to basic requirements. Even it is seen when the woman works, in this case, the man controls her finances also. It is usually done by men to make women dependent on men as a whole. Intellectual abuse resides because there is a perception that men can dominate women. Tolerance of abuse is seen in children as well as women, which tends to have harsh effects on children in the future.

There is no one single reason for domestic violence. The one common thing is inequality prevailing in the society based on caste, color, class, religion, age, and education. Discrimination based on gender is seen before the females are born and continues till they die. Some causes are dowry, a belief in superiority, and behavior like anger, poverty, depression, dominating nature, stress, drug addiction, and the attitude of men. The consequences are very harsh. It is majorly divided into physical effects, psychological effects, and effects on children. The physical effect includes all the injuries either short time injury or long time injury. The physical effect includes domestic violence during pregnancy resulting in miscarriage, pre-term labor, and injury or death of the fetus. The psychological effect includes anxiety, fear, stress, anger, and depression. Sometimes the depression results in suicide. The most common prevailing psychological effect is Post-Traumatic Stars disorder (PSTD). The characteristics are flashbacks, uninvited annoying images, nightmares, and avoiding the things that were closely related to domestic violence. These symptoms remain for a long span. The child exposed to abuse tends to abuse more frequently in his/her school time. Domestic violence psychologically and emotionally affects the child to great extent. They fear in the future socializing with friends, relatives, and schoolmates.

The highest rate of spousal violence is reported in Karnataka, Bihar, and Manipur as per the recent data on states from the fifth NFHS (2019-21). 1 in 5 men had forced his wife or partner to have sexual intercourse as per the International Men And Gender Equality survey 2011. More than two- thirds of married women in India aged 15 to 49 have been beaten or forced to provide sexual intercourse, regardless of their Socioeconomic positions as per the UN Population Fund.

The ‘domestic violence’ EVIL can be challenged at the government level, by NGOs, through media, at the family level, by the judiciary, on women’s part, and by social workers working on the victims of Domestic violence. Judiciary can contribute by setting up special courts in every district with woman judges and magistrates to handle the cases of domestic violence. Speedy justice should be given to the victims of Domestic violence. Social workers should provide services to the victims of domestic violence by counselling and providing shelters. The media should bring and cover the cases relating to domestic violence against women in the public domain. Women in India have many legal rights and remedies but the problem is with the unawareness among them regarding their rights and what exactly comes under the aspect of domestic violence or the signs of an abusive relationship. Women should be empowered to fight for themselves.

As we have discussed the sensitive topic of ‘domestic violence, it is not only limited to this article, it has a great and harsh impact on the victims which is next to impossible to explain here. Serious measures should be taken to prevent these types of atrocities largely prevailing in society. If this factor of violence can be prevented then the harm would be comparatively less and there’s no doubt India would be a better place to live in then.

References

• The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

http://www.manupatrafast.com

http://www.airwebworld.com

http://www.indiankanoon.org

• Narwadkar, Dr. Pooja P., Law relating to domestic violence in India 9, (Hind Law House Publication, 2014).

• Sanjeev Kumar and Kalpana Devi, Domestic violence against women: Indian perspective, (A creative connect International publication).

• Dr. S. Prescila Sharon, Domestic violence against women in India: A family menace (Indian Journal of Applied Research).

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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