“The effects of abuse are devastating and far reaching. Domestic Violence speaks many languages, has many colors and lives in many different
The issue of domestic violence is not new to this world. It has been prevalent since ages and still continues to spread its evil. Domestic violence is not uncommon for us as many of us who are reading this might have experienced it in our homes and most probably the victims might be our own mothers, sisters, grandmothers etc. In a patriarchal society, where men are seen as figure of power, bravery, dominance etc., it is not seen a problem if these qualities are exercised on a women, who is expected to fulfill every wish and demand of her husband. According to the reports of National Crime Records Bureau, in every three minutes a women becomes a victim to any crime. These crimes not only include rapes but also include murder, kidnapping, trafficking, dowry death, cruelty by intimate partner or relatives and list goes long.
Domestic Violence refers to the violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as marriage or cohabitation. It is often committed by one of the people in an intimate relationship. It also includes the crime committed against children, parents and the elderly. It includes abuse in the following forms: verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, reproductive, economic or religious abuse. Not only women but men are also become victim to domestic violence. But the stigma attached to it doesn’t allow many men to speak about their suffering in public.
Reports prove that gender equality and the cases of domestic violence in a country are correlated. Countries which have high gender equality are the ones which report the lowest cases of democratic violence and vice versa. Many cases of domestic violence around the world go unreported as the victims often think of it as a family situation that has gone out of control. Although the victims suffer physically, but their psychological health also takes a toll as they may suffer from disorders like Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children in these houses are traumatized from a very early age and this affects their social and academic life.
1. Alcoholism – it is one of the biggest reason that the evil of domestic violence takes place. Alcohol hollows the rationality of a person and eats up his/ her decision making power. This eventually leads the person to lose his/ her cool and use violence when confronted by the other spouse. As alcohol goes down system, using violence becomes a habit and a form of pleasure for the alcoholic person. Often the alcoholic persons report that after consuming alcohol and beating their spouses, they are able to vent out their anger and frustration.
2. Poverty and unemployment – around 2/3 of total population in India are a hostage to poverty. Violence is likely to occur in a poor family rather than within a rich family. One of the main cause of domestic violence in a poor household is that it often provides a way of escaping from the situation. The victims in these households also don’t have access to any legal help to get out of the situation.
3. Education- education can make a lot of differential not only in making a women more capable to help herself but also making the abuser more aware about the consequences s/he may have to face for such acts. Women with more education may have less chances of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
4. Relationship Retention Behavior- one of the causes of domestic violence is the belief that violence may help in the retention of other spouse in a relationship that is on the verge of ending. Abusers think it of a way to save their marriage. Although the main motive of the abuser is to maintain the bond, but such actions only lead to the end of the relationship by means of divorce or separation.
5. Historical factors – since centuries, women are seen as a toy in the hands of men. “A woman must never be independent.” As a child she should depend on her father, in her youth on her husband and after his to her son’s.” This single quote from Manusmriti expresses the condition and value of women centuries ago, which has somewhat improved now. But these centuries’ old practices have made men feel superior over females and this makes hard to change the mindset of a person.
FACTS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN INDIA
1. At least 27.5 million Indian women have been victim of physical and verbal abuse.
2.65% of Indian men believe that women deserve to be beaten up and should tolerate violence to keep the family together.
3. In Uttar Pradesh, 2244 dowry death cases were reported accounting for 27.3% of the cases nationwide.
4. Ironically, according to a study in 2014, the reported sexual violence rate in India is among the lowest in the world.
5. India has been ranked as one of the most dangerous country in the world for women according to a survey carried out by Thomson Reuters Foundation.
6. Nagaland has the lowest crime rate against women.
7. According to the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, 24% of Indian men had committed sexual violence at some point during their lives.
THE WAY OUT
Section 498-A of the IPC prescribes the punishment of 3 years and fine for a spouse or relatives of a spouse who practices domestic violence. Section 498-A was held to be constitutionally valid in the action of Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar Vs Union of India.
Section 125 of CrPC orders for maintenance of wives, children and parents. This is a preventive section and not only includes married women but also women who are divorced, are second wife or are in live in relationship.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was bought in force on October 26, 2006 with an aim to provide effective protection to women who are facing abuse within their homes.
Government had launched various helplines so that women can report their grievance without stepping out and receive help at their doorstep. Not only this many states also have launched their own helplines.
Domestic Violence just won’t end with a strict punishment. It will end only when the people change their mindset and don’t see violence as a normal family situation. It should be reported. The abuser is a indeed a criminal, but the one getting abused is also playing their role in promoting the crime, which may affect their kids, who may practice the same thing if not taught. Never turn a blind eye to any abuse against a women because today it some other women but tomorrow it be your own mother, sister or daughter. Manu has rightly said, “Devatas (Gods) reside where women are respected. Where women are disrespected, all actions come to naught.”
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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