The expression “domestic violence” means any act or omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall amount to domestic violence in certain circumstances. it includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, and verbal and emotional for economic use which is also explained under the definition of domestic violence.
Section 3 of the law says that any act/ omission/ conduct/ Commission that harms or injures or has the potential to harm or injure will be considered ‘domestic violence. Even a single act of commission or omission constitutes domestic violence. In other words, women do not have to suffer a prolonged period of abuse before taking recourse to the law.
The law says any definition of domestic violence is a human rights violation. further, the law details the different form of violence faced by women and ensure that such interactions are not left solely to the discretion of the judge.
In Saraswathy vs. Babu AIR 2014 SC, the facts are the appearance wife has been harassed since 2004.
The hon’ble apex court observed that-
“even after the order passed by the subordinate judge the respondent-husband has not allowed the appellant-wife to reside in the shared household matrimonial house coma and held that there is a continuance of domestic violence committed by the respondent-husband against the appellant-wife. in view of such continued domestic violence, it is not necessary for the code below to decide whether the domestic violence is committed prior to the coming into the force of the protection of the women from domestic violence act 2005 and whether such act Falls within the definition of the term domestic violence as defined”.
According to the Crime in India Report 2018, published by the National Crime Research Bureau (NCRB), a crime is recorded against women in India every 1.7 minutes and a woman is subjected to domestic violence every 4.4 minutes. It also topped the categories of violence against women according to the report. As per the data, 89,097 cases related to crimes against women were registered across India in 2018, higher than the 86,001 cases registered in 2017.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 2015-16 highlighted that 30 percent of women in India between the ages of 15-49 have experienced physical violence. The report suggests that among married women experiencing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, an alarming 83 percent list their husbands as to the main perpetrators, followed by abuse from their husbands’ mothers (56 percent), fathers (33 percent), and siblings (27 percent).
On 22nd March 2020, the Prime Minister of India announced a nationwide lockdown for one day. This lockdown was subsequently extended for a week, then for 21 days, and finally, until 3rd May 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19. India declared COVID-19 a “notified disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Extended lockdown and other social distancing measures imposed to curb the pandemic made women more vulnerable to domestic violence. Women were fighting a shadow pandemic inside their homes.
National Commission for Women’s (NCW) data showed that domestic violence complaints doubled after the nationwide lockdown was imposed in India. Tamil Nadu Police reported an increase in domestic violence complaints. They received approximately 25 calls every day during the lockdown period and registered at least 40 such cases. Similarly, Bangalore Police reported a spike in complaints from 10 calls to 25 calls every day from the victims of domestic violence. These data from different sources indicate that domestic violence incidents increased across the country during the lockdown. On the contrary, organizations such as Jagori, Shakti Shalini, and AKS Foundation reported a decrease in complaint calls related to domestic violence. The decrease could be attributed to confinement at home, constant monitoring and controlling decision-making by the abuser, social isolation of victims from friends and family members, and reduced options for support.
Understand that savagery happens regardless of gender, class, caste, creed, time, or place. Family, considered the primary support system, becomes the primary site of abuse and brutality. Sociologically, role allocation being chauvinist in nature has brought about the division of household work as “women’s work.” The change in the daily home routine and structure due to the increased amount of time spent by different individuals altogether increases the role strain and affects the ambiance of the house.
Family in this context has been often termed by individuals as a “primary site of exploitation,” and the same trend has been seen to rise with the increasing number of days in lockdown. Women over the helplines in the country have stated restrictions in terms of access, food, and non-provision of masks, thereby making them use “dupattas and pallus” for respiratory hygiene, non-access to the ration card, liquefied petroleum gas, and clinics. Most of the women in the country do not even have access to phones for communication, as they have to depend upon their husbands, fathers, or brothers.
The ineffectiveness of the law wherein marital rape is still not considered a criminal act adds to the insult. All these factors have a holistic effect on the affected person’s health and rights. Clearly, in times of monetary and financial recession, human behavior tends to be impulsive, reckless, controlling, and aggressive, and the brunt usually goes down the patriarchal power-hierarchy, so significant for India.
Here are a few factors contributing to the endless loop of domestic abuse, especially during pandemics.
• Lack of awareness of the availability of hotlines:
• Misinformation and role of social media:
• Lack of health care access:
• Lack of sexual and reproductive health services:
• Fear of the police/legal hassles and stigma:
• Difficulty in managing family:
• Objectification of women:
• Lack of livelihood:
• Knowledge–Attitude–Practice gap:
Alcohol as a mood enhancer has a direct correlation with feelings of anger, frustration, and irritation. A man’s impression of the need to consent to the gender norms could be exacerbated by substance abuse, thereby shifting the focus on women. This then results in violence. Due to the vulnerabilities of women, the endless loop might continue from the women to offsprings, a further force from the family of origin, the expected normalcy from the family of procreation, and difficulty in the accessibility and availability of the legal aid services add to the problems.
We’ve tried to provide a number of helplines for domestic violence in India. However, the domestic violence helplines below may not cover all geographies.
If your city or town is not listed below, you can contact the National Commission for Women (NCW) in Delhi or chat with a counselor on the Global AskSHEROES chat helpline for women.
And yes, we know that domestic abuse against men also exists. Just as
there are abusive husbands, there are also abusive wives. As our
inspiring domestic violence survivor and mindset coach, Ruchi Singh
states, “When you go through pain, you realize that pain has no
The domestic abuse helpline numbers below may be labeled as women’s domestic violence helplines in India, but they should also work as men’s domestic violence helplines in India because violence does not distinguish between its victims.
note: Any helplines for domestic violence in India are based on our research, and we are not responsible in case these domestic abuse helpline numbers don’t work. Please report any domestic violence hotline numbers that are no longer active in the comments below and we will delete them.
- AskSHEROES Free Online Counselling Chat Helpline
SHEROES is an app exclusively for Indian women. On the AskSHEROES Helpline, you can talk about anything personal or professional in your life. Your conversation is 100% confidential and secure.
Get online counseling free for depression, relationship counseling, online marriage counseling in India, domestic abuse helpline, and more on the AskSHEROES free online counseling chat helpline for women.
- All-India Email Helpline
National Commission for Women – The apex national level organization of India with the mandate of protecting and promoting the interests of women.
Click here to register a domestic violence complaint with the NCW
National Commission for Women, Plot No.21, FC33, Jasola Institutional Area,
Working Hours – 9 A.M. to 5:30 PM.
Working Days – Monday to Friday
Emails for complaint redressal: email@example.com
The National Commission for Women has launched a Whatsapp Number for help & assistance to women experiencing Domestic Violence in the wake of the COVID-19 Lockdown.
- Domestic Violence Helpline In Pune
For women involved in domestic violence in Pune, please contact the relationship abuse number of the Aks Foundation in Pune below. This women’s emergency helpline for domestic violence is available 24/7.
Aks Helpline Numbers: 8793088814 to talk to our volunteers
For legal advice, call: 8793088815
For psychological counseling, call: 8793088816.
The following organizations can be contacted in Delhi:
- Women’s Organisations In Delhi
Shakti Shalini: 1091/1291 (011) 23317004
Shakti Shalini Women’s Shelter: (011) 24373736/24373737
SAARTHAK: (011) 26853846/26524061
All India Women’s Conference: 10921/ (011) 23389680
JAGORI: (011) 26692700
Join Women’s Programme (also has branches in Bangalore, Kolkata, and Chennai: (011) 24619821
- Dial 1091 for Women’s Helpline in Bangalore/Bengaluru
Toll-Free No: 1091 (24/7)
Established in 1999 by the Bengaluru City Police, Vanitha Sahayavani provides immediate rescue and support for women in distress.
Accessible through toll-free number 1091, Vanitha Sahayavani provides free Tele-counselling, police assistance, crisis intervention, and services in case of domestic violence, harassment, and abuse. Vanitha Sahayavani operates from the Office of The Commissioner of Police – 24/7.
- DIAL 1298 for Women’s Helpline in Mumbai
DIAL 1298 Women Helpline, a toll-free women-dedicated service managed by Ziqitza Healthcare in Mumbai has successfully helped more than 38,000 women in distress through its network of 80 partner NGOs.
Launched in 2008 with the support of 10 NGOs, DIAL 1298 Women Helpline offers women across socio-economic strata legal, psychological, psychiatric, trauma, medical, and other kinds of counseling through its associations with a variety of women-oriented NGOs.
The Helpline addresses a wide range of complaints including dowry harassment, eve-teasing, abuse, relationship abuse, cybercrime, divorce and maintenance, and sexual harassment at the workplace, among others. This domestic violence helpline was initially launched with the support of 10 NGOs and now works closely with over 80 NGOs in and around Mumbai.
DIAL 1298 Women Helpline is a referral helpline service.
Any woman who needs help can DIAL 1298 and it will connect to Silver Innings Foundation.
The foundation will refer the caller to an NGO that will either address the issue at hand and provide counseling or negotiate with the family members to resolve the issue. In instances where the woman requires immediate assistance, then the call will be forwarded to the 103 Police Helpline.
- Andhra Pradesh
Bhumika Women Collective – 040-27660173
Andhra Pradesh Women Protective Cell – 040-23320539
Aranyaka (Aid) Ngo – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh Women Commission ‘C’ Sector, Ita Nagar – 0360-2214567, 0360-2290544
Women helpline – 181
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Human Rights Council Of India- Andaman And Nicobar Islands – 9594441314
Sahyogi – +91-9835083482
Oxfam – +91 (0) 1146538000
Mahila Jagran Kendra – 0612 220 7912
Samya Bhoomi Foundation – 9455805453
Samchay Samaj Seva Sanstha – 07759-216516
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Jan Shikshan Sanstha – 0260-2630014
- Daman & Diu
Human Rights Council Of India (Daman And Diu) – 9594441314
Jagori Women’s Safety Centre – 011 2669 1219
Breakthrough Trust – +91-11-41666101-06
Azad Foundation – 011 4905 3796
National Commission For Women – 011 2694 4805
Arz India – +91-9422438109
Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan – 9822486765
Awag – 079 2644 1214
Manav Kartavya – +919277008800
SSKK & Hariraj – +91 02792 223525
- Himachal Pradesh
Jagori Rural Charitable Trust – + 91-1892-234974
Jharkhand Gramin Vikas Trust – 8789575890
- Jammu & Kashmir
Peace Insight – +44 (0)20 3422 5549
Planet Mars Foundation – +91 8202583307
Bodhini – 889 132 0005
Vanitha helpline Number of Kerala Police – 9995399953
Mumbai Railway Police – 9833331111
Mumbai Police Women Helpline No. – 022-22633333, 22620111
Maharashtra Women Commission (http://mscw.org.in/) – 07477722424, 022-26592707
Maharashtra Women Helpline – 022-26111103, 1298, 103
Majlis – Maharashtra – 022-26661252 / 26662394
Navi Mumbai Police Station – 022-2758025
Women Helpline – 181
Women Helpline – 1090, 1091
Women Helpline – 181
Women Helpline – 181
Women Helpline – 181
Women Helpline – 181
Women Helpline Punjab – 1091 / 112
Women Helpline Amritsar City Only – 9781101091
Punjab Women Commission – 0172-2712607, 0172-2783607
Punjab Samvad ( NGO ) – 0172- 2546389, 2700109, 276000114
Women Helpline – 1091, 0172-2741174
Women Helpline – 181
Women Helpline – 1090, 1091
- Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Women Helpline – 044-28592750
Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women – 044-28551155
Women Helpline – 1091
Tripura Commission for Women ( http://tcw.nic.in/ ) – 0381-2323355, 2322912
Women Helpline – 1090
- Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Women Commission ( http://mahilaayog.up.nic.in/)- 0522-2306403 , 18001805220
Uttar Pradesh Women Helpline – 1090 / 112
- West Bengal
West Bengal Women Commission – 033-23595610
(Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5.30 pm)
West Bengal Women Helpline Number – 033-23595609, 23210154
Swayam NGO (https://www.swayam.info/) – 033-24863367/3368/3357
West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) – 9830056006, 9836078780
ONE CALL BRINGS YOU ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE LIFE YOU DESERVE.
Domestic violence is violent, intimidating, or abusive behavior in a relationship that should not be acceptable. It’s time you put your foot down and take preventive measures. You can reach out to the given organizations to get the help you need.
The National Commission for Women was founded in January 1992 to address the grievances of women and safeguard them. The commission reviewed the issues of women and initiated various measures to improve the economic and overall status of women. The commission reviews the constitutional and legal safeguards for women, recommends legislative measures, facilitates redressal of grievances, and advises the government on all policy matters affecting women.
It has also organized workshops/consultations, constituted expert committees on economic empowerment of women, conducted workshops/seminars for gender awareness, and took up publicity campaigns against female foeticide, violence against women, etc. to generate awareness in the society against these social evils. NCW is divided into – complaints and investigation cells, Non-Resident Indian cell, legal cell, public relations cell, PPMRC cell (addressing the issues related to socio-economic conditions of women), and North East cell for smooth functioning.
Contact Number: 011-26942369
Based in New Delhi, Rahi Foundation operates across the country. The organization focuses on women’s empowerment and survivors of incest and child sexual abuse were established in 1996. It also focuses on the different and strongly related areas of Women’s Rights, Child Rights, Mental Health, Trauma, and Sexuality. Their work includes support and recovery through a distinctive way of healing that includes awareness and education, research, and capacity building.
The foundation runs programs and workshops, using innovative and effective methods. It provides information, resources, and referrals. The team is professionally informed and comes equipped with deep experience. Rahi is a feminist group that has strived hard to create a judgment-free supportive environment for survivors.
Contact Number: 011 41607055
The journey of Sakhya, an anti-dowry, and women’s guidance cell came into existence in 1987 by the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan. It was started at the request of and in collaboration with the district vigilance commission, the Government of Maharashtra. Initially, from 1985 to 2003, it was operational as a field project Nirmala Niketan run by the Religious Congregation of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary. It became an independent body only in 2004. The focus of Sakhya from the onset was addressing dowry-related harassment and working on the issue of domestic violence. The major focus of the Sakhya Women’s Guidance Cell is to promote gender equality and gender justice.
Apart from this, Sakhya has been offering services in the form of counseling, legal aid, providing shelter to women in distress, conducting awareness programs on gender issues, educational programs to youth on family life, HIV/AIDS, value education, gender sensitization in schools, colleges, institutions, and low-income group communities.
Contact Number: 09890312402
Founded in 1955, Bharatiya Grameen Mahila Sangh (BGMS) is a non-political and non-sectarian national organization with 16 branches all over India in 14 states and union territories. It is affiliated with the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), the world’s largest organization for rural women. Krishna Agrawal founded BGMS along with five other members and today has around 240 members. It was founded with the sole objective of developing leadership among urban and rural women and equipping them with tools for empowerment. The body started working with rural women by imparting their education.
Contact Number: +91 73140 58974
Shakti Shalini was founded in 1987 when two mothers Satyarani Chadha and Shahjahan lost their daughters to a horrifying death. Shakti Shalini began with two services that are counseling and shelter home. They established their first shelter home that became the very first for women in distress in Delhi and came to be known as Pehchan. Ever since then, the organization has been actively working against all forms of gender and sexual violence. The organization responds to violent acts, try to prevent them by educating women and future social workers, and promotes Dadmiyan- a literature platform that is dedicated to creating awareness for gender equality.
Contact Number: 011 24373737
Not acceptable. That’s what we need to say to any and all forms of abuse, whether physical, emotional, or psychological. We pledge to stand and speak up against domestic violence and urge you to #ActAgainstAbuse. Follow our campaign, #ActAgainstAbuse, and learn about domestic abuse and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.
Ending the cycle of domestic abuse means finding strategies and solutions for how intimate relationship abuse can be prevented in India. Learning about domestic violence facts in India and increasing domestic abuse awareness is important.
Promoting the education of the girl child and giving importance to financial independence for women are the first steps towards increasing respect for women and creating a better society with fewer incidents of domestic violence against women in India.
Campaigns aimed at men and boys to increase awareness, wipe out misogyny, and change attitudes about gender equality are also effective tools. As individuals and responsible citizens, we can spread awareness and report any act of violence against women around us.
Did you find this domestic violence article useful? Get free online counseling for women in India, and learn what is counselling, how it can help you, and what it can’t do for you.
Get more information about domestic abuse and discuss domestic violence topics on the SHEROES app for women where safety, empathy, and trust are built into the platform at every level.
Connect with a professional counselor on the Ask SHEROES free online counseling chat helpline for women.
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