A Brief Overview Of Domestic Violence In India

Despite governmental efforts, domestic violence persists in India. Ensuring law enforcement is crucial for societal welfare, as it adversely affects women's well-being and the entire family.

Dive into the complexities of domestic violence against women in India. Uncover hidden realities, explore legal safeguards, and understand the imperative for awareness and empowerment. Discover the path towards addressing this silent epidemic.

In India, where women are considered to be highly esteemed, we found many examples of violence against women. Nearly every home witnesses some form of domestic abuse, wherein women suffer verbal abuse, sexual violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, etc.

Women have been repeatedly victimized and usurped throughout human history with the aim of establishing tyranny over them. In order to maintain a patriarchal social structure, this type of exploitation is increasing day by day and is commonly accepted as a norm.

Women are being deprived of their individuality and treated like a commodity. This is a serious human rights violation and difficult to contest because there is no witness to such crimes. Lack of awareness, low literacy levels, poverty, gender disparity, patriarchal attitudes, drug addiction, extramarital affairs, and the dowry system are the most contributing factors responsible for domestic violence in India.

According to the National Family Health Survey, 2019-2021, 29.3% of married Indian women between the ages of 18 and 49 have experienced domestic/sexual violence. This is only the data of cases reported by women, whereas numerous cases go unreported due to various reasons like lack of literacy, societal and family pressure, and lack of trust in the police, etc.

Alarming realities and contributing factors

The National Crime Record Bureau released the latest data in 2022, which states that crime against women rose by 15.3% in 2021 from the previous year. The report also shows that the rate of crime against women increased from 56.5% in 2020 to 64.5% in 2021. The majority of the cases fall in the category of ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives.’

In 2022, the National Commission for Women registered over 6900 complaints in the ‘protection of women against domestic violence’ category. The maximum complaints fell under three categories: securing the right to life with dignity (31%), protection of women against domestic violence (23%), and matters of harassment of married women, including dowry (15%).

From time to time, the Indian government took initiatives towards the elimination of domestic violence against women.

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The National Commission for Women was established in 1992, the National Human Rights Commission in 1993, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme was introduced in 2015.

The Swadhar Greh Scheme was introduced, and the One-Stop Centre and Universalization of Women Helpline launched to offer assistance to women who have experienced any form of violence and to connect them with the appropriate agencies, including the police, one-stop centres, hospitals, legal services, etc.

Legal Framework and Imperative Measures

legal protection against Domestic Violence in India

  • Section 326 B of the Indian Penal Code deals with attempted acid attacks, wherein the penalty is a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of up to 7 years.
  • Section 313-316 IPC 1860 deals with female infanticide, where forcing a wife to terminate her pregnancy will come under domestic violence.
  • Section 498-A IPC deals with cruelty by a husband or his family towards a married woman.
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, of 1961, sets strict guidelines for punishing and preventing violence against women resulting from dowry.
  • The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994 attempts to end female foeticide.
  • The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act 2005 aims to safeguard women’s rights and dignity and prevent them from falling victim to abuse or various kinds of domestic violence.
  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act 2021 guarantees universal access to safe and legal abortion processes.

Despite all the measures introduced by the Indian Government to protect women from domestic violence, it continues to exist.

Laws must be adequately enforced by the police and judiciary. Domestic violence must be addressed for the greater welfare of society because it has a negative impact not only on the well-being of women but also on the entire family.

However, a few measures may help in addressing this issue like raising public awareness of domestic violence, establishing a special court with a woman judge in each district to deal with domestic violence cases, proper education and more stringent laws and their enforcement to protect the rights and dignity of women.

Empowerment of women in all spheres with a special emphasis on economic empowerment, and coordination among the government, NGOs, the public, and other institutions.

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Gulista zehra

Domestic abuse survivor, lawyer and a Proudly imperfect woman. read more...

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