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UNIVERSITY OF PETROLEUM & ENERGY STUDIES

COLLEGE OF LEGAL STUDIES

B.A.LL.B. (HONS.) CRIMINAL LAWS

SEMESTER II

ACADEMIC YEAR: 2017 SESSION: JANUARY - MAY

PROJECT
FOR
Law of Torts
(LLBL241)
Under the Supervision of Ms. Eira Mishra
(TO BE FILLED BY THE STUDENT)

NAME : JASVEEN SINGH


SAP ID : 500052818
ROLL NO. : R154216055
TOPIC: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Introduction

“Bride tortured to death for dowry”, “School going kid succumbs to his injuries after beaten
by father”, “A seventy year old man killed over property dispute”, “Harassment of men in
Chandigarh…”
Reports of such kind of violence can be found all over the country. Though associated with
just crime against women, domestic violence can also affect children and even men.

Domestic Violence against Women is most common of all due to orthodox and idiotic mind
set of the society that women are physically and emotionally weaker than the males. Though
women today have proved themselves in almost every field of life affirming that they are no
less than men, the reports of violence against them are much larger in number than against
men.

“Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between


men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by
men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against
women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a
subordinate position compared with men.”1

Since times immemorial, domestic violence has been an intrinsic part of the society we are
living in. The contributing factors could be the desire to gain control over another family
member, the desire to exploit someone for personal benefits, the flare to be in a commanding
position all the time showcasing one’s supremacy so on and so forth. On various occasions,
psychological problems and social influence also add to the vehemence.

Violence against Women in India

Cruelty by Husband and family (section 498A IPC) – Constitutes 3.4% of total IPC crimes,
with a conviction rate of 21.9%. According to statistics, there has been an 8.2% increase in
the rate of case under section 498A IPC from 2005. Andhra Pradesh reported highest number
of cases as 14.5% while the national average stands at 5.6%.
Crime against Women has increased by 5.9% over 2005 and increased by 15.2% over 2002.2

1
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993
2
“Crime in 2006” Report of National Crime Records Bureau
One of the most common forms of violence against women is that perpetrated by a husband
or an intimate male partner or by family members. As per World Report on Violence and
Health, Intimate partners, often in the context of an abusive relationship, commit 40-70% of
homicides of women worldwide. Intimate partner abuse is generally part of a pattern of
abusive behaviour also known as “wife-beating”, “battering”, or “domestic violence”.

The most common causes for women stalking and battering include dissatisfaction with the
dowry and exploiting women for more of it, arguing with the partner, refusing to have sex
with him, neglecting children, going out of home without telling the partner, not cooking
properly or on time, indulging in extra marital affairs, not looking after in-laws etc. In some
cases infertility in females also leads to their assault by the family members. The greed for
dowry, desire for a male child and alcoholism of the spouse are major factors of domestic
violence against women in rural areas.

The Tandoor Murder Case of Naina Sahni in New Delhi in the year 1995 is one such
dreadful incident of a woman being killed and then burnt in a Tandoor by his husband.
This incidence was an outcome of suspicion of extra marital affairs of Naina Sahni
which led to marital discord and domestic violence against her.

In urban areas there are many more factors which lead to differences in the beginning and
later take the shape of domestic violence. These include – more income of a working woman
than her partner, her absence in the house till late night, abusing and neglecting in-laws, being
more forward socially etc.

Other forms of physical abuse against women include slapping, punching, grabbing,
burdening them with drudgery, public humiliation and the neglect of their health problems.
Some of the other forms of psychological torment against them could be curtailment of their
rights to self-expression and curbing the freedom to associate with the natal family and
friends.
What is Domestic Violence?
The United Nation framework for on domestic violence states “All acts of gender-based
physical and Psychological abuse by a family member against women in the family, ranging
from simple assault to aggravated physical battery, kidnapping, threats, intimidation,
coercion, stalking, humiliating verbal abuse, forcible or unlawful entry, arson, destruction of
property, sexual violence, marital rape, dowry or related violence, female genital mutilation,
violence related to exploitation through prostitution, violence against household workers and
attempts to commit such acts shall be termed ”Domestic Violence”.

Domestic violence is defined in the law as certain criminal acts committed between persons
of opposite sex who live together in the same household or who have lived together in the
past; or persons who have a child in common or are expecting a child (regardless of whether
they have resided in the same household); or persons related to one another in the following
ways: spouse, child, grandparent, former spouse, brother, grandchild, parent, sister.

“Section 3 of PWDVA defines ‘domestic violence’ in the following manner:

3. Definition of domestic violence.—


For the purposes of this Act, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent
shall constitute domestic violence in case it—

(a) harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental
or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse,
sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or

(b) harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or
any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property
or valuable security; or

(c) has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any
conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or

(d) otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person.”3

3
www.vakilno1.com/bareacts/domestic-violence/domestic-violence-act-2005
A Tortious Act

Domestic violence has created massive uncompensated intentional torts. Domestic violence
causes serious and widespread harms, particularly to women. The national scope of the
problem was made plain when Congress passed the Violence against Women Act of 1994,
which included criminal provisions, funding for services and law enforcement, and a civil
remedy provision. People who commit domestic violence generally are, in theory, liable
under intentional tort theories, in addition to whatever liability they may face under criminal
law.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides new civil remedies
for the victims of domestic violence, especially when the members of the family injure
women. This law recognized new set of rights and obligations in the nature of torts, to secure
women in their own families. It provides a new set of tortuous law remedies to persons within
family relations. This law is a kind of codification of tortuous liability4.

But despite the frequency with which people are injured by “domestic violence torts,” very
few tort suits are brought to seek recovery for the harms domestic violence causes. This under
enforcement is caused by several factors.

First, standard liability insurance policies generally do not cover domestic violence torts.
Second, many defendants have limited or no assets. Third, statutes of limitations are typically
shorter for intentional torts than for negligence.

4
A Lakshminath ,The Law of Torts
Historical Perspective
To understand the PWDVA 2005, we need to understand the history of laws relating to
violence against women.

The enactment of the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 was a legacy, as dowry had been
identified as social evil even in undivided India. The enactment of Central Legislation in
1961, soon after independence, came as recognition of the fact that “giving and taking of
dowry” was a nation-wide practice and needed to be prohibited by law. It said that any person
who gives, takes, or abets the giving or taking of dowry shall be punished with imprisonment,
which may extend to six months or with fine up to Rs. 5,000 or with both.

Dowry that started off as a practice to give away presents to the departing daughter, usually
some resources to begin her new married life, slowly assumed extraordinary proportions and
turned into a social evil. Brides were expected to bring the "gifts" regardless of their personal
willingness.

It was in early 80’s that not only did dowry continue to raise its ugly head, but its association
with violence and death became very evident. The death of women within home was often
close as “accident” or “suicide”. Hardly ever it was prosecuted as murder. The later
realisation of this violence came to stay, and IPC was amended in 1983 to introduce cruelty
to married women as an offence under Section 498A IPC.

Although the terms of Section 498A IPC are broad and intended for all forms of violence
against women, but in the implementation and understanding of law enforcement agencies, it
became synonymous with demand of dowry and thus was not implemented appropriately.

Soon after 498A IPC was enacted, Section 304B IPC was introduced in year 1986, which
made death of a women in the matrimonial home within 7 seven year of marriage an offence,
if it could be shown that she was subjected to cruelty immediately before her death.

But were these enough to reduce the violence against women?

A need of civil law on domestic violence was felt. There was no law in place enabling judges
to give protection orders and injunctions or any monetary relief in case where women go to
court to complaint against domestic violence. All remedial measures were part of family law,
or more particularly law of Divorce. There was no unambiguous policy of elimination of
violence against women.
In recognition of a substantive law that provided a comprehensive definition of domestic
violence, the first draft of the ‘Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill’ was
formulated in 1998 by the ‘Lawyers Collective Women’s Right Initiative. The draft was
finalised and submitted to National Commission for Women. The Advocacy efforts proved to
be very effective with the bill being passed unanimously in both Houses of Parliament in
2005. The bill we know as The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence 2005
(“PWDVA”). The Rules under the Act were passed and notified in 2006.

Legislation regarding Domestic Violence


In 1983, realisation of domestic violence as a criminal offence resulted into the introduction
of section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code. It dealt with cruelty by husband or his family
towards a married woman. Cruelties discussed in this law were:

 Conduct that is likely to drive a woman to suicide,


 Conduct which is likely to cause grave injury to the life, limb or health of the woman,
 Harassment with the purpose of forcing the woman or her relatives to give some
property, or
 Harassment because the woman or her relatives is unable to yield to demands for
more money or does not give some property.

The punishment was imprisonment for up to three years and a fine. The complaint against
cruelty wasn’t needed to be lodged by the person herself. Any relative could also make the
complaint on her behalf.

In Soran Singh v. State,5 Mamta was sexually harassed by Soran Singh, her father-in-law.
Also Soran Singh and Mamta’s husband continuously harassed her for demand of dowry.
Later on, she committed suicide. In this case the court held that Appellant Soran Singh shall
suffer Rl for a period of 10 years for the offence punishable under Section 304B IPC and
shall suffer imprisonment for a period of 3 years for the offence punishable under Section
498A IPC. Appellant Rakesh shall suffer Rl for a period of 7 years for the offence punishable
under Section 304B IPC and shall suffer imprisonment for a period of 3 years for the offence
punishable under Section 498A IPC.

Then came The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, which was the
first significant attempt by the Indian Government to recognise domestic abuse as a
punishable offence, the provision of which extend to in live- in relationships, and to provide
for emergency relief to the victims, in addition to legal recourse. PWDVA protects an
aggrieved person from father-in-law, mother-in-law, or even siblings of the husband and
other relatives and proceedings could be initiated against them too. It empowers women to
file a case against a person with whom she is having a ‘domestic relationship’ in a ’shared
household’, and who has subjected her to ‘domestic violence’

5
MANU/DE/0607/2010
Complaint can be filed by the victim aggrieved person or relatives, it will be considered as
the prima-facie evidence of the offence. Every ‘Domestic Incident Report’ has to be prepared
by the Protection Officer which will assist in the further investigation of the incidence. The
protection officer will pass certain orders i.e. protection of the women, custody of respondent
and order of monetary relief to the victim.

Children are also covered by the Act; they too can file a case against a parent or parents who
are tormenting or torturing them, physically, mentally, or economically. Any person can file a
complaint on behalf of a child. Section 3 of the law says any
act/conduct/omission/commission that harms or injures or has the potential to harm or injure
will be considered ‘domestic violence’ under this, the law considers physical, sexual,
emotional, verbal, psychological, and economic abuse or threats of the same. Even a single
act of commission or omission may constitute domestic violence — in other words; women
do not have to suffer a prolonged period of abuse before taking recourse to the law.

In Vijaykumar Ramachandra Bhate V Neela Vijaykumar Bhate (2003) case- It was held
that the required mental cruelty did not depend upon the numerical count of incidents
or only on the continuous course of conduct.

A woman who is the victim of domestic violence will have the right to the services of the
police, shelter homes and medical establishments. She also has the right to simultaneously
file her own complaint under Section498A of the Indian Penal Code Sections 18-23 provide a
large number of options for legal redressal. She can claim through the courts Protection
Orders, Residence Orders, Monetary Relief, Custody Order for her children, Compensation
Order and Interim/ Ex party Orders.

The Act also provides for Counselling and Assistance of welfare expert. Sec.16 of this Act
provides for the proceeding to be held in camera at the discretion of Magistrates or if the
parties desire so. Victim should seek the help of Police and should register on FIR and the
Police on duty is bound to register the same. There are Women’s Police stations in some of
the states in India. Professional Counsellors are attached to these Police Stations and they try
to harmonize the relation between spouses.

In Jayachandra V Aneel Kaur (2005) case the Court held that cruelty may be
intentional or unintentional.

If a husband violates any of the above rights of the aggrieved woman, it will be deemed a
punishable offence. Charges under Section 498A can be framed by the magistrate, in addition
to the charges under this Act. Further, the offences are cognizable and non-bailable.
Punishment for violation of the rights enumerated above could be one year’s imprisonment
and/or a maximum fine of Rs. 20,000.
On 19 March 2013, the Indian Parliament passed a new law with the goal of more effectively
protecting women from sexual violence in India. It came in the form of the Criminal Law
(Amendment) Act, 2013, which further amends the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal
Procedure of 1973, the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, and the Protection of Children from
Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The law makes stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks and forcibly
disrobing a woman explicit crime for the first time, provides capital punishment for rapes
leading to death, and raises to 20 years from 10 the minimum sentence for gang rape and
rapes committed by a police officer. The new law doesn’t address marital rape, rape
committed by the armed forces or rape against men.6

Where the Act Fails?


Though there are interpretations to the contrary, the Act does not extend its protection to
males. Firstly, an aggrieved person as defined by the Act is a woman who is, or has been in a
domestic relationship with the respondent. While the Act does define a child as any person
below the age of eighteen years, the definition of domestic violence itself refers at all stages
only to an aggrieved person and not to a child. It is not sufficient to construe the Act as
applicable to males as well.

Arguably, it could be said that the Act was passed to cater to the needs of women and not
men. After all, the very title of the Act indicates that it has been enacted to protect the rights
of women. Yet, it must be kept in mind that domestic violence, though predominantly faced
by women, be they wives, mothers, sisters or daughters, is also aimed against males at times.
It seems a poor excuse to say that males should not be provided easily accessible relief from
domestic violence simply because of their gender. Even if other forms of violence could be
adequately addressed by the IPC (though this hardly seems the case), it is a fact that the
sexual abuse of males cannot be redressed in any apposite manner by it.

Reference may be had to the Sakshi case , and the subsequent 172nd Law Commission
report, where it was argued, among other things, that the offence of rape as addressed in the
IPC be defined in gender-neutral terms, so that the protection could be extended to male
children as well. This was necessary keeping in mind the increased and increasing instances
of sexual abuse of children, male and female. Once it is acceded that male are affected as
much by sexual abuse by female, it must be accepted that they need to be protected from such
abuse within the “private” sphere too. On the face of it, there seems to be no concrete reason
for denying males protection from domestic violence.

Case filed under PWDVA, 2005

In V.D. Bhanot v Savita Bhanot7 the marriage between the parties was solemnized in
August, 1980 they lived together till July, 2005. Thereafter, for whatever reason, there were

6
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_in_India
7
(2012) 3 SCC 183
misunderstandings between the parties, as a result whereof, on 29th November, 2006, the
Respondent filed a petition before the Magistrate under Section 12 of the Protection of
Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, seeking various reliefs. By his order dated 8th
December, 2006, the learned Magistrate granted interim relief to the Respondent and directed
the Petitioner to pay her a sum of Rs.6000/- per month. By a subsequent order dated 17th
February, 2007, the Magistrate passed a protection/residence order under Sections 18 and 19
of the above Act.

Consequences of Domestic Violence against Women


There are varied consequences of domestic violence depending on the victim, the age group,
the intensity of the violence and frequency of the torment they are subjected to. Living under
a constant fear, threat and humiliation are some of the feelings developed in the minds of the
victims as a consequence of an atrocious violence.

Battered women have tendency to remain quiet, agonised and emotionally disturbed after the
occurrence of the torment. A psychological set back and trauma because of domestic violence
affects women’s productivity in all forms of life. The suicide case of such victimised women
is also a deadly consequence and the number of such cases is increasing.

A working Indian woman may drop out from work place because of the ill-treatment at home
or office, she may lose her inefficiency in work. Her health may deteriorate if she is not well
physically and mentally. Some women leave their home immediately after first few atrocious
attacks and try to become self-dependent. Their survival becomes difficult and painful when
they have to work hard for earning two meals a day. Many such women come under rescue of
women welfare organizations like Women Welfare Association of India, Affus Woman
Welfare Association and Woman’s Emancipation and Development Trust. Some of them who
leave their homes are forcefully involved in women trafficking and pornography. This results
in acquiring a higher risk of becoming a drug addict and suffering from HIV/AIDS. Some of
course do it by their choice.

One of the severe effects of domestic violence against women is its effect on her children. It
is nature’s phenomenon that a child generally has a greater attachment towards the mother for
she is the one who gives birth. As long as the violence subjected to the mother is hidden from
the child, he/she may behave normally at home. The day when mother’s grief and suffering is
revealed, a child may become upset about the happening deeply. Children may not even
comprehend the severity of the problem. They may turn silent, reserved and express solace to
the mother. When the violence against women is openly done in front of them since their
childhood, it may have a deeper and gruesome impact in their mind set. They get used to such
happenings at home, and have a tendency to reciprocate the same in their lives. It’s common
in especially in rural homes in India which are victimised by the evil of domestic violence.

In cases of Intimate Partner Violence, violence against women leads them to maintain a
distance from their partner. Their sexual life is affected adversely. Many of them file for
divorce and seek separation which again affects the life of children. Some continue to be
exploited in lack of proper awareness of human rights and laws of the constitution.

Why do women stay silent?


Women are constantly facing violence for long time in the house of their in-laws but they still
don’t ask for support even her parents are also silent despite knowing all these things. The
basic reason is sociocultural and economic, illiteracy and ignorance, about rights and
remedies. The other reasons for not reporting of domestic violence are:8

1. Fear of being socially isolated and fear of more violence

2. Lack of alternative means of economic support i.e. victim is economically dependent on


the abuser in case of spouse abuse.

3. Concern for the children

4. Emotional dependence

5. Lack of support from family and friends

6. An abiding hope that the man will change

7. Do not know to whom and where to go.

In India the rate of domestic violence is around 45%. Actually it is far more because most of
the cases either not reported or expressed. Every six hours, a young married woman is burnt
alive, beaten to death or forced to commit suicide in India.

8
Violence against women and girls. An International Journal of Medico-legal update, 1998
Domestic Violence against Men
There is no question that domestic violence directed against women is a serious and bigger
problem, but domestic violence against men is also increasing gradually in India. The
supremacy of men in the society makes one believe that they are not vulnerable to domestic
violence. Battering of men by their spouse and family members has become a concerned
issue and is another form of domestic violence under purview of judiciary. In India,
compared to violence against women, violence against men is less frequent but it has already
taken a deadly shape in many of the western countries by now.

Males have reported incidences of assault against them like pushing, shoving, slapping,
grabbing, hitting which are intended to harm them and also take their lives on many
occasions. Recently, hundreds of husbands gathered in Chandigarh and Shimla to voice their
opinion for men’s rights and protection against domestic violence subjected to them by their
wives and other family members. It reflects the need for a special law for curbing domestic
violence against men in present times.

If we contemplate over the reasons behind this form of domestic violence we would find
some of the possible causes such as not abiding by the instructions of the wives’, inadequate
earning of men, infidelity towards wives, not helping the partner in household activities, not
taking a proper care of children, abusing the spouse’s family, infertility of men, spying the
activities of partner, doubting the partner all the time and not trusting her, revolt by the wife
when asked to look after in-laws etc. On many occasions the spat between men and women
becomes public thereby influencing the society around especially in the villages. In urban
areas such forms of violence may go unreported because of greater privacy. Also the families
find their reputation at stake in urban areas.

Even if the male partner hasn't harassed the woman, she has the right to accuse the male
partner of domestic violence. Just a mere petty argument within a relationship, which is an
acceptable and general phenomenon, can be called harassment. If the male partner is cruelly
nagged and decides to defend himself, the conduct of the male partner will be treated as a
form of domestic violence, which will be a punishable crime. Women's vicious nagging has
drove thousands of men to commit suicide. In one year, 22,000 men are committing suicide
only because of women's atrocities, and the figures are increasing. A male partner not living
on the woman's terms, the male partner will be accused of committing a crime. Whatever the
woman says, the male partner has to do it. If you don't do what the woman says, you will be
punished legally. Be henpecked or be handcuffed.
Examples for domestic violence against men

Men who are accused of domestic violence get marginalized by society and even friends and
family turn their backs on them. When Manoj Kumar approached the police after he was
assaulted by his wife, and the cops not only ridiculed him, but said that they will call his wife
and ask her to file a case against him. Manoj took his own life.

Thirty three-year-old Santosh Raj faced a similar predicament. His world came crashing
down when three months into his marriage, his wife hired goons, who not only attacked him,
but also beat up his parents, brothers and sister. She demanded 1 crore for a divorce. His
father somehow brought this amount down to 35 lakh. As per the arrangement, 15 lakh was
paid and the remaining amount was to be paid after the divorce was finalized. But they soon
started asking for the remaining amount. He knew that they wouldn't stop harassing him if he
gave them 20 lakh, so he went underground for some time

Consequences of Violence against Men

The consequences against violence against men in India, is largely emotional and
psychological in nature. The physical harassment resulting from domestic violence, also
affects their lives and productivity but it is still more inclined towards the emotional problems
which men face in India. It is largely because many such cases go unreported, as compared to
cases of physical assault of women. An emotionally harassed and depressed man may lose
interest in the occupation he is associated with. If he is the only bread-earning person in the
family, the family may find it difficult to survive. There has been a spate of farmers’ suicide
in recent years in Karnataka. Several farmers have committed suicide not only because of
indebtedness but also because of discord in family and depression resulting out of it.
According to statistics of Save India Family Foundation (an NGO), around 1.2 lac harassed
husbands have committed suicide in the country in the last four years.
Domestic Violence against Children/Teens

Children and teenagers in our society are not spared from the evil of domestic violence. In
fact, this form of violence is second in terms of number of reported cases after the ‘violence
against women’. There is a lot of variation in the form of its occurrence in urban and rural
areas and in upper/middle class and lower class families in India. In urban regions, it is more
private and concealed within the four walls of homes. The possible reasons could be
disobeying parental advises and orders, poor performance in academics or not being at par
with other children in neighbourhood, debating with parents and other family members etc. In
addition to this, factors like not being socially intelligent or as active as the parents expect
them to be, abusing the parents or speaking ill about other family members, not returning
home on time are some other factors.

In rural areas the reasons could be harassment for child labour, physical abuse or harm for not
following family traditions, forcing them to stay at home and not allowing them to go to
school etc. Domestic violence against girls is in fact more severe at homes. As the common
mob mentality of India prefers to have at least one male child after marriage, the girls in most
of the occasions are cursed and assaulted for having taken birth in the home. This kind abuse
is prevalent both in cities and villages but is more common in latter case. Then there are cases
of paedophilia causing sexual harassment of children in homes by family member
themselves. In fact the number of rape cases of pre-matured girls has been rising since last
few years. A survey of teens and college students found that rape accounted for 67 percent of
sexual assaults in girls. Apart from sexual abuse and rape, pushing, slapping, punching,
stalking and emotional abuse are other forms of domestic violence against children.

In Dinbandhu Mandal v. Mahendranath Mandal9, the Orissa High Court has followed
the English Act of 1970 which abolished amongst others, the action of damages by
parents for loss of services of child when the tort was founded upon rape or seduction.

Adding to the above mentioned causes, there are also instances of abuse against children who
are physically and/or mentally challenged. Instead of providing them proper health care and
treating them politely, these children are beaten and harassed for not cooperating and
attending to what family members ask them to do. They are even emotionally abused by
cursing them having been in such retarded or handicapped state. In fact in poor families, there
have been reports of selling body organs of the retarded children for getting money in return.
It reflects the height of cruelness and violence against innocent children.

9
AIR 1988 Ori 183
Consequences of Violence against Children/Teens

The consequences in case of children are far more drastic and its effect is long lived. Children
are sensitive to issues related to violence of any kind as they are not mature enough to
comprehend them. In their growing years they try to imitate things which they see happening
around them. In the process of following their parent’s advice or instructions they become
firm in their opinion and approach towards life. Now if the approach of parents itself is
negative, children are bound to get influenced by it. They may adopt the negative traits of the
ill they see around them or develop a hostile approach in life because of the ill-treatment they
are subjected to. If a child is beaten badly for underperforming in school, he may do the same
to his children, thinking it might be the only possible way of making a person to work hard.

Whenever a child is dropped out of school because of poor financial condition or when he is
engaged in some form of child labour, there is a sudden leap which the child tries to take
from his childhood to the manhood. In this process he misses out the values and morals a
person should inculcate in him as a good human being. He fails to develop a vision to see
things from an unbiased point of view. All these factors make a child insensitive towards the
society and the societal needs. Every instance of child abuse causes a callous indifference to
suffering.

However in the process of comprehending the wrong being done to them, many children are
traumatised and psychologically disturbed. They find it unsustainable and may lose out their
mental soundness. Children who are victimised by physical violence may become
handicapped as well. In some cases children prefer to run away from home and try to become
self-dependent. Some commit suicide. Some indulge in malpractices because of improper
education and bad company they become a part of after leaving the home. Some even
reciprocate the violence they are subjected to by harming the family members.

Girls also develop a feeling of insecurity in their homes when they are sexually exploited.
They lose their self-confidence and desire for living. A girl child from violent home can
withdraw from society and become completely depressed. Children from violent homes
become disobedient and violent — and start using aggression to solve their problems.
Adolescents may succumb to drugs and alcohol when treated harshly. Some helpless and
abandoned children are picked up gangs who sell their organs for making huge amount of
money. In most of the cities, the group of beggars at traffic lights or railway platforms are the
abandoned children who are physically deformed forcefully for begging. The children who
escape being a part of this vicious circle are looked after by children welfare organizations
like, Indian Child Welfare Association (ICWA), Child Relief and You (CRY) and Child Line
etc.
Remedies for Domestic Violence

What exactly do we want?

A very important question in wake of domestic violence remedies is that what exactly we are
looking for in the process of minimising their occurrences. Is it so that we want to gather
more information about such cases for just expressing our concern over this issue with more
accuracy, having facts and figures at hand? Or instead of just raising our voices, we want to
clean up the mess with shear force and determination?

Fighting the ‘Domestic Violence’ Evil

A recent study has concluded that violence against women is the fastest-growing crime in
India. According to a latest report prepared by India’s National Crime Records Bureau
(NCRB), a crime has been recorded against women in every three minutes in India. Every 60
minutes, two women are raped in this country. Every six hours, a young married woman is
found beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide.

The response to the phenomenon of domestic violence is a typical combination of effort


between law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, the courts and
corrections/probation agencies. The role of all these has progressed over last few decades,
and brought their activities in public view. Domestic violence is now being viewed as a
public health problem of epidemic proportion all over the world – and many public, private
and governmental agencies are seen making huge efforts to control it in India. There are
several organizations all over the world — government and non-government — actively
working to fight the problems generated by domestic violence to the human community.

Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

The role of non-governmental organizations in controlling the domestic violence and curbing
its worse consequences is crucial. Sakshi — a violence intervention agency for women and
children in Delhi works on cases of sexual assault, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse and
domestic abuse and focuses on equality education for judges and implementation of the 1997
Supreme Court’s sexual harassment guidelines. Women’s Rights Initiative — another
organization in the same city runs a legal aid cell for cases of domestic abuse and works in
collaboration with law enforcers in the area of domestic violence.
In Mumbai, bodies like Majlis and Swaadhar are doing meaningful works in this field. Sneha
in Chennai and Vimochana in Bangalore are working on many women’s issues arising from
domestic abuse. They are also doing active work in issues related to labour. Services ranging
from counselling, education and outreach, giving provisions, and mobilizing them for gaining
self-confidence are provided to them. There are at present only few NGOs for welfare of men
like Social Welfare Association for Men (SWAM) in Chennai. Few more such organizations
need to be opened for the help of abused men.

Police and Health Care

Police plays a major role in tackling the domestic violence cases. They need to be sensitized
to treat domestic violence cases as seriously as any other crime. Special training to handle
domestic violence cases should be imparted to police force. They should be provided with
information regarding support network of judiciary, government agencies/departments.
Gender training should be made mandatory in the trainings of the police officers. There
should be a separate wing of police dealing with women’s issues, attached to all police
stations and should be excluded from any other duty.

Authorities should take steps to recognize Domestic Violence as a public health issue. A
crisis support cell needs to be established in all major Government and Private Hospitals with
a trained medical social worker for provide appropriate services. Training programmes must
be organized for health professionals in order to develop their skills to provide basic support
for abused people. Documentation on the prevalence and the health consequences of
domestic violence should be undertaken by the concerned government departments, health
care institutions, NGOs and counselling centres. A nodal agency should also be set up for the
annual consolidation of the documented work and publish the same for wider publicity
among the masses for increasing awareness.

What can a woman do to prevent domestic violence?

We can do this by raising awareness, educating and empowering women and girls, and
tackling the social attitudes that underpin the violence, in our own communities and beyond.

One option is to get the woman's husband to execute a "bond to keep peace", or a "bond of
good behaviour" through the Executive, Magistrate who can order the husband to put a stop
to domestic violence. The husband can also be asked to deposit securities (i.e. money or
property) that will be forfeited if he continues to act violently.