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  • What is domestic violence?
  • What are the laws in India on domestic violence?
  • Who experiences domestic violence?
  • What remedies are available for victims of domestic violence?
  • Are there any resources for male victims of domestic violence?
  • What causes domestic violence?

What is domestic violence?


Domestic Violence refers to any form of abuse which causes harm/injury to the mental and/or physical health of a woman which compromises her life and safety. Any form of harassment in lieu of dowry demands also constitutes domestic violence.

Indian laws aim at the deterrence and removal of domestic violence. To achieve this, a legislation called The Protection of Domestic Violence Act was passed which came into force in 2005. It aims at upholding the constitutional principles enshrined in Article 14, 15, 21 and the other policies which are in force in India.

As per The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, every aggrieved woman or a child who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the perpetrator or the aggressor of the domestic violence, can avail the facilities provided by the act.

Domestic Relationship refers to a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in nature of a marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family.

There are several recognised forms of domestic violence, some of them are physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual assault, dowry harassment, and so on.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides several reliefs, some of them are monetary reliefs, custody orders, ex-parte and interim orders, right of residence, and so on. An order made under The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is enforceable throughout India. If a person experiences domestic violence, then they must file a First Information Report (F.I.R), they can make use of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and register a Domestic Incident Report (D.I.R). The Magistrate can also be directly approached in instances of domestic violence. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code recognises cruelty to a woman as an offence. It is indicative of the Indian Law’s stance on the issue of domestic violence. Section 498A says the following –

Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may exten

d to three years and shall also be liable to fine. The offence is Cognizable, non- compoundable and non-bailable.

Domestic violence is a heinous crime in which the victims often end up concealing the crime with their silence. Such crimes are psychologically damaging and act as a hindrance in achieving a healthy society. Appropriate steps must be taken to keep this social wrong in check.

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