“Bride tortured to death for dowry” or “woman is instigated to commit suicide”
Turn to any newspaper at random and you would find the reports of such kind of violence all over the country. These are all what we come to know through different forms of media.
There are more such cases which are not reported. In fact, include those cases which we self-indulge in, or the ones which we witness in the neighbourhood but hesitate to take even a single step to reduce their occurrences.
The term used to describe this exploding problem of violence within our homes is ‘Domestic Violence’. ‘Domestic Violence’ includes harms or injuries which endangers women’s health, safety, life, limb or well being, whether mental or physical. It may also be through physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse.
This violence has a tendency to explode in various forms such as physical, sexual or emotional. Domestic violence has been an intrinsic part of the society we are living in.
Violence against women is not a new phenomenon. Women bear the pain of domestic, public, physical as well as emotional and mental violence against them, which affects her status in the society at the larger extent. The statistics of increasing crimes against women is shocking, where women are subjected to violence attacks i.e. child marriages, bride burning, sexual abuse of girl child, forced marriages, rapes, prostitution, and sexual harassment at home as well as work places etc.
In India where almost half of the population are women, many of them have always been ill-treated and deprived of their right to life and personal liberty as provided under the constitution of India. Women are always considered as a physically and emotionally weaker than men, whereas at present women have proved themselves in almost every field of life that they are not less than men due to their hard work whether at home or in working places.
Behind closed doors of homes all across our country, women are being tortured, beaten and killed. It is happening not only in rural areas but also in cities and in metropolitans as well. It is crossing all social classes and age groups. However, offences against women which reflects the pathetic reality that women are just not safe and secure anywhere.
The most common causes for domestic violence include dissatisfaction with the dowry and exploiting women for more of it, alienation of women’s self acquired property fraudulently, torture by husband and in-laws of the husband, refusing to have sex with the partner, cruelty by husband or in-laws mentally or physically etc.
According to United Nation Population Fund Report, around two-third of married Indian women are victims of domestic violence and as many as 70 per cent of married women in India between the age of 15 and 49 are victims of beating, rape or forced sex. In India, more than 55 percent of the women suffer from domestic violence, especially in the states of W.B., Bihar, U.P., M.P. and other northern states.
West Bengal was topped the list of domestic violence incidents, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)’s report for the year 2016. It also said that over 34,205 cases of crime against women have been reported during 2016. 59% or 20,265 of which were cases of domestic violence. The cases were mostly of wife beating, demand of dowry, instigation to commit suicide.
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.
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 and being more forward socially etc. Working women are quite often subjected to assaults.
Violence against young widows has also been on a rise in India. Most often they are cursed for their husband’s death and are deprived of proper food and clothing. They are not allowed or encouraged for remarriage in most of the homes, especially in rural areas.
Often women are brutally beaten and tortured for not conceiving a male child. The female foetuses are killed into the mother’s womb.
Other forms of physical abuse against women include slapping, punching, grabbing, public humiliation and the neglect of their health problems. Some of the other forms of psychological torment against them could be snatching of their rights to self-expression and curbing the freedom to associate with family and friends.
Domestic Violence affects women as well as their family. Women’s productivity in all forms of life i.e. assaulted women will always get agonized and emotionally disturbed. The suicide case of such victimized women is also a deadly consequence and the number of such cases is increasing day by day. A working Indian woman may lose her efficiency in work or drop out from work in some cases.
Domestic Violence may affect the life of children at the larger extent because a child has greater attachment with her mother and once the mother’s grief and sufferings revealed then child may turn silent, reserved. Sometimes marriage life will become a burden to the spouse and one of the spouses will opt out for divorce or separation which again affects life of the children.
A common Indian house wife has a tendency to bear the harassment she is subjected to by her husband and the family. One reason could be to prevent the children from undergoing the hardships if she separates from the spouse. Also the traditional and orthodox mindset makes them bear the sufferings without any protest this gives culprits more courage to do more wrong things.
This is my humble request to all please break the silence if you or any of your neighbour or relative is going through any violence, it may be physical or mental raise your voice against it. Your silence encourages the offenders to do these kinds of inhuman offenses.
How long we women will suffer domestic violence? Can’t we live our lives peacefully? Yes, we can. Please break the silence and protest against domestic violence
Like some of my previous posts, I’m again requesting every woman in India to protest against any crime on her or on any other woman. If a woman does not support another woman then who does support her?
To prevent violence against women and to protect the rights of aggrieved women, the legislation ‘The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005’ was passed by the parliament. According to this act every women who have been deprived of their right to life by the act of husband or relatives of the husband, can file a complaint to the protection officer, police officer or magistrate in the form of ‘Domestic Incident Report’ (Similar to FIR). Complaint can be filed by the victim /aggrieved person or relatives.
Even though the law is present number of incidents of domestic violence is not reducing. Women are often threatened not to go to the police or protection office to lodge complaint.
The Government of India should come out with some more stringent laws to protect the rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family.
Some women are taking advantages of this law by misusing this act by blackmailing or file false complains against her husband and in-laws for their own benefits. Due to these incidents those women who are the real victims are not getting justice. A strict law should be passed to punish those women who are filing a false compliant against husband or relatives by misusing of Domestic Violence Act so that there will be fair justice to all.
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