Criminology with reference to Domestic Violence

CRIMINOLOGY WITH REFERENCE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

TABLE OF CASES :- 

  • Ayesha Suicide Case
  • Satish Chander Ahuja vs. Sneha Ahuja
  • SR  Bhatra vs. Taruna Bhatra 2006
  • Kuldeep Singh vs. Rekha

INTRODUCTION

LET’S BREAK THE SILENCE!. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of domestic violence by their partner in their lifetime and the number of cases are increasing day by day. Domestic violence and criminology are interconnected with each other in several ways. It describes the intention of the guilty mind to commit battery against any person and reasons vary from  physical, mental, social to intake of toxic substances  as well. The cases of domestic violence have left all of us stuck but punishing an offender is merely an option to award justice to the victim which is much less than what aggrieved people have faced. This is only a temporary solution to a heinous crime. In order to abolish it completely all the reasons should be taken into consideration from the very beginning of the act. 

This paper deals with the issues related to domestic violence and traces the criminology of an accused, under which circumstances he commits a crime. Starting with the definition of domestic violence and later on covering all the aspects of the criminal psychology, causes, short term and long term impacts on the life of people and so on. I tried to critically analyze the situations of the victims i.e. men, women, children and elders. I also tried to figure out public opinion regarding the issue, considering the same a questionnaire was prepared and circulated among the people to get their opinion which helped me a lot to conclude the paper with some good suggestions to eradicate such practices from the society and role of the individual to put an end to it. This is not about an individual but the society must change their perspective towards others. Each one of us can bring a change. 

WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 

Domestic Violence is a type of abuse which is committed against an intimate partner, children, parents, or the elderly. It takes multiple forms including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, sexual or religious abuse or it can be in form serious form i.e. marital rape. The physical violence ranges from beating, choking, burning, starving, excessive workload, unusual hindrances in personal life, acid throwing etc. Domestic abuse, Family violence, intimate partner violence are the names for domestic violence offences. Women are most vulnerable and experience more severe forms of domestic violence. But not carrying on the social stigma that only women experience domestic violence but men too. 

The World Health Organization defined violence as “the intentional Use of physical force or power, threatened or actual against oneself another person or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.

TYPES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  

  • Physical Abuse:-  Physical violence is a most common type of abuse against a person. Whenever a person thinks of any domestic violence case, the first and foremost thing he imagines is pushing, kicking, strangling etc. 
  • Emotional and Verbal Abuse:-  Physical abuse goes along with the emotional and verbal abuse and it leaves a long term impact on the human’s mind and personality. As a physical injury will heal but the damage caused to a person’s mental health may last longer. Following are the some examples of emotional and verbal abuse :-   negative criticism,  emotional torture,  abusing her parents,  questioning her upbringing,  refusing to socialize, insulting in public, mistrust etc.
  • Sexual Abuse:-  Sexual abuse is harder aspect of  domestic violence and victim  find difficult to recognise and express. It is the behaviour of an individual to dominate and intended to render the victim powerless. A accused may use derogatory words,  marital rape,  sexual harassment,  birth control sabotage etc. Women and girls at home are expected to endure a tremendous amount of sexual violence in their lives and now males also started facing these  kind of abuses. 
  • Economic Abuse:-  Sometimes, the very reason for committing domestic violence against their partner is dowry. Generally after marriage women are harassed to bring more and more capital from their paternal house and refusal leads to violence. A person also starts controlling the financial Independence and freedom of the other such as misusing a partner’s bank account,  controlling the expenditure,  seizure of bank accounts,  restricting spending, forcing to sign documents related to property,demanding dowry, unlimited expenditure of other’s salary etc.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN 

According to the statistics, In India 25-30% of women have experienced domestic violence and Globally 35% of women have encountered either through physical, mental or sexual abuse in their lifetime. Most of the spousal violence is committed by the victim’s husband and statistics revealed that more than 32% of married women have outstayed physical, mental, emotional and sexual harassment by their spouses and one should not misunderstood that the rate od domestic violence cases are higher only in rural areas because women are less educated and unemployed than the working class women living in urban settings. Reported cases in rural and urban areas were 35% and 29% respectively. Every other day women face some kind of violence at their home and the conditions of the women have not improved much. Sometimes it takes more coercive form of marital rape but still society does not want to accept the concept of marital rapes; according to their perspective, males get social sanction to form sexual relationship with their spouses after marriage inspite of her willingness or if victim complained about the incident to her family or in the police station, they denied its existence. They must understood the simple fact that if a man is forcing a women to have physical relationship with him against her will then it should be considered as rape which is a criminal offence and a accused must be punished, here, it is no where defined whether who is committing a offence her husband or anyother person. They must be treated equally in the eyes of law and should be punished for the commission of a heinous crime. Around 15% women witnessed sexual abuse at home. India is one of them 36 countries where marital rape is still not a criminal offence. Domestic violence sometimes leads to the death of the victim due to excessive pain and physical and mental injuries. 

A true incident was told by the well educated woman that her marriage was fixed with a highly educated NRI residing in Australia after their marriage they both moved to Australia where his husband started torturing her to bring more money and property for his family. Their earlier demands were fulfilled by the victim’s parents fearing society and other consequences. But the type of torture she faced was extreme. She lived there like a servant, overburdened with work, starving, beaten up continuously. She received severe physical injuries and her state of mind was completely disturbed. One day the situation got worse, she was locked up in the room for four days without food and water and she was about to die. Her parents were unaware of these difficulties. Anyhow she managed to call a women’s helpline in Australia and then she was rescued by the police officers and admitted to the hospital. Doctor informed that she had received severe injuries for the last three years and was depressed. The charges were framed against the accused and his family and they were arrested immediately. Now the question is why women suffered so long and did not raise their voice against the abuse? What she feared and why? 

This is not the story of any single woman in India, each and every woman encounters some kind of violence. Some of them gather the courage to fight against it and many remain silent and the tradition goes on from one generation to another. Don’t you think this custom needs to be changed? Don’t you think we should motivate them to resist the offence and make them independent?

CAUSES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

There is no single factor determining domestic violence but varies according to the situation. A questionnaire was prepared by me which was the comprehensive part of my studies. According to the survey, 75.5% claimed that there are many factors that lead to domestic violence. These are dowry, dominating persons, mental illness and childhood experiences and many more. 17.5% of people blamed the dominating personality and so on. Now let’s discuss some of the major causes of domestic violence. 

  • Illiteracy:-   Illiteracy is one of the major factors of domestic violence against women. Men who remain uneducated are more likely to create trouble in their homes because they fail to comprehend the importance of women’s education and restrict them from exercising their rights. Women are considered as weaker sex to whom they can control easily.  A literate woman who got married to an illiterate man residing in a rural area was not likely to accept the aggressive and violent attitude. Similarly, women living in rural communities and women who were illiterate were more likely to accept such an attitude and they don’t even raise their voice fearing society and due to family pressure.Sometimes women too justify the behaviour of husband toward them. 
  • Birth of the Child:- Gender Discrimination has long been a major issue . Sometimes things change during and after the birth of a child, the women are pressured to give birth to a baby boy due to prevailing patriarchal society. They take help of medicines, ultrasounds and try to reveal the identity of a child or if a girl child takes birth, harassment starts; blaming the women who failed to give birth to their family’s heir.
  • Patriarchal Society:-  So, here is one of the major reasons for crime against women. As we all know, we are living in a patriarchal society and giving privilege to a male children is not a unique thing. Women are considered as the weaker section of society and dominating them is a symbol of masculinity. Male children get priority in all the aspects of life such as; education, health, higher education, opinion in the family matters, socialization etc.They try to control them and show their superiority and if a female refuses to perform certain activities then this resistance is considered as a sin. 
  • Dowry:- This is considered as the major factor for the commission of domestic violence. Incapability in fulfilling the demands of in-laws financially before, during and after the marriage of their daughter leads to physical, mental and emotional harassment. Someone can rightly characterize it as a contract between two parties where the money is exchanged for the bride. People often refuse to marry a girl if her parents show an inability to present more dowry at the time of marriage.
  • Lack of Communication and Trust issues:-   Miscommunication between partners and small disputes turns out into big conflicts. When a person fails to understand the emotions of another person, a sense of  superiority arises. Extramarital affairs, talking to male friends, checking phones, restricting to move outside, disrespecting her/him are some of the reasons for miscommunication and trust issues between the intimate couple. 
  • Intoxication:-  Excessive intake of alcohol, drugs and other intoxicated substances leads to an unconscious mind. In a subconscious state, a person performs certain activities which are against humanity; abuses his wife, tortures her, engages themselves in quarrels, beats her. 
  • Childhood Experiences:-  Childhood experiences leave a long-term impact on people. Children who go through these circumstances are more likely to grow up with these traits in their personality. As we all know firstly a child learns from their family, so when they witness these activities at their home like using abusive language, physical and mental violence, they grasp it completely and afterwards they start behaving in the same manner with their sister, mother and wife.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS UNDERLYING CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

What triggers a person to commit a criminal act? This is a question that has plagued humanity for a very long period of time. People are eager to know the causes behind the criminal act. Reasons and situations for the commission of an offence are unique  for every individual. According to the survey, most people have emphasised that the psychology of a person  plays a vital role in the commission of an offence. People believe that there are always some psychological issues, childhood trauma, insanity etc. for which a person takes such steps because these crimes are not committed by the people of sound mind. It is necessary to inspect the mental health of an individual who is indulged in these types of heinous crimes. It also illustrates the instances from which the accused get inspiration. It helps the accused to get better treatment before the imprisonment. It shows the intention of a person before the commission of a crime. Criminals are not born but some situations trigger them to engage in these types of activities. Some of the psychological factors are discussed below :- 

  • Depression and Anxiety:-  An individual suffering from depression, anxiety is more likely to create trouble in their lives or in the life of their family members. It may lead to excessive aggression, rudeness, intolerance, overreactions in different circumstances. The person in such circumstances loses their temper which ultimately causes domestic violence. There are many factors causing depression and stress like the excessive burden of work, conflicts between partners, quarrel with colleagues or boss, unfulfilled demands, financial insecurity, unemployment, household disputes, social unrest and many more. Depression or anxiety is a slow process which develops over time and turns out to be very harmful for an individual’s health and mind. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder where a  person is terrified of his past experiences which triggers some unforgettable terrifying events. This also causes anxiety, mental illness and severe depression. 
  • Orthodox mindset and Superiority:-  Upbringing at home impacts a person’s personality a lot, the family and neighborhood area is the primary place with whom a child comes into contact first. They help to shape an individual’s personality and teach lessons for the lifetime. A child who has witnessed violence against his / her mother, sister etc. is more likely to adapt to them or imitate them. They may fail to distinguish between right or wrong at an early stage. A sense of superiority may develop inside the child or consider women’s like a weaker sex. They try to establish their control over women.
  • Sexual relationship:-  Sexual violence refers to a situation when a person forces his spouse to have sexual relations with him regardless of her unwillingness. Consent may opt under influence or coercion which is ultimately not free. A person may compel her to conceive a child against her will i.e. unwanted pregnancies. A person may be of hypersexual behaviour that is an obsession to have regular sex urges which may cause stress, mental illness too. In this case, a person can not be considered as normal because it may increase the secretion of some specific hormones in his body which motivates him to perform these acts.
  • Insanity:-  Insanity is a defence under Indian Penal Code. A person suffering from mental illness may not be aware of his own acts during the commission of an offence. Sometimes a person can’t be held responsible due to the psychiatric diseases. In that situation a person can not be considered as a person of reasonable intelligence. Reasons for mental illness vary from a person to another. A court prosecuting the case can’t deny such a fact and the accused is sent to mental asylum instead of imprisonment. A person of unsound mind torturing his wife may use insanity as a defence by the accused’s lawyer. But one must understand that there is little difference between insanity and losing senses after being drunk.
  • Peer Influence:-  A person’s peer group strongly influences a decision. They may change their perspective either positively or negatively. They may be provoked to behave harshly with their spouse. They can adversely impact one’s mental health too.

CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORIES

  • Biological Theories of Crime:-  Criminal biological theory states that the criminals are born who cannot be stopped from commiting the crime. They cannot control their innate desires; physically or mentally. Some criminologists consider that the criminal behaviour is inherited which transfers from one generation to another. For example twins are more likely to show similar characteristics towards criminality if they are identical ones; because of greater genetic influence. Due to the presence of  neurotransmitter imbalances, slower the reaction of the nervous system and hormonal imbalances, presence of all these three factors increases the chance of committing the crime because sometimes these factors are determined by the environmental conditions. It shows the linkage between some biological conditions and the tendency of an individual to indulge in criminally motivated behaviour. Some other biological factors related to the commision of crime may be head injuries, intake of toxic substances, alcohol, drugs, improper diet, hyper or hypo secretion of hormones like testosterone or serotonin, mental abuse, complications during pregnancy etc. 
  • Psychological Theories of Crime:-  Psychological theory of crime is based on three distinctive theories that are psychodynamic, behavioral and cognitive theory. Psychodynamic theory was introduced by Sigmun Freud who stated that an individual’s personality is shaped by unconscious mental processes that are in the childhood experiences. He divided the individual’s personality into three forms i.e. Id. Ego and Superego. According to Freud, Id is driven by unconscious biological processes which form a primitive part of a person’s mental health. This is also known as the pleasure principle as it is more concerned with pleasure and gratification. Ego is  also known as Reality Principle and it develops in the early stage of life. Ego develops when a person interacts with the external world as well as responds to the internal forces and the last element is Superego which forms the organized part of human personality. It was generated by the concept of Ego Ideal. Super-ego is influenced by parental agencies, as it helps to shape their personality, identify their goals. It works on the principle of morality. When an individual commits crime it is considered that he or she has an underdeveloped superego. As childhood experiences play an important role in a person’s life, they also leave a negative impact. A criminal may be traumatized by his childhood events which leaves a long lasting impact and motivates him or her to commit crime; as revenge or in order to find inner peace. 
  • Sociological Theories of Crime:-  This is one of the most important criminological theories and every other theory is derived from sociological theories. Psychological and biological theories are also an important part of sociological theories because all these changes take place in the socio-environmental conditions. Social control theory, Social disorganization theory, Social learning theory, Labelling theory, Differential association theory, and Social construction theory are some of the important theories of sociological criminology. 
  • Differential Association Theory:- This theory was propounded by Edwin Sutherland. It stated that through the process of interaction and communication with others, an individual learns values, perspective, attitude, techniques, and motives that trigger criminal behaviour. Learning through interaction helps them to understand the techniques of committing the crime which may either be simple or complex and the particular direction of rationalization, attitudes, and drives. A person becomes a delinquent when he focuses more on definitions that are favorable to the violation of the law. The amount of time that a person is exposed to a particular definition and at what point the interaction began, both these points play a significant role in the commission of crime. This theory not only deals with juvenile delinquency or crime but also with white collar crimes, corporate or organized crimes. Duration, frequency, intensity and priority varies in the differential association theory. 
  • Labelling Theory:- Labeling theory is associated with society. It shows how the terms used by society to a particular person influence his or her behaviour or motivate him to commit a crime. The person may feel detached from society which ultimately leads to frustration and anxiety. When a person has been labeled as ‘criminal’ then in the future too he would be regarded in the same manner which leads to negative repercussions such as unemployment, loss of family and friends, eve- teasing, etc. The feeling of rejection and exhaustion renounces them from society and a sense of acceptance by the other delinquents.

IMPACTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON WOMEN

Domestic Violence leaves adverse impacts not only on the women but also on their family members and children. Physical injuries are the most common type of impact on women such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, nightmares, cuts, scars,broken bones, bruises. The long term impacts of violence are migraine, insanity, depression, dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, internal injuries, heart problems, anxiety, eating disorders, high blood pressure, etc. It may take some time to recognise the effects on the victim. Some of the impact slows down gradually others may last longer, even lifetime. A person may treat her badly as a divorcee which would traumatize her or compel her to leave her job. The list of consequences are very big which affect the survivor physically, mentally, psychologically, and socially. The feeling of detachment or frustration may arise that may make a person introverted. Person start may start cursing or blaming herself for all the situations.Women who go through all these circumstances may commit suicide to end all their sufferings.  

There are always two sides of coins. Domestic Violence also leaves positive impacts on women. The victim of domestic violence may raise their voice against the criminal offence and motivate other women to be independent and empower them by providing information on victimization, crime prevention, safety planning and information on the criminal justice process and on the legal rights and protections of victims. Nowadays, many campaigns are launched by the victim to empower other women who remain silent fearing family and society. These organizations also provide monetary support to the survivors cum warriors. 

IMPACTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON ACCUSED

Crime has become a major part of our society and it affects every individual directly or indirectly. There is  a wide range of consequences which vary from one person to another. As it does affect the victim equally to an accused. When a person is caught under domestic violence allegations; it impacts his whole family and children. The label of being a ‘Criminal’ detaches him from the whole community which leads to frustration and anxiety. A person who committed an act in a state of intoxication may repent of his act after being normal but changing the situation in those circumstances is not possible. A person may lose his job and people start hating him or distancing themselves from his company. It affects the person physically, mentally, emotionally, and as well as psychologically. 

CASE LAWS RELATED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This paragraph discusses some very recent and controversial domestic violence cases in India which completely shook the country and pressured the legal system to take some immediate and severe actions against the accused and also appealed to society to change their perspective about marriages and domestic violence. It somehow also questions the ideology of the girl’s parents, who care more about society than their own daughter. When a married woman becomes a victim of domestic violence and calls her parents for their support and wishes to come back home and get divorced, then the first and foremost thing they usually say is that these types of small disputes take place and you should adjust accordingly, and gradually it would be resolved. If the groom’s parents demand more money at the time of marriage, they try to make every possible arrangement of money and materialistic goods etc. which indirectly motivates them to perform these activities further. These cases also cite some landmark judgements made by the Supreme Court of India in the favour of women and how it over lapped some previous judgments of the lower courts.  

Some of the cases related to domestic violence are enclosed below :- 

  • Ayesha Suicide Case:-  One of the very recent case where a women aged 23 committed suicide when she failed to reconcile her problems but before dying she  recorded a vedio message sharing her pain whatever she faced after getting married. She also claimed that whatever step she is going to commit is not influenced or pressured by anyone but by her own discretion. She also claimed that she no longer wanted to live with her husband Aarif Khan. Her name was Ayesha Banu Makrani, she got married to Aarif khan in 2018. She was living with her parents since March last year after being separated from her husband. On 23 February 2021, she took an extreme step and jumped into the Sabarmati river after recording a video message. Her father alleged that her husband and in-laws harassed her for more dowry. Her husband sent her back to her home twice but each time her parents appealed to them to take her back and small amounts were paid to them at regular intervals. Once her husband accepted her after receiving a dowry of 2.5 lakhs from Ayesha’s father. Father also filed a case against her in-laws for domestic violence. Ayesha was beaten up by her husband and his parents. She was incapable to tolerate more so she committed suicide. The whole incident shocked the whole community and each and every individual started demanding justice for Ayesha which could send a message to the society at large.  Abetment to suicide case have been lodged against the accused Aarif khan who provoked the deceased to commit suicide and treated her badly.


  • Satish Chander Ahuja vs. Sneha Ahuja:-  Sneha Ahuja and Raveen Ahuja got married in 1995 and they started living on the first floor of the house bought by  Satish Chander Ahuja. Sneha Ahuja complained  to her in-laws and husband that she was regularly beaten up. She pleaded in the court for multiple reliefs under the Domestic Violence Act. She started living separately after the marital discord in 2014. Satish Ahuja on the other hand filed a separate suit against her for a mandatory and permanent injunction from her and he wanted her to leave their house and live separately. In this case the Supreme Court beautifully interpreted the concept of ‘Share Household’ and provided a landmark judgement. Appellant Sneha stated that Women should have equal right to reside in the home under Section 2(s) of the Domestic Violence Act which includes “Right to Reside” in it. On the contrary, the Respondent approached the Supreme Court citing the decision of the S.R. Batra v. Taruna Batra (2006)  in which the court decided that under Section 17(1) of the Domestic Violence Act, a wife can only claim ‘Right to Residence’ when the property is owned or rented by her husband or it should belong to the family members with which the husband resides. The Supreme Court interpreted the decision given by the High Court and stated that women have the right to reside in the home of her in-laws and no one can take away her rights on the condition that the aggrieved person must have resided in the home during her domestic relationship and the oppressed is not required to own or rent the house. This case further benefited more women who were not literate and were dependent on their husband after marriage. It provided a sense of security to all of them.  
  • Kuldeep Singh vs. Rekha:-  Rekha got married to Kuldeep and she moved to her matrimonial house situated at Gwalior and she started living with her in-laws. Afterwards, her husband got a new job at Tresure Island, Indore and both of them shifted there. Applicant complained that her in-laws and husband tortured and harassed her for more money and started demanding Rs. 22,000,00/- to her parents. She filed a case against several persons including her husband and in-laws. The High Court observed that appellant and her husband moved out of the domestic relationship and moved to their own house at Indore from where they shifted to Delhi. The Court preferred the section 17 of Domestic Violence Act and stated that the applicant moved out of her matrimonial house and they didn’t share a household so their domestic relationship came to an end. Therefore,  the case is not maintainable and deserves to be  quashed.

 

See also  Conditions of a Valid Hindu Marriage

LAWS RELATED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 

This section of the research paper particularly deals with the laws which empower the women to take strict actions against the perpetrators. It includes several provisions provided by the Indian Constitution to the citizens to raise their voice against the offence and get justice. It covers several sections of the Indian Penal Code which helps the women to file a case against the accused and the provision of imprisonment for them. It also deals with some specific laws related to Domestic Violence like Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. 

These laws are strictly enforced by the judicial system to grant justice to the victims and punish the wrong ever in every possible manner. Sometimes, the apex court comes forward  with some unique interpretation of the existing laws which cross counters the previous laws and judgments of the lower courts.

 Some of these laws are mentioned below :- 

  • Section 304B of Indian Penal Code:- Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code, includes the provisions related to Dowry Death. It clearly defines the Dowry Death as when the death of the woman is caused due to any burns or bodily injury or before her death or she was subjected to any domestic violence or harassment by her husband, in-laws or relatives. It can be related to any matter including dowry. The person associated or responsible for such type of activities should be sentenced to jail for not less than 7 years which can be converted into life imprisonment too.
  • Section 305 and 306 of Indian Penal Code:-  Section 305 has laws related to Abetment to Suicide. If a person encourages; An alcoholic, a child under 18, a drunk person, or a foolish person to commit suicide is liable to pay a fine and must be imprisoned for less than 10 years or life imprisonment or sentence to death. Section 305 specifically deals with children and insane people whereas Section 306 relates to the public at large as it includes that if a person abets any other person to commit suicide then he is solely responsible for the crime and can be kept in custody for 10 years or pay the fine to the aggrieved party.
  • Section 312 to 316 of the Indian Penal Code:-  These Sections 312, 313, 314, 315, and 316 of the Indian Penal Code cover the provisions related to female infanticide. Section 312 talks about  miscarriage which is done not to save the life of a mother or with any good purpose. It reflects the desire of a woman to have an abortion and whosoever is concerned would be sentenced to imprisonment for 3 years which would be further extended upto 10 years and also be fined to the aggrieved party whereas Section 313 deals with the issues when the miscarriage is done without women’s consent. Criminal proceedings against the accused are the same as mentioned above. Section 314 is applicable when the death is caused by a woman with the intention to abort a child. Any Act done by an individual which ultimately causes the death of a woman and finally Section 315 and 316 deal with the people who are indulged in culpable homicide. It states the intention of a person who restricts the birth of an alive infant which may cause death of a mother too.  
  • Section 498A of Indian Penal Code:-  Section 498A was introduced in the year 1983. This section defines the concept of ‘Cruelty’ as any action against the woman which influences her to commit suicide or injury to herself or if the act is committed to harass a woman in order to gain undue-advantage or to fulfill unlawful demands related to property, money or any valuable security. If a husband, in-laws or her relatives subjects a woman to cruelty, would be imprisoned for three years with a fine.
  • Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961:-  This act was introduced on 20th May, 1961 by the Parliament of India. This act prohibited the old tradition of giving and taking dowry. It defines ‘Dowry’ as any valuable security, money or property given by the bride’s or bridegroom’s parents at the time of marriage or afterwards. It can be provided directly or indirectly. Every offence under this act shall be recognized as non-cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable. If any person is caught then he would be punishable with imprisonment which may extend upto six months and with fine of five thousands rupees. 
  • Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005:-  Prevention of Women from Domestic Violence Act was enacted by the Parliament of India on 26 October, 2006. The act was introduced to protect the women from domestic violence and it broader the definition of domestic violence I.e. including not only physical abuse but also other types of abuses like mental, verbal, sexual and economic. Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act defines ‘Domestic Violence’ as any act or omission on the part of respondent to the victim which hurts or endangers her health and safety; mentally or physically or harasses her to fulfill any unlawful demands or causes mental, physical, economic or verbal abuse. The act primarily provides protection to the wife and a female in live-in relationship by her husband, male live-in relationship partner or his relatives. The act does not confine itself to the spouse but is further extended to the women living in the household like daughters, sisters, widows, and mothers. An aggrieved person under this act can apply for protection, monetary relief, compensation, custody of an accused or for a residence.

CONCLUSION / SUGGESTIONS

Domestic Violence is a social evil which needs to be eradicated from society as soon as possible. Here, we can not blame any particular person for the causation of crime. It takes place because when the bridegroom’s parents demand money at the time of marriage, parents of the bride’s side do not refuse; they do agree and fulfill all their demands which motivates them to demand more and they start torturing or harassing their daughter to get their demands fulfilled, after these things still her parents try to do negotiation with them instead of warning them or complaining in the police station. They used to tell their daughters that everything will be alright just try to adjust in the new environment and soon everything will be fine. Here arises the mistake of a woman who remains silent and bears all pain and grievances and her husband and in-laws keep on torturing her, harassing her physically, mentally or emotionally. When things go out of control; a girl commit suicide or killed by his husband and in-laws. Her parents start blaming everyone and yell for justice to their daughter. This is the common scenario which happens in everyday life and many of us do face these types of situations in our lifetime but we avoid speaking about the issue. People nowadays are becoming bolder, they fight for their rights but still the strength is very less. It’s high time now to come forward, share their life experiences, learn from them and change their lifestyle. Here, no particular person is responsible but each and every individual should play a vital role. 

Individual’s Role:- According to the survey, a woman is herself responsible for her conditions and firstly she should come forward to raise her voice against an accused. Whenever a woman faces domestic violence she should file a complaint in the police station and inform her parents without fearing her husband or society. A woman should remain mentally and physically fit to overcome all these situations and should start her new life independently. They should empower themselves and the other women like her beascuse taking steps for yourself is a primary thing. 

Role of the Community:-  Community plays an important role in the causation of crime. They should help the victim in the best possible manner instead of gossiping about it with others. One of the most important things is education. It helps an individual to distinguish between right and wrong and break the orthodox stereotypes which are still existing in society. There is safety and influence in numbers when intervening to stop an abuser or making your community a place where Domestic Violence will not be tolerated. 

Role of the Government:-  Our government enacts laws and enforces them on the citizens of India but where we lack is implementation. Delay in decision making and judgment is another loophole of the legislature and judiciary. Government should enforce stricter laws. To provide effective support to the victims, monetary relief should be provided to ensure their well-being. Many amendments should be done in the existing laws to stricten the rules and regulations. Nationwide campaigns should be launched. Classes on self-defense should be made compulsory in schools and colleges and empower women through public policies and schemes. 

LIST OF REFERENCES :- 

See also  Summary of Consumer Protection Act 1986

Author: Roshni Agarwal, Amity Law School, Noida

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