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The only way to stop Domestic Abuse, which is a reality in our Society, is through awareness and legal help

The only way to stop Domestic Abuse, which is a reality in our Society, is through awareness and legal help

One way to describe domestic violence is as a violent form of control one person exercises over another. It is often referred to as using various sorts of abuse to instil fear and control in a relationship. It can take many forms, including economic, sexual, psychological, and physical torture. Not only is this a societal problem, but it is also a grave violation of human rights that exposes the victim to social and health consequences.

The victim can be anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, class, or religion. The United Nations refers to it as "intimate partner violence," where one person in a relationship exhibits behaviour to gain control of the other through threat, emotional abuse, manipulation, hurting, injury, or economic abuse.

The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions "domestic violence" is a violent act between partners, but the truth is that it can occur between any two individuals in a close, legal relationship. It could begin with verbal abuse and excessive domineering behaviour before turning into physical and psychological torture.

In cases where the abuser physically assaults or tortures the victim, it is simple to evaluate the violent behaviour, but in the majority of cases, the victims fail to recognise that they are experiencing domestic abuse and mistakenly believe their abuser to be domineering, strict, overly concerned, or possessive of them.

Women are allegedly more likely than men to experience this kind of violence. One in three women experience domestic violence, according to a 2013 WHO study that examined data from nearly 80 countries.

Laws to protect women against domestic violence:

There are a number of laws in India which deals with Domestic Violence  and the only way to stop Domestic Abuse, which is a reality in our Society, is through awareness and legal help. The laws that deals with Domestic violence are as such:

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: According to the criteria provided in the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, violence against women can be sexual, emotional, physical, or economic. All women involved in domestic relationships are covered by the Act's protections. The person who feels wronged may be a resident of the same home who is connected via marriage, adoption, or who lives as a family member in a blended family.

Women become more resilient to fight for their own well-being when they are more aware of their rights. The Act gives judges the authority to safeguard women by granting the proper orders, such as protection orders, residence orders, financial relief orders, custody orders, or compensation orders.

The protection order, which stipulates appropriate conditions including barring the abuser from communicating with the victim in any way, will shield the victim from the abuser. The residency order will either protect the victim by allowing her to remain where she feels safe or by evicting the abuser from the victim's home.

  • Protection under IPC: Sec. 498-A of the IPC recognises domestic violence. When a woman is subjected to brutal treatment by her husband or his family in exchange for dowry, it is punishable by three years in prison and a fine. Here, there is cruelty of the kind that might cause a woman to kill herself or a woman who has been harassed by her husband or his family.

The other provision that acknowledges violence against women is section 304-B, which is applicable when a woman passes away within seven years of their wedding due to body burns or any other harm brought on by harassment by her husband or his family.

A person who commits such a crime faces a minimum sentence of 7 years in jail and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The introduction of these two sections aims to safeguard women while also punishing those who commit such horrible crimes harshly.

  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961: The custom of dowry, which was used to control women and obtain valuable security from their parents, has also played a significant role in domestic violence. Dowry is a depraved custom that has forced women to give men what they want as presents or to maintain the standard of living of the parties to a marriage.

In order to meet the needs of the husband and his relatives, this practise has traumatised countless women. When a woman does not pay her dowry according to her husband's standards, her spouse and his family simply serve to make her life miserable.

In order to stop the practise of dowry, strict rules have been put into place. It is made obvious by the Act's amendments in 1984 and 1986, which included clauses outlining the penalties for receiving or donating dowries as well as prohibiting dowry advertisements. According to the Act, gifts given in cases where the bride and groom did not make a demand do not count as dowry.

Any valuable security or property supplied by one party to a marriage to the other party during, prior to, or after the marriage will be punished, according to the Act. Demanding dowry carries a sentence of at least five years in jail and a fine of Rupees 15,000 or the value of the requested dowry, whichever is greater. This was developed with the intention of ending the dowry custom, which has significantly impacted women in various ways.

 

Conclusion

When the numerous contributing causes to domestic violence are examined, it is clear that the mentality and attitude of superiority in many cases is the main and most pervasive issue. This is the key factor that makes women more likely than men to commit such crimes. The centuries-old patriarchal structure is still in force and can exist in developed countries as well.

However, as time has gone on, this element has undergone a small modification, and abuses of men have also become more common. This also applies to partners or marriages of the same sex. It is important to raise public awareness of the laws prohibiting domestic violence and to take strict action to ensure that the law is adequately enforced.

If such crimes occur, appropriate reparations, resources, and educational opportunities should be made available to assist the victim in the future.

 

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