Crimes against women
Police records show high incidence of crimes against women in India. The National Crime Records Bureau reported in 1998 that the growth rate of crimes against women would be higher than the population growth rate by 2010. Earlier, many cases were not registered with the police due to the social stigma attached to rape and molestation cases. Official statistics show that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of reported crimes against women
Rape in India has been described by Radha Kumar as one of India’s most common crimes against women. Official sources show that rape cases in India has doubled between 1990 and 2008 In most of the Rape cases, the culprit is known to the victim.
In late December, 2012, international attention was called to a case of a 23-year-old Indian woman (Also called as NIRBHAYA case/ AMANAT case) was assaulted and gang raped on a bus(incident took place on 16 december,2012), resulting in her eventual death in a hospital days later. Mass protests stemming from the case called into question the cultural violence towards women and the failure of the government to solve the problem. The problem was compounded by politicians making sexist and misogynistic comments
Half of the total number of crimes against women reported in 1990 related to molestation and harassment at the workplace. Eve teasing is a euphemism used for sexual harassment or molestation of women by men. Many activists blame the rising incidents of sexual harassment against women on the influence of “Western culture”. In 1987, The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act was passed to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.
... It is not only political capital but also the crime-capital of India . Growing unemployment and lacks of motivation among the ... report ghastly murders, sensational robberies , rapes , thefts and kidnappings. Naturally , the graph of crime in today’s society is sharply ... on the rise . Living has become quite risky , unplesant and unsafe . Women ...
In 1997, in a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court of India took a strong stand against sexual harassment of women in the workplace. The Court also laid down detailed guidelines for prevention and redressal of grievances. The National Commission for Women subsequently elaborated these guidelines into a Code of Conduct for employers
In 1961, the Government of India passed the Dowry Prohibition Act, making the dowry demands in wedding arrangements illegal. However, many cases of dowry-related domestic violence, suicides and murders have been reported. In the 1980s, numerous such cases were reported. However, recent reports show that the number of these crimes have reduced drastically.
In 1985, the Dowry Prohibition (maintenance of lists of presents to the bride and bridegroom) rules were framed. According to these rules, a signed list of presents given at the time of the marriage to the bride and the bridegroom should be maintained. The list should contain a brief description of each present, its approximate value, the name of whoever has given the present and his/her relationship to the person.
A 1997 report claimed that at least 5,000 women die each year because of dowry deaths, and at least a dozen die each day in ‘kitchen fires’ thought to be intentional. The term for this is “bride burning” and is criticised within India itself. Amongst the urban educated, such dowry abuse has reduced dramatically.
Child marriage has been traditionally prevalent in India and continues to this day. Young girls live with their parents until they reach puberty. In the past, the child widows were condemned to a life of great agony, shaving heads, living in isolation, and shunned by the society. Although child marriage was outlawed in 1860, it is still a common practice.
... The fact that there are more women nowadays who are open to same sex marriages is a threat to the political ... tool to dominate and oppress women through sexual objectification (71). From the feminist perspective, sex, marriage and family were all tools ... Examples of these are “arranged and child marriages, brideprice, foot-binding, purdah (the segregation of women from men typical in some Islam ...
According to UNICEF’s “State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 47% of India’s women aged 20–24 were married before the legal age of 18, with 56% in rural areas. The report also showed that 40% of the world’s child marriages occur in India.
Female infanticides and sex selective abortions
India has a highly masculine sex ratio, the chief reason being that many women die before reaching adulthood. Tribal societies in India have a less masculine sex ratio than all other caste groups. This, in spite of the fact that tribal communities have far lower levels of income, literacy and health facilities. It is therefore suggested by many experts, that the highly masculine sex ratio in India can be attributed to female infanticides and sex-selective abortions.
All medical tests that can be used to determine the sex of the child have been banned in India, due to incidents of these tests being used to get rid of unwanted female children before birth. Female infanticide (killing of girl infants) is still prevalent in some rural areas. The abuse of the dowry tradition has been one of the main reasons for sex-selective abortions and female infanticides in India.
Causes of Crime Against Women
A vital part of understanding a social problem, and a precursor to preventing it, is an understanding of what causes it. Research on the causes of violence against women has consisted of two lines of inquiry: examination of the characteristics that influence the behavior of offenders and consideration of whether some women have a heightened vulnerability to victimization. Research has sought causal factors at various levels of analysis, including individual, dyadic, institutional, and social. Studies of offending and victimization remain conceptually distinct except in sociocultural analysis in which joint consideration is often given to two complementary processes: those that influence men to be aggressive and channel their expressions of violence toward women and those that position women for receipt of violence and operate to silence them afterwards. Many theorists and researchers have sought to answer the question, “Why does this particular man batter or sexually assault?” by looking at single classes of influences. Among them have been biologic factors such as androgenic hormonal influences; evolutionary theo-ries; intrapsychic explanations focused on mental disorder or personality traits and profiles; social learning models that highlight the socialization experiences that shape individual men to be violent; social information processing theory concerning the cognitive processes that offenders engage in before, during, and after violence; sociocultural analyses aimed at understanding the structural features of society at the level of the dyad, family, peer group, school, religion, media, and state that encourage male violence and maintain women as a vulnerable class of potential victims; and feminist explanations stressing the gendered nature of violence against women and its roots in patriarchal social systems. Recently, researchers armed with multivariate statistical analysis have tested complex models of violence with multiple factors to explain battering (McKenry et al., 1995) and to model the common roots of verbal, physical, and sexual coercion toward women (Malamuth et al., 1995).
... contract E. Impasse/Strike -The Boston Police Social Club affiliated the Boston Police Union -The Police Commissioner refused to recognize the new union ... . G. Lesson learned from the Case Study -Lessoned learned is the Boston Police Strike was a clear picture of the ... -working conditions C. Problems in the case study -inadequate wages -excessive hours -new police officers were payed the same as old ...
Also new are integrative metatheories of intimate violence that consider the impact of historical, sociocultural, and social factors on people, including the processes whereby social influences are transmitted to and represented within individual psychological functioning, including cognition and motivation (White, in press).
Many of the theories about the causes of perpetrating violence against women are drawn from the literature on aggression and general violence. Both the research on general violence and that on violence against women suggest that violence arises from interactions among individual biological and psychosocial factors and social processes (e.g., Reiss and Roth, 1993), but it is not known how much overlap there is in the development of violent behavior against women and other violent behavior. Studies of male batterers have found that some batterers confine their violent behavior to their intimates but others are violent in general (Fagan et al., 1983; Cadsky and Crawford, 1988; Shields et al., 1988; Saunders, 1992; Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart, 1994).
The research suggests that, at least in some cases, there may be differences in the factors that cause violence against women and those
At a time when governments are trying to provide more safety to women, a study report prepared by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, for the state police on various causes for crimes against women seems to be anti-women and regressive. The study cites economic independence of women, their response to crimes against them, dressing pattern, use of mobile phones by youngsters, boundaries of male-female relationships and ignorance on the part of women about their position as the causes, apart from some 50-odd disputable reasons.
... The importance of this study is that it offers clue on how women are fatally threatened by domestic violence (Wisner, 1999). Diseases such ... researchers were examining how violence affects a woman’s short term as well long term physical wellbeing. This study explored the area ...
The study collected data from 181 victims, 197 police officers, 40 social workers and 44 citizens with the sample size totalling to 462. The report ‘Women Victims of Crimes in Kerala 2012-13’ was prepared by Dr L Thara Bhai, a research coordinator of the institute. State police chief K S Balasubramanian received the report on Thursday. The office of the state police chief had taken up this initiative during 2012-13 with the help of the institute.
It is claimed in the submitted report that the prescriptive study to find causes also found solutions from public, social workers, police officers and victims themselves. The study gathered information regarding the victims’ status after the crime was committed, their recovery and return to normalcy.
The study also found that crime against women is more visible among backward castes and SC/ST families, and 47.27% of the victims are from financially backward homes. “Income of the accused and crimes against women are correlated. Lesser the income, more the hatred towards the women in the family,” stated the study that blamed poverty and alcoholism as the main causes for such crimes.
Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when governments are trying to provide more safety, freedom, respect and equality for women, various causes for crimes against women listed out in a study report prepared by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi for the Kerala police are clearly anti-women and regressive.
The study carried out by the prestigious institute for State Police cites economic independence of women, women responding to crimes against them, dressing pattern, use of mobile phones by young girls and boys, cutting boundaries of male- female relationships and unawareness from the part of women of their position, are the causes of growing crimes against women, apart from other 50-odd disputable reasons.
... with a past history of violence toward others. Further, women are not the most common victims of violence, most violence is committed by men on ... the second most frequent factor in violent crime against women, it was surprisingly below “violence by aquaintance” as a risk ... white male in his thirties. THE LOCATION OF VIOLENT CRIMES Most violent crimes occur in urban areas at a rate not quite ...
The report ‘Women Victims of Crimes in Kerala 2012-13’ was prepared by Dr L Thara Bhai, research coordinator of the institute. State police chief K S Balasubramanian received the study report at the police headquarters on Thursday. According to the report, the office of the Kerala State Police Chief took the initiative to conduct a study on women victims of crimes in the state during 2012-13 with the help of the institute.
It is claimed in the submitted report that the ‘prescriptive study aimed to find causes and tried to find solutions either from the public, or from the social workers or from the police officers or from the victim themselves and ‘gathered information regarding the victims’ status after the crime was committed on them and the long process of coming back to normalcy’.
The study also finds that crime on women is more seen among the backward castes and SC/ST families. Majority (47.27%) of the victims have are financially backward homes. ‘Income of the accused and the crime on women are correlated. Lesser the income more the hatred to the women in the family,’ according to the study that finds poverty coupled with alcoholism as the root causes for crimes in the study.
The data for the study were collected from 181 victims, 197 police officers, 40 social workers and 44 general public coming to a total sample size of 462.
The public health perspective classifies ”interventions” into primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. The goal of primary prevention is to decrease the number of new cases of a disorder or illness. The goal of secondary prevention is to lower the prevalence of a disorder or illness in the population. The goal of tertiary prevention is to decrease the amount of disability associated with the disorder or illness. Although these three categories seem conceptually distinct, in practice there is disagreement over their use (Institute of Medicine, 1994).
Another classification is Gordon’s (1983, 1987) proposal for universal, selected, and indicated preventive measures. Universal preventive measures are desirable for everyone in a population; selected preventive measures are desirable for those in the population with an above average
... the role of teachers and schools. The Department for Children, Families and Schools (DCSF2) website illustrates this latter perspective, ... England (Hayden, 2007). However, most evaluations of interventions for children presenting problem behaviour in England are relatively small ... an intervention. It See for example, Wilson and Lipsey’s (2006) meta-analysis of 219 school–based violence prevention ...
risk of acquiring a disorder; and indicated preventive measures are desirable for individuals who are identified as being at high risk for the development of a disorder. Because of frequent confusion over the meaning of the public health classifications, the Institute of Medicine (1994) recommended the use of a combination of it and Gordon’s: preventive interventions, broken into three categories modeled after Gordon’s; treatment intervention, which includes identification and standard treatments; and maintenance intervention, which aims at reducing relapse and recurrence and promoting rehabilitation.
This report adopts the Institute of Medicine’s (1994) use of preventive interventions, but considers treatment and maintenance interventions together under the rubric of treatment interventions. Treatment interventions are separated into individual and community-level interventions: individual treatment interventions are those, such as counseling, that are targeted at the individual; community-level interventions represent more system-oriented interventions, such as criminal justice reforms, rape crisis centers, and battered women shelters. Following this classification, the chapter first discusses preventive interventions. Second, it considers treatment interventions, both the services available to women victims of violence and those, including criminal justice interventions, for offenders.
stituted in thousands of middle and high schools (Webster, 1993).
The programs vary in length, in content, and in degree of theoretical underpinning. Evaluations are rare. The few evaluations that have been done of these programs generally test students’ knowledge about and attitudes on relationship violence before and after the prevention program, as well as personal experience with dating violence (Jones, 1991; Jaffe et al., 1992; Kantor and Jasinski, 1995).
In Minnesota, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women developed a secondary school violence prevention program and trained secondary school teachers in the use of the curriculum. The approximately 200 teachers who were willing to participate in the evaluation were stratified by junior or senior high, and by rural, suburban, or urban location. Teachers were randomly selected from each of the six subgroups, and their students became the sample for the evaluation. Control groups from the same or nearby schools were also tested. Both groups were given preprogram and post-program tests to assess their knowledge about battering, their attitudes, and their knowledge about the resources available for help in addressing relationship violence. Students who were given the 5-day prevention program improved their knowledge scores significantly more than the control group. However, attitudes among both experimental and control groups showed very little change. There was a posttest significant difference between girls’ and boys’ scores, with the girls’ scoring more in the desired direction. The experimental groups also became more knowledgeable about general resources available for help with relationship violence, such as a hospital or mental health center, although they could not name specific local services (Jones, 1991).
Crime Against Children
The semantic meaning of ‘crime against women’ is direct or indirect physical or mental cruelty to women. Various kinds of violence against women are eve-teasing, molestation, bigamy, fraudulent marriage, adultery and enticement of married women abduction and kidnapping, rape, harassment to women at working place, wife beating, dowry death, female child abuse and abuse of elderly female etc. The alarming rate in the crimes against women can to a large extent be attributed to the lack of infrastructures for single working women who have to leave their families at an early age to work away from home. The most effective strategies are likely to be those that support women to organize peer groups and mobilize community resources and public services, including women’s health services. Such approaches enable women to overcome resignation to the legitimacy of the established order are important factor in the perpetuation of imbalances of power between women and men. If women are to implement their reproductive preferences, then it is essential that their empowerment occur not only within their personal spheres, but also in the broader spheres of the community and the state
Sexual Harassment, abuse, rape, pornography in India.
As in other countries throughout the world, rape is common in India. Rape is a social disease. Hardly a day passes without a case of rape being reported in Indian newspapers and media. Women belonging to low castes, and tribal women are more at risk. What is sad about rape in India is the lack of seriousness with which the crime is often treated. Statistics from 2000 showed that on average a woman is raped every hour in India. Women’s groups attest that the strict and conservative attitudes about sex and family privacy contribute to ineffectiveness of India’s rape laws. Victims are often reluctant to report rape. In an open court victims must prove that the rapist sexually penetrated them in order to get a conviction. This can be especially damaging. After proving that she has been raped, a victim is often ostracized from her family and community. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that rape laws are inadequate and definitions so narrow that prosecution is made difficult.
Prostitution in India.
Article 6: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women in India. According to a 1994 report in Asian Age there are at least 70,000 women sex workers in Delhi, Madras, Calcutta, Bangalore and Hyderbad. 30% of these women are under 20 years of age. 40% are 20-30 years of age, and approximately 15% of them became prostitutes as children under the age of 12. The majority of these women are Dalits or from castes which are recognised as backward under the Indian Constitution. In India, many innocent victims are forced into prostitution by their husbands or relatives. Some are tricked or enticed into prostitution.
Common Forms of violence against Indian women include:
Female feticide (selective abortion based on the fetus gender or sex selection of child), Domestic violence, Dowry death or harassment, Mental and physical torture, Sexual trafficking, and Public humiliation.
How children can get affected by domestic violence at home:
Children can themselves get physically abused or hurt.
Witnessing violence actions can be mentally damaging
Children often try to intervene to protect the adult victim, which puts them in a dangerous situation
Children can copy the violent behavior they witness, both as children and as adults
They may develop stress-related problems in health
They can loose self- confidence, be afraid/angry, and blame themselves for what is happening or feel guilty.
Incidence of Crimes Against Women (All India, 2000-2002 )
hildren 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.
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.
Domestic Violence Against Olds
This form of domestic violence refers to the violence which old people at home are subjected to by their children and other family members. This category of domestic violence largely goes under-reported in India. It is because of the dependency of olds on their children and having a fear of not being looked after or even ousted if the violence is revealed in public. The main causes of violence against aged people are – children being hesitant in bearing the expenses of the old parents, emotionally victimising the olds and beating them to death to get rid of them. On various occasions, they are beaten for doing something against the desire of family members. One of the very common reasons includes torture for property grabbing.
A perturbing trend is the vulnerability of ageing women to domestic violence in various forms. Given existing structures of gender discrimination, old women are prone to a greater risk than men of becoming victims of material exploitation, financial deprivation, property grabbing, abandonment, verbal humiliation, emotional and psychological torment. When they fall seriously ill, it is more likely that it is the elderly women in the family who will be denied proper health care. There is also a widespread understanding that the neglect, deprivation and marginalisation of older women are the normal consequences of ageing. In fact the plight of young widows in homes as discussed above now becomes more serious as a result of the ageing of those women. They are cut off from the society they are living in, ignored, abused, cursed, and considered as bad omens. The atrocities of sons, daughter-in-laws, daughters and husbands could be another cause of domestic violence specifically against older women. They are restrained from cooking, housekeeping, or participating in activities outside the home.
While it is difficult to accurately measure the extent of the problem on a national scale, given the fact that most families deny that such abuse but we do know that the number of old people in our midst is growing. A current estimate puts the 60-plus population at around 90 million in India and is projected to have a population of 142 million older people by 2020. Given this demographic reality an important concern is the kind of action the country can take at the individual and societal level to alleviate abuse and neglect of elderly class.
Other Forms of Domestic Violence in India
There are some more possible forms of domestic violence prevalent in India other than the ones listed above. On a serious note, family wars or clan wars are deadly forms of domestic violence across the country. The reason of such type of violence include dispute over property, physically or emotionally abusing any member of other family or clan, any religious cause or conflict arising during a religious ceremony, jealousy because of progress and financial status of other family, inter-caste marriage etc. This form of violence is common in many states like Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh etc.
One of the other forms of domestic violence is ill-treatment of servants and maids in households. In many of the affluent homes, servants are deprived of their salary and basic necessities. They are harassed and beaten and to work without even taking adequate rest. Similarly maids are molested by males in the family. Atrocities against small children working as servants are common and increasing.
To some extent media is also responsible for contributing to all the above forms of violence. The exaggerated news coverage of reports of domestic violence, the daily soaps screening the torture of a daughter-in-law at the hands of family members, the films portraying an element of violence against people of all age groups etc. are some of the menaces which media is causing. It is influencing the mindset of the viewers strongly. The problem arises when instead of taking a lesson from those news clippings, films, and television shows, people start enacting the same in their homes. Comparatively, the visual media is far more influencing than the print and electronic media in these cases. Illiteracy and mob mentality of majority of Indians misguides them in all these cases.
Consequences of Domestic Violence
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. The consequences of the domestic violence in detail can be broadly categorised under – the Effect on the victim himself/herself and the family , Effect on the society and the Effect on nation’s growth and productivity. The ‘Effect on the victim’ has been further subcategorized for women, children and olds.
Consequences of Violence Against Women
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 (WWAI), Affus Woman Welfare Association (AWWA) and Woman’s Emancipation and Development Trust (WEDT).
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 mindset. 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 (IPV), 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.
Consequences of Violence Against Olds
The elderly abuse is one of the most unfortunate happening for the elderly class in their lives. They would rather like to be more at ease and calm in this phase of their life than being prone to such kind of shameful treatment by the family or society. Ironically elderly class itself also indulges in harming each other. Many of the elderly men continue to beat and harass their wives throughout their lives.
Some of the olds are ousted from home by their children, some are beaten until death and some are exploited socially. A sense of insecurity dodges them all the time. They are isolated and cut off from society in some cases where son and daughter-in-law do not let them interact and move around freely in the society. The old people are not looked after properly and their health problems are neglected. Due to the abuse and mental trauma they suffer, some of them leave home and stay in old age homes like HelpAge India, Senior Citizen Home Complex Welfare Society (SCHCWS) and many others.
Effect of Domestic Violence on the society
All the different forms of violence discussed in this essay adversely affect the society. Violence against women may keep them locked in homes succumbing to the torture they face. If they come out in open and reveal the wrong done to them for help and rescue, it influences the society both positively and negatively. At one hand where it acts as an inspiration and ray of hope for other suffering women, on the other hand it also spoils the atmosphere of the society. When something of this kind happens in the society, few families may witness the evil of domestic violence knocking their door steps. Some families try to imitate what others indulge in irrespective of it being good or bad for the family.
Effect on the productivity
As mentioned earlier, domestic violence affects the productivity level of the victim negatively. Men and women lose interest in household activities. If they are employed they fail to work with full capabilities in workplace. Children are found to concentrate less on studies. They drop out of school and do not get the education which otherwise they might have got if they were not tormented and thus the country loses a productive asset. Therefore, the nation’s productivity altogether gets affected because of domestic violence in homes. When old people are tortured and physically abused, they separate themselves from family members and their daily activities are restricted to themselves. The guardianship they can provide out of their experience, the moral values which they can instil in the grandchildren are all not done as they are unwanted in their own homes. People need to spend their part of income for medication when they are met with worse forms of domestic violence which again leads to loss in productive use of a family’s income. The cumulative effect of the domestic violence at all levels and across all regions is the country’s hindered development and slow economic growth.
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.
Need for Stringent Laws
In 1983, domestic violence was recognised as a specific criminal offence by the introduction of section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code. This section deals with cruelty by a husband or his family towards a married woman. The main legislative measures at the national level for the children who become a victim of child labor include The Child Labor Prohibition and Regulation Act -1986 and The Factories Act -1948. The first act was categorical in prohibiting the employment of children below fourteen years of age, and identified 57 processes and 13 occupations which were considered dangerous to the health and lives of children. The factories act again prohibits the employment of children less than fourteen years of age.
The Government of India passed a Domestic Violence Bill, 2001, “To protect the rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”*
An act called Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 [ DVA, 2005 ] also has been passed”. This Act ensures the reporting of cases of domestic violence against women to a ‘Protection Officer’ who then prepares a Domestic Incident Report to the Magistrate “and forward copies thereof to the police officer in charge of the police station within the local limits of jurisdiction…”**
Unfortunately, at present there is no single law in the Indian Constitution which can strictly deal
with all the different forms of ‘Domestic Violence’ as discussed in this essay. There is an urgent need for such a law in the country. In fact, there has also been misuse of section 498-A and DVA, 2005 because of restricted definition of cruelty subjected to married women.
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.
Your browser may not support display of this image. 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. Anweshi is a women’s counselling centre in Kozhikode providing meditation, resource and counselling for battered women. All the above bodies have their own registered offices, contact numbers and websites for those who want to seek help. 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.
These NGOs continue to spread awareness amongst people regarding the legal rights they have in hand for fighting against the atrocities they are subjected to. They are encouraging more and more people to report any case of domestic violence so that proper action may be taken against the culprits.
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.
Conclusion Having looked at a sensitive topic of “Domestic Violence in India”, we can sense the importance of discussion of such a topic. The varying causes which can spark the violence within the four walls of homes need to be analysed carefully and a wise study of the factors causing the violence may prevent a family to suffer from the menace of domestic violence. The domestic violence may have a far wider and deeper impact in real life than what has been covered in this essay. What is required is to see closely the association of the factors provoking a particular form of domestic violence. If these factors can be controlled then more than one form of violence can be prevented from harming an individual or our society and India would be a much better place to live in.