An analysis of some recent Supreme Court judgements show that judges havenot been able to devise criteria for determining domestic violence, nor have theyawarded punishment consistently. The rules of circumstantial evidence whichnormally surround crimes of secrecy, such as murder, have been appliedinflexibly in gender related crimes. The gender aspects of domestic violence havenot underpinned the rulings of the Supreme Court resulting in outcomes whichare not significantly different from other criminal prosecutions for murder.1. Sharad B. Sarda vs. State of Maharashtra (1984) 4 SCC 116Although this case was decided be fore the introduction of section 498A of theIndian Penal Code, it is being discussed because there is a distinct element ofgender and cultural bias in the Supreme Court judgement.The brief facts of the case are as follows: Manjushree aka Manju was married toSharadSarda, a chemical engineer, on February 11, 1982. Manju becameunhappy because of indifference of the husband and ill- treatment by the inlaws.She visited her parents home at Beed briefly on three occasions, prior to herdeath which took place sometime between 11: 30 pm and 1 am on the night ofJune 11-12, 1982.The postmortem indicated that Manju died due to administration of potassiumcyanide. At the time of her death, her husband was the only person present. Priorto her death, Manju had written two letters to her sister Anju and her friendVahini, giving some indication of her misery and unhappiness in the maritalhome. These letters as well as Manju's statements to her parents during her lastvisit to them in May 1982, were treated as dying declarations.The prosecution alleged that Manju was killed by her husband, who was havingan illicit affair with another woman. The husband, in his defence, alleged thatManju had committed suicide.The trial court agreed with the prosecution that it was a case of homicide andimposed a death sentence on the husband. The evidence before the trial courtwas mainly circumstantial. The High Court con firmed the sentence of the trialcourt. The husband's appeal to the Supreme Court was decided by a three judgeBench.To arrive at its determination, the Supreme Court had to consider (a) whetherManju's letters and her oral statements to her parents and relatives, constituteddying declarations under section 32(l) of the Evidence Act, 1872; (b) whetherevidence of Manju's natal family members could be believed; (c) whether theprosecution could be allowed to rely on circumstances which the accused wasnot given a chance to explain in his statement under section 313 of the CriminalProcedure Code.The Supreme Court's interpretation of the letters written by Manju differedmarkedly from that of the lower courts. The Court concluded that Manju's lettersrevealed her unhappiness after marriage which at the same time showed that shehad no serious complaints of ill-treatment against the husband or in-laws.Para 78 of the judgement states that Manju's father, as a loving parent, would nothave sent her back to her husband's home if Manju was really unhappy andfrightened for her life. This is a clear indication that the Court ignored thecultural reality where a newly wed woman is encouraged to make the marriagework, regardless of the ill-treatment she may receive.The accused husband did not draw any censure from the Court for entering intoa marriage with Manju, despite having an ongoing relationship with UjwalaKothari.It was speculated that Manju could have had access to potassium cyanide as hermother and maternal uncle had a plastics factory at Beed from where potassiumcyanide could be obtained. The judgement is silent on the fact that the accusedhusband who was a chemical engineer, also had a chemicals factory, and that obtainingpotassium cyanide ought not to have been difficult.The Supreme Court reiterated the stand taken in Hate Singh Bhagat Singh vs. Stateof Madhya Bharat AIR 1953 SC 468 which says that if the accused is not given anopportunity under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC) to explaincircumstances which are against him, such circumstances cannot be used againstthe accused. Justice SabyasachiMukherji, who dissented on some facts of thejudgement expressed disquiet at the wording of the last letter dated June 8, 1982,written by Manju to her sister as the English translation states that Manju wassensing a 'foul' atmosphere in the house.The appeal was allowed as the Court concluded that the guilt of the accusedhusband was not proved beyond reasonable doubt. SharadSarda was acquittedof all charges and released.2. State (Delhi Administration) vs. Laxman Kumar and ors (1985) 4SCC 476On February 16, 1980 Sudha was married to Laxman Kumar. Sudha and herhusband began residing with his brother Subhash and his family at JanataVihar,Ashok Nagar in New Delhi. Laxman's younger brothers resided on the first floorflat in the same building. The mother-in-law Shakuntala lived at Barot about 50kms from Delhi.Sudha was pregnant and expected to deliver her baby in the first week ofDecember 1980. On December 1, 1980 around 9 pm Sudha'sneighbours heard awoman shouting for help. They rushed to the flat and found Laxman attemptingto close the entrance door, while Subhash was standing with his hand on thelatch of the door which opened into the courtyard. The neighbours pushed theirway in and finding Sudha aflame, they extinguished the fire. Sudha stated thather mother-in-law Shakuntala had set her on fire. She made two other statementsbefore succumbing to burn injuries in the early hours of December 2, 1980. Allstatements were used as dying declarations and given the evidential value laiddown by the Evidence Act. The last statement made by Sudha was a dyingdeclaration taken down in writing by a police officer in the presence of a doctor.It was disregarded at the trial because of technical defects. After investigation,Laxman, Subhash and Shakuntala were charged with murder.At the trial, it was established that Sudha had been treated with cruelty andsubjected to dowry demands. The defence plea that Sudha's sari had accidentallycaught fire when she was using the kerosene stove in the courtyard, was notaccepted.Sudha's dying declarations were used as corroborative material. The trial courtfound the accused guilty and imposed a death sentence. The High Courtacquitted the accused. Two appeals against the acquittal orders were filed in, theSupreme Court, one by the Delhi Administration and the other by the IndianFederation, of Women Lawyers. The Supreme Court sentenced Shakuntala andthe husband Laxman Kumar to life imprisonment. Subhash's acquit- tal by theHigh Court was not interfered with.3. Vanka Radharnanohari vs. Vanka Venkato Reddy and ors (1993) SCC 4In 1990, the wife filed a complaint in the magistrate's court against her husbandand his relatives under section 498A for cruelty and under sections 494 IPC forbigamy. The wife had been compelled to leave the matrimonial home in 1985 dueto cruelty. The husband moved the High Court under section 482 of the CRPC.The High Court quashed the proceedings in the trial court on the ground that thecomplaint section 498A was filed beyond the limitation period of three years. TheHigh Court was silent on the bigamy proceedings as the limitation period forbigamy is seven years.The wife appealed against the High Court order. The Supreme Court referred tosection 473 of the CRPC which casts an obligation on the courts to examinecomplaints filed beyond the limitation period as well as to condone the delay, ifnecessary, in the interests of justice. The trial court was directed to proceedagainst the husband and other accused on the basis of the original complaintfiled under sections 498A and 494 of the IPC.4. State of West Bengal vs. OrilalJaiswal & anr. (1994) 1 SCC 73Usha was married to OrilalJaiswal on May 31, 1985. The prosecution alleged thaton April 19, 1986, Usha committed suicide by hanging herself, in her husband'shouse. Her brother alleged that Usha had been murdered. The accused werefinally charged only under sections 498 A and 306 IPC (abatement of suicide). Itwas established that the accused had harassed Usha for dowry and treated herwith severe cruelty. There was no dying declaration made by Usha.The conviction of the accused by the trial court was reversed by the High Courtwhich was influenced by the absence of a dying declaration, lack of letters ofcomplaint written by Usha, no specific dates being given by Usha to her motherabout the acts of cruelty and dowry demands.The Supreme Court, on appeal, held that there was sufficient evidence of crueltyto Usha prior to her death and convicted both OrilalJaiswal and his motherGujarartidebi under section 498A. The accused were given benefit of doubtregarding the offence under section 306 IPC. The Court spent considerable timearticulating on the degree and standard of proof required for conviction incriminal proceedings. The Court stated that even after introduction of section498A in the IPC and section 113A of the Evidence Act, the requirement of proofbeyond reasonable doubt, was not altered.5. Hem Chand vs. State of Haryana (1997) 11 SCC 552SarojBala was married to Hem Chand, a police officer, on May 24, 1982. She wassent back to her maternal home whenever the persistent dowry demands werenot met. On November 13, 1984, Hem Chand left his wife with her parents as hewanted to get- Rs 25,000 for purchase of some land. Sometime later, Hem Chandtook his wife back. On May 20, 1987, SarojBala went to her father to get Rs 25000as demanded by the husband. Her father gave her Rs. 15,000 with a promise togive the balance. On June l6, 1997, SarojBala died of strangulation in hermatrimonial home. The husband took her body to -his village. SarojBala's fatheralleged that his daughter had been murdered for dowry. The police sent thehighly decomposed body for postmortem. Death by strangulation was confirmedby the forensic examiner. The husband was charged under sections 498A and304B of the IPC.In defence, the husband stated that he found his wife hanging from a hook on theceiling. He explained his conduct in taking his wife's body to the village as donein confusion. The trial court awarded life imprisonment to the husband foroffences under sections 498A and 304 B IPC. This was upheld by the High Courtin appeal. The High Court stated that the accused being a police officer should bepunished with life imprisonment. Hem Chand then appealed to the SupremeCourt which ruled as follows:SarojBala had died an unnatural death. The death took place within seven yearsof her marriage. Prior to he death she was subjected to cruelty and harassmentfor dowry by the accused husband. The ingredients 'of section 30 B and 498Awere satisfied. Since the husband had subjected the wife to cruelty before herdeath, the presumption that he had caused her death, offered by section 113 B ofthe Indian Evidence Act, could be made. The court admitted that there was nodirect evidence to link the accused with the unnatural death. There was nocharge under section 302 IPC, for murder. Yet, it was satisfied that the offence ofdowry death had been committed by the accused. The Court reduced thesentence of life imprisonment imposed by the High Court.This judgement is a clear departure from the decision made by the SupremeCourt in State of West Bengal vsOrilalJaiswal. Although section 304 B was notavailable as an offence when UshaJaisval died, the Court shied away fromconvicting the accused for abatement of suicide.6. Pawan Kumar vs State of Haryana (1 998) 3 SCC 309On May 29, 1985, Urmil was married to Pawan Kumar. Shortly after, there begandemands for a scooter and a fridge. The husband and parents in-laws ill treatedher and harassed her. She was subjected to mental cruelty. Though Urmilinformed her relatives, she was pacified and sent back.After a visit to Delhi in April 1987 where she stayed with her sister, she wasreluctant to return to her matrimonial home. When he came to fetch her on May17, 1987, there was a quarrel between Urmil and her husband in front of hersister. She however left with her husband and her parting words to her sisterindicated that she was not likely to be seen again.On May 18, 1987 Urmil was found burnt to death on the first floor of hermatrimonial home after a neighbour reported about smoke emanating from thehouse.The trial court convicted the husband and his parents for offences under sections304B, 498A and 306 IPC. The High Court confirmed the sentence but reduced thehusband's sentence from 10 years to seven years. The Supreme Court found thatthe evidence clearly established that Urmil was tortured and harassed it couldclearly construed to be a dowry demand within the meaning of section 304. Anagreement for dowry would not always be necessary.The remaining ingredient which had to be established to complete the offenceunder section 304B was whether Urmil had been subjected to cruelty orharassment soon before her death. The defence plea was that there was nocorroborative evidence to substantiate allegations of cruelty, The Supreme Courtmade a remarkable and probably unprecedented observation on what constitutescruelty by observing that mental torture or cruelty would come within thepurview of sections 304B and 498A of the IPC. The Court noted that all theingredients of the offence under section 304B were satisfied. The burden ofproviding that they did not cause the dowry death was placed on the accused bysection 113B of the Indian Evidence Act. The Supreme Court ruled that theevidence against the husband was strong enough to convict him. The evidenceagainst his parents was not cogent to uphold their conviction and acquittedthem.
Domestic violence can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation It is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and other forms of abuse. The violence may involve physical abuse, sexual assault and threats. The abuser tortures and controls the victim by calculated threats, intimidation, and physical violence. In most cases, the victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are also abused or neglected. Domestic violence is a CRIME and you must seek help. WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
For the purposes of this Act, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it - harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or(d) otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person. DEFINITION IN SECTION 3, IPC
Physical Assault or injury (hitting, beating, shoving, etc.) Psychological or Emotional Abuse Social Abuse Financial Abuse Sexual Assault (sexual abuse, forced sexual activity) FORMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE A physically abused victim
PHYSICAL ABUSE means any act or conduct which is of such a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb, or health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and includes assault, criminal intimidation and criminal force; SEXUAL ABUSE includes any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of woman; VERBAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE includes- insults, ridicule, humiliation, name calling and insults or ridicule specially with regard to not having a child or a male child; and repeated threats to cause physical pain to any person in whom the aggrieved person is interested. FORMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
ECONOMIC ABUSE includes- deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under an order of a court or otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, if any, stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to the shared household and maintenance; disposal of household effects, any alienation of assets whether movable or immovable, valuables, shares, securities, bonds and the like or other property in which the aggrieved person has an interest or is entitled to use by virtue of the domestic relationship or which may be reasonably required by the aggrieved person or her children or her stridhan or any other property jointly or separately held by the aggrieved person; and prohibition or restriction to continued access to resources or facilities which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic relationship including access to the shared household. FORMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
VICTIMS Domestic violence does not belong only to a specific group of people rather it occurs across all socio-economic, racial, religious, ethnic age groups. 1. Domestic violence happens between people who are dating married, separated and divorced. 2. It occurs in heterosexual as well as in gay and lesbian relationships and in adolescent dating relationships.
Cont…… But the main victims of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE are WOMEN : 1. women represent 95% of adult victims. 2. between 1 and 4 million women abused per year. 3. lifetime risk for women is about 20%. Abusers come from all walks of life. They can be male or female, but the trend indicates men as majority of perpetrators. The abuser is responsible, and there is no excuse for domestic violence. Contrary to popular belief, domestic violence is not caused by stress, mental illness, alcohol or drugs. The only true cause of domestic violence is the abuser’s choice to act violently.
One in every 2 women in South Asia faces violence in her home 21-28% women are abused by a current or former partner some time during their lives 47% of husbands who beat their wives do so 3 or more times a year 14-25% of ever-married women report being raped by their current or former husbands 19% to 30% of injured women seen in emergency departments are victims of domestic violence 25% of women who attempt suicide may have suffered domestic violence STATISTICAL FACTS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Cont….. 1500 women are killed by their partners annually. 30 to 50% of all women murdered are killed by their partners. Upto 6 million women are beaten in their homes annually. 90% of battered women never report their abuse. Battering contributes to all 25-50% suicide attempts. 1 out of every 3 women seen in ER are victims of domestic violence as per the AMA.
Violence Against Women Womb To Tomb • Before birth, as many as 5 million girls in India are aborted by sex selective abortion. If her mother is beaten, the unborn child can be harmed in the womb, born underweight, miscarried or stillborn. • As an infant, she may be one of 10,000 girl children in India who are murdered by female infanticide every year. • In girlhood, she may suffer physical, sexual, or psychological abuse at the hands of her elders. • In adolescence, she is married and pregnant before she is physically and emotionally ready . • As a wife, it is likely that she is battered in the home. In a UNICEF review of 21 studies of violence in South Asia, over 70% of women in India reported that they were physically abused by their husbands. • Outcast in widowhood: She is harassed, abused, and even murdered when her husband dies. • Throughout her life, depression and suicide are two predictable outcomes for a life endured under these conditions
Sharad B. Sarda vs. State of Maharashtra (1984) 4 SCC 116 State (Delhi Administration) vs. Laxman Kumar and ors (1985) 4SCC 476 Vanka Radharnanohari vs. Vanka Venkato Reddy and ors (1993) SCC 4 State of West Bengal vs. OrilalJaiswal & anr. (1994) 1 SCC 73 Hem Chand vs. State of Haryana (1997) 11 SCC 552 Pawan Kumar vs State of Haryana (1 998) 3 SCC 309 IMPORTANT CASES
During the 1980’s, far-reaching changes were introduced in our criminal laws to deal with DV In 1983, DV as a specific criminal offence by the introduction of section 498-A into the Indian penal code. Section 498-A of the Indian penal code covers dowry-related harassment Also addresses dowry deaths in section 304-B. Section 306 should be invoked when a woman commits suicide because of dowry-related harassment. PREVIOUS ACTS
Domestic Violence Bill was first introduced by NDA Government after a persistent demand from women organizations across the country. There are certain criminal remedies that address domestic violence against the wife/married woman but none of them address violence against sisters, daughters, mothers and mothers- in-law. The existing criminal law does not address a woman’s needs for residence or maintenance, for instance. The Domestic Violence Act allows women in domestic relations with the aggressor to seek a whole range of civil remedies under a single-window clearance system. NEED OF THE ACT
The wide definition of domestic violence - physical, mental, economical and sexual - brings under its purview the invisible violence suffered by a large section of women and entitles them to claim protection from the courts. To protect women from domestic violence. Not that there was no law in India earlier dealing with violence against women. The previous law, however, was not specific to domestic violence against women. Therefore it was not very effective in controlling violence committed against women, within the family or inside the household. NEED OF THE ACT
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is a new legislation which empowers courts to grant protection to victims of domestic violence. It also includes new concepts such as “civil wrong of domestic violence, the right to reside in a shared household and the right to protection against domestic violence by obtaining protection orders including monetary relief and custody of children orders”. The objective of Act is to preserve the family and “regulate and improve matters for the future, rather than pass judgments or punish past behavior.” OBJECTIVE OF THE ACT
Commencement of the Act: This Act came into force on 26th October 2006. Extent of operation: It extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir It seeks to protect a woman from domestic violence committed or threatened to be committed, by an adult male member of the family or household. It recognizes the right of the aggrieved woman to reside in the shared household. Aggrieved woman may directly apply to the Magistrate for appropriate reliefs. She may also approach the Magistrate through other agencies, such as Protection Officer, Police Officer or Service Provider. LAWS
The role of the NGOs as Service Providers has been acknowledged in the Act itself. A strong support system has been created in favour of the aggrieved woman. It is for the Protection Officer, Police Officer or a Service Provider to aid and assist the aggrieved or affected woman, in seeking appropriate reliefs under the Act and to ensure that the benefits flowing out of the Act are actually made available to her. Aggrieved woman has a right to be informed of the facilities and services that may be available, specially with respect to legal aid, safe shelter, medical facility, etc. It provides for counselling, which may pave the way for proper perspective or reconciling attitude. LAWS
It lays down scope for securing the services of welfare experts. The Act insists on speedy disposal of cases and for what purpose, has fixed time-limits. For termination of various stages of legal process Sec. 12 (4) Sec 12 (5). The Act provides for many remedies which an aggrieved woman may need – protection, shelter, custody of children, medical facility, legal aid, compensation, restoration of property, and monetary reliefs. The Act prefers sensitized personnel for its implementation. That is why it leans in favour of active participation of the women in the capacity of Protection Officers and also as welfare experts for being more gender-sensitive. LAWS
The Act provides for remedies under the Civil Law and at the same time, creates two penal offences. While the Act seeks to punish Protection officers for dereliction of duties, it intends to protect them from false or frivolous complaints. They cannot be prosecuted without any sanction of the State Government. That apart, action taken by them in good faith is protected (Sec. 35). All proceedings under the Act for obtaining reliefs and also for trial of offences are to be governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Magistrate may, however, evolve his own procedure in two situations u/s 12 and u/s 23 (2). There are provisions in the Act, empowering the Magistrate to pass interim or ex parte orders. He may deal with emergent situations, as and when they may so require. LAWS
Protection Officers and members of the Service Providers shall be deemed to be public servants (Sec 30). Both the offences created under the Act are cognizable and non-bailable. Orders passed by the Magistrate may subsequently be rescinded or modified if the circumstances so require. That kind of flexibility has been in-built in the Act itself. The Magistrate is under an obligation to give copies of his orders to the parties, officer-in-charge of the Police Stations and Service Providers (if associated) free of cost. The Act contemplates that all the agencies, namely, Protection Officers, Police Officers and Service Providers, should act in harmony in furtherance of its objectives. LAWS
The specialty of the Act lies not only in empowering a Judicial Officers (JM, Ist class or M.M.) to deliver justice at a single window and under the same roof but also in creating a separate agency, namely cadre of protection officers and making it mandatory for them to render assistance and to extend support to the victim of domestic violence, towards giving them what are due to them. The Act also relies up on Police Officers and imposes upon them specific duties to perform in promotion of its goal, in addition to their obligation to deal with cognizable offences. LAWS
LAWS Involvement of the NGOs in the area of implementation of the act is another important strategy adopted by the parliament through this legislation, NGOs may get themselves registered as “Service Providers” and once they do so, they derive certain powers and obtain a degree of immunity, as laid down in section 10 (2).
Protection order (sec. 18) Residence order (sec. 19) Monetary Relief (sec. 20) Custody order (sec. 21) Compensation order (sec. 22) Interim and ex parte order (sec. 23) RELIEFS AVAILABLE UNDER THE ACT
Medical facilities (sec. 7) Shelter homes (sec. 8) Counseling (sec. 14) Assistance of welfare experts (sec. 15) Support by Protection Officers, Police Officer and Service Providers (sections 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10) THE FACILITIES PROVIDED UNDER THE ACT
Determined campaigning and lobbying by women’s organizations, significant amendments were made to the Indian penal code, the Indian evidence act and the dowry prohibition act, with the intention of protecting wives from marital violence The most notable ones are sections 304b, 306 and 498a of the Indian penal code. The Indian penal code was amended twice during the 1980s — first in 1983 and again in 1986 — to define special categories of crimes dealing with marital violence and abuse. SALIENT FEATURES
The Act seeks to cover those women who are or have been in a relationship with the abuser where both parties have lived together in a shared household and are related by consanguinity, marriage or a relationship in the nature of marriage, or adoption; in addition relationship with family members living together as a joint family are also included. Even those women who are sisters, widows, mothers, single women, or living with the abuser are entitled to get legal protection under the proposed Act. "Domestic violence" includes actual abuse that is physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic. Harassment by way of unlawful dowry demands to the woman or her relatives would also be covered . SALIENT FEATURES
One of the most important features of the Act is the woman’s right to secure housing. The Act provides for the woman’s right to reside in the matrimonial or shared household, whether or not she has any title or rights in the household. This right is secured by a residence order, which is passed by a court. These residence orders cannot be passed against anyone who is a woman. The other relief envisaged under the Act is that of the power of the court to pass protection orders that prevent the abuser from aiding or committing an act of domestic violence or any other specified act, entering a workplace or any other place frequented by the abused, attempting to communicate with the abused, isolating any assets used by both the parties and causing violence to the abused, her relatives and others who provide her assistance from the domestic violence. SALIENT FEATURES
The draft Act provides for appointment of Protection Officers and NGOs to provide assistance to the woman w.r.t medical examination, legal aid, safe shelter, etc. The Act provides for breach of protection order or interim protection order by the respondent as a cognizable and non-bailable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with both. Similarly, non-compliance or discharge of duties by the Protection Officer is also sought to be made an offence under the Act with similar punishment. SALIENT FEATURES
Domestic violence only happens to poor women. Domestic violence is not caused or provoked by the actions or inactions of the woman. Alcohol or drug abuse, depression, lack of money or lack of a job do not directly cause domestic violence. These may be factors which may put women at greater risk of violence because of the stress created by financial hardship and relationship crises. Many abusers blame the victim or other things for their violent acts and do not take responsibility for the abusive behavior. Many overseas jurisdictions view acts of domestic violence as criminal acts. THE MYTHS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The causes of domestic violence are not known to date. The research carried out in different parts of the world indicates that any social structure which treats women as fundamentally of less value than men is conducive to violence against women. Victims of violence are predominantly women, while perpetrators are overwhelmingly males which gives credence to the theory that violence is an outcome of gender inequality. In countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and the United States, considerable legislation has been developed to recognize and prosecute crimes of domestic violence. THE MYTHS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Any harm, injury to health, safety, life, limb or well-being or any other act or threatening or coercion, etc., by any adult member of the family, constitutes domestic violence. Any woman who is, or has been in a domestic or family relationship, if is subjected to any act of domestic violence can complain. Affected woman can complain to the concerned protection officer, police officer, service provider or Magistrate. Aggrieved woman has right to be informed about the available services and free legal services, from the protection officer, etc. Shelter-home and medical facilities can be provided to aggrieved women. Interim compensation can be made available to the aggrieved woman. HIGHLIGHTS
Proceedings of the complaint can be held in camera. Every aggrieved woman has a right to reside in the shared household. Protection order by Magistrate can be given in favor of aggrieved women. Monetary relief can be given to aggrieved woman to meet expenses or losses. Appeal can be made to Sessions Court within 30 days from the order of concerned Magistrate. Imprisonment upto 1 year or a fine upto Rs.20,000 or both for breach of protection order by the opposite party. Protection officer can be prosecuted, upto 1 year imprisonment or with a fine upto Rs.20,000 or both for failure of his duties. HIGHLIGHTS
Domestic violence is still not viewed as a serious criminal offence by the judiciary in India. None of the judgments over the years acknowledge that domestic violence is a closed-door crime, ignored by neighbors and the community. A heavy reliance on sections 498 A and 304 B of the IPC which have severe penalties on conviction, creates its own backlash, as judges want stronger and clearer proof of guilt. CONCLUSION
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protection_of_Women_from_Domestic_Violence_Act_2005 http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2010/02/domestic-violence-in-india-causes-consequences-and-remedies-2/ Laws against domestic violence :Underused or Abused? By MadhuKishwar http://www.dvmen.org/dv.htm http://www.pcvconline.org/ REFERENCES
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