DOMESTIC VIOLANCEIt occurs all over the word. Especially in India it has one of the highest rates.The Domestic Violence Statistics shows that in India: • there is a crime against women every 3 minutes. • one rape every 29 minutes. • one recorded case of dowry death every 77 minutes. • 1/3 of women age 15-49 have experienced physical violence • 1 in 10 women has experienced sexual violence.Even though the rates states unusually high you should be aware of the fact that domesticviolence is not a private matter but criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code(an act of violence is punishable by imprisonment up to 3 years and/or liable to fine).If you experience domestic violence you do not have to tolerate it underany circumstances. There is a chance to get out of the situation. You have several legal rightswhich protect you. Below you can read how to make use of them.Domestic violence includes –physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence,for example:• physical attacks, forced sexual relations• verbal abuse or harassment, disrespectful or demeaning comments• threats against you or another family member• creating disturbances at your place of work harassing telephone calls, spying on you, child abuseDomestic violence occurs to individuals who are or have been in an intimate relationship,including marital, non-marital, same sex and non-cohabiting relationships; individuals withfamily relationships to one another; and members of the same household. Follow the steps below:
POLICEDon’t hesitate to call the police. It plays a crucial role in any coordinatedresponse to violence against women. You should do this as quickas possible. In case you are not able to contact the police officeimmediately try to collect and save the evidence (such as photosof physical damage to property (the table he smashed, the hole he punchedin the wall), or objects used in an assault (the ashtray he threw, the knife hebrandished).You should be aware of the police officer’s duties.Make sure that he is fulfilling them properly: 1. You should be clearly informed of your legal rights; 2. The complaint has to be recorded in detail; 3. The parties should be interviewed in separate rooms to ensure there is an opportunity to speak freely; 4. Look after an official police report: verify all the facts; make sure that it gives comprehensive view of the situation. You should be provided with the copy of it. 5. You have the right to be transported across to the nearest hospital or medical facility for treatment, on your request.Do not be afraid that you might not be taken seriously or be considered to be lying.If a police officer reasonably suspects an incident of violence it is their duty to investigate thematter thoroughly. If the police officer has not exercised due diligence to prevent, investigate orpunish the violence you can start legal proceeding against him. MEDICAL EXAMINATIONForensic and medical reports are the most valuable evidence in the court proceeding.Do not take any action that may unintentionally compromise evidence, such as washing afterbeing sexually assaulted. Time lapse in seeking services can cause devaluationof the evidence. Thus, do not hesitate to contact medical service. SERVICE PROVIDERSYou must seek help. There are a number of services available that offer support and protection.Counseling services are available to provide advice and support. You needto contact one of the Non Governmental Organization’s (NGO’s) with the objectiveof protecting the rights and interests of women by any lawful means including providing of legalaid, medical, financial or other assistance.
SHELTERSIf you do not feel safe in the household joined with the abuser, on your request police officersthroughout the time of intervention or afterwards Protection Officer hasto provide you with a temporary accommodation in a shelter home. Although you should beaware that The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides for a woman’sright to reside in the matrimonial or shared household, whether or not she has any titleor rights in the household. Means if you apply for a Residence Order the Court can decideto evict the abuser from the shared household even if it’s his possession.Under any circumstances you can be evicted or excluded from the shared household or any partof it by the respondent. PROTECTION OFFICERMeans an officer appointed by the State Government under The Protection of Women fromDomestic Violence Act, 2005. He closely cooperates with the service providersand the Magistrate. Protection officer is obliged to prepare a Domestic Incident Report and putit forward to the Magistrate. THE MAGISTRATEDomestic violence can be handled in two different types of courts:• Criminal Courtwhere the state will prosecute the abuser in the criminal procedureunder the Sec 498Aof Indian Penal Code and The Protection of Women fromDomestic Violence Act, 2005.• Civil Courtwhere you might apply for a protection order, sue for moneydamages, initiate divorce proceedings, limit or prohibit theabuser’s rights to child custody.Civil lawsuits might be a valuable supplement or alternative to criminal prosecution.It has various advantages over criminal actions. Civil cases are governed by a lower burdenof proof than criminal cases, complainants have control over the action, some complainantsconsider the types of relief granted in a successful civil lawsuit more helpful than incarcerationof the perpetrator. However, under Article 20 of the Indian Penal Code and the Protectionof Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005), the Magistrate may direct the respondent to paymonetary relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved personand any child of the aggrieved person as a result of the domestic violence. To find out more aboutyour legal options you should take advantage of free legal service provided by the Legal ServicesAuthorities Act (1987). You may ask for achievable counselors at the Court premises.
MEDIATIONAn alternative option might be mediation. Mediation, as used in law, is a formof alternative dispute resolution, is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties.A third party, the mediator assists the parties to negotiate their own settlement.However, a number of problems arise when mediation is utilized in cases of violence againstwomen. It removes cases from judicial supervision, presumes that both parties have equalbargaining power, reflects that both parties are equally at fault for violence, and reduces offenderresponsibility. Moreover, there is always a risk that the mediator may be partial.Abovementioned arguments speak against using mediation as an alternative method of solvingthe cases of violence against women. PROTECTION ORDEROrders for protection, under The Protection of Women from Domestic ViolenceAct (2005), are orders issued by a judge that imposes certain limitations on an abusers behavioror conduct. Where this remedy is available, orders are generally issuedto temporarily exclude an abuser from the home or to prohibit the abuser from coming intocontact with the woman (or using a third party to do so). Protection orders provide women with ameasure of protection while allowing them time to determine how to stay safe over the long termwithout immediately having to file for divorce or seekcriminal sanctionsTo get a Court Order of ProtectionCall the local state’s attorney or tell the police you want toget one. They will tell you who to contact. You will haveto go to court. In court, the judge needs to be convincedthat you have been threatened with violence or that youhave suffered abuse.The order should focus on your specific safety needs: • order the defendant/perpetrator to stay a specified distance away from the complainant/survivor and her children (and other people if appropriate) and the places that they frequent; • order the accused to provide financial assistance to the complainant/survivor, including payment of medical bills, counseling fees or shelter fees, monetary compensation and, in addition, in cases of domestic violence, mortgage, rent, insurance, alimony and child support; • prohibit the defendant/perpetrator from contacting the complainant/survivor or arranging for a third party to do so; • restrain the defendant/perpetrator from causing further violence to the complainant survivor, her dependents, other relatives and relevant persons; • for the issuance of protection orders in both criminal and civil proceedings;You must call the police every time the order is violated. The police can arrest and jail the abuserfor violating the order.Don’t make excuses for the abuser’s violence – get help and leave. He may do that once toooften. Don’t keep silence. Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself to get a better future foryou and your children. WHO TO CONTACT
1. POLICE OFFICES DIAL 100 or go to Crime Against Women Cell at Nanakpura - Ph. 24673366, 24121234 Assistant Commissioner of Police Crime Against Women (CAW Cell Headquarters) Nanakpura, Near Moti Bagh Gurudwara, New Delhi - 110 0212. HOSPITALS (medical examination) Any Hospital under Delhi Government provides medical service for the victims of domestic violence. Follow the link below to contact them: http://www.delhi.gov.in/3. SERVICE PROVIDER/ Counselling Maitri J-92, Anant Ram Dairy RK Puram sector 13 New Delhi 110 066 Contact person: Winnie Singh email@example.com ph. 098101329084. PROTECTION OFFICERS Every Police station has a list of Appointed Protection Officers5. SHELTERS DCW Helpline No. 23379181 & 23370597 follow the link below to see the list of the available shelters in Delhi: http://dcw.delhigovt.nic.in/Shelter%20Homes.htm6. FREE LEGAL SERVICE as we have already mentioned you may ask for the achievable counselors at the Court premises. Delhi District Courts - http://delhicourts.nic.in/ firstname.lastname@example.org Ph. 223093677. COUNCELING CENTERS - Crime Against Women Cell provides counseling ( point 1. above) - Maitri Foundation (point 3. above)