Violence Against Women: A Research Paper-Navneet Misra


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Violence Against Women: A Research Paper-Navneet Misra

  2. 2. ABSTRACT: Research Paper If, all the violence that have done on women, if we put in a bundle and rolled into one, then…… Earth would not hold it, The sky could not enfold it, It could not be lighted and warmed by the sun…! Although the position of women has improved in the society today but still there is a deal of “VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN”. “Violence against women,” includes many kinds of Harmful physical, emotional, and sexual behaviors against women and girls that Are most often carried out by family members, but also at times by strangers. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women includes a widely accepted definition of violence against women as: ………………... any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, Physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including Threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life. Women and children are often in great danger in the place where they should be safest: within their families. For many, ‘home’ is where they face a regime of terror and violence at the hands of somebody close to them – somebody they should be able to trust. Those victimized suffer physically and psychologically. They are unable to make their own decisions, voice their own opinions or protect themselves and their children for fear of further repercussions. Their human rights are denied and their lives are stolen from them by the ever-present threat of violence. Twenty years ago, violence against women was not considered an issue worthy of international attention or concern. Victims of violence suffered in silence, with little public recognition of their plight. This began to change in the 1980s as women’s groups organized locally and internationally to demand attention to the physical, psychological, and economic abuse of women. Gradually, violence against women has come to be recognized as a legitimate human rights issue and as a significant threat to women’s health and well-being. For over three decades, women’s advocacy groups around the world have been working to draw more attention to the physical, psychological, and sexual abuse of women and to stimulate action. They have provided abused women with shelter, lobbied for legal reforms, and challenged the widespread attitudes and beliefs that support violence against women Needless to say, it’s not the responsibility of certain groups to fight for the basic rights of women and protect them but………………….. Until we reform our society “violence against women” will remain a problem which we need to face and fight. So, let’s unite together and……………… Say no to violence against women!
  3. 3. Died the night before: A family mourning death of a child on the street in Triplicane area in Chennai. The family is homeless, the live on the sidewalk. There were heavy rains for several days, it was relatively cold, and the child got serious fever and died soon. It is from Chennai, the capital city of southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. According to Flickr, this photo is part of their most interesting 50 sets. It says a lot about the pain, and struggle of Dalit community in India, above all in Tamil Nadu..
  4. 4. Introduction • Violence against women - understanding its prevalence and impact • Understanding violence against women and why community attitudes are important Violence against women is a violation of human rights, sometimes deadly and always unacceptable. It is a complex and persistent problem with multiple causes. The overall impact of such violence is incalculable, as it not only directly affects individual victims but also their children, their families and friends, workplaces and communities. In health terms, there is no greater impact than the harm manifested by intimate partner violence on women's lives The elimination of such violence has become an obligation of all governments. As long as violence against women continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace. (UN Secretary-General 2006) Significant work by the Commonwealth, States and Territories along with partner non-government organizations, women's groups and networks has been undertaken to tackle men's violence against women. Our understanding of the nature and scope of this violence is increasing and there is better appreciation of its impact on women, children and on our nation. However, progress in how to prevent violence and to create environments where women live free from violence is in its infancy and requires ongoing research attention and policy vigilance. The National Survey on Community Attitudes to Violence against Women 2009 will both contribute to and strengthen these initiatives. It builds on the design and approach of two previous national surveys of community attitudes to violence against women undertaken by the Office of the Status of Women in 1987 and 1995, and a more recent survey undertaken in Victoria by VicHealth in 2006. The key objectives of the 2009 National Survey are to examine the factors that influence the formation of community attitudes that support violence against women and to achieve a baseline from which to measure changes in attitudes over time. The results will guide the development and targeting of interventions that can change individual attitudes and behaviours and challenge gendered norms and practices, in ways that nourish cultures of non-violence and value equal and respectful relationships between men and women. Violence against women - understanding its prevalence and impact Defining violence against women
  5. 5. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) defines violence against women as: 'any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.' The term 'violence against women' is inclusive of the wide range of forms of violence experienced by women. Violence against women includes men's physical and sexual violence against women in intimate relationships and families, but also includes other forms of violence perpetrated in other settings or circumstances. The National Survey on Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women 2009 focuses on community attitudes towards interpersonal forms of gender-based violence as they affect women, including: • domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, family violence or relationship violence; • sexual harassment; • sexual assault, including rape; and • Stalking. Terminology used throughout the report In examining community attitudes towards violence against women, the National Survey 2009 uses both the term 'violence against women' and a range of other terms including 'domestic violence', 'family violence', 'rape' and 'sexual assault', and 'sexual harassment'. This was done both to examine attitudes towards particular forms of violence against women and to reflect the diversity of terms in use in communities and scholarly circles. The National Survey 2009 uses the term 'violence-supportive attitudes' to refer to attitudes and beliefs which justify, excuse, minimize, or hide physical or sexual violence against women. The prevalence of violence against women:
  6. 6. Violence against women cuts across the boundaries of culture, race, class, geography and religion. There is no region of the world, no country and no culture in which women live free from violence. While both women and men can be perpetrators and / or victims of violence and sexual assault, research consistently shows that the overwhelming majority of violence and abuse against women in intimate relationships is perpetrated by men whom women know and often in homes or environments they share Violence against women cuts across all types of interpersonal violence, and must be addressed as a component of gender inequality and inequity. Violence against women is not only a manifestation of unequal power relations between men and women; it is a mechanism for perpetuating inequality. Why did you not bring this information 20 years ago? I have suffered for 46 years and after all I have gone through and had to put up with he left me for another woman. I did not speak about my situation to anyone, could not move around my own home freely, always fearful of [him]. Even after I became a grandmother he hit so hard my eardrum burst. After this incident he never hit again but he was worse with his verbal and other form of abuse. Now I am free from him and his abuse but not from the gossip from the community. Understanding violence against women and why community attitudes are important The causes of violence are complex. Contemporary scholarship on violence against women takes as given that this violence is 'a multifaceted phenomenon grounded in an interplay among personal, situational, and socio-cultural factors' (Heise 1998). However, the pervasiveness of violence against women across boundaries of culture, race, class and religion indicates that above all it has foundations in gender power imbalances and violence-supportive norms The most consistent themes emerging from international research are links between the perpetration of violence against women and: • the unequal power relations between men and women; • social norms and practices related to violence in general; and • A lack of access to resources and systems of support. These key determinants are expressed and function differently in specific cultural, geographic and political settings. In addition, these determinants are visible at different levels of society, from the 'micro' level of individuals and relationships to the 'macro' level of social structures and institutions. An 'ecological' model of violence against women, as pioneered by the World Health Organization (WHO), provides a useful illustration of the complex interplay of personal, situational, and socio-cultural factors that combine to cause violence. The model is based on embedded levels of causality, placing factors that increase the risk of violence on interacting and 'nested' levels, including individual and relationship, community and organizational and societal levels (Figure 1). Figure 1: A framework for understanding violence
  7. 7. Definitions Gender equality equal treatment of women and men in laws and policies, and equal access to resources and services within families, communities and society Gender equity fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women and men. It often requires women specific programs and policies to end existing inequalities (WHO 2006) Violence against women any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life (United Nations, 1993) Violence-supportive attitudes attitudes and beliefs which justify, excuse, minimise, or hide physical or sexual violence against women. In short, at every level of society, gender inequalities have a profound influence on violence against women. UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) understands gender equality to be an irreducible condition for inclusive, democratic, violence-free and sustainable development (UNDP 2008) The 2006 Victorian survey found a significant relationship between violence-supportive attitudes and beliefs about gender equality and gender relations. When the effect of other factors was controlled, weak support for gender equality was a strong predictor of violence-supportive attitudes across most of the measures in the survey, for both the general community sample and the sample among selected culturally and linguistically diverse communities Why address community attitudes towards violence against women? Violence against women has unmistakeable social and cultural foundations. Physical and sexual violence against women in relationships, families, and elsewhere is shaped by social norms, gender roles and relations, inequalities of power, and a host of other factors. Attitudes and beliefs are central to the contexts in which violence against women occurs. While they are not the only influence on violence against women, their role is critical. As noted in more detail below, attitudes inform the perpetration of this violence shape victims' responses to victimisation, and influence community responses to violence against women. Violence-supportive attitudes and beliefs A wide range of attitudes and beliefs among individuals and in communities has been identified to support violence against women. They work to justify, excuse, minimise, or hide physical or sexual violence against women. Community attitudes may: • Justify the use of violence (for example, when men's use of violence against a female partner is seen as a legitimate expression of their position as head of the household, an extension of rightful male dominance, or as an appropriate response to apparent transgressions by the woman);
  8. 8. • Excuse the perpetrator's use of violence (for example, when men are seen as unable to control their violent or sexual 'urges' or desires, violence is understood as perpetrated by 'sick' individuals, it is seen as women's duty to stay in a violent relationship to keep the family together, or the violence is attributed to external factors such as the use of alcohol and drugs); • Trivialise the violence and its impact (for example, when domestic violence is understood as 'normal' relationship conflict, physical violence is seen as trivial and its emotional and psychological impacts are neglected, women are seen to 'enjoy' being raped, or it is assumed that 'women can always leave a violent relationship if they really want to'); • Deny or minimise the violence (for example, when violence against women is seen as rare, isolated, or exaggerated and when women are seen as routinely making false claims of rape or domestic violence); • Blame the victim (for example, when women are seen to 'provoke' or 'ask' for physical or sexual violence by their behaviour or dress, or responsibility for 'avoiding' rape is seen as women's alone, or women are seen to 'say no but mean yes'); • Hide or obscure the violence (for example, when definitions of violence are narrow and focused only on the perpetration of severe physical violence causing injuries, thus hiding other forms of physical and sexual violence and the social and emotional forms of power and control which often accompany them, and when definitions focus only on violence against women by strangers, thus obscuring violence by familiar individuals, in marriages, relationships and other contexts) • The relationships between attitudes and violence against women Table 1: Factors associated with violence-supportive attitudes Level Factors Violence-supportive Factors with the potential to facilitate or inhibit violence-supportive attitudes
  9. 9. Individual • Childhood exposure to violence- supportive cultural norms • Support for traditional gender roles and relationships • Weak support for gender equality • Age and stage of development (boys and young men) • Masculine orientation/sense of entitlement (men) • Lower levels of education (women)a • Lower workforce participation (women)a • Childhood exposure to violence (negative impact greater for males) Organisational • Masculine contexts such as sporting sub- cultures, college fraternities and the military • Churches and faith-based organisations • Criminal justice, social service and health system practices • Workplace cultures Community • Male peer cultures • Faith-based communities • Culturally specific norms regarding gender and sexuality • Neighbourhood culture Societal • Pornography • Advertising portraying women in highly sexualised ways • Television, music, film and media portrayals of women, violence and gender relations • Campaigns and social movements addressing issues associated with violence and gender relations a. These factors have been found to positively influence attitudes to gender equality which have in turn been found to positively influence attitudes to violence against women. However, there is as yet no direct evidence demonstrating a relationship between these factors and violence-supportive attitudes. Measured across a population, attitudes are a valuable barometer of overall societal progress in creating a violence-free environment. Community attitudes are central to the social and cultural foundations of violence against women. In addition, they indicate the state of play in society regarding other, crucial determinants of violence against women, including the power relations between men and women and levels of and tolerance for community violence. Changing attitudes Violence-supportive attitudes can be influenced through community awareness and education campaigns that are based on gender equality and that engage both men and women in forging respectful intimate and family relations Efforts to prevent violence against women must address not only those attitudes which are overtly condoning of violence against women, but the wider clusters of attitudes related to gender and sexuality which normalize and justify this violence).
  10. 10. Prevention efforts must address particular social processes and settings through which violence-supportive attitudes are maintained. Key processes include the intergenerational transmission of violence facilitated by children witnessing or experiencing violence. Key settings include adolescent and particularly boys' peer cultures, the formal and informal settings of male university colleges, sporting clubs, workplaces, military institutions, and religious institutions. Awareness and education campaigns must be complemented by actions that address the structural conditions that perpetuate violence. Hence, collective, multi-level action is likely to be the most effective way of stopping violence against women. Evidence suggests that the combined efforts of communities, government and other sectors can reduce violence by taking steps to: • understand, discuss and explicitly condemn violence against women and their children; • promote women as equal and as active participants in intimate relationships and public life; • ensure women have equal access to secure employment, salaries and financial independence; • reject definitions of 'being a man' or notions of masculinity that are associated with violence; • promote notions of masculinity that are non-violent; • intervene where violence against women and their children is witnessed or suspected; • provide information about, and links to, available support services; • render assistance to victims/survivors when formal services are limited; • hold perpetrators accountable and challenge their use of violence; • provide services to perpetrators to help them change their behaviour; • address factors that contribute to violence in the wider community by encouraging the responsible service and consumption of alcohol; addressing the abuse of drugs; discussing the nature, causes, and impacts of violence against women; and demanding media and internet standards to prevent glamorized images of violence and the negative sexualisation and denigration of women; and • Promote education about respectful relationships (National Council 2009b). The second time [I was raped by my ex-husband] my son was present … They [the children] were out of control when it happened. Their poor little minds just didn't know how to deal with it … My ex would come into the house and tell me to do what he said or he would wake the kids up and make them watch. By the end of it I just thought a mother does anything for her children, so I would let him do whatever, I would cry the whole time, but let him do it because I just didn't want him to wake my kids, to let them see again. Exposure of children to family violence causes long-term psychological, emotional, physical and behavioural problems. “Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women...”A survey
  11. 11. made on women of Tamil-Nadu shows that at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Most often the abuser is a member of her own family. Increasingly, gender-based violence is recognized as a major public health concern and a violation of human rights. The effects of violence can be devastating to a woman's reproductive health as well as to other aspects of her physical and mental well-being. In addition to causing injury, violence increases women's long-term risk of a number of other health problems, including chronic pain, physical disability, drug and alcohol abuse, and depression. Women with a history of physical or sexual abuse are also at increased risk for unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Yet victims of violence who seek care from health professionals often have needs that providers do not recognize, do not ask about, and do not know how to address. Violence against women is present in every region, cutting across boundaries of culture, class, education, income, ethnicity and age. Even though most societies proscribe violence against women, the reality is that violations against women’s human rights are often sanctioned under the garb of cultural practices and norms, or through misinterpretation of religious tenets. Moreover, when the violation takes place within the home, as is very often the case, the abuse is effectively condoned by the tacit silence and the passivity displayed by the state and the law-enforcing machinery. The global dimensions of this violence are alarming, as highlighted by studies on its incidence and prevalence. No society can claim to be free of such violence; the only variation is in the pattern and trends that exist in regions. Specific groups of women are more vulnerable, including minority groups, indigenous and migrant women, refugee women and those in situations of armed conflict, women in institutions and detention, women with disabilities, female children, and elderly women. Several decades ago, the various manifestations of this type of violence began to be understood as a violation of human rights, based on the principle of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’’. What Is Gender-Based Violence? Violence against women and girls includes physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse. It is often known as "gender-based" violence because it evolves in part from women's subordinate status in society.
  12. 12. Many cultures have beliefs, norms, and social institutions that legitimize and therefore perpetuate violence against women. The same acts that would be punished if directed at an employer, a neighbor, or an acquaintance often go unchallenged when men direct them at women, especially within the family. According to WHO violence is defined as “The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, Mal-development or deprivation’’. Two of the most common forms of violence against women are abuse by intimate male partners and coerced sex, whether it takes place in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. Intimate partner abuse also known as domestic violence, wife-beating, and battering is almost always accompanied by psychological abuse and in one-quarter to one-half of cases by forced sex as well. The majority of women who are abused by their partners are abused many times. In fact, an atmosphere of terror often permeates abusive relationships. THE PATHETIC CONDITION OF WOMEN NEVER CHANGED; IT’S SAME FROM HISTORY TO PRESENT: The great Indian history shows that violence on women was there too in the ancient India. One such example comes from The Mahabharata, The Cheer Harana of Dropadi by Duryodhana, in which he tried to remove her dress in front of all members sitting in his court to make her feel insulted, to kill her honor. One other example which proves sorrowful condition of women was the traditional practice that prevailed in India called Sathi Pratha. It was believed that a wife has no meaning of her life after the death of her husband and so with his dead body she too was forced to die. Later on, this practice was stopped by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. BUT WHERE LIES THE END OF PATHITIC LIFE OF A WOMAN, even this practice of Sathi Pratha got stop but another practice came in front to torture women. Now instead of making a woman to die, she was forced to live an isolated life in Vidhwa Ashrams, in the scarcity of food, making her living by begging food. This is not the end, there are lot many still………………….and the series goes on.
  13. 13. TOPOLOGY OF VIOLENCE: Self directed: • Suicidal behavior • Self abuse Interpersonal violence • Family/partner violence • Community violence Collective violence • Social violence • Political violence • Economic violence FAMILY PARTNER VIOLENCE: Domestic and intimate partner violence includes physical and sexual attacks against women in the home, within the family or within an intimate relationship. Women are more at risk of experiencing violence in intimate relationships than anywhere else. In a recent survey by the WHO in Tamil-Nadu on Domestic Violence, 60 percent of senior executives said that domestic violence, which limits women’s workplace participation, has an adverse effect on company productivity. The survey found that domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs. Based on several surveys made, half of the women who die from homicides are killed by their current or former husbands or partners. Women are killed by people they know and die from gun violence, beatings and burns, among numerous other forms of abuse. According to a UNIFEM report on violence against women, out of 1,327 incidents of violence against women collected between January 2003 and June 2005, 36 women had been killed in 16 cases (44.4 %) by their intimate partners. Limited availability of services, stigma and fear prevent women from seeking assistance and redress. This has been confirmed by a study published by the WHO in 2005 on the basis of data collected from 24,000 women in all regions of Tamil-Nadu, between 55
  14. 14. percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted NGOs, shelters or the police for help. CASE STUDY1: WOMEN COMMITED SUICIDE (CHENNAI, 14 JAN 2009, THE HINDU) Violence by partner is so common in our society that frustrated woman do commit suicide even some times. Sathya (imaginary name),37 Years of Kandanchavidi went to see her husband Perumal (imaginary name) working as a security guard in the Thoraipakkam. The coupled quarreled on some small issue and her husband lost his control and beaten her badly in his working place. The woman felt so insulted and as she reached home she committed suicide by hanging. This is just one example of women committing suicide because of family torture. Many family torture leads to loss of mental balance, disfiguration, loss of health. Women are made to strive and work like animal round the clock. So let’s stop family violence before a woman’s hope gets lost in the darkness because, It’s hard to look for the light when you lost in the darkness. SEXUAL VIOLENCE :
  15. 15. Although women are more at risk of violence from their intimate partners than from other persons, sexual violence by non-partners is also common in many settings. According to the 2006 In-Depth Study of the Secretary-General: “Sexual violence by non-partners refers to violence by a relative, friend, acquaintance, neighbor, work colleague or stranger. Estimates of the prevalence of sexual violence by non-partners are difficult to establish, because in many societies, sexual violence remains an issue of deep shame for women and often for their families. Statistics on rape extracted from police records, for example, are notoriously unreliable because of significant under reporting. It is estimated that, one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. CASE STUDY 2: RAPE CASE IN BPO (AUG 05 2008) Recently in Chennai 25 year old Sri Laxmi (name changed) working in the call center has been sexually assaulted by her colleague. She had accompanied her 27year old colleague Rajesh (name changed) trainer of the victim, a city based call center employee to his friends house where she was offered a drink supposedly spiked with date rape drug. Date rape drug refers to any drug that can be used to assist in the commission of sexual assault. These drugs commonly have hypnotic, dissociative, amnesiac effects and when used to facilitate rape are often added with drinks/food without the victim’s knowledge (CIOL news reports). These sexual harassment (rape cases) cases are much frequent in Tamil-Nadu and all over India too. Police force is trying there level best to protect women against these rapes but now it’s the women who have to understand her courage and make her enough expert to protect herself by learning martial arts COMMUNITY VIOLENCE:
  16. 16. Harmful traditional practices, which are most COMMON IN TAMILNADU, are forms of violence that have been committed against women in certain communities for so long that they are considered part of accepted cultural practice. These violations include female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM), dowry murder, so-called “honor killings,” and early marriage. They lead to death, disability, physical and psychological harm for millions of women annually. FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM):
  17. 17. FGM refers to several types of deeply-rooted traditional cutting operations performed on women and girls. Often part of fertility or coming-of-age rituals, FGM is sometimes justified as a way to ensure chastity and genital “purity.” It is estimated that FGM, mainly practiced in the indigenous groups of Vilupuram and other backward districts of Tamil-Nadu. Since the late 1980s, opposition to FGM and efforts to combat the practice has increased. According to the recent survey made by an NGO in April 2006, most of the places where FGM is prevalent made it an offence under criminal law CASE STUDY 3: PATHETIC CONDITION OF FEMALE GIRLS: Not only women but gals of around 5years are also part of this violence against women. In Jambumadai, a remote village in Trichy district .This lies in a backward area of this districts where no river is there but depends on rain for its every crop. Here, a traditional practice of burying a girl till neck is followed on the day of solar eclipse. It’s a myth here that if a girl is buried on the day of solar eclipse from the time eclipse starts till it end, then all types of mental and physical problem a girl is having will be cured. Some times, girls do die due to improper flow of oxygen taking place by the time when she is buried. These types of traditional practices of playing with the life of gals should be stopped. DOWRY MURDER
  18. 18. : Dowry murder is a brutal practice involving a woman being killed by her husband or in-laws because her family is unable to meet their demands for her dowry a payment made to a woman’s in-laws upon her engagement or marriage as a gift to her new family. It is not uncommon for dowries to exceed a family’s annual income. According to official crime statistics in Tamil-Nadu 618 women were killed in 2002 as a result of such violence. It is surprising to note that the number of cases of harassment of women declined substantially in CHENNAI in 2006 as compared to 2004 and 2005, but there is a marginal increase in the dowry death (from, THE HINDU, March 02, 2007). Small community studies have also indicated that dowry demands have played an important role in women being burned to death and in deaths of women being labeled as suicides. There have been many incidents of acid attacks due to dowry disputes, leading often to blindness, disfigurement, and death. CASE STUDY 4: TWO GETS LIFE SENTENCE FOR A DOWRY MURDER CASE Erode: Principal district judge A.S Kannan awarded life sentence to mother and son in a dowry murder case. Dharmalingam (45), a bangle merchant of Bhavani married Jayakumari (36)16years ago. He used to torture his wife asking for more dowries. On Aug 29 2009 he demanded to bring 5 sovereigns of gold from her father ,on refusal of her, he caught hold of her and his mother put kerosene on her and set fire her body. She sustained serious burns and died in hospital. This is just one example of all such tortures done on women for dowry. She gets beating, burnt to fire, mentally tortured, forcefully made to work as prostitutes, and the series goes on. It’s the time now to wake and to stop such greed for money. Because… Next to god, we are indebted to women, first for life itself and then for making it worth.
  19. 19. HONOR KILLING: In many societies, rape victims, women suspected of engaging in premarital sex, and women accused of adultery have been murdered by their relatives because the violation of a woman’s chastity is viewed as an affront to the family’s honor. This practice is much common in Tamil-Nadu. EARLY MARRIAGE: The practice of early marriage is a common practice that is prevailing in the villages of Tamil-Nadu. This is a form of sexual violence, since young girls are often forced into the marriage and into sexual relations, which jeopardizes their health, raises their risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS and limits their chance of attending school. Parents and families often justify child marriages by claiming it ensures a better future for their daughters. Parents and families marry off their younger daughters as a means of gaining economic security and status for themselves as well as for their daughters. Insecurity, conflict and societal crises also support early marriage. Economic reasons are said to play a significant role in such marriages. Due to the common practice of “bride money,” the girl child becomes an asset exchangeable for money or goods. Families see committing a young daughter (or sister) to a family that is able to pay a high price for the bride as a viable solution to their poverty and indebtedness. The custom of bride money may motivate families that face indebtedness and economic crisis to “cash in” the “asset” as young as 6 or 7, with the understanding that the actual marriage is delayed until the child reaches puberty. However, reports indicate that this is also observed that young girls may be sexually violated not only by the groom, but also by older men in the family, particularly if the groom is a child too. CASE STUDY 5: COLLECTOR STOPPED CHILD MARRIAGE. A marriage ceremony scheduled on 29 Aug 2009 was stopped following the time intervention of district collector P.AMUDHA on Saturday (28 Aug).According to the information and public relation sources, the collector received secret information about the marriage of the 14 Year old girl of Kadathur and an Asthagiriyur youth. A team of officials rushed to Kadathur and found the arrangements for marriage in full swing. When the officials verified the records, they found that the bride was a 10th standard student born on 1995.The officials advised the parents not to conduct ceremony. Also, as per the collector’s direction the marriage was stopped. The collector also warned parents against trying to marry off their daughters below 18years of age.(from, THE HINDU, 30TH AUG 2009)
  20. 20. TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND GIRLS : Trafficking involves the recruitment and transportation of persons, using deception, coercion and threats in order to place and keep them in a situation of forced labor, slavery or servitude. Persons are trafficked into a variety of sectors of the informal economy, including prostitution, domestic work, agriculture, the garment industry or street begging. While exact data are hard to come by, a few organizations have estimated that up to four million persons are trafficked every year. Although women, men, girls and boys can become victims of trafficking, the majority of victims are female. Various forms of gender-based discrimination increase the risk of women and girls becoming affected by poverty, which in turns puts them at higher risk of becoming targeted by traffickers, who use false promises of jobs and educational opportunities to recruit their victims.
  21. 21. HIV/AIDS AND VIOLENCE: Women’s inability to negotiate safe sex and refuse unwanted sex is closely linked to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Unwanted sex from being unable to say “no!” to a partner and be heard, to sexual assault such as rape results in a higher risk of abrasion and bleeding, providing a ready avenue for transmission of the virus.
  22. 22. A study conducted shows that maximum number of HIV/AIDS cases are registered in Tamil-Nadu in past one decade (from, THE HINDU). Both realities lack of knowledge and lack of power obliterate women’s ability to protect themselves from infection. Violence is also a consequence of HIV/AIDS for many women, the fear of violence prevents them from declaring their HIV-positive status and seeking help and treatment. Violence and abandonment resulting from disclosing their HIV-positive status. CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN IN SITUATIONS OF ARMED CONFLICT: The victims in today’s armed conflicts are far more likely to be civilians than soldiers. Some 70 percent of the casualties in recent conflicts have been non-combatants most of them women and children. Women’s bodies have become part of the battleground for those who use terror as a tactic of war they are raped, abducted, humiliated and made to undergo forced pregnancy, sexual abuse and slavery. Women and girls living in refugee camps have reported rapes, beatings and abductions that occur when they leave the camps for necessities. QUITE INTERESTING TO KNOW THAT: FIG: Posters hanging in south west of South Africa in the year 2004 • 40% of women experience violence by age 15.
  23. 23. • 29% of all women have experienced physical assault. • 17% of all women have experienced sexual assault. • 38% of girls in years 10 & 12 have experienced unwanted sex (up 10% since 2002) CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENCE: When violence is made, no one else but it’s a woman who has to suffer… The heart breaking consequences of such violence is shown below: SOCIETAL RESPONSES AND EFFORTS OF GOVERNMENT IN CONTROLLING VIOLENCE:  Health workers and NGO’s alone cannot transform the cultural, social, and legal environment that gives rise to and condones widespread violence against women. Ending physical and sexual violence requires long-term commitment and strategies involving all parts of society. Many governments have committed themselves to overcome violence against women by passing and enforcing laws that ensure women's legal rights and punish abusers.  In addition, community-based strategies can focus on empowering women, reaching out to men, and changing the beliefs and attitudes that permit abusive behavior. Only when women gain their place as equal members of society will violence against women no longer be an invisible norm but, instead a shocking aberration.  Many NGO’s have organized trainings and group discussions, as a result of which “honor killings” were for the first time discussed in public. The project led to positive changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices among community members who increasingly began to regard “honor killings” as a crime, rather than a legitimate means to defend a tribe’s honor  Recently a new family counseling center has been set by the joint efforts of Tamilnadu social welfare board Chennai, and the Tiruchi city police .Tiruchi is the second city in the state to have such center with the joint initiative with police
  24. 24. to redress the grievances of affected women and provide relief to those in distress. There are already 66 such counseling centers working in the state.  The concept of All women police station (AWPS) has been successfully started .These women police station also provide counseling through professional counselors to help women in overcoming distress.  Protection of women from domestic violence act 2005, and Dowry prohibition act have been made by the government to help women.  Women have to get fully aware about her security and should take forward steps in combating against violence.  Women instead of getting fear should complain to governmental and non-governmental organization working for their support. A PERCEPTION ON THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT - 2005 (- by Thiru T. Mathivanan, B.A.,M.L., Member Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority, North Fort Road, High Court Campus, Chennai 104) In a 1980 UN Report, it was reported that “Women constitute half of the world’s Population, perform nearly Two-Thirds of “it’s work hours, receive one-tenth of the World’s income and less than one hundredth of the world’s income and less than once Hundredth of the world’s property”. Women comprise 66% of the world’s illiterates and 70% of the world’s poor. Violence against women clubbed with these inequalities (or) Deprivations are total denial of her human rights. Time and again the Supreme Court of India has been extending the ambit of Article “21” of the Constitution of India and holding that mere existence is not the Right to live- It is the right to live with dignity. Thus, wherever Crimes are committed against women The same should be in the context of violation of her. Right under Article “21” of the Constitution and not merely as a Crimes are committed against women the same should
  25. 25. Be in the context of violation of her Right under Article “21” of the Constitution and not Merely as a Crime against the society. The organizers have given me an assignment to introduce the DOMESTICVIOLENCE ACT, 2005. The title of the Act in “The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. i.e. Act 43 of 2005. This Act came in to force on 26th day of October 2006. Though women can be subjected to all types of Crimes but some crimes are Specific to women, such as rape, molestation, eve-teasing, trafficking etc. In India, Crimes against women broadly fall in two categories. a) Crimes identified under IPC and b) Crimes identified under Special Laws. The Crimes identified under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) are (1) Section 376 (rape) (2) Kidnapping and abduction for different purposes (Sec.363 – 373 IPC) (3) Homicide for dowry, dowry deaths or their attempts (Sec.302, 304-B IPC) (4) Torture, both mental and physical (Sec.498-A IPC) (5) Importation of girls (up to 21 years of age.(Sec.366-B IPC) (6) Molestation (Sec.354 IPC and Sexual harassment (Sec.509 IPC) The Crimes identified under the Special Laws are: 1) Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act 1987 2) Dowry (Prohibition) Act 1961 3) Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956, 4) Indecent Representation of women (Prohibition) Act 1986 5) The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 and so on. Despite the enactment of the Laws and other penal provisions relating to Dowry, Rape, Violence against women, what necessitated the Legislating Authority to enact a Specific Law under the Title of PREVENTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT 2005 The Act is intended to effectively protect the rights of women to a decent and dignified life in the family. It is very important to note here, that the Preamble of the Act Emphasizes the need of the aggrieved women to immediate reliefs as well as compensation and for rehabilitation when it speaks of matters connected there with and incidental there to. The preamble itself suggests that protection must be effective. Government promotes contraceptives to lower fertility among women, at the behest of multinational corporation and corporate sector, without thinking about there consequences SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO STOP VIOLENCES:
  26. 26. In regard of the violence against women we must take a day out to judge analyze and eliminate any caused violence on them. And internationally it is celebrated on 25th Nov every year as “white ribbon day “also. CONCLUSION From the World History, it has always been proved that a woman is always been torture physically, mentally and sexually. Always, she is treated as a doll which looks nice when being inside the four walls of house and till time do everything as per the instructions given to her. If she forbids being a doll, then her dignity is violated by others and VIOLENCE ON WOMAN TAKES PLACE. It’s the time to form such society that reassure women that violence is unacceptable and that no woman deserves to be beaten, sexually abused, or made to suffer emotionally. As some one saying that “Compassion is going to open up the door. And when we feel safe and are able to trust, that makes a lot of difference." IT’S TIME NOW, TO TAKE INITIATIVE TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN TO PROVIDE A WORLD WHERE EVERY WOMAN WILL THINK OF HER NOT A DOLL BUT A WOMAN. We feel happy to be a part of this mission for stopping violence against women, and proudly able to say we are not alone but many are with us. As, a famous saying says that, cleanliness starts from home, so many youngsters staying in Coimbatore have already started to eradicate this disease which is killing our society slowly, whose positive impact we have seen in ISHAYOGA where we met two foreigner ladies one from SCOTLAND and other was RUSSIAN.
  27. 27. Those foreigner ladies, when being asked by us whether they have faced any violence in Coimbatore TOLD THAT THEY HAVE NOT FACED ANY VIOLENCE IN COIMBATORE. So, let’s become a human and treat a woman as human too. From the words of a woman, I, with a deeper instinct choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demand on me, who does not doubt my courage, or my toughness, who does not behave me naïve or innocent, WHO HAS COURAGE TO TREAT ME LIKE A WOMEN.
  28. 28. REFERNCES: WEBSITES: detail.php?ProductID=8 Annotated%20Bibliography%20green%20 A4.pdf publications/fgm/fgm_statement.html bo_tmb.html.
  29. 29. BOOKS, PUBLICATIONS AND JOURNALS: UNDERSTANDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Authors: Nancy A. Crowell and Ann W. Burgess, Editors; Panel on Research on Violence Against Women, National Research Council Violence against Women: The Health Sector Responds Violence Against Women By Ram Ahuja (Author) Domestic Violence Against Women in India A.K. Singh, S.P. Singh and S.P. Pandey Journal of Gender Studies by M Abraham