DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND IT’S INCREASE DURING COVID-19

By Sahina Mallick

INTRODUCTION

Domestic violence is the violence or other abuse in a domestic life. Globally the victims of domestic violence are mainly women. It is the most underreported crime worldwide for both men and women.

MEANING AND CONCEPT

Any act, commission or omission or conduct of adult male who has been domestic relationship with the woman shall constitute domestic violence in case – Harms or injures or endangers the health, life safety of such woman, or Harasses, injuries or endangers the woman to meet any unlawful demand for dowry, or Injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental to the woman. In such cases, the woman can receive protection and assistance along with her children against such domestic violence.

DEFINITION

If a woman is, harassed, beaten up or threatened her home by a person with whom she resides in the same house, then it can be said that she is facing domestic violence. TYPES There are mainly four types of abuses which are closely related with domestic violence. Those four types of abuse are indicated in the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Those are – 

  • Physical Abuse– Physical abuse means any act or conduct which is of a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm or danger to life, limb or health of the woman of domestic relation.
  •  Sexual Abuse– Any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses, degrades, humiliates or otherwise hampers the dignity of woman included in the purview of sexual abuse. 
  • Verbal or Emotional Abuse- Verbal and emotional abuse includes any kind of insults, humiliation, name calling and insults or ridicule specially with regard to not having a child or a male child; or repeated threats to cause physical pain to any person with whom the aggrieved person is interested.
  • Economic Abuse– It includes disposal of all or any financial resources to which the aggregate person in entitled under law; alienation of assets whether movable or immovable valuables, shares, bonds etc. in which the woman has an interest; restriction to continued access to resources or facilities to which aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic relationship.

LAWS: Protection and assistance to the aggrieved woman: The Central Legislative body (Parliament) introduced an Act known as The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. This Act provides that the aggrieved woman has the right to claim and assistance against domestic violence. The object of the Act of 2005 is to provide for more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the constitution of India who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or indicated thereto.

THE PREVENTIVE AND PROTECTIVE MEASURES:

There are various kinds of order that can be passed by the Magistrate upon the complaint made by the aggrieved person. Those kinds of orders area.

A. Protection Order

B. Residence Order

C. Monetary Order

D. Custody Order

E. Compensation Order

A) Protection Order: This act of violence should be stopped immediately and the woman should be protected if it is needed depending upon the intensity of the case. The Magistrate after giving the aggrieved person and the respondent an opportunity of being heard and on being prima facie satisfied that domestic violence has taken place, pass a protection order in favour of the aggrieved person and prohibit the respondent from committing any act of domestic violence or aiding or abetting in the commission of acts of domestic violence.

B) Residence Order: The woman should be taken return in the house if she is taken out of the house. The aggrieved person should be relocated to their house hold and the respondent sometimes may be ordered to remove himself from the household while disposing of an application made by the aggrieved person, the Magistrate may, on being satisfied that domestic violence has taken place, pass these kind of residence order.

C) Monetary Order:

The respondent has to pay money as a compensation for the loss of the aggrieved person. While disposing of the application regarding domestic violence, the Magistrate may direct the respondent to pay the monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of the aggrieved person.

D) Custody Order:

Order is given to grant custody of child or children to the aggrieved person immediately. The Magistrate may, at any stage of hearing of the application for protection order or for any other relief, grant temporary custody of any child or children to the aggregate person.

E) Compensation Order:

Order is given to pay compensation for damage, injury mental or physical. In addition to other reliefs as may be granted the Magistrate may on an application being made by the aggrieved person, pass an order, directing the respondent to pay compensation and damages for the injuries, including mental torture and emotional distress, caused by the acts of domestic violence committed by the respondent.

In addition to the above orders, in any proceeding the Magistrate may pass such interim order as he deems just and proper. On the basis of affidavit given by the aggrieved person the Magistrate may also pass exparte order.

INCREASE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DURING COVID- 19 LOCKDOWN:

Home is considered as the safest place for all. But actually it is safe place for some but not the safest place for all. To tackle the spread of Covid – 19 the Government of India declared lockdown. But with lockdown in place, there has been a increase in cases of domestic violence. Not in India, but all over the world the victims of domestic violence are more vulnerable and at a risk to a frighteningly new degree of violence. In India, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has raised an urgent alert about the increasing number of domestic violence cases since the nation lockdown began.

Recent data released by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) suggest that the nationwide lockdown has led to a rapid increase in the cases of domestic violence. The data revealed that according to cases in different states suggest that Uttarakhand recorded the highest number of domestic violence cases in the last two months of lockdown. As per the total number of cases Haryana ranked on two and the National Capital Delhi ranked on three .

Some recent incidents of domestic violence during lockdown

Far away in Hyderabad, a woman and her teenage son from an earlier marriage were facing the brunt of her second husband’s frustration over not getting alcohol during the lockdown. She reached out to the police, who provide her with an official helpline number. But when the husband came to know about her complaint the intensity of the abuse increased. Women in Telangana had to face a spike in domestic violence too. As per cases registered through Sakhi One Stop Centres ( centres that provide integrated support and assistance under one roof to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces in a phased manner) in April, 89% of the total number of cases registered were of domestic violence.

CONCLUSION

 As per my point of view followings are the few steps which can decrease the number of domestic violence. Provide equal education to the girl child is the foremost step towards a better society and to less the incidents of violence. The parents of both the families must have harmonious relationship with each other. So that is everything goes wrong they can seat and solve the matter. As per report, alcoholism plays a vital role in perpetrating violence against women. So that strict steps must be taken against the sale of alcohol and sale of alcohol and liquor should be banned around the residential areas. As responsible citizens we need to spread awareness and report any act of violence against women around us. The husband should think about her wife that nobody in the family should harass his wife without any reason. If his wife is harassed without any reason, he should resolve the matter in the family. And at last campaigns aimed at women and men to increase awareness and change attitudes about gender inequality are also effective tools against domestic violence.

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