Domestic Violence; eating up someone’s pride, self respect and the willingness to live

Article by – Shishir Tripathi

Intern at Hariyali Foundation
In collaboration with
Educational News

In a country with such a huge population and so much of diversity in culture and nature, it is so common that there would surely be diversity among various types of violence too. Domestic violence includes any type of violence or torture basically against women in any form whether it is physical, emotional, sexual, verbal or economic abuse or torture.

India is poorly ranked in a total of 167 countries all across the world according to the data for cases of domestic violence. Domestic violence has always been a shame for the Indian society. A woman contributes a lot in the nurturing of a whole family and sacrifices her dreams (in most of the cases) for taking care of her husband and his parents and the children too.

A woman is the only person in the family who is always ready to sacrifice her health, her dreams and her happiness just for making the family happy. A woman is the one who turns a house into a home. A home built with the bricks of a woman’s dreams and her crushed desires. Everyone wants to go out, see the world and meet the people, enjoy their selves, but for making this happen somebody is always there at home for taking care of food and for arranging everything, it is always and always a Woman.

In spite of making all these sacrifices, it is the woman only who has to become the victim of the anger of her husband, her in-laws and her children too. Basically in India, it is generally assumed that the woman, the bride is a servant (when she’s jobless) and an ATM machine without any password (when she’s working). A woman is the one who is always expected to make sacrifices and take care of her family and home. Why? Because it is her work, this is the stuff why she was born?! If somebody gets angry, then she is the only river to pour down all the anger.

Moving ahead, everyone knows that from the past times and still at present most of the women at their place are going and suffering through a lot. According to a National Family and Health Survey in 2005, total lifetime prevalence of domestic violence was 33.5% and 8.5% for sexual violence among women aged 15–49. A survey carried out by Thomson Reuters Foundation said that India is the most dangerous country in the world for women.

In 2012 National Crime Records Bureau report of India states a reported crime rate of 46 per 100,000, rape rate of 2 per 100,000, dowry homicide rate of 0.7 per 100,000 and the rate of domestic cruelty by husband or his relatives as 5.9 per 100,000.

But every reader knows that these are just figures and data, too away from the reality. Yes, every reader is correct. Because of poverty and lack of awareness and education, at present many women don’t at all know that they can really complain about this suffering of theirs. Many women don’t tell the concerned authorities for saving the respect of their husband and their family and start making compromises; some fear of survival as they never went to school and couldn’t get a job after separation.

There is mental or psychological absue too. Psychological abuse can erode a woman’s sense of self-worth and can be incredibly harmful to overall mental and physical wellbeing. Emotional/psychological abuse can include harassment; threats; verbal abuse such as name-calling, degradation and blaming; stalking; and isolation.

Women who experience domestic violence overwhelmingly tend to have greater overall emotional distress, as well as disturbingly high occurrences of suicidal thoughts and attempts. According to a study by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, suicide attempts in India are correlated with physical and psychological intimate partner violence. Of the Indian women who participated in the study, 7.5% reported attempting suicide. This correlation is supported by the high rates of domestic violence in India, although the rates differ greatly by region, individual socioeconomic status and other factors.

And it is shocking to listen that this lockdown period that occurred for stopping the rapid spread of Covid-19 was even more painful for women. As all the activities were banned and there was complete lockdown, men were continuously at home along with all other family members. Hence, many women were suffering domestic violence to far greater extent. The number of domestic violence complaints received by the National Commission for Women has doubled from 123 distress calls to 239 domestic violence complaints, from March 23, 2020, to April 16, 2020.

This so pathetic to read that the lockdown, ‘the so called national holiday when most of the people developed new skills, helped their wives at home’, there were some more monsters and demons who physically, emotionally and sexually assaulted their wives at home.

It actually never changed for women. Almost every Indian woman has to make compromises every day. A lot of women who can’t bear the physical and the emotional pain commit suicides. The report by the National Crime Records Bureau says that in 2018, the number of housewives killing themselves –22,937 – increased by 6.9% when compared to 21,453 women in 2017.

Cases of domestic violence occur either due to the demand of dowry or simply the ill mentality of the husband or the family or even both. Women need to stand against this. There are various laws in the constitution including Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 and the other two new sections, Section 498A and Section 304B were introduced into the Indian Penal Code in 1983 and 1986. On 19 March 2013, the Indian Parliament passed a new law with the goal of more effectively protecting women from sexual violence in India. It came in the form of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, which further amends the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1973, the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The law makes stalking, voyeurism, acid attacks and forcibly disrobing a woman explicit crime for the first time, provides capital punishment for rapes leading to death, and raises to 20 years from 10 the minimum sentence for gang rape and rapes committed by a police officer. However, talking about the downside of the law, the new law doesn’t address marital rape, rape committed by the armed forces or rape against men.

Therefore, people should realize that domestic violence of any form is not at all acceptable by men and women both. Keeping into mind the mental health of the sufferer it should be realized that awareness should be spread amongst people and they should be told about their rights. Those who are able bodied and well aware, should take this responsibility into their hands. And whenever a woman or even a man (in some cases) is seen suffering from domestic violence, it should not go unreported.

Because those who stay silent after seeing everything are more wrong than those who commit such heinous acts.