Domestic Violence: Prevention of Injustice at Home
Updated: Sep 30
Hajra Fathima, Student, Ramaiah College of Law, Bangalore.
The world is a thriving civil society, with clustered religious rituals, races, numerous constitutions and multiple institutions all working together to maintain this evolution. Yet our world is not free from abusive practices and longstanding corruption stripping citizens from their human rights. Domestic violence is a whimpered cry for help to which most people turn a blind eye against or simply categorize it as someone else’s problem. Women and men all over the world are victims of domestic violence regardless of social status, religion or sexual orientation. Domestic violence consists of psychological, physical, sexual and verbal aspects. The level trauma and brutality of domestic violence in India have known no boundaries especially during the popular pandemic of Covid19. Should domestic violence just be considered as a facet of the world as it has persisted over generations or should there be appropriate education and focused action to eradicate it?
Domestic violence is an offence, in many countries such as Spain, Italy, Australia, France and America and they have taken adequate measures for women to seek help but the actual number of victims is much higher than the numbers reported. The government of multiple countries made sure even during the time of pandemic that the voices of abused women are heard and not confined to the walls of their apartments. Every individual must be assured a certain degree of respect and dignity in all spheres of life, that is the most basic right for a human. Till day woman have been battling for recognition meanwhile being threatened of their very own security at home. Violence at home is one of the most impairing acts of society which leaves women helpless and terrified on unimaginable grounds of cruelty.
The act of such violence endangers the health and wellbeing of the victim for a short or long period. The basis of such behaviour penetrates slowly in the form of passive-aggressive abuse due to differing perspectives or simple disobedience of the victim towards the patriarchal rule and this minor attitude further escalates to greater extents, in some cases to also murder. Most men vandalize their respective spouse and muffle their pain in the name of cultural and religious dominance over the female kind.
On the brighter side, this issue is demanding greater focus from media and government authorities. Government and private organizations are being trained all over the world to deal with such cases with sensitivity and unorthodox understanding to serve victims effectively the first base of contact, creating an unbiased and supportive environment so that the victim feels comfortable in reaching out for help. Misconceptions on sexist ideologies propagating gender inequality are being addressed internationally with required follow-up measures to reform policies and psychological order of mind.
Let’s discuss the intricacies of this issue in India, domestic violence has been infused in our society for a while now due to the regime of toxic masculinity followed by generations of justification for oppression. Even at times of this deadly virus, men have tormented their women, failed to provide adequate medical attention, threatened them with financial support to suppress their voices and abused them in consumption of alcohol and drugs as an excuse to relieve stress.
The Constitution of India under Article 21 guarantees the protection of every citizen’s life and personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. Yet most victims deny seeking help against the cruelty of husbands or relatives under the fear of level of proximity from the abuser or abandonment. 32% of women in India in the year 2020 are victims of domestic violence that is an estimate of 89,000 women of the country. Various organizations and helplines have been established to aid this obstacle but the silent cry of women continues even more in the lockdown.
Protection for Women against Domestic Violence Act 2005 was introduced to aid this social problem and stressed upon the safety of the victimized yet the initiation did not go far in its impact and protocols were not dealt with enough focus and strategic planning. Delhi Commission for women has set up a helpline (181) to tackle such cases of violence and to neutralize the situation at home during this pandemic in the hope that someday this systematic level of trauma can be dissolved from our society.
Domestic Violence is a vicious cycle of devastating experiences that targets men and women in a household and shreds their dignity and individualism to nothing. In India this violence is more gender-based and paves the ground for discrimination against women, they’re domesticated like animals to perform their daily duties and denied any form of self-realization or independent perspective. Often women are sceptical about lodging complaints against their husbands or family in the fear of ineffective action and increased harassment. Women are discriminated from men since the revolution of ancient political phenomena,
Aristotle differentiated slaves and woman from the affairs of men but in the present day scenario, the world has evolved from such prejudice and sufficed women with honour and liberated them from chains that kept them home. Though the appalling segment of domestic violence is yet to be completely discarded and rightfully prevented to safeguard people and aid the helpless to voice out their situation to attain justice. Under no circumstance should a man or a woman believe to have the right to harass and agonize another at home under a prominence of superiority and power. Domestic violence is one of the most atrocious forms of violence which can invade the peace between members of a house and has destructed numerous families. The aggressive behaviour of the penetrator controls the actions of the victim and pays no attention to their needs.
Our world has developed in all aspects and necessities to aid the humankind yet our world still suffers from the drawbacks of such societal dimensions, why should a woman be terrified to breathe in her own rightful space? Why should she fear before speaking her mind and why should she feel helpless about her situation? We hope there are days where we don’t hear women screaming for mercy and days where there are extensive mechanisms to combat and dismantle the struggle of domestic violence for good.
 Kurst-Swanger and L. Petcoskya, Violence in the Home: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, (Oxford University Press 2003).  M. Stith, Prevention of Intimate Partner, (Oxford University Press 2006). Art. 21, the Constitution of India.  Covid19 Lockdown: Statistics Show Surge in Domestic Violence Globally, May 5, 2020.