white black legal international law journal ISSN: 2581-8503

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Authored By-Ishanvi Biswal
KIIT School of Law
Law student 
‘Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness' – Karl Marx
It is indisputable that numerous topics relating to women have been hotly contested over the past few decades on a variety of forums. One of the most crucial topics in this discussion has been violence against women, and within that context, domestic violence—violence committed by family members of the victim or inside the victim's home—has received particular emphasis. Indian society's societal standards and reliance on the economy have a role in the problem of violence against women. The reality of the majority of girls and women's lives in India includes female feticide, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and other types of gender-based violence. The wellness of battered women, as well as that of their children, is impacted by domestic violence on both a physical and psychological level. Despite laws having been changed and female involvement in public life rising, India still has a long road ahead to go before granting Indian women the same rights as other citizens. In contemporary society, numerous women experience violent treatment from their partners while remaining silent about their suffering. Its prolonged existence cannot be justified morally. It comes at a tremendous cost to people, health care systems, and society as a whole. In this paper, topics about the rising prevalence of domestic violence have been examined. The purpose of the paper is to bring readers' attention to the causes of domestic abuse and its effects on the victim, her family, and society at large. The paper aims to explore the management of this threat against women and the part social workers, professionals, and other volunteer organizations should play in offering assistance to those in need. The paper also outlines various ways to stop domestic violence, which is undoubtedly becoming a bigger problem.  
KEYWORDS: domestic violence, women, gender-based, Indian society

In 1993, the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women defined domestic violence as physical, sexual, and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation. 
Domestic violence (also called domestic abuse or family violence) is violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is often used as a synonym for intimate partner violence, which is committed by one of the people in an intimate relationship against the other person and can take place in relationships or between former spouses or partners.  
The majority of domestic violence victims worldwide are women, and women typically endure higher catastrophic kinds of violence. Teenagers and other family members who believe such abuse is appropriate or encouraged may perpetuate an intergenerational cycle of violence as a result. Many people mistakenly think of their encounters as out-of-control dysfunctional families, which prevents them from realizing they are abusers or victims. The perception of violence toward women has long been accepted. The family, which was formerly seen to be an arena of love, tenderness, gentleness, and a place of unity and warmth, has now changed into a center of exploitation. Domestic abuse affects everybody; it can happen to anyone weak, including women, children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Emotional and financial reliance as well as innate biological vulnerability turn out to be the most powerful factors, nonetheless, as a result of the conventional patriarchal structure. Domestic violence is one of the most destructive manifestations of the violation of women's fundamental rights. The doors that are designed to shield women from the dangers of the outside world are closed, where it is taking place. 
The structure of protections offered to women, which displays itself in the existence of unequal 

distribution of power between genders, both within and outside the home, takes many different forms. These forms range from basic reprimands to additional complicated control mechanisms, such as emotional and psychological abuse battering or marital rape, such as a control on their liberty as people slowly reduce them to a subservient position. 

Research Objective/ Questions
The paper revolves around certain questions which we will answer in this paper 
•    Is “conditioned helplessness” an element of abused women?
•    How do gender roles, and stereotypes shape domestic violence? 

Concept of violence against women 
1.    Meaning of Domestic Violence 
Domestic violence (DV) has historically been primarily linked to physical harm. Based on the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, domestic violence is "the infliction of physical violence by one family or household member on another; also: a repeated/habitual pattern of such behavior." Domestic violence is now more widely defined to cover "any acts of physical, sexual, psychological, or economic violence" that may be committed by a family member, a person who is an intimate partner or spouse, or a person who has been either, regardless of whether they lived together. 
According to the definition used in this Digest, domestic violence comprises abuse committed by intimate partners and other family members and manifested through: 
a.    Abuse of the body includes slapping, beating, arm-twisting, stabbing, strangling, burning, choking, kicking, threatening with an item or weapon, and murder. Additionally, it contains outdated, demeaning customs including wife inheritance and female genital mutilation. 
b.    Forced sexual actions, compelled sex with others, threats, intimidation, or physical force are all examples of sexual abuse.
c.    Threatening abandonment or abuse, confinement to the home, surveillance, threats to take away custody of the children, object destruction, isolation, verbal abuse, and ongoing 

humiliation are all examples of psychological abuse, which includes behavior meant to frighten and persecute.
d.    Economic abuse encompasses behavior like withholding money, declining to make financial contributions, denying access to food and other necessities, restricting access to health care and work, etc. 

2.    Causes of domestic violence 
Violence against women cannot be attributed to one single factor. Research has increasingly concentrated on how diverse aspects are interconnected, which should help us better grasp the issue in many cultural situations. 
Indicators Of Domestic Violence:
The basic categories of domestic violence's manifestation are listed below-
a.    Premarital/Natural Home - We only truly get what violence means when it occurs within a family. The natal home is where a girl experiences violence, which shows up as follows: 
i.    Female foeticide- Foeticide is a crime similar to murder and is seen as an infringement on the right to life, which is a fundamental freedom guaranteed by all international legal and religious norms. The MTP ACT 1971 and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act 1994's lack of efficiency has been demonstrated by the rising number of female feticides, particularly in northern India. As we increasingly promote the ideas of gender equality and women's empowerment, it also supports the notion that girls are undesirable. A female foeticide is a form of aggression against nature because it results in the death of an unborn child. 
ii.    Female infanticide- This act of violence is extremely similar to the offense mentioned above. It is a harmful expression of an ideology that minimizes the value of a girl child. Due to a lack of help, newborn girls in states like Rajasthan and MP drown in mild at delivery. This horrible conduct demonstrates how the girl's future financial and social burdens override the joy of childbirth and force the parents and family to inflict such atrocities on the helpless girl child. 

iii.    Child abuse- Even though both male and female children are the victims of violence, it is noted that more men than women are the ones who abuse children sexually, with a figure of 90.1% for victims of child abuse being female and more than 90% for offenders being male. Domestic violence against other family members, particularly women, is frequently practiced in homes when children are present. 
iv.    Child marriage- Domestic violence in its current and future manifestations has historical roots. It is a form of violence that uproots a woman's entire existence throughout her lifetime, leaving her permanently debilitated both physically and mentally. According to UNICEF research, parents now often agree to their children getting married young due to economic reasons such as the need to keep their daughters safe from sexual assault, to prevent unmarried pregnancy and lengthen a girl's childbearing years, or to ensure that their children will be obedient to their husbands and the household. 
v.    Child labor- Over 28% of people in India are considered to be poor. This means that these percentages of household services cost less than Rs. 600 each month. This crime is far more widespread and goes beyond the confines of a house; those who do it could not necessarily be considered family members. 
vi.    Immoral trafficking of children- Trafficking is described as "the recruitment, movement, or transportation of a person into an environment of exploitation through force, deception, fraud, or violence" in a UN Trafficking Protocol. Domestic violence is a form of forced prostitution committed by male partners or parents, and it has been widely recorded. Young girls are trafficked for domestic work and sexual slavery, where they are often starved, tormented, and beaten if they attempt to resist. 
b.    Conjugal/Marital home- The following are examples of how domestic violence against women manifests itself in the marital home: 
i.    Physical abuse- When one partner in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other, this is known as domestic violence, also referred to as spousal abuse. 
ii.    Dowry-related harassment- The legitimate reasons for wife-beating or spousal abuse include disagreements around the dower. It is the most spoken about and obvious kind of violence against women. In an Indian marriage, the bride's family pays the bridegroom's family dowry, also known as dahej, coupled with the bride's giving away 

(called kanyadaan). Hindu marital customs include kanyadanam as a significant component. Dana means gift, while Kanya means daughter. Dowry was first given to the bride by her family as a wedding present among upper-caste families. The dowry was afterward given to assist with wedding costs and evolved into a type of insurance if her in-laws mistreated her. Even though dowries are no longer permitted by law as of 1961, they are nevertheless heavily entrenched. A significant amount of cash, farm animals, furniture, and technology are frequently requested as dowries by the groom. 
iii.    Marital rape- Since performing sexual duties has traditionally been seen as an essential component of marriage, marital rape has not been regarded as a crime. If this obligation is broken, men may lawfully resort to sexual abuse as a form of violence. Therefore, even if a husband and wife have a forced or non-consensual sexual connection, it will not be regarded as marital rape. Marital rape was made a crime in the United Kingdom in the year 1991. In its Prevention of Violence in the Family and Protection of Victims Act 1993, the government of Cypress declared marital rape to be a crime. stating that, regardless of whether it occurs inside or outside of marriage, "rape is rape." Even in India, a wife must be living apart from her husband following a court order for a judicial separation based on tradition for marital rape to be considered a crime. Marital rape has only recently been recognized by the government as a kind of sexual abuse that occurs in a marriage or other comparable relationship under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
iv.    Sati- It is an offense against women that goes by the names Sati Pratha or Jauhar Vrata and is indigenous to India. It has ancient roots but is still practiced in some regions of India today, such as Rajasthan. In the year 1987, Roop Kanwar, a widow with young children who committed sati in the Rajsthani hamlet of Deorala, in the month August 2001, Kuttu Bai, 65, in the MP district of Panna, in March 2004, Rekia Devi, 65, in the district of Bastipur, and in April 2006, Sita Devi, 77, in the Gaya district of Bihar. The practice persisted in areas like Rajasthan even after Lord William Bentick ruled it illegal in 1829. 
v.    Age-related abuse- In every stage of their life, women endure some sort of violence. It is frequently observed that women who face violence in their marital homes may have been the victims of violence in their childhood or early adulthood. For example,

 a lack of education in the mother's family may result in financial abuse in the marriage. Similarly, for some women, the abuse they endured in old age may be connected to their experiences with violence as a child in the natal home and as a wife in the conjugal home. 
vi.    Forced prostitution- A different type of violence against women and children that has been documented all around the world is forced prostitution or other forms of commercial exploitation by male partners or parents. Children from impoverished families who are unable to provide for them frequently are hired or sold and may end up being forced into prostitution. Very frequently, the young girl is sent as a domestic servant, in which case her employers may abuse her physically and sexually. 
vii.    Killing in the name of honor- In the name of "honor" for the family, hundreds, if not thousands, of women are slaughtered every year. Accurate statistics on the subject of honor killing are difficult to come by because many of these crimes go undetected and without repercussions for the killers, and because in some cultures, the idea of family honor justifies such crimes. If a woman marries against her parents' desires, has extramarital or premarital affairs, weds inside her gotra or outside of her caste, or weds a cousin from a different caste, she will be executed as an act of "honor killing." In contrast to dowry killings, which are also a widespread occurrence in India, honor killings are not justified by the lack of pecuniary benefits received in exchange for the woman's adoption by the culprits. According to the United Nations Children's Fund, over 5,000 brides in India, for instance, pass away every year as a result of their dowries being deemed insufficient (UNICEF). Some rights activists claim that crimes of passion—which are punished very lightly in Latin America—are the same thing as other types of crimes.
c.    Conditioned helplessness- The theory of learned/conditioned helplessness can be applied to battered women, in general, to explain why they decide to continue living in abusive situations. For instance, experiencing abuse repeatedly makes people believe they have no hope of escaping their current situation. 

d.    Gender roles- A significant factor in domestic violence is the gender roles that men and women are expected to play. Men are positioned as the dominant gender and women as the subservient gender in family, social, and cultural life, which results in gender roles that are not only different but also yield uneven outcomes. 
Male control and dominance are frequently represented as a normal or inevitable part of heterosexual sexual and romantic relationships and are widely normalized in popular culture as well as learned in peer groups and the family.  
Reasons Behind Domestic Violence
Incompetency of understanding each other, never letting go of even minor things, lack of tolerance, an unnecessary composition in own family, undue shows, improper liberty, TV serials, kitty parties, social instigations, etc. are the reasons which work behind domestic violence. Local customs and traditions include male-child preference, child and forced marriages, dowry, the hierarchic caste system, and the importance given to "family honor". 
Coping Mechanism
Domestic violence is a sophisticated and complicated phenomenon that has necessitated a variety of analytical stances as well as practical measures to resolve it. The analytic viewpoints have addressed the social aspects of domestic violence, women's economic vulnerability as a result of their dependence on the economy, and sexuality-related difficulties. The role of the law, the court, the state, and social policy, on the other hand, has been addressed by practical approaches. But the overarching conclusion is that dealing with this threat becomes challenging because marriage and family are viewed as private institutions that the state and the judiciary cannot interfere with. Searches for alternative sociological perspectives have been motivated by this circumstance. Currently, feminist organizations or welfare-focused NGOs offer the majority of the aid to the victim in the form of counseling and legal services. Due to the enormous scale of the issue, however, the reach and breadth of such services are constrained. Furthermore, these are not preventative services. They do not assist a lady until she approaches them.

 How domestic abuse can be addressed by women's collectives like self-help groups is one topic in this regard that has not received enough attention (SHGs). 
Suggestions To Combat Domestic Violence
The evil of domestic violence is on the rise in the current situation, and stern and stringent measures must be adopted. To lessen the escalating crime of domestic violence, some measures can be implemented, including: 
a.    To eradicate the crime, the Indian Parliament must enact stricter legislation to safeguard the rights of women who become the targets of domestic abuse of any form. 
b.    Citizens must be sensitised towards the increased risks of domestic violence, and bystanders and neighbours should be urged to intervene if they suspect abuse, using tactics such as the banging on the door or ringing the bell. They should also be provided the benefit of anonymity if they choose to report a case. 
c.    Domestic violence cases are largely handled by the police. They must be made aware of the necessity to treat domestic abuse situations just like any other criminal offense. 
d.    Make penalties for domestic violence consistent and firm. 
e.    To protect women from domestic violence, there are laws in place that must be informed, educated, and communicated to society. A more long-lasting solution to the issue will come from efforts in this area that combine social welfare and community involvement. Men will still abuse women as long as our culture condones and tolerates it. 
f.    It is necessary to enact new legislation that will allow victims of serious sexual assault to receive interim relief, which is often paid for by the offender. The funds could be used for the victim's rehabilitation. The State should be responsible for the rehabilitation of the victims of violent sexual assaults. Increased penalties for abuse against women who have mental illnesses should be included in the law.
g.    The school and university curricula should include gender sensitization and awareness-raising initiatives on domestic abuse. 

h.    Some common measures include subjecting the abuser to rehabilitation programs as well as sanctions like fines, community service, among others. If implemented well these measures will be highly prolific for domestic violence prevention. 

The country's rate of violence against women is shockingly high and becoming more prevalent. It puts social workers under pressure and places a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. But to comprehend their rights and take advantage of opportunities, women need to gain self-confidence and self-determination. To help women become independent through capacity building and skill development, emphasis should be placed on their education. Even though statistics demonstrate that women are just as vulnerable in their own homes, there is much talk about women's safety in public areas. It may be said that domestic violence, or violence in the home, is a significant social issue today, and women will continue to be denied justice unless and until real efforts are made to address it. Both the victim and the offender have the power to put an end to the violence. The responsibility to end the violence rests with the perpetrator, the guy, not the woman. The women must muster the fortitude to refuse it and leave if necessary. 
Domestic violence is a complex issue that is defined by domination and coercion that are repeated and structured. The abuser frequently employs a variety of techniques to exert power and control over the victim while also forcing the weaker partner to submit to them. These include coercion, financial hardship, social exclusion, and abuse in all its manifestations, including physical, verbal, sexual, and psychological assault. In general, estimates of violence from personal studies and surveys are greater than those from official statistics. They may, however, also overestimate the extent of actual domestic violence against women. However, the nature and frequency of domestic violence differ depending on socio-cultural factors. Domestic violence is primarily reported in the form of emotional violence. Though other societal factors also affect the type and frequency of 

domestic violence, economic issues are the primary causes of it. The reality is that women in India are subjected to discrimination based on their gender.She is frequently disregarded and undervalued. The Parliament passed the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), in 2005 in response to the need for similar legislation across the globe as well as the results of the ongoing work of women's organizations. According to the Act, women have rights and are protected. Before the passage of the PWDVA in 2005, the victim's only options for redress were punishment for the offender under the IPC, the civil remedies of divorce and maintenance, which did not provide her with the fullest possible compensation, and the remedies that were available in connection with matrimonial proceedings and judicial proceedings. 


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