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Domestic Violence And Its Consequences A Case For Male V. Female (By-Perepu Vasavi)

Domestic Violence And Its Consequences A Case For Male V. Female

Authored By-Perepu Vasavi


Domestic Violence is defined as a violent control exercised by one individual over another. It is also referred to as building control and terror in a relationship via various sorts of abuse. Torture can be psychological, sexual, economic, or physical .this is not merely social issue; it is a major violation of human rights, exposing the victim to health and social consequences. the United Nations defines it as “ intimate partner violence ” , which occurs when one person in a relationship uses threat , mental abuse , manipulation , trying to hurt , injury , or financial abuse to take control of the other , and whose victim can be anyone , irrespective of age , gender , race , sexual orientation , class , or belief .

Domestic Violence is not limited to those who are spouses or partners; it may also comprise multiple ties that an individual is bound by inside a family. In India, for instance, the legal component has given it a border connotation, including sisters, widows, moms, single women, and any women residing in the same family. As a result, Domestic Violence covers both intimate partners and family members. according to Section 3 of the Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act of 2005 (DV Act) , any act or omission by the Respondent that damages , injuries , threatens , or abuses physically , sexually , verbally , or economically constitutes domestic violence .

According to the Union Health Ministry ’ s National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) , every third women in India encounters some sort of domestic abuse from the age of fifteen . It also said that 31% of married women have experienced physical, sexual or emotional torture at the hands of their partners. The main concern is that around 10% of these women reported violence. Clearly, this is a big issue that must be addressed, and women reported violence. Clearly, this is a big issue that must understand their rights as well as how to defend them. To address such incidents, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 was enacted.

How Domestic Violence Laws Are Misused

Domestic violence laws are frequently used to harass the spouse or any other family member claiming under him, ensuring that he caves to the unlawful demands of the so-called victim rather than vice versa. Unfortunately, there have been a number of examples where Section 498A has been utilized primarily as a tool for blackmailing. It is often abused as a weapon for exacting retribution on whole families because under this clause, police can arrest anybody named as a tormentor in a married woman’s complaint, as ‘cruelty’ in marriages has been declared a non-bailable offence. Following that, bail under such circumstances is refused as a basic right.

As a result, many times, elderly parents and other relatives are wrongly accused of physically and emotionally tormenting the so-called victim, producing unnecessary tension that may result in bad health for the elderly parents and physical and mental pain for the accused’s family members.

Even if the charge is proven false, the accused is humiliated by the society. Poor and uneducated women may have endured the torment of their husband’s family, but many educated women now use this conduct for illegal motives. The legislation was rewritten, significantly weighted in favor of women, on the assumption that only really offended women would come forward to file a complaint and that they would always speak the truth.

Data Analysis Of Domestic Violence In Iindia

Domestic Violence cases in India increased 53% between 2001 and 2018, the majority violence cases were filed under ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ , with the reported rate of this crime increasing by 53%over 18 years . The study has also highlighted that the rate of cases of cruelty by husbands or relatives was 28.3 per 1, 00,000 women in 2018, which is an increase of 53% from 2001. The rate of reported dowry deaths and abetment to suicide was 2% and 1.4%, respectively, in 2018. The data analyzed by the researchers was extracted from the annual reports of the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) under four domestic violence crime headings – cruelty by husband or his relatives, dowry deaths, abetment to suicide, and protection of women against domestic violence act.

A total of 1,548,548 cases were reported under cruelty by husband or his relatives in India from 2001 to 2018, with 554,481 (35.8%) between 2014 and 2018. The reported rate of this crime in India was 18.5 in 2001 and 28.3 in 2018 per 1, 00,000 women aged 15–49 years, marking a significant increase of 53% over this period. Wide variations were seen in the rate for reported cruelty by husband or his relatives in 2018 at the state-level.

Delhi, Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir documented more than 160% increase in this reported crime rate during 2001–2018.The greatest decline in the rate of this reported crime was seen in Mizoram, 74.3% from 2001 to 2018.The study also underlined that the non-availability of anonymized individual level data of the cases registered in the public domain limits the exploration of patterns in domestic violence that can enable evidence-based policy action. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 5 is to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls and the two indicators of this progress are rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner violence. The WHO has estimated a 26% prevalence of IPV in ever-married /partnered women aged 15 years, this prevalence is at 35% for southern Asia.


The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 5 is to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, and the two indicators of progress towards this are the rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner violence[1]. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated a 26% prevalence of IPV in ever-married/partnered women aged 15 years or more globally in 2018, and this prevalence is higher at 35% for southern Asia region in which India falls[2]. The self-reported domestic violence (majority by an intimate partner) in any form is reported between 33 to 41% among ever-married women from India. Furthermore, the suicide death rate among women in India

was reported to be twice the global rate[3], and housewives account for the majority of suicide deaths, the reasons for which are documented as “personal/social”.[4]

Domestic violence was first recognized as a punishable offence in India in 2005 with the passing of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA)[5]. A significant focus of domestic violence against women in India has been on dowry-related harassment. Dowry is the transfer of goods, money and/or property from the bride’s family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage, initially meant to provide funds to women who were unable to inherit family property. Dowry is very prevalent in India, and it has propagated domestic violence as means to extract money or property from the bride and her family. While earlier sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) criminalized only dowry-related domestic violence, PWDVA expanded legal recourse for domestic violence beyond dowry harassment for more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family.

The major official source of surveillance for domestic violence in India are the reports compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)[6]. Though under-reporting in NCRB reports is well documented for certain types of injuries, it remains the most comprehensive longitudinal source of domestic violence available at the state-level for India. We undertook a situational analysis for the years 2001 to 2018 using the NCRB reports to highlight the trends in the reported magnitude of domestic violence over time, to highlight the variations within country that could facilitate prioritization of immediate actions for prevention, and to discuss the limitations of the available NCRB reports for surveillance.



(Criminal Appeal Np. 271/2011)

This issue has often remained a controversial one as Section 2(q) of Domestic Violence Act defines “respondent” as any adult male person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under this Act:
Provided that an aggrieved wife or female living in a relationship in the nature of a marriage may also file a complaint against a relative of the husband or the male partner.

In view of the definition of the term respondent covering the adult male person, the judiciary has time and again been confronted with the argument that an aggrieved person can file complain under the Domestic Violence Act against an adult male person only and not against the female relatives of the husband i.e. mother-in-law, sister-in-law.

However, the Supreme Court in the aforementioned case put to rest the issue by holding that the proviso to Section 2(q) does not exclude female relatives of the husband or male partner from the ambit of a complaint that can be made under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act. Therefore, complaints are not just maintainable against the adult male person but also the female relative of such an adult male.

(Writ Petition No. 4150/2013)

Under Section 19 (1) (b) of the Domestic Violence Act order can be passed directing the Respondent to remove himself from the shared household. Thus, the Magistrate is empowered to pass an order directing the respondent to remove himself from the shared household.
In this case, the Bombay High Court held that no matter that a man may alone own a particular house, he has no right to be violent against his wife or the woman he lives with and if the Court

sees any violence he must be restrained from entering upon the residence essentially to secure the wife and children against further violence and similar disputes.
The object behind the enactment of Section 19 of Domestic Violence Act – In Sabita Mark Burges case, the Bombay High Court very succinctly explained the object behind residence order as-

It is common observance that the applications for grant of injunction in respect of the residence and possession of the respondent are essentially seen by Courts upon the proprietary rights of the parties. Since in most cases wives do not own matrimonial homes, they are statutorily given rights therein which were not given to them by Courts under the principles of common law so that they have a right to peaceful enjoyment of their matrimonial home. Section 19 of the Domestic Violence Act came to be enacted in the first place granting essentially the wives/women peace against domestic violence in their residence, their title notwithstanding. This statutory grant is upon the sublime principle of human rights prevailing over proprietary rights. It may bear repetition to state that both are equally entitled to the said flat unless one of them is violent.

In the case of Lalita Toppo vs. The Sate of Jharkhand and Anr. (2018) , which was heard by the Supreme Court  of India , the Complaint , who was not the Respondent’s legally wedded wife , approached the Court to obtain maintenance under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, supposing that she will not be allowed to maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

In this instance, the Appellant was in a live-in relationship, with whom she had a kid. When the couple got separated, the Appellant sought support from her spouse, for which the Gumla Family Court allowed, giving her Rs 2000 per month and Rs 1000 to her child. The Appellant filed an appeal in the High Court, which found the family court’s ruling to be incorrect and ruled in favor of the partner. The Appellant then went to the Supreme Court.

In the Supreme Court a three-judge Bench composed of the then- CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices U.U. Lalit and K.M. Joseph observed that a live-in partner will be obligated to even more relief than that envisaged by Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Making reference to the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, the bench noted that the petitioner in the case would have a remedy to seek maintenance under the Act despite the fact that she is not the legally wedded wife and thus not obligated to be maintained under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It was also observed by the Court that domestic violence, according to the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, also includes economic abuse.

In this case, Sunita Malik (Complainant) and her husband, Inder Raj Mailk (Respondent), were married. To extract more and more money and articles, the Complainant Sunita was treated cruelly, beaten, starved, and abused by her husband and in-laws after marriage, particularly during festivals. One day, she was tortured physically and mentally to the point of fainting in her matrimonial home, but no doctor was called for her medical checkup.

Sunita Malik was threatened by her mother and brother-in-law with death and kidnapping unless she compelled her parents to sell their property in Hauz Qazi. As a result, it was discovered that the Complainant, Sunita Mailk, was treated cruelly and physically tortured by her husband and in-laws. Sunita Malik was harassed in order to force her or anyone associated with her to meet an illegal requirement for movable and immovable property.


In this case, the plaintiffs were Pushpa Narottam Harsora and Kusum Narottam Harsora, a mother-daughter duo. They filed a complaint against Pradeep (son/brother), his wife, and her two sisters, alleging that the four of them subjected them to domestic abuse.   The Respondents urged the Metropolitan Magistrate to release Pradeep’s wife and two sisters/daughters since, according to Section 2(q), a complaint may only be filed against an “adult male.” The Respondents’ application was denied.

The Bombay High Court ruled that Section 2(q) of the aforementioned Act should be read in light of the definitions contained in Sections 2(a), 2(f), and 2(s) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. Essentially, this assured that a complaint could be lodged against female family members as well as the “adult male member.” However, a complaint alleging domestic abuse cannot be brought primarily against the female members of the household. A co-Respondent must be an adult male. As a result, the Court did not read down the term “adult male person.” After this the mother and daughter duo filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court struck down adult male from the concept of ‘Respondent,’ holding that it is not founded on any intelligible differentia having a rational nexus with the purpose sought to be attained. In the same instance, the Supreme Court clarified that women and non-adults are among the people who can seek redress under the DV Act. The word “Respondent” in Section 2(q) or those who can be considered perpetrators of violence against women/against whom remedies under the DV Act are enforceable cannot be limited to the phrase “adult male person” in Section 2(q). As a result, remedies under the DV Act are accessible even against female members and non-adults.

The Proviso to Section 19 clearly states that no order under Section 19 (1) (b) of the Domestic Violence Act can be passed against any person who is a woman.
In this case, it was held that in the guise of passing an order under Section 19 (1) (b) of Domestic Violence Act, such women members of the family cannot be directed to be removed from the shared household.
A similar observation was made by the High Court of Madras in the case of Uma Narayanan vs. Mrs. Priya Krishna Prasad, (Criminal Original Petition No. 9277/2008) wherein the Court observed that under Section 19 (1) (b) of Domestic Violence Act the Magistrate is empowered to pass an order directing the respondent to remove himself from the shared household. While enumerating the directions that could be passed under Section 19 (1) (b) of Domestic Violence Act and with particular reference to the direction that could be issued under Section 19 (1) (b) of Domestic Violence Act the said proviso has been incorporated just to protect the interest of a woman member of the family who is living in such a shared household.

 Such a provision in the proviso has been incorporated only for the aforesaid limited purpose. In a shared household which may belong to a joint family women members may also be living and in the guise of passing an order under Section 19(1) (b) of the Act, such women members of the family cannot be directed to be removed from the shared household but such a direction can be issued only against male members.

Don’t Take The Blame

You may not be ready seek help because you believe you’re at least partially to blame for the abuse in the relationship. Reasons may include:

Your partner blames you for the violence in your relationship. Abusive partners rarely take responsibility for their actions.
Your partners only exhibits abusive behavior with you. Abusers are often concerned with outward appearances and may appear charming and stable to those outside of your relationship. This may because you to believe that his or his actions can only take notes of unhealthy patterns in your relationship .this may cause you to believe that his or her actions can only be explained by something you’ve done.
Therapists and health care providers who see you alone or with your partner haven’t detected a problem. If you haven’t told your health care provider about the abuse, they may only take note of unhealthy patterns in your thinking or behavior. This can lead to a misdiagnosis. For example, survivors to intimate partner violence may develop symptoms that resemble chronic disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia. Exposure to intimate partner violence also increases your risk of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and Post – Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
You have acted out verbally or physically against your abuser, yelling, pushing or hitting your partner during conflicts. You may worry that you are abusive, but it’s much more likely that you acted in self – defense or intense emotional distress. Your abuser may use such incidents to manipulate you, describing them as proof that you are the abusive partner.

Domestic Violence Data

Domestic violence plaints to NCW rose 26% last year. Amid a raging pandemic, the number of women reaching to report violence and harassment within their homes has shown a significant rise in 2021 when compared to 2020. In the second year of the pandemic, the commission received 30,865 complaints of which 72.5% (22,379) fall in three categories – to secure their right to live with dignity (36%); protection from domestic violence (21.6%); and matters of harassment of married women including for dowry (15%).

In the second year of the pandemic, the commission received 30,865 complaints of which 72.5%(22,379) fall in three categories – to secure their right to live with dignity (36%) ; protection from domestic violence (21.6%) ; and matters of harassment of married women including for dowry (15%) . state wise break – up shows that 51.3% of all the complaints across 24 categories are from Uttar Pradesh , followed by Delhi (10.8%) and Maharashtra (4.9%) . as per the data on the NCW portal , in 2021, pertaining to securing the right to live with dignity shot up 44% to 11,084 compared to 7,715 in the previous year .

On the rise in the number of complaints, NCW chairperson Rekhta Sharma said, “The pandemic has been a challenge for everyone across the globe, especially women. Last year the NCW launched a 24/7 helpline for women affected by violence. We have more and more women coming forward and getting help from NCW. We receive around 400 calls daily on the helpline including those for information about NCW and get around 10 SOS calls a week seeking emergency help” she added.



Gender is a social construction and it is often influenced by race, caste, country, class, culture, sexual preference, ability, rituals, etc. In many south Asian countries such as India, gender roles are very rigid. This rigidity gives rise to gender biases and stereotypical notions. Men who face domestic violence at the hands of their wives or their intimate partners, these attackers who are usually women are immune to the provisions related to gender violence that is given in the penal provisions i.e. Indian Penal Code of the country. 

According to Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code 1860, only a man can be held liable for cruelty to his wife. There is not any subsection or any provisions given in the statute that will make a woman liable for domestic violence. When men try to open up and to report about the torture and physical violence that they are facing, no one listens to them, not even the police. Complaining about domestic violence by a man can often label a man as ‘effeminate’ or ‘feeble’ by the Indian society. 

Many men think that situation will get better shortly because of this reason too they do not report about the domestic violence that they face. Any type of violence whether physical or mental is the gross violation of human rights. Unreported and unsaid cases of domestic violence can ultimately lead to separations, bitter fights, divorces, depression, and even suicides. Because of the biased laws in the Indian Penal Statute which favor women, there are a plethora of false cases where women falsely alleged a man for rape or for domestic violence and the sad thing is that these biased laws automatically assume that a man can never be the victim. Women do not need to give any sort of evidence to prove their authenticity. They are presumed to be true creatures by the biased laws. 

According to the 2002 report by the World Health Organization, women think of committing suicides more often than men while men die of suicides more frequently. Continuous exposure to violence can cause many physical and mental diseases such as depression, suicidal tendencies, and chronic physical disorders such as cancer, heart attacks, HIV/AIDS, etc.

Impact Of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence causes major health problems to its victims. These health problems include a great impact on the mental health of the victim as well. People who have been the victims of domestic violence suffer from interpersonal trauma and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Domestic violence is called a series of abusive behavior because at first it starts from basic yelling, shouting, or threatening (known as displaying psychological aggression) and then it escalates to more severe abuse, such as physically and sexually harming the victim. The offender follows a certain pattern.

The offender follows the theory of power and control. This theory was developed by Ellen Pence and Michael Palmar after working with the victims of domestic violence. This theory states that the behavior of the abusers is not random or arbitrary, but is derived to fulfill some purpose. This theory is used to understand the behavioral pattern of the abusers that are used to establish control or dominance over their partners or any other family member. 

The pattern of behavior that an abuser follows is that they first show their aggression in the form of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. After abusing, the offender feels guilty of hurting so they go and apologize and their behavior after this becomes normal as if nothing happened. Again the abuser finds out some way to abuse as it gives them mental and physical pleasure. This is the cycle that an abuser follows. An abuser thinks that whatever they are doing to the other person is not wrong.

Consequence Of Domestic Violence On Females

The females in this world constitute the majority of the victims of domestic violence. Women in our country and worldwide have been subject to many kinds of abuse because according to the offenders’ mindset, women are weak and are not capable enough to fight. Intimate partner violence is the most committed violence against women worldwide. In ancient times, women were considered as the property of the husband or the burden on their father, and so no legal provisions were there at that time to protect females from domestic abuse. As mentioned at the beginning, at that time, it was considered okay when the husband used to beat their wife or abuse them verbally or sexually, because it was considered the right of the husband to treat their wives in whatever ways they like.

 Husbands considered their wives weak and they used to take out all their aggression on them. The females at that time were not aware of the fact that they could raise their voices as they were entirely financially dependent upon their husbands. After the feminist movement, females became aware of their rights.

In modern times, domestic abuse has not decreased against women but only increased. The majority of the women worldwide suffer from domestic abuse either at the hands of their husbands or in-laws. Still, women are considered less than men. Males of the family want the females of their household to do things according to their wishes, and therefore they impose certain restrictions on them.


In this modern world, where women are as qualified as men and are getting equal opportunities, there is a need to widen the scope of domestic violence and not limit its definition only to women. In India, there is so much societal pressure that a person suffering from domestic abuse often stays quiet, be it a man or a woman. Our society has some preconceived notions about both genders and it seems to have already been decided how a man or woman should be. It is now the need of the hour that the legislature also recognizes that a man can also be the victim of domestic violence. This is also a huge social issue that needs to be addressed by breaking the norms of society and creating awareness amongst people.

The Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 are a highly promising piece of legislation that combines civil and criminal punishments to give effective remedies to women who become victims of domestic violence. The statute includes provisions for protection officers, medical facilities, and free of charge orders, among other things, to assist aggrieved women in defending themselves and their loved ones. However, the Act does not come without flaws. Clearly, the Act’s implementation has to be strengthened. According to Human Rights Watch, police frequently do not submit a First Information Report (FIR), which is the first step in commencing a police investigation, especially if the aggrieved individual is from a low-income or socially disadvantaged part.

It is also true that the DV Act has failed to address the issues that women and men confront when it comes to domestic violence, and the law is frequently misapplied when it is employed. Society needs more gender-neutral laws that treat men and women equally in situations of domestic violence, rather than instilling dread in the hearts of innocent people, as most men do and giving the other gender an extortion weapon. On the surface, the DV Act appears to be gender prejudiced. The DV Act should be changed with more gender-neutral clauses to prevent its misuse and to promote gender equality and fair justice.

In recent times due to modernization and westernization, societal values, culture, norms have changed a lot. Earlier men were seen as protectors of their family but nowadays both men and women are equally working, raising and managing their homes with equal contribution to their incomes. Men have now opened up about the domestic violence that they face and now they have started sharing their pain, agony, and their struggles openly. Men are no longer stronger than women. 

It’s high time that statute and laws too should recognize their problem as a social problem or issue. Domestic violence against men can be recognized with effective changes in the laws, by creating awareness and by breaking stereotypes and preconceived notions.


Domestic violence against women: Recognize patterns, seek help - Mayo Clinic

Domestic violence cases in India increased 53% between 2001 and 2018: Study | Cities News,The Indian Express

Domestic violence plaints to NCW rose 26% last year | India News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)

Domestic violence in Indian women: lessons from nearly 20 years of surveillance | BMC Women's Health | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)

Domestic violence against men in India - iPleaders

Top 10 domestic violence cases - iPleaders

Domestic violence : evaluating the repercussions for males versus females - iPleaders



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