Discussion on Domestic Violence

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Discussion on Domestic Violence

Discussion on Domestic Violence

This relates to the violence against women in the form of wife beating, mental torture and even marital rape. It is a hidden aspect of society, not discussed openly for fear of attracting social stigma. Female suppression is an element of society that has been present since feudal times. Undoubtedly violence against women has become a serious social problem and affects the equality, peace and prosperity of families. It de-humanizes women and nullifies their human rights and fundamental freedom.

The National Crime Records Bureau has indicated that incidences of rape and dowry deaths have been increasing over the years. Further statistics reveal that 71 per cent of all rape cases were reported in five states and one Union Territory - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi.

The amendment of rape laws, the Indian Evidence Act and the Criminal Procedure Code 1983, as well as the Supreme Court's directives in 1997 on sexual harassment at the workplace are some of the major responses of the State to sustain campaigns by the women's movement in India against gender-based violence. The National Commission for Women (NCW), in existence since 1992, has made serious efforts to oversee the working of constitutional and legal safeguards for women. The Commission's mandated role and activities include a review of laws, as well as looking into specific complaints of atrocities, denial of rights and harassment and exploitation of women with a view to taking remedial action and restoring their legal rights. It has undertaken a review of 39 laws relating to women. State Commissions for Women have been set up in as many as 16 states and Union Territories. Several states have been involved in formulating and implementing state policies for women.

In a multi-site survey of nearly 10,000 rural and urban households, approximately 50 per cent of women reported experiencing some form of violent behaviour within their marriage and of these 65 percent reported severe physical abuse including being kicked, hit or beaten. Records from the Special Cell for Women and Children in Mumbai revealed that 43 per cent women put up with domestic violence for three to 17 years before complaining to the police. Furthermore, the records show that 6.2 per cent of the women attempted suicide before seeking outside help. Domestic violence has been traditionally viewed as a private matter. The programme aims to raise awareness on domestic violence as a public health issue and a violation of women's rights. A widespread media campaign is planned to help break the silence surrounding the issue and to help initiate a national dialogue on evolving strategies to address domestic violence ..

 

All said and done, it is ultimately the women who should stand up and fight this menace, as it is a problem that surrounds them. The social stigma attached to it should be removed and men made aware that assaulting and harassing women is not their prerogative, but simply a criminal offence. 



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