Domestic Violence: A Social Evil

INTRODUCTION

Domestic violence is the act of controlling, attempt to control, dominating or attempting to dominate another person by means of force, threat, implanting fear etc. Violence can be emotional, psychological, verbal, or physical in nature Domestic violence against women is India is on the rise. India is still a conservative society bound by various customs and ancient traditions. These traditions have since long been repressive towards the female population. Suffer in silence has for ages been the motto of Indian women. Our traditionally patriarchal orthodox society has been in a constant battle with globalization and the new age freedom that it brings. For centuries women have been huddled inside their homes with no voice or opinion, but gradually they have been realizing that they too are important, and this is being resisted by the Indian society at large due to which crimes against women are increasing day by day.

Domestic Violence

In Indian society a woman is looked upon as the one who is responsible for the honor of the entire family. From a very tender age, they are being told what to wear, how to walk, how to talk, how to sit etc. Almost every aspect of their lives are dictated to them making them slaves in their own homes. One wrong or unguarded move can result in devastating consequences for them. For centuries, women have been looked down on and treated as inferior beings and like a property of men, for them to do as they please. This has created generations of meek submissive women always taught to bow before authority and too scared to speak up

This has all changed with the modern 21st Century. Now even women have the same status as men, they too have the same amount of freedom as men. This has angered many orthodox unscrupulous men in the Indian society and have been perpetrating all sorts of violence on women to allegedly put them in their place. This new found freedom for women has become as much a bane as it is a boon.

DOWRY DILEMMA

DOWRY in India

Dowry in India refers to the durable goods, cash, property that the bride’s family gives to the bridegroom, his parents, or relatives on the condition of marriage. The dowry system puts an unnecessary burden on the bride’s family and in some cases is also responsible for violence against women. These days, dowry has turned into a social evil more than a traditional custom with the groom’s family often making exorbitant demands to harass the bride’s family. Sometimes, even after marriage, the demands made by the bridegroom and his family don’t cease which often ends with the woman committing suicide.

DOWRY System in India

As per reports by a leading newspaper in India, almost 21 lives are lost every day in India, and the conviction rate in these cases is less than 35 percent.

PUNISHMENT

The government enacted Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 to put an end to the practice of giving and taking dowry. Any person who gives or takes, or abates this practice can be sentenced for up to 5 years in prison and charged a fine of 15,000 Rupees. Demanding dowry is an act of cruelty and can be noted as grounds for divorce. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 also seeks to protect women from being physically abused by their husbands or relatives.

AFTERMATH

Despite the various laws enacted by the government for protection of women against domestic violence, the progress is still slow. In many parts of India these laws are often not implemented. There is also this problem of uneducated women not knowing their rights which makes them even more vulnerable in the face of danger. In many cases, the husband is the breadwinner of the family and having no education, no means of employment, the battered woman is forced to stay with the abusive husband out of sheer desperation. Our aim should be to educate not only the women but more importantly the men of our society, to change their attitudes and to start treating women as equals and not threaten their freedom and their lives but to protect it. This is the only way we can get closer to putting a total end to violence against women.

Rooh-Women Welfare Program

Lakshyam Rooh: Awakening Women’s Soul’ focuses on empowering women of all age groups, by proving basic resources and strengthening their skills to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle, and regain stability and positivity.

What an NGO Working for Women Empowerment Does

Empowerment’ is a world of things squeezed into a simple word. Do you believe education is empowerment, or do you believe freedom of choice is, or is it the right to have clean water, or shelter? Empowerment, is all the above.

Lakshyam NGO working for Women Empowerment
Lakshyam NGO working for Women Empowerment

In this country, as much as in any, most social evils are inflicted on women and children. They are both easy targets. Since the beginning of time, women have been assessed to be the lower creatures. Not from a feminist point of view, but from a realist one. No one can contradict the fact that under the shadow of poverty all men and women are same. However, women have suffered a large share of a man’s pain as well. The domestic beatings, the sexual abuse, the work place discrimination, the sexism, they are all but a few example of the lengths of torture women have suffered. This article is not meant to be feministic. It is only meant to attract the reader’s attention towards why we need women empowerment, (contradicting a largely popular opinion of masses that ignores the plight of women), and wishes to highlight the main targets of organizations working to uplift them. Have a look.

Rooh-Women Welfare Program

What does an NGO working for women empowerment does? The answer is mentioned for you in various brief points:

  1. Identifies the core issue: It is true that societies around the world are swarming with issues. Nevertheless, what’s most important is finding out the one most critical. Any individual or organization working for social upheaval first identifies the most pressing issue. Let us say, in a small town, over population could be a critical problem.
  2. Suggests and implements a solution: Usually NGOs being financially not so strong, prefer to work on solutions is an economically efficient manner. One that is not capital intensive. Most social problems can be solved with imparting the right kind of knowledge and information.
  3. Unshackles social stereotypes: One of the foremost things to be done while working on a society is breaking social stereotypes. Evidently enough, every society around the world is surrounded by a kind of stereotype. The interesting thing about stereotypes is however, that they never die; they only evolve.
  4. Gives confidence and support to the women: Above everything, it is a necessity to empower the minds of the women by giving them support. The only way to make any person fight a fight is to give them hope. If one wishes to change a society, you have to make them believe that women can stand up for themselves against the traditions of thousands of years, and that they can emerge successful.
  5. Is consistent in work: A change does not happen overnight. Nor does stay forever after taking place. What’s important here is consistence and patience. The task of breaking thousand year old stereotypes takes a long time of effort. Moreover, the longer you work, the stronger the campaign becomes. Therefore, it is mandatory for a social worker to stick to their target for a little longer than just after they have achieved their goals.

Be it an NGO working for women empowerment or an individual, what matters is the wish to make a difference. If you haven’t started yet, do it today. Start anywhere, but make sure to make a difference.