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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.