Updated: Apr 28
We’ve heard of domestic violence around us at some point in life. Is it still endemic? A survey carried out by the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked India as the most dangerous country in the world for women. Although, the rate of domestic violence is less in India the total number of cases appears to be horrendous. In India, not many people are known to report cases due to social pressure, family indulgence, unavailability of means etc thus cases do not get identified but if it did then the number of cases would rise manifoldly. It is disheartening to see Domestic violence even during modern times. Every third woman, since the age of 15 has faced domestic violence at some point in India. A survey found that over 31% of women faced sexual, physical or emotional violence from their spouses. Now, it is unlikely among upper classes and famous people unlike older times but the middle and lower classes are still under its wrath.
Now that the victim and abuser are locked in the same room during the lockdown, reported cases have risen steeply. Throughout the world, there has been a sudden rise in the number of reported cases of domestic violence. Coronavirus might not kill people but the abuser might. Lockdown was supposed to help people but is it really beneficial? Are people safe at their own residence? World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the risk of intimate partner violence is likely to increase, as distancing measures are put in place and people are encouraged to stay at home. Earlier, there used to be 900 - 1000 calls per day of domestic violence, eve-teasing, molestation, etc and ever since the lockdown there are 1000-1200 calls per day for domestic violence alone. There might have been a drop of other cases in an area but for domestic violence, it’s certainly the opposite. You might think that it is absurd to say this but in the past few months, there have been 8000 deaths due to domestic violence in India. India is surely changing physically but mentally it is still stuck to the ancient times. If they continue, India would take an ugly turn. Thus to abrogate this, it is really important to make victims feel empowered and secured. They need to come forward and raise voice towards any injustice that they might face.
There are 3 crucial domestic violence acts in India :
The Indian penal code amendment
The 2005 protection from domestic violence act
The 2013 criminal law amendment
It is important for the victims to know that the law is by their side and they need not fear anyone. Punishment for domestic violence should be more strict so as to make the abuser think thrice before committing any awful offence.
After all, a person cannot feel safe anywhere if the home itself isn't safe because the safest place for a person is nowhere but home.