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Submitted by

Reg. No. BA0150017

Under the Guidance of


Assistant Professor


(A State University established by Act No. 9 of 2012)
Tamil Nadu 620 009

Ms. Pranusha Kulkarni

Assistant Professor in Family Law

Tamil Nadu National Law School
Tamil Nadu 620 009

This is to certify that the project work entitled DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN
INIDA is a bonafide record of the research work done by R.GOWTHAM, under my
supervision and guidance. It has not been submitted by any other University for the
award of any degree, diploma, associate ship, fellowship or for any other similar

Place: Tiruchirappalli
Signature of the Guide


Reg. No. BA015017

II B.A., LLB. (Hons.)
Tamil Nadu National Law School
Tamil Nadu 620 009

I, R.GOWTHAM, do hereby declare that the project entitled DOMESTIC

VIOLENCE IN INIDA submitted to Tamil Nadu National Law School in partial

fulfilment of requirement for award of degree in Under Graduate in Law to Tamil
Nadu National Law School, Tiruchirappalli, is my original research work. It and has
not been formed basis for award of any degree or diploma or fellowship or any other
title to any other candidate of any university.

Counter Signed
Project Guide

Signature of the Candidate

At the outset, I take this opportunity to thank my Professor Ms. Pranusha
Kulkarni., from the bottom of my heart who have been of immense help during
moments of anxiety and torpidity while the project was taking its crucial shape.
Secondly, I convey my deepest regards to the Vice Chancellor Arun Roy IAS
and the administrative staff of TNNLS who held the project in high esteem by
providing reliable information in the form of library infrastructure and database
connections in times of need.
Thirdly, the contribution made by my parents and friends by foregoing their
precious time is unforgettable and highly solicited. Their valuable advice and timely
supervision paved the way for the successful completion of this project.
Finally, I thank the Almighty who gave me the courage and stamina to confront
all hurdles during the making of this project. Words arent sufficient to acknowledge
the tremendous contributions of various people involved in this project, as I know
Words are Poor Comforters. I once again wholeheartedly and earnestly thank all the
people who were involved directly or indirectly during this project making which
helped me to come out with flying colours.

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If we knew that more than two-third of women had a debilitating disease

that is wearing them down mentally and physically, would we continue
to ignore it?


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This article studies domestic violence between husband and wife in India, and attitudes to
domestic violence. I have not used the term gender-based violence because nowadays both
men and women use violence to control their spouses. Data from the Demographic and
Health Survey 2004-2005 has been analysed. This survey includes women in the ages of 15
to 49, in 26 Indian states. It seems likely that it is related to whether such violence is seen as
acceptable in the perpetrator's family and in the local community. The prevalence of domestic
abuse against women has been estimated as high as one in four. The risk is particularly high
for women who are younger, economically dependent, unemployed and with children.
Research about the factors that maintain situations of abuse has generally focused separately
on the coping strategies of women, barriers to leaving the relationship and the perpetrators'
means of abuse. Twelve women who had experienced domestic abuse and had used voluntary
sector services agreed to be interviewed about their experiences and the resources and
strategies available to them. Using grounded theory we generated four themes: (1) forms of
abuse; (2) different types of domestic violence; (3) consequence of domestic violence; (4)
remedies. These findings illustrate how situations of domestic violence can be prolonged by
limited options available to victims for support and protection, and a lack of active public
acknowledgement that domestic abuse is unacceptable.


To describe about the domestic violence and its causes

To explain about the forms of the domestic violence
To show the growth of domestic violence in India by survey
To show the subsequent consequences of the domestic violence

The project entitled DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN INDIA is done by study in domestic
violence in India with the help of survey by the national family health survey done in 20052006 and many other sources. By this project, I try to convey the concept of domestic
violence and to control it by many methods.


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India is a country of vast culture and tradition. Most of the Indians, as to follow their
tradition do arranged marriage which leads to the less understanding of behaviour and
character between the husband and wives, which mostly results in domestic violence. Also,
India from its past is a male chauvinistic country where most husbands to show their
superiority beat up their wives, if they had difference in opinion in any family economic
issues, which also leads to domestic violence. Domestic violence was recognised as a
criminal offence in India on 1983. The offence is chargeable under 498A of the Indian Penal
Code. However, until recently, there was no separate civil law addressing the specific
complexities associated with domestic violence, including the embedded nature of violence
within familial networks, the need for protection and maintenance of abused women, and the
fact that punishment and imprisonment for the husband may not be the best resolution in
every case.


The term used to describe this exploding problem of violence within our homes is Domestic
Violence. This violence is towards someone who we are in a relationship with, be it a wife,
husband, son, daughter, mother, father, grandparent or any other family member. It can be a
males or a females atrocities towards another male or a female. Anyone can be a victim and
a victimizer. This violence has a tendency to explode in various forms such as physical,
sexual or emotional.2
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, family violence, or
intimate partner violence can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviours by one or
both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or
cohabitation. Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression, or threats
thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking;
passive/covert abuse; and economic deprivation. Alcohol consumption and mental illness can
be co-morbid with abuse and present additional challenges when present alongside patterns of
Panda, P. and Agarwal, B. 2005. Marital Violence, Human Development and
Womens Property Status in India. World Development

Yogana, monthly magazine, article about domestic violence act, 2005.

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abuse. Domestic violence in India includes any form of violence suffered by a person from a
biological relative, but typically is the violence suffered by a woman by male members of her
family or relatives. It occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to
physically or psychologically dominate another. Domestic violence often refers to violence
between spouses, or spousal abuse but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate
partners. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions,
sexes and classes can be perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is perpetrated
by both men and women.
The Domestic Violence Act of 2005 of India legally defines domestic violence and the
prosecution guidelines of those cases that are reported to the police.
In 1983, domestic violence was recognized as a specific criminal offence by the
introduction of section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code. This section deals with cruelty by a
husband or his family towards a married woman. The main legislative measures at the
national level for the children who become a victim of child labour include The Child Labour
Prohibition and Regulation Act -1986 and The Factories Act -1948. The first act was
categorical in prohibiting the employment of children below fourteen years of age, and
identified 57 processes and 13 occupations which were considered dangerous to the health
and lives of children. The factories act again prohibits the employment of children less than
fourteen years of age.
An act called Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 [DVA, 2005] also has
been passed. This Act ensures the reporting of cases of domestic violence against women to a
Protection Officer who then prepares a Domestic Incident Report to the Magistrate and
forward copies thereof to the police officer in charge of the police station within the local
limits of jurisdiction.

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All the possible forms that will constitute the offence for a better understanding:


Physical abuse is the most pervasive and ancient method of subordinating of women in a
family, it is the most common control mechanism applied against a woman within the
domestic sphere. While defining Domestic Violence under the Protection of Women from
Domestic Violence Act, 2005, in section 3 of the act Physical Abuse is explained as any act or
conduct which is of such nature as to cause bodily pain, harm or danger to life, limb, or
health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and include assault
criminal intimidation and criminal force.


Causing of abuse to a woman in the domestic sphere is multidimensional. Under the

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 emotional or psychological abuse
which has been categorized as verbal, is explained as to include insults, ridicule,
humiliation, name calling and insults especially with regard to not having a child or a male
child and repeated there as to cause physical pain to any person in whom the aggrieved
person is interested. Psychological abuses are one of the major forms of abuses faced by


This form of abuse is specific to the interpersonal relation between a man and a woman most
often in a marital relationship. Of the many duties that a wife has towards her husband,
performance of sexual duties is one of them. A wife is never expected to neglect her duties
failure to carry out sexual duties or unfaith fullness appears to have been widely accepted and
understandable explanation for mens violence. In present times men use sexual violence to
assert and maintain their superior masculinity. This form of abuse is more common in
households where men are literate and affluent. In a survey it was found that 79% of men
used sexual violence to control their wives fidelity and 57% of them had more than 6 years
of formal education.

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Of all the abuses in Domestic Violence previously discussed, intellectual abuse has been
missing from all the definitions of Domestic Violence. This is perhaps because in India a
marital relationship or any other man-woman relationship is about the acceptance of
inequality, where men dominate and injure and women get dominated and endure. The entire
socialization process has an inherent isolation for both men and women, which inhibits
effective communication between the two. Even where domestic harmony exists, there is a
sense of isolation in thought whereby both men and women experience alienation from each
other and at a certain level they come out to be strangers. Different educational levels add to
the isolation as the mental levels are different and both find difficulties in relating to each
other at the intellect level. In most of instances it is seen that Indian marriages are clouded
with words such as adjustments and compromises.
Domestic violence against in the women is most prevalent and common in India of all.
Idiotic and male chauvinistic mindset of the society that the women are the weak among the
sex is the main reason for this. Even women, who equally proved themselves in almost every
field of life affirming that they are no less than the men, domestic violence against women is
more in all places. According to the UN population fund report, two of three women are the
victims of the domestic violence. It also stated that seventy percent of Indian women between
the ages of 15 to 45 are the rape and forced sex. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and
some others states, where the domestic violence cases are more filed than the other states.
The most common reason for domestic violence are dissatisfaction with dowry and
exploiting the women for more of it, arguing with the spouse, refusing to have sex and other
reason. In some cases, infertility of the women will be main reason for it. In rural areas, the
greed for the dowry, desire for a male child and alcohol & drugs. There have been horrible
police reports that a young bride being burnt alive after subjected to continuous harassment
for not bringing the demanded amount of dowry and jewels. Also, because of male

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chauvinistic culture, wives who have a doubtful suspicion about the sexual involvement of
their husband with other women or prostitutes have filed cases that they brutally abused and
beaten by their husbands.
Many other factors lead to emotional differences between the spouses and lead to the shape
of domestic violence later. Such factors are more income of wife than husband, wife job
duration and etc.
Violence against the young widows is also being increased in India. They are mostly cursed
by her in-laws for her husbands death and deprived of poor clothing and food.
Other forms of physical abuse against women include slapping, punching, grabbing,
burdening them with drudgery, public humiliation and the neglect of their health problems.
Some of the other forms of psychological torment against them could be curtailment of their
rights to self-expression and curbing the freedom to associate with the natal family and

The following survey was taken by National Family Health Survey on spousal violence by
the husband on 2004-2005 which was given here for the reference:6

6 National family health survey on domestic violence during 2004-2005.

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Though domestic violence of men is less than the domestic violence of women in India, it
already a full form in other western countries by now. The supremacy of male nowadays
makes us believe that they are not suspected to the domestic violence. Recently, hundreds of
husbands gathered in Chandigarh and Shimla to express their opinion on mens right and
protection against domestic violence by their wives and family members. It initiates the need
for special law for curbing domestic violence by their wives and other family members.
For a clear reference, the survey on the domestic violence against the men by their wives
has been clearly explained below by the survey of spousal violence by the women given by
the National Family Health Survey for the time period of one year from 2004-2005.

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Children and teenagers are also the victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence against
children took the second place in terms of number of cases filed. Nowadays, both the parents
to take care of their family economic condition goes to work, which leads to different form of
domestic violence against their children, because of their work stress. Also, nowadays
children and parents dont share their problems due to the lack of communication, which to
the misbehavior of the children and leads to arguments between the parents and finally
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beating of children. This leads to domestic violence. Parents to reduce their stress and anger
on their higher officers and company bosses, shows their anger on their children even for
small mistakes they did which leads to the domestic violence.
In rural areas the reasons could be harassment for child labour, physical abuse or harm for
not following family traditions, forcing them to stay at home and not allowing them to go to
school etc. Domestic violence against girls is in fact, more severe at homes. As the common
mob mentality of India prefers to have at least one male child after marriage, the girls in most
of the occasions are cursed and assaulted for having taken birth in the home. This kind abuse
is prevalent both in cities and villages but is more common in latter. In fact, the number of
rape cases of pre-matured girls has been rising since last few years. A survey of teens and
college students found that rape accounted for 67 percent of sexual assaults in girls. Apart
from sexual abuse and rape, pushing, slapping, punching, stalking and emotional abuse are
other forms of domestic violence against children.

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The following is the survey taken by the National Family Health Survey on 2005-2006
which gives a detailed account percentages of ever-married women who have experienced
different types of spousal violence by state.



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By comparing the above survey on domestic violence experienced by the spouse, we can
notice that the most common form of violence in all states is physical violence. Sexual
violence is reported least often in most states. The only exceptions are West Bengal, where
the prevalence of sexual violence is much higher than the prevalence of emotional violence,
and Manipur where the two are equally prevalent. Sexual violence is most common in West
Bengal, Rajasthan, and Bihar where the prevalence is twice the national average.
Since domestic violence depends on the personal feelings of the family members, its
consequences are also depends on the victims. The consequence thus broadly categorised
under the following:




The effects on the victim and the family is also broadly divided into many types based on
whether the victim is a male or female or children.
Since women are mostly mentally weak than men in India, the deadly consequence will be
suicide and such consequence is increasing nowadays. Because of their problems in the
house, many Indian women lose their concentration on work which leads to drop out from
work place. Some women leave their home immediately after atrocious attacks and beatings
from their husband and try to become self-defendant. Their survival becomes difficult and
painful when they have to work hard for earning two meals a day. Some of the women who
left their home are forcefully and willingly for their living involved in pornography and
women trafficking.

8 Article by Ankur Kumar on domestic violence in India, Posted on February 7, 2010

in Editor's Picks, Society

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The major consequence of domestic violence against the women is that the child, who notices
what is done openly in front of his eyes may have a tendency to reciprocate the same in their
Because of the domestic violence against the women leads them to maintain a distance from
their partner. Their sexual life is affected adversely and also leads to a divorce and seek
separation which again affect the life of the children. In India, there are certain organisations
and Non-Governmental Organisations such as Women Welfare Association of India (WWAI),
Affus Woman Welfare Association (AWWA) and Womans Emancipation and Development
Trust (WEDT) to rescue the women who are being cruelly tortured by the their in-laws and
her husband.

The consequences may be psychological because in many families men are not physically
harassed but mentally by his wife and in-laws for many reasons like not earning money for a
comfort living, for not giving a quality education to his child and other reasons. An
emotionally harassed and depressed man may lose interest in the occupation he is associated
with. There has been a spate of farmers suicide in recent years in Karnataka. Several farmers
have committed suicide not only because of indebtedness but also because of discord in
family and depression resulting out of it. According to statistics of Save India Family
Foundation (an NGO), around 1.2 lac harassed husbands have committed suicide in the
country in the last four years (2011-2015).
The consequences in case of domestic violence against teens are far more drastic and its
effect is long lived. Children are sensitive to issues related to violence of any kind as they are
not mature enough to comprehend them. In their upcoming years, they used to do what they
learned from their parents. Now if the approach of parents itself is negative, children are
bound to get influenced by it. They may adopt the negative traits of the ill they see around
them or develop a hostile approach in life because of the ill-treatment they are subjected to. If
a child is beaten badly for underperforming in school, he may do the same to his children,
thinking it might be the only possible way of making a person to work hard. This may lead to
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bad future of our country. The children who escape being a part of this vicious circle are
looked after by children welfare organizations like, Indian Child Welfare Association
(ICWA), Child Relief and You (CRY) and ChildLine etc.
All the different forms of violence adversely affect the society. Violence against women
may keep them locked in homes submitting to the torture they face. If they come out in open
and reveal the wrong done to them for help and rescue, it influences the society both
positively and negatively. At one hand where it acts as an inspiration and ray of hope for
other suffering women, on the other hand it also spoils the atmosphere of the society. When
something of this kind happens in the society, few families may witness the evil of domestic
violence knocking their door steps. Some families try to imitate what others indulge in
irrespective of it being good or bad for the family.

A recent study by the Indias National Crime Records (NCRB) has conclude that domestic
violence against the women is the fastest growing crime in India and also according to their
latest reports a crime is being recorded against their husband foe every three minutes in India.
For every minutes, average of two women are raped in our country. Every six hours, a young
married woman is found beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide.11
The main question which arise in our mind after seeing the present phenomena of domestic
violence is that how to reduce the occurrence of the domestic violence in not only but also in
the world. Since it depends on the mental problems of the spouse or the house members, it
can be fully curbed out of the society only by the willingness of each and every members of
the society. However with the help of the following, domestic violence can be controlled.

Non-Governmental Organisations



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At present there is no single law in the Indian Constitution which can strictly deal with all the
different forms of Domestic Violence as discussed in this essay. There is an urgent need for
such a law in the country. In fact, there has also been misuse of section 498-A and DVA, 2005
because of restricted definition of cruelty subjected to married women.
Thus the law in our country should be changed and new amendments regarding the law
which deals with the domestic violence should be made to create a fear in the mind of the
monsters who tortures their spouses for their happiness or for silly reasons.
The role of non-governmental organizations in controlling the domestic violence and curbing
its worse consequences is essential. Some of the NGOs are

Majlis and Swaadhar in Mumbai
Sneha in Chennai
Vimochana in Bangalore

Sakshi a violence intervention agency for women and children in Delhi works on cases
of sexual assault, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse and domestic abuse and focuses on
equality education for judges and implementation of the 1997 Supreme Courts sexual
harassment guidelines. Womens Rights Initiative another organization in the same city
runs a legal aid cell for cases of domestic abuse and works in collaboration with law
enforcers in the area of domestic violence.
In Mumbai, bodies like Majlis and Swaadhar are doing meaningful works in this field.
Sneha in Chennai and Vimochana in Bangalore are working on many womens issues arising
from domestic abuse. They are also doing active work in issues related to labour. Services
ranging from counselling, education and outreach, giving provisions, and mobilizing them for
gaining self-confidence are provided to them. Anweshi is a womens counselling centre in
Kozhikode providing meditation, resource and counselling for battered women. All the above
bodies have their own registered offices, contact numbers and websites for those who want to
seek help. There are at present only few NGOs for welfare of men like Social Welfare
Association for Men (SWAM) in Chennai. Few more such organizations need to be opened
for the help of abused men.
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These NGOs continue to spread awareness amongst people regarding the legal rights they
have in hand for fighting against the atrocities they are subjected to. They are encouraging
more and more people to report any case of domestic violence so that proper action may be
taken against the culprits.

Police plays a major role in tackling the domestic violence cases. They need to be sensitized
to treat domestic violence cases as seriously as any other crime. Special training to handle
domestic violence cases should be imparted to police force. They should be provided with
information regarding support network of judiciary, government agencies/departments.
Gender training should be made mandatory in the trainings of the police officers. There
should be a separate wing of police dealing with womens issues, attached to all police
stations and should be excluded from any other duty.
Authorities should take steps to recognize Domestic Violence as a public health issue. A crisis
support cell needs to be established in all major Government and Private Hospitals with a
trained medical social worker for provide appropriate services. Training programmes must be
organized for health professionals in order to develop their skills to provide basic support for
abused people. Documentation on the prevalence and the health consequences of domestic
violence should be undertaken by the concerned government departments, health care
institutions, NGOs and counselling centres. A nodal agency should also be set up for the
annual consolidation of the documented work and publish the same for wider publicity
among the masses for increasing awareness.

Having looked at a sensitive topic of Domestic Violence in India, we can sense the
importance of discussion of such a topic. The varying causes which can spark the violence
within the four walls of homes need to be analysed carefully and a wise study of the factors
causing the violence may prevent a family to suffer from the menace of domestic violence.
The domestic violence may have a far wider and deeper impact in real life than what has been
covered in this essay. What is required is to see closely the association of the factors
provoking a particular form of domestic violence and to control it. If these factors can be
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controlled then more than one form of violence can be prevented from harming an individual
or our society and India would be a much better place to live in.

Domestic violence becomes a major crime in our country, which hadnt be yet taken to the
lights in the society. It has to be reduced or totally stopped before it happens in each and
every families.
My opinion is that the laws are mainly in support in females and not the domestic violence
against men is not even taken into consideration. I am not saying that all the laws are in
support of women, but certain are. Nowadays, women in the name of equality do all the
things which men do, even it is wrong. In India, it is not considered as a crime if the wives
torture their husbands physically and mentally and there is no specific law for it. Without any
solution for the problems in their families and by their wives, many husbands had committed
suicide, without any other choices and leaving his children alone. The Indian laws were in
support of women in many issues like domestic violence, which made the women to think
that they have more rights and respect than men and many fraud complaints were filed by the
wives against their husbands for their personal problems.
According to section 497 of IPC, the female who performs adultery will not be considered
as a abettor and not punished but the male who committed adultery will be punishable with
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend upto five years, or with fine,
or with both. This is a perfect example that laws are in favour of women.
According to 304(B) of IPC, Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily
injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her
marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or
harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any
demand for dowry, such death shall be called "dowry death", and such husband or relative
shall be deemed to have caused her death. Men were arrested wrongly under the provision of
dowry dead.

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In many cases, husbands cannot talk against their wives as they were afraid that they would
file a complaint against them. The police also, without complete enquiry arrest their husband.
Thus my personal opinion is that certain laws must be changed in favour of both sex.

Yogana, monthly magazine, article about domestic violence act, 2005.
Panda, P. and Agarwal, B. 2005. Marital Violence, Human Development and
Womens Property Status in India. World Development.
Martin L. S. 1999, Domestic Violence in Northern India. Page No: 417-426
Article by Ankur Kumar on domestic violence in India, Posted on February 7,
2010 in Editor's Picks, Society
National family health survey on domestic violence during 2004-2005.


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