The PWDV Act, 2005 and its role in addressing Domestic Violence against Women
Contact Number: 8811801229
Email ID: email@example.com
Abstract: Domestic violence against women is the most common and at the same time the worst problem of the society. Women, from the very ancient time have been facing and suffering from the practice of domestic violence against them. In spite of being the major portion of the society they are always seem to be in a secondary position. Their voices and efforts can’t touch the existing social order based on rigid structure of Patriarchy and male dominance. Domestic violence against women not only disrespects the human dignity of women but also violates the human rights ensured in each international document of the globe. In this article a few glimpses are reflected to show the real picture of domestic violence cases and also the role of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act in reducing such events and promoting women rights in India.
Key Words: Domestic violence, patriarchy, Law, the PWDV act.
Introduction: Women, from time immemorial are always regarded as occupying a secondary position in society. They aren’t only regarded as less important than men but also treated as a ‘soulless machine’. India is one of those countries where domestic violence becomes the most disturbing and dangerous hindrance in the way of emancipation and empowerment of women. Though men also can be victim of domestic violence but the law under IPC 498(A) specifically protects women only. Various surveys, reports are being published over this issue, where we can observe the intensity of these kinds of events and the deteriorating position of women due to it. In fact according to Thomas Reuters Foundation, India is ranked as the most dangerous country in the world for women.
What is Domestic Violence: domestic violence is defined variably by various scholars, institutions and acts. According to PWDV Act 2005 – ‘ Those actions can be categorized as Domestic Violence if, in case, it harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well being , whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal or emotional abuse and economic abuse.’ It is also termed as ‘intimate partner violence’. In any kind of relationship domestic violence can take place. Moreover anyone can be victim of domestic violence irrespective of caste, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, faith or class (but we are more concerned with women while discussing about domestic violence). Domestic violence is all about power and control exercised by one over the weak one. By analyzing the cycle of power and control we can grasp the causes and the solutions of it. Domestic violence may be of various types and of nature. It is not always explicit and manifested as physical and bodily exploitation. It may be of implicit or emotional too. By insulting before others, by showing disrespect, by trying to isolate the victim from family or friends, also by not trusting or acting in a jealous or possessive manner domestic violence can be exercised. Financial or economic abuses also fall under the realm.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: The PWDVA is a strong supportive mechanism of the victims of domestic violence. It not only provides the solution but also lessens the overall rate of domestic violence cases. If anyone (especially women) at their residence is suffering from they can easily inform the authority by just calling on a number given. The provisions and roles of the act in controlling and solving the issues of domestic violence can be highlighted as follows:
1) To assure legal support and procedure to the victims it has created a position named Protection Officers and also assists the victims through medical,shelter,legal supports and services. Any person who believes that an act of domestic violence has been or is being, or is likely to be committed may give information about it to the Protection Officer.
2) If any Protection Officer, service provider or magistrate or a police officer is reported about any domestic violence incident or they witness any kind of such incident they may inform the aggrieved person about the availability of services, protection measures and her rights to file a complaint under section 498 A of the Indian Panel Code,1860.
3) If the aggrieved person is deprived of shelter and is injured by the oppressor then on the request of the protection officer or a service provider she will be given proper medical and shelter facility.
4) The aggrieved person or any other person on behalf of her can present an application to the magistrate seeking one or more reliefs under this act. Before passing any further order over it he may consider the reports submitted already to the protection officer or the service provider. The magistrate shall fix the 1st date of hearing, which shall not ordinarily beyond three days from the date of receipt of the application by the court.
5) The magistrate if thinks necessary for the protection of aggrieved person and her child may impose any additional condition or pass any other directions.
6) The magistrate may require execution of a bond from the respondent, with or without securities for preventing the commission of domestic violence.
7) Regarding economic abuse cases, the magistrate under the act may direct the respondent to discharge rent and other payments. He may also order the respondent to return the possession of the aggrieved person( her streedhan or any other property)
The PWDV Act, 2005 is strong relief to the victims of domestic violence. It stands as the supportive measure for those who have lost their everything in the name of domestic violence. India has a very high number of domestic violence cases. According to a National Family and Health Survey in 2005, total lifetime prevalence of domestic violence was 33.5% and 8.5% for sexual violence among women aged 15-49.
Solutions and Conclusion: the PWDV Act is trying to address the problem and at the same creating a mechanism to improve the environment. A positive outlook towards women will be the most essential requirement to reduce this produce. Besides we can try the followings:
1) The main reason behind the weakest position of the women is their economic dependency over men. Women should be ensured of self independence. They should be made capable of earning for themselves.
2) Getting educated and literate will surely help in reducing these kinds of cases as women will be well aware about their rights and dignity.
3) Awareness camp, seminars, publications should be organized and published to create a public awakening regarding it.
4) From the very early period of schooling students should be taught how to treat women in their houses. Textbooks should contain lessons on women dignity, equality etc.
5) There should be harsh punishment for those who use domestic violence . it will prevents, at least some from beating and treating women aggressively.
Domestic violence is not something new. Women are always used as just a sexual object. History shows us how they were always treated like an animal. To end this problem we should go to the root and find the solution. Without ensuring a protected environment for the women we cannot have a protected earth. Besides implementing law and regulations, some other steps should also be taken by government, NGOs and International Actors. Sufficient co ordination must be made between concerned ministries and departments dealing with law, home affairs including law and order, health and human resources.
1) The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,2005