DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN INDIA
In India where almost half of the population are women, they have always been ill-treated and deprived of their right to life and personal liberty as provided under the constitution of India. Women are always considered as a physically and emotionally weaker than the males, whereas at present women have proved themselves in almost every field of life affirming that they are no less than men due to their hard work whether at home or working places. Behind closed doors of homes all across our country, people are being tortured, beaten and killed. It is happening in rural areas, towns, cities and in metropolitans as well. It is crossing all social classes, genders, racial lines and age groups. It is becoming a legacy being passed on from one generation to another. But offences against women which reflects the pathetic reality that women are just not safe and secure anywhere.
Violence against women is not a new phenomenon. Women have to bear the burns of domestic, public, physical as well as emotional and mental violence against them, which affects her status in the society at the larger extent. The statistics of increasing crimes against women is shocking, where women are subjected to violence attacks i.e. foeticide, infanticide, medical neglect, child marriages, bride burning, sexual abuse of girl child, forced marriages, rapes, prostitution, sexual harassment at home as well as work places etc. In all the above cases women is considered as aggrieved person.
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 male’s or a female’s 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. ‘Domestic Violence’ includes harms or injuries which endangers women’s health, safety, life, limb or well being, whether mental or physical. It may also be through physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse. According to ‘United Nation Population Fund Report’, around two-third of married Indian women are victims of Domestic Violence attacks and as many as 70 per cent of married women in India between the age of 15 and 49 are victims of beating, rape or forced sex. In India, more than 55 percent of the women suffer from Domestic Violence, especially in the states of Bihar, U.P., M.P. and other northern states.
Domestic violence or domestic abuse typically occurs between people who are in an intimate relationship. Most often the abusers are husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends or intimate partners. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse, but females are most often the victims. Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violence and happens in most societies all over the world. It happens to women of all backgrounds.
Knowing the signs of abuse
You may not be able to identify abuse in the early stages as it usually begins in a subtle way. It can begin as an occasional unkind comment, can turn more vicious later on and over a period of time the abuser begins controlling your behavior and your life. As the situation worsens the abuse can become more frequent, severe and violent putting your safety and that of your children at a dangerous risk. Here are some signs that will help you know if you are in a relationship with a person who abuses you.
Signs of domestic abuse
- You have to constantly keep asking the person money for your everyday expenses.
- The person often commits deliberate acts to scare you.
- The person is very possessive of you and questions your actions every time, often accusing you of being unfaithful.
- The person tries to control you in every way—what you do, what you wear, where you go, whom you talk to, etc.
- Gets violent when intoxicated with alcohol or drugs
- Threatens to kill you or threatens suicide
- Beats you up often or threatens you with a weapon
- Forces you to have sex without your consent
- Prevents you from seeing family members and friends
Dangers of domestic abuse
Domestic violence can be especially dangerous if you are pregnant or have children. The health of your unborn baby and that of your children are at extreme risk.
Besides, being witness to abuse can have a psychologically negative impact on children. Most men who abuse their wives abuse their children too.
If you feel you or your children are victims of abuse, seek help immediately. It is the best way to save your children and yourself.
Its not about anger, it is about power and control
There is a common misconception that domestic violence is a result of pent up frustration and anger. This is far from true. The truth is that the person who abuses you tries to instill fear and gets a kick out of exercising control over you. In order to exert power over you, the abuser may employ different strategies to make you buckle to his pressure. Here are some of the methods used by abusers to gain control over you.
- Calls you insulting names or engages in criticizing you.
- Blames you for his abusive behavior. Makes you feel that you deserve it.
- Scares you by breaking things in the house or hurting your children or pets.
- Threatens to hurt you, your children or your family members.
- Takes all the household decisions by himself and treats you like a slave.
- Does not allow you to meet friends, family members or to socialize.
- Calls you frequently when you are at work and portrays a bad image about you amongst your friends, relatives and office coworkers.
Ending the abuse
Domestic violence can take a toll on your life and that of your children. Overtime the abuse usually worsens and the frequency only increases, unless you take preventive action at the earliest. Remember, domestic violence can break you down and rob you of your self-esteem and confidence. The irony is that over a period of time you may begin to doubt your own abilities and integrity. Worse, you may actually begin to feel that you are at fault for the torture that you suffer and even begin to feel that you probably deserve it.
If you feel you are a victim of domestic violence, talk about it to someone you trust—a friend, relative, parent or colleague. It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor will be able to help you cope with it. He or she may also recommend you to an expert who specializes in cases related to domestic abuse.
Being confused as you may be, you may not be in a position to make a rational and intelligent decision on your own. Therefore it is vital that you seek external help—the sooner the better.
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