Sei sulla pagina 1di 225

Socio-Economic & Educational

Background of the Victims of


Domestic Violence in India

Report

Sponsored by
Ministry of Women & Child Development,
Govt. of India

Conducted by

Solidarity of the Nation Society,


Bahar-B 10/32, Sahara States, Jankipuram,
Lucknow

2009

CONTENTS
Preface & Acknowledgements

i - iii

List of Tables

i - iv

Executive Summary

i - viii

CHAPTER 1

: Introduction

CHAPTER 2

: Domestic Violence Against Women:


Theoretical Perspective

22 - 71

CHAPTER 3

: Magnitude of Domestic Violence

72 - 90

CHAPTER 4

: Legal & Administrative Provisions for


Protection of Women

91 - 116

CHAPTER 5

: Background of Domestic Violence Victims

117- 161

CHAPTER 6

: Nature & Extent of Domestic Violence

162 - 196

CHAPTER 7

: Conclusion & Policy Recommendations

197 - 209

ANNEXURE

: Bibliography
: Questionnaire

1- 21

i - xii
i x

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Domestic violence against women is a widespread problem; however, its actual
extent is difficult to measure. It may be very much higher than that the reports indicate
because many incidences of domestic violence against women are not reported. The
research studies and surveys conducted by individuals generally produce higher
estimates of violence than official records. However, they are also assumed to
underestimate the actual extent of domestic violence against women. For a variety of
regions, women may fall to report violence that takes place in family. According to
available statistics from around the world, about 33 per cent of women have experience
violence in on form or other in their intimate relationship at some point in their life. In
India, the actual prevalence of domestic violence against women is scant. However,
NFHS-III (2006-2007) report indicated that about 35 per cent women have experienced
physical or sexual violence from their intimate relationship in the family. The nature and
extent of domestic violence vary depending upon the socio-cultural variables and
environment. Against this view point, present study has been conducted to review
domestic violence against women and examining the socio-cultural, economic and
educational background characteristics of the victims of domestic violence. The study is
confined to mainly northern states viz., Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya
Pradesh. However, in order to get insights on the topic of research, secondary data and
pertinent literature has been analyzed and critical reviewed.
Present study has been planned in seven chapters. Chapter 1 is introductory one
which provides the rationale, objectives and research methodology. Chapter 2 deals with
theoretical perspective of domestic violence against women. Various theories developed
so far on the domestic violence, concept and causes of domestic violence, approaches
to study the nature and extent of domestic violence etc. have been reviewed critically.
Chapter 3 is related with magnitude of domestic violence. On the basis of available
literature and secondary information, an analysis has been made to review the status of
domestic violence in India. Chapter 4 is concerned with administrative, political and legal
framework for protection of women against domestic violence. Chapter 5 provides a
detailed analysis of the background characteristics of the victims of domestic violence.
Chapter 6 deals with the analysis of nature and extent of domestic violence in the
selected states. Chapter 7 is concluding one which provides the analysis of main
research findings and a package of policy recommendations.
Main Findings:
z

Most of the women were found belonging to the middle age group that 25 to 40
years with average age of 32.28 years . Majority of the women were from urban
and semi-urban areas however, about 47 per cent were from rural background.

Most of the victims of domestic violence were reported to be from scheduled


castes and OBC communities. However, more than 1/4th respondents were from
general caste. Majority of the respondents were found belonging to Hindu
communities however, about 21 per cent respondents were from Muslim
communities.

Most of the women were found belonging to labour and peasant class. They were
mainly from joint families. The main occupation of their families was reported to be
labour, agriculture and service. The average annual family income was reported
to be Rs. 48912. However, the average monthly income of the victims of domestic
violence was found meager that is Rs. 1501.
i

Majority of the women were found educationally backward as the educational


levels were reported to be poor. Overwhelming majority of the domestic victims
was reported to be married. Most of the respondents reported that they were
married in the age group of 16-20 years.

Around 3/4th respondents reported that their parents are alive. Though, their
relations with family members were found to be normal however, about 2/5th
women reported that their relations with family members are not normal. More
than 1/3rd respondents further revealed that family behaviours towards them is
tense.

In majority of the cases, respondents reported that family matters are being
decided by in-laws and elders and their share in decision making is found to be
meager. Ever their participation on decision making in family matters is reported
to be discouraging by their family members. Thus, their position in family is found
to be under the dominance of their husbands and in-laws.

Most of the respondents reported that their spouses are alcoholic/ drug addicted.
Even more than half of the respondents reported that their spouses are
unemployed. Around 60 per cent respondents further revealed that their
husbands are under mental stress.

Overall, most of the respondents experience the different types of domestic


violence. It was reported high in case of scolding, rude behavior, mental
harassment, beating, torturing and repeated quarrels. The experience of domestic
violence varies depending upon the socio-cultural background characteristics of
women.

Most of the respondents reported that mother-in-law, father-in-law and husband


are mainly responsible for domestic violence. However, the instigation of violence
varies depending upon nature of violence and socio-cultural and economic
background characteristics.

The majority of the women that experience physical violence reported that they
have experience of slapping, pushing, beating, kicking and beating with cane,
sexual abuse, etc. Similarly, a large number of women reported that the main
emotional violence are related to blaming for everything that goes wrong in the
family, frequently charging on small and negligible matters, compelling to feel
guilty for no fault, freedom to express views on family matters, threatening of
divorce and desertification.

The frequency of violence is found to be uncertain in number of cases; however,


about 1/4th respondents reported that it is a number of times in a month. The
degree of frequency of violence varies depending upon socio-cultural and
economic background characteristics of women.

The main causes of violence are reported to be refused to bring money from
patriarchal society, partial fulfillment or no fulfillment of promises made at the time
of settlement of marriage, extra-marital relations, and resistance for sexual abuse,
medically unfit for bearing child, dowry, etc. However, the most prominent factors
of domestic violence were reported to be alcoholism and drug addiction of
husbands and their unemployed status.

More than half of the respondents revealed that they reported the cases of
violence mainly to the police, social organizations and legal advisors. However,
ii

only 72.32 per cent respondents could avail the help from formal agencies. About
55 per cent respondents were found aware about the implementation of
Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act.
z

The impact of domestic violence has been both in short term and long term. In
most of the cases, it was reported that domestic violence has disturbed the marital
and familial relations, created mental stress and depression. It has also made
them mentally disturbed. They are unable to mix up with the relatives and friends.
A large number of women also reported about impaired health and strained
conjugal relations.

Policy Recommendations:
z

In order to bridge the gap between legislations and their implementations, a multisectoral approach is needed that tackles various levels concurrently. Improving
the legal and institutional framework for the protection of women and girls is
crucial to preventing and combating gender-based violence effectively.

NGOs play an important role in counselling and assisting victims of violence and
also raising awareness regarding domestic violence. The vigorous lobbying of
NGOs is needed for the policy advocacy.

Domestic violence needs a coordinated and systematic response from the justice
system. While Sector 498A has been one of the most significant criminal law
reforms protecting womens rights, this reform is not enough. Therefore, stepping
of measures for better policing is imperative to have a civil law which addresses
domestic violence. We need to look towards a coordinated legal approach to
protect women facing domestic violence.

There is need to upgrade skills of people working in different organizations.


Strengthening capacity of personnel of government and non-government
organizations addressing the issue of domestic violence against women is the
need of hour. Training and professional development is essential for professionals
who come into contract with women subjected to violence.

Public awareness programmes that are carefully designed and coherently


oriented around economic and political initiatives should include gender
sensitization components. In order to accomplish this, networks between
organizations, between activists, and between state officers need to be
strengthened.

Creation of crisis referral services is also needed. The local help line or crisis
referral services can take calls from women or family members or concerned
neighbours regarding a given case or incident, or an enquiry about legal, medical
or psychological services.

Special courts must be setup for cases of violence against women and children
with upto date technological support like video graphing of statement of rape and
child abuse victims. Mobile courts should also be introduced as an effective
strategy for reaching out to more and more victims in the remote areas.

A massive awareness campaign involving the community, religious leaders,


womens organizations, civil societies, NGOs and other opinion makers is
necessary to counter the present trend of domestic violence against women.

iii

The Central and State Governments should conduct regular training programmes
of law enforcement officers, judges and other court personnel and prosecutors to
identify and respond more effectively to the cases of domestic violence against
women.

Women must be made aware about legislations, legal provisions, rights and
entitlements while equal social rights of women in at family and community level is
suggested. State must actively intervene to protect womens social, political,
economic and cultural rights and withdraw restrictive legal and administrative
provisions, which tend to weaken their rights in practice.

In order to eradicate physical and sexual violence, a long-term commitment and


strategies involving all sections of society is required. Safe motherhood
programmes may be organized which are sensitive and responsive to the
conditions and needs of battered women during pregnancy and during postpartum period. There should be provisions for medical and psychological services
including provisions of counselling for severely injured women.

Existing preventive and supporting services and programme interventions also


need to be expanded for the victims of domestic violence while attempts should
be made to strengthen womens economic capacities by improving womens
access and control over income and assets.

The law implementing agencies and authorities should be sensitized how to deal
with the problems of violence against women and the courts established under the
Act should be strengthened with adequate manpower, judicial magistrates and
machinery.

Focus must be placed on the appointment of Protection Officers. All Protection


Officers should be appropriately qualified, trained on the law and appointments
must be made on a full time basis. The role of the Protection Officer must be
understood as being akin to Outreach officers of the court. Their duty is to
facilitate access to courts. They also are part of the infrastructure of the court in as
much as they assist courts in fact-findings and in the implementation of court
orders.

The registration of service providers must be commenced in earnestness as not


only will women be able to access them better, but because the Protection Officer
will be able to rely on them for guidance. In all States there are womens rights.
Such organizations shall play a valuable role in supporting and guiding Protection
Officers in the discharge of their Duties. It is however, clarified that only those
private service providers who Volunteer should be registered.

There is need to build a multi-agency response between the Protection Officers,


Police, legal Services Authorities, service providers, counselors etc. to aid women
facing domestic violence. This response requires coordination amongst the
different departments of the government as well as partnerships with civil society
organizations.

iv

Chapter: 1

Introduction
Crimes against women are on the rise, along with crimes in
general. The brunt of the resulting violence is borne by the marginalized
sections of society, women in particular. Most crimes against women go
unreported for understandable reasons: attached social stigma,
drawbacks in legal mechanism, fear of retaliation and so on. Institutional
indifference makes matters worse. It is almost impossible to lodge a
complaint against men in the police and the armed forces, or in
government services. Importantly, crimes against women have roots in
the male dominated socio-economic, legal and political order. Assaults
on women are often visibly associated with their social status, their
communal, and ethnic and caste identifies.
Police records show that reported crimes have been rising,
violence against women is of undoubted importance in the context of
assessing women's status. However, the commonly used incidences
such

as

the

gender

development

index

and

gender

related

empowerment index ignore this aspect of the well being of women.


Crimes against women identified under the IPC are the following: (1)
rape; (2) kidnapping and abduction for different purposes; (3) homicide
for dowry, dowry deaths or attempts to commit such crimes; (4) torture,
both mental and physical; (5) molestation; (6) sexual harassment; and
(7) importation of girls. Various crimes are identified under special and
local laws, enacted from time to time to deal with specific social and
economic problems effecting women. These are (i) Commission of sale;
(ii) Immoral traffic; (iii) Incident representation of women; (iv) Dowry
cases.
In India, we have unique situation of co-existence of all forms of
violence especially of elimination of women, e.g. selective female

foeticide, female infanticide, bride burning and sati. The incidence of


violence of all forms within family has also gone up. Even today, various
forms of violence against women are prevalent in our society, though
many cases remain unreported due to cultural norms, apathy or
ignorance. They may manifest themselves directly in wife battering,
abduction, eve-teasing, verbal abuses or verbal rebukes. Women on
many occasions are victimized by all sorts of discriminations,
deprivations and obstructions in goal achieving and responses. These
incidents may occur in the family, offices, agricultural fields, industries or
even public places. It sounds surprising that on animal level predatory
aggression (killing and eating) occurs between the species and not
within the species, but a human being, the highest on the evolutionary
level, kills another human being of his own species (Srivastava, 1988)..
Inflicting and experiencing violence in many subtle forms causing
and suffering mental pain in day-to-day life has become ways of our
world in inter-personal relationships. The cruelty, the hate that exists in
ourselves is expressed in the exploitation of the weak by the powerful
and the cunning (Krishnamurthy, 1977).
The worst part of the problem is that women today are not feeling
safe and secured even in the family. The concept of home, sweet home
is no more, so far many women, who suffer violence against themselves
by the members of the family.
Home is no safe place when it comes to aggressive behaviour.
Fitz and Gerstenzang (1978) observe that episodes of verbal or
physical aggression are most likely to occur in the home and the
relatives (such as parents offspring and spouses) were the most
frequent targets of aggression. Steinmetz and Straus (1973) described
the family as "cradle of violence". Stratus (1975) drawing from
incidences of violence between spouses called "the marriage license as
a hitting license".
2

In the last four decades, there has been an alarming increase in


the incidence of violence within and outside the family. Today, we hear
more about the wife beating, dowry deaths, sexual crimes and even
reversion to medieval practices like "sati". Over the years, the nature of
domestic violence has changed, now it has assumed following
characteristics:
1.

Differences between the husband and wife and increasing divorce


is becoming common.

2.

Men are marrying more than once, partly because they can get a
new girl and partly because of the dowry.

3.

Human feelings are gradually evaporating. A man resorts even to


murder the wife if he does not get the expected dowry or if he is
attracted to another girl.

4.

The growing dowry system is gradually making the baby girl


unwanted. People are restoring to foeticide and sometimes, baby
girls are even killed after birth. Besides this--

5.

Women are ignored in house work and outside home. They are
suffering innumerable tortures from their in-laws and husbands.
They are frequently beaten up and denied food and shelter.
Domestic violence can take a number of forms, including:

physical behaviour (slapping, punching, pulling hair or shoving);

forced or coerced sexual acts or behaviour (unwanted fondling or


intercourse, or sexual jokes and insults);

threats (threatening to hit, harm or use a weapon);

psychological abuse (attack on self-esteem, attempts to control or


limit

another

person's

behaviour,

interrogation);

repeated

insults

or

stalking (following a person, appearing at a person's home or


workplace, making repeated phone calls or leaving written
messages); or

cyber stalking (repeated online action or e-mail that causes


substantial emotional distress); and

sacrifice of liking, interest and skills.


Domestic Violence knows no age, socio-economic, religious,

racial, gender or educational barriers. It is a myth that only the poor or


uneducated are victims of domestic abuse. Most studies indicate that
there is also a high incidence of spousal abuse in the more affluent
neighbourhoods. Although a poor victim ha the terrible problem of not
having resources available, the more affluent spouse may also be in an
equally desperate trap due to social stigmas, greater economic
pressures and the increased social position and power that the partner
may have at his or her disposal.
The following is a list of Physical Abuse Indicators in the order of
less to more severe on a lethality or injury scale. Most ongoing abuse
escalates in more or less this order, so that the presence of an action
identified below is indicative of probable past abuse, even if there have
been no serious physical injuries or prior police or court involvement. In
addition, even if the abuse has not reached a certain danger level, it
does not mean that the situation is not dangerous or physically abusive.
A person can be severely injured as a result of "minor abuse" (Mishra,
2006):

Verbal abuse, humiliation, isolation from family and friends.

Throwing things, punching walls, hurting pets, not letting the


victim leave, demanding sex.

Pushing, shoving, grabbling, shaking, throwing things at the


victim.
4

Slapping with open or back of hand, twisting arms, legs and


fingers.

Kicking, biting, hair pulling, banging or shaking head.

Chocking, attempted strangulation, smothering.

Beating up (pinned to the wall/floor, repeated kicks and punches).

Threatening with weapons, knives, guns, autos, poisons.

Assault with a weapon.

Forced sex.
The distribution of the states/UT by the crime rate against women

has a concentration in the middle of the range of 9 to 208 crimes per


million persons. Almost 60 per cent of the states fall within the middle
range of 70 to 140, while the states below and above the middle range
constitute 28 and 12 per cent, respectively. The high rate of crimes
against women has been reported in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana
(Table 1.1).
Table: 1.1

Distribution of Major States According to Crimes


Against Women
(Per Million Persons)
States

Persons

Statues of Crime
Rank

High
(1-6)

Medium
(7-12)

Low
(13-15)

Andhra Pradesh

121.97

High

--

--

Bihar

38.98

14

--

--

Low

Gujarat

89.27

--

Medium

--

Haryana

119.41

High

--

--

Himachal Pradesh

139.42

High

--

--

Karnataka

74.51

12

--

Medium

--

Kerala

95.76

--

Medium

--

Madhya Pradesh

206.97

High

--

--

Maharashtra

173.81

High

--

--

Orissa

110.35

--

Medium

--

Punjab

35.81

15

--

--

Low

Rajasthan

208.16

High

--

--

Tamil Nadu

72.03

13

--

--

Low

Uttar Pradesh

77.40

11

--

Medium

--

West Bengal

86.77

10

--

Medium

--

Source: Average 1995-1997 (NCRB), Economic & Political Weekly,


27 October, 2001.

Domestic violence against women is a wide spread problem.


However, its actual extent is difficult to measure. It may be very much
higher than that the reports indicate because many instances of
domestic violence against women are not reported. The research
studies and surveys conducted by individuals generally produce higher
estimates of violence than official records. However, they are also
assumed to underestimate the actual extent of domestic violence
against women. For a variety of reasons, women may fail to report
violence that takes place in the family. According to available statistics
from around the world, about 33 per cent of the women have
experienced violence in one form or the other in their intimate
relationship at some point in their life. This is an average based on
available national surveys across industrialized and developing
countries published in the report of the World Health Organization in
1997. In India, the actual prevalence of domestic violence against
women is scant. The only large scale survey conducted by the National
6

Crimes Record Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi, reveals a record


of 71.5 per cent increase in cases of torture and dowry deaths during
1991 to 1995. The studies conducted by Mahajan (1990) and Rao
(1996) indicate that physical abuse of Indian women is quite high,
ranging from 22 per cent to 60 per cent of women surveyed. Narayan
(1996) reported that the rate of physical violence against women was 18
to 45 per cent in different communities. In a study conducted by
Ranjana Kumari (1989) it was reported that about 25 per cent of dowry
victims in India were driven to suicide. Another study conducted by
Yugantar Education Society, Nagpur (2003) shows that 58.72 per cent
women were victims of physical violence. Moreover, about 90 per cent
respondents were victims of emotional violence in one form or the other.
Out of these about 30 per cent were from rural areas and 60 per cent
from urban areas. Most of the victims were belonging to lower middle
and middle class societies.
The National Family Health Survey (NFH-III) carried out in 29
states during 2005-2006 and released in 2007 reveals over 37 per cent
married women in the country are victims of physical or sexual abuse by
their husbands. Over 40 per cent of Indian women have experienced
domestic violence at some point in their married lives, and nearly 55 per
cent think that spousal abuse is warranted in several circumstances.
The survey showed that countrywide more women face violence in rural
areas (40.2) as compared to those in the urban areas (30.4). NFHS-III
found that over a third of women who had been married at any point in
their lives said they had been pushed, slapped, shaken or otherwise
attacked by their husband at least once. Slapping was the most
common act of physical violence by husbands. More than 34 per cent of
women said their husbands slapped them, while 15 per cent said their
husbands pulled their hair or twisted their arm. Around 14 per cent of
the women had things thrown at them. The survey also found that one
in six wives had been emotionally abused by their husbands, while one
7

in 10 has experienced sexual violence like marital rape on at least one


occasion.
Basic purpose of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence
Act has been enacting the law to effectively deal with the cases of
domestic violence and to provide civil remedies to the victims. The
salient features of the Act include clear cut conceptualization of
domestic violence, domestic relationship, womens rights and about the
civil remedies. The Act provides for appointment of Protection Officers
and NGOs as service providers to provide assistance to the women with
respect to medical examination, legal aid, safe shelter etc. The Act also
provides penalties for breach of protection order or interim protection
order by the respondents as a cognizable and non-bailable offence
punishable with imprisonment. The law operates as a single window
clearance supporting womens access to justice.
The Act provides more effective protection of rights of women
guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any
kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or
incidental thereto. The Act defines domestic violence as any act,
omission or commission or conduct causing physical, sexual, verbal,
emotional and economic abuse. The Act has laid down the duties of
police officers, protection officers and other service providers to provide
social remedies to the victims of domestic violence. The Act also
empowers the magistrate to pass orders for grant of monetary relief to
the aggrieved person from the respondent to meet the expenses
incurred and losses suffered including the loss of earning, medical
expenses, loss of property and maintenance to the aggrieved person
and her children including the maintenance. On the request made by
the aggrieved person, the protection officer or service provider may
make a request under section 6 to the person in-charge of a shelter
home to provide shelter to the victims of domestic violence. Similarly,
8

medical facility will be provided to the aggrieved person by making a


request under section 7.
Numerous practical difficulties have been reported while filing
applications under the new law. In many states, Protection Officers
have been appointed at district level; however, most of them have
appointed existing government officials as Protection officers. Even in
some states, Special Welfare Officers working under the state
department were given the task of Protection Officers. A few studies
have also highlighted the misconceptions and lack of awareness about
the law. The court cases coming under the new Act also indicate that
many women are raising their complaints under the Act as it provides a
platform for them to seek justice.

Overview of Literature:
The social scientists were not very serious about the problem of
domestic violence against women till the third quarter of 20th century. It
was only in 1970 that scientists in the west started undertaking studies
to find out the nature and extent of violence against women within the
family. They also conducted research to identify the precipitating
factors, which led to domestic violence against women. Based on the
findings of these studies, the social scientists could work out the coping
mechanism adopted by the victims of domestic violence and the
different treatment programmes for the abuser and the abused. It was
only from 1980's that isolated attempts were made to identify the nature
of domestic violence against women.
Ghosh (1991); Sharma (1994); Sakshi (1995); Gurumurthy
(1998); Chikarmane (1999) all said that the brunt of the resulting
violence is borne by the marginalized sections of society and women in
particular. Karat (1998), Karat and Agnihotri (1993), AIDWA et al.
(2000) are of the view that the increasing use of communal, caste and
9

ethnic identities in the pursuit of political gains is another factor behind


the spreading violence. Rajan (1981), Mishra and Arora (1982),
Despandey (1984), Ganguli (1990), and Singh (1990) said that attempts
to control and intimidate women associated with decision making
processes are also leading to violence. Crimes against women have
roots in the male dominated socio-economic, legal and political order,
said Verma (1990), Atray (1988), and Nagla (1993). A substantial
amount of work is being done on domestic or family violence. Such
work is of critical importance to the study of women's status because it
covers crimes committed at home, by males within the family circle, are
rarely reported. These studies were done by Gondolf and Fisher (1988),
Omvedt (1990), Sood (1990), Ravindran (1999) and Subhadra (1999).
The social scientists in United States conducted a number of
studies to find out the incidence of domestic violence against women.
Straus (1978 and 1980), Gellies and Steinmentz (1980), Walker (1979),
Nisonoff and Bitmen (1979), Szinovacz (1983) are the major
contributories in the area. Levinson (1989) reported that a wide range of
studies has been conducted around the world and all of them show the
prevalence of domestic violence against women in different societies.
Baldus (1937), reported such violence in Bororo society of Brazil,
Erchak (1984) in Kpelle of Liberia, Erich (1966) in Serbs of Yugoslavia,
Evans (1937) in Azende of Central Africa, Hammond (1964) in Mossi of
Mali, Lewis (1962) Sumali of Somalia, Mair (1940) Ganda of Yuganda
and Swishinsky (1976) Hare of Canda. In the United Kingdom also a
number of studies were conducted in the area of domestic violence. The
social scientists namely Hammer (1989), Johnson (1985), Maidment
(1985), Saunders (1984) Radford (1987), Chambers and Tombs (1984),
Hongh and Mathew (1983), Bains (1987) and Hall (1986) made significantly
contribution to the literature on domestic violence against women.

10

Ferguson (1986) reported that the wife assault rate ranged


between 8.5 per cent and 35 per cent over a period of six years of
family life. Zoomer (1983) conducted a study in Netherlands, which
indicated that domestic violence against women had become a common
feature. In Australia, Hatty (1989) reported that domestic violence
against women had been most prolific. Many scholars assume that
identifiable psychopathology exists among the battering husbands and
they may suffer from various personality disorders. They have been
described as passive aggressive (Faulk 1977), obsessive compulsive
(Gleason, 1993), Paranoid (Shainess, 1977) Sadistic and addiction
prone (Snell, 1964) or suffering from neoro-logical or bio-chemical
disorders (Elliot, IQTT, Schauss, 1982). Similarly, the abused women
are described as aggressive, masculine, frigid and masochistic (Ball,
1977, Snell, 1964) while others find them as unassertive shy and
reserved (Drien, 1982). Shaus (1980) however, disagreed with the view
and stated that it is a myth that violence is used only by mentally
disturbed people. Similar views are expressed by Browning (1983),
Dvoskin (1981), Stark (1988), and Fltcheraft. Boyd (1978), Coleman
(1980), Gaylord (1975), Gelles (1980), Straus (1982), Kaplan (1972),
Labile (1979), Martin (1976) and Walker (1981) indicated in their studies
that batterers have low self esteem and they use violence to
compensate the feelings of inadequacy and to prove masculinity. The
abused women have also described having low esteem and feelings of
inadequacy and helplessness.
Several studies have revealed that women experienced violence
at unusually high rate during pregnancy (Gelles, 1972), Helton (1985),
Kaplan (1972), Stark (1981), and Walker (1979). Some other studies
have disclosed a number of other factors responsible for wife beating
like sexual jealousy. The battered women have endorsed that jealousy
in one form or other was the main reason of their husband's violent
behaviour (Bhatti, 1989, Dobash, 1979, Munson, 1978, Mahajan, 1989,
11

Daly, 1982 and Whilehurst, 1971). Use of alcohol on the part of


husband was found to be an important factor of wife abuse (Ahuja,
1987, Bordin, 1981, Coleman, 1980, and Grewal, 1982). A number of
studies highlight that domestic violence against women is more
common in the lower classes. This may be due to the poor economic
conditions of the families. It has been observed that physical violence
against women is normal and socially transmitted behaviour pattern in
the lower class families (Davis, 1963, Whilehurst, 1974). However,
several studies show that domestic violence against women cuts across
the class boundaries (Berketal, 1983, Dobash, 1979, Gilessins, 1983,
Hilberman, 1980). Dowry related violence against women in the Indian
society is a phenomenon of middle class families. However, women in
upper class families are also facing dowry-related violence (Morgolin,
1988, Cornell, 1990). Violence against women is found to be associated
with employment status of the husbands. In families where the
husbands are unemployed the wives are abused not only by their
husbands but also by their mother in laws and father in laws. Husbands
who are working in unskilled occupations are more likely to abuse
abusive than those working in skilled occupation. Women who stay at
home and do not work outside the home as paid worker are at greater
risk of being abused. Importantly, there are different factors like lack of
alternative support system, self image social stigma, dependency,
presence of small children, fear of living alone and so on (Anderson,
1985, Munshi, 1994, Bhatti, 1989, Edgell, 1980, and Mahajan, 1989).
However, many abused women cope with violence by leaving the
abusive relationship. The women who are employed, who get support
from their family of orientation or friends and who do not have children
are more likely to leave the abusive relationship (Moore, 1979, Okun,
1978, Gelles, 1976 and Sirube, 1988).
Coomar Swamy (2005) examined the perspective of human
security through the lens of gender violence while Mukherjee, et.al.
12

(2001) analyzed the official statistics pertaining to crimes against


women in India. They are of the view that much of the crimes against
women go unreported. Kothari (2005) reviewed the criminal law on
domestic violence. He is of the view that policing reforms and policy
framework is required for prevention of domestic violence against
women. Saha & Dutta (2004) presented an overview of domestic
violence against women in India. They also discussed about the various
consequences of domestic violence. UNESCO (1993) presented the
case studies of domestic violence in India and Korea. The report also
presented the review of legal enactments on violence against women
during 1980 89. GTZ (2002), presented the theoretical perspective of
domestic violence against women and girls. Nigam (2008) presented
the detailed analysis of domestic violence in India. She also critically
reviewed the legal and policy framework for the prevention of domestic
violence against women. Uma Devi (2005) edited a volume on violence
against women in human rights perspectives. S.C. Singh (2005)
examined some contextual issues pertaining to gender violence. NFHSIII (2006) presented a separate chapter on domestic violence in its
report. The report highlighted that about 67 per cent of the women
interviewed face some kind of domestic violence. Kapadia, et.al. (2007)
examined the gender roles and physical violence among young married
women. Anadi (2007) presented a case study on work and abortion
from Tamil Nadu. Sunita & Nagraj (2006) reviewed the role of womens
actions and legal institutions in the face of domestic violence. Subadra
(1999) also examined the case of wife battering in Chennai.
Vishwanathan (2001) presented the experience of Karnataka pertaining
to empowerment and domestic violence. SMS (2003) reviewed the
community-based responses to domestic violence in the context of
West Bengal. Bhatla & Rajan (2003) also reviewed women initiated
community responses to domestic violence. Sunita & Nagraj (2005)
examined the shifts in the discourse of law reforms and womens battle
13

against violence. Nisha Srivastava (1999) examined a case of the


campaign of violence against women in Uttar Pradesh. Vishwanath
(2004) reviewed the colonial experience of female infanticides.
Krishnaraj (2007) conceptually reviewed domestic violence against
women. NCW (2004) presented detailed empirical findings on violence
against women in North East India. Similarly, Centre for Womens
Studies and Development (2005) presented a situational analysis of
domestic violence against women in Kerala. Visaria, et.al.(1999)
presented the evidences of domestic violence and responses from
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Ghosh &
Mohanty (2005) examined domestic violence in the context of
reproductive health of young married women in India. Sunny (2003)
presented a case study of domestic violence against women in
Ernakulam district of Kerala. Kishwar (2005) presented the strategies
for combating the culture of dowry and domestic violence in India.

Conceptual Framework:
Violence against women in general is defined as a force, whether
overt or covert, used to wrest from a women something that she does
not want to give of her own free will and which causes her either
physical injury or emotional trauma or both. Thus, rape, kidnapping, wife
beating, sexual abuse, eye-teasing, mental harassment, physical torture
is all examples of violence against women. The concept of domestic
violence attempts to be as broad as possible and includes physical,
mental, financial, and sexual abuse inflicted upon a woman by any
member of the family directly or indirectly. Hence, domestic violence is
defined as physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse experienced
by an adult woman within her home.
In the physical violence against women include mainly (i) slaps;
(ii) beating; (iii) pulsing; (iv) kicking; (v) throwing objects; (vi) beating
with cane; (vii) burning with rod; (viii) holding with rope; and (ix) sexual
14

coercion or assault. The mental or emotional abuse of a women may


take the following forms: (i) using abusive language; (ii) insulting her in
the presence of children, other member of the family and relatives; (iii)
blaming her for everything that foes wrong in the family; (iv) charging
her frequently on small and negligible issues; (v) making her feel guilty
for no fault of her; (vi) calling her names; (vii) giving her threat of
divorce; (viii) treating her like a servant; (ix) keeping a strict watch on
her movements; (x) prohibiting her from meeting her friends and relatives;
(xi) prohibiting her on expression of her view on family matters; (xii)
suspecting her for extra maternal relations; (xiv) using ugly and insulting
language for her parents; (xv) insulting her for housekeeping; (xvi)
demeaning her family background; (xvii) criticising her for lacking
intelligence; (xviii) threatening her to commit suicide; (xix); giving her
verbal threats to use physical force; (xx) threats to kill or burn.
The

following

are

the

most

frequent

used

forms

of

economic/financial abuse against women: (i) preventing her from taking


a job; (ii) forcing her to leave present job; (iii) not allowing her to
purchase things of her liking and choice; (iv) stopping her from access
to resources or money; (v) pressurizing her to bring money from her
parents and so on.

Relevance of Study:
Based on the findings of the proposed study, the social scientists,
policy makers and social workers may work out the coping mechanism
adopted so far by the victims of domestic violence and the different
treatment programmes for the abuser and the abused. Moreover, the
conflict tactics scale may be developed through identifying the violence
prone families and such scales may be useful for gender studies in near
future and particularly developing empower indices for women.
Moreover, different coping mechanism may be evolved to deal with
abusive situations. The findings of the study are assumed to yield
15

sufficient data base to study the dynamics of domestic violence against


women as well as suggesting policy measures for minimizing or
eradicating the cases of domestic violence.

Aims/Objectives of the Study:


The study has been conducted with the following main objectives:
z

to study the nature, extent and incidence of domestic violence


against women & children;

to identify the socio-cultural and economic factors of crimes


against women and children;

to find out relationship between the traditional sex-based roles


and the domestic violence;

to study socio-cultural, educational and economic aspects of


domestic violence; and also to examine the socio-cultural,
educational and economic

background of victims of domestic

violence;
z

to find out whether the abused women seek the help of informal
or formal agencies and to what extent these agencies are
successful in solving the problems of the abused women;

to examine the reasons for which abused women continue to stay


in abusive relationships;

to study the implementation of Domestic Violence Act, to examine


problems in its implementation, and to assess its impact on
women ;

to suggest policy measures to control, minimize


domestic violence against women.

16

or eliminate

Hypotheses:
The study has been conducted with the following hypotheses:
z

The causes of domestic violence against women are related to


socio-cultural and economic context;

The large number of cases of domestic violence against women


are not reported and

abused women stay in abusive

relationships;
z

Alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment, under-employment,


economic stress etc. of male members of family led to domestic
violence against women;

Domestic violence against women is universal across culture,


religion, class and authority;

The wide spread nature of domestic violence go unreported due


to social construction of the divide between public and private
affairs;

The women of younger age who are married at lower age are at
higher risk of being physically abused in contrast to those who are
of higher age group and married at later age;

Women who have no education and those highly educated are


more prone to domestic violence as compared with those who are
moderately educated;

Women belonging to families living below poverty line and lower


class run higher risk of being physically abused as compared to
women belonging to middle classes and upper class;

Domestic violence affected the normal and physical health of the


victims in different ways i.e. mental stress, depression, sleep
disorders, anxiety physical fatigue etc.

17

Research Methodology:
The study is dependent on exploratory and descriptive designs of
research. The study is based on mainly primary data collected through
field survey. Besides collection of field data, relevant data and literature
has been consulted at academic and research institutions, particularly,
through literature survey in various libraries, consulting reports, annual,
seminar proceedings, periodicals, books and also searching websites of
NGO's and organizations dealing crimes against women in India and
abroad. Previous studies, reports and surveys have been reviewed to
get insights on the topic of investigation. The reports of the National
Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India,
and National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, Delhi,
have been consulted and reviewed accordingly.
The study has been conducted in four states viz., Madhya
Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. The states have been
divided on the basis of the rating of crime against women. Thus, four
states and 20 districts have been covered in the sample. (See Table 2).
Table: 1.2

Details of Sample
Rank

States

Districts

High

Madhya
Pradesh

Bhopal, Guna, Indore, Tikamgarh, Jhabua.

High

Rajasthan

Jaipur, Dausa, Ajmer, Udaipur, Jaisalmer.

Medium Uttar
Pradesh
Low

Bihar

Lucknow, Sitapur, Meerut, Jhansi, Gorakhpur.


Patna, Gaya, Nalanda, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur.

A random sample of 4250 families have been drawn from the


universe at the rate of 200 families in each district and 1000 families in
each selected state. About 47 per cent of the sample comprises of rural
areas. The sample represents the families from upper class, middle
18

class and lower class of the society. In order to conduct field survey,
interview schedules were prepared. The interview schedule pertained
relevant research questions, points and scales of view perception
related to personnel profile, socio-cultural, educational and economic
background of victims of domestic violence, family profile, nature,
incidence and impact of domestic violence and the impact of domestic
violence on the victims, children in the family and the intra-family
relations.
The filled in interview schedules have been thoroughly checked
and processed in computer using some relevant statistical tools and
techniques. The schedules and collected data from field survey have
been edited and checked for ambiguities and inconsistencies. The
analysis of data is based on different variables and distribution of
frequencies according to certain variables while charts, diagrams,
graphs etc. have been developed to show comparisons and inferences.
Data has been analysed, discussed and interpreted while pertinent
literature has been reviewed. Thus, the policy measures are based on
analysis of research findings and critical appreciation of pertinent
literature.

Hypotheses Testing:
Hypotheses are usually considered as a principal instrument in
research. Its main function is to suggest new experiments and
observations. To test a hypothesis means to tell whether or not the
hypothesis seems to be valid. Procedure for hypothesis testing refers to
all those steps that we undertake for making a choice between the two
actions i.e. rejection and acceptance of null hypothesis. Various steps
are involved in hypothesis testing. The important parametric tests
applied in hypothesis testing include (i) z-test, (i) t-test, (iii) 2 test and
(iv) f-test. All these tests are based on the assumption of normality i.e.

19

the source of data is considered to be normally distributed (Kothari,


2006:85). For the present study, 2 test has been used.
2 test (i.e. Chi-square test)
The 2 test is one of the simplest and most widely used nonparametric tests in statistical work. The symbol 2 is the Greek letter
Chi. The 2 test was first used by Karl Pearson in the year 1900. The 2
describes the magnitude of the discrepancy between theory and
observation. It is defined as :
2 = (OE)2
E
Where O Frequency of occurrence of observed responses.

E Frequency of occurrence of expected responses


according to null hypothesis
To determine the value of 2, the steps required are:
(a) Calculate the expected frequency.
(b) Take the difference between observed and expected
frequencies and obtained the square of these differences, i.e.
obtained the value of (O-E)2.
(c) Divide the value of (O-E)2 obtained in step (b) by the
respective expected frequency and obtain the total (O-E)2/E.
This gives the value of 2, which can range from 0 to infinity.
If 2 is zero, it means that the observed and expected
frequencies

completely

discrepancy

between

coincide.
the

The

observed

greater
and

the

expected

frequencies, the greater shall be the value of 2.


The calculated value of 2 is compared with the table value of 2
for given degrees of freedom at a certain specified level of significance.
The table value of 2 gives us how 2 is distributed when change
alone is operative in bringing about differences between expectation
and observation. By degree of freedom, we mean the number of
20

classes to which the value can be assigned arbitrarily or at will without


violating the restrictions or limitations placed.
If at the stated level (generally 5% level of significance) the
calculated value of 2 is more than the table value of 2, the difference
between theory and observation is considered to be significant. If on the
other hand, the calculated value of 2 is less than the table value, the
difference between theory and observation is not considered as
significant. It should be noted that 2 is always positive and its upper
limit is infinity. Since 2 is derived from observation, it is a statistics and
not a parameter. The 2 that is, therefore, termed non-parametric. It is
one of the great advantages of this test that it involves no assumptions
about the form of original distributions from which the observation came.

Limitations of the Study:


Present study has its own limitations. The study is confined to
mainly northern states viz., Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and
Rajasthan. The study is limited to view perception pertaining to
domestic violence. Though, the study is confined to the analysis of
socio-cultural and educational background of the victims of domestic
violence, however, critical appreciation of pertinent literature and
analysis of secondary data on matters related to domestic violence and
other related aspects has been ensured in the study. It is hoped that the
study will be useful for those who have interest in this discipline.

21

Chapter: 2

Domestic Violence Against Women:


Theoretical Perspective
Violence denotes an attack or an assault resulting in destructive
consequences. Violence involves atleast two people an actor or a
perpetrator of violence, and, a victim or a person on whom violence is
inflicted. Violence is a complex phenomenon, which govern by prevalent
social norms. Violence against women is a universal phenomenon that
cut across boundaries of caste, class, education, income, religion,
culture or age. It takes place everywhere within families, at work place
and in communities. Violence against women has devastating physical,
emotional, financial and social effects on women, children, families and
communities around the world. The survivals of violence often
experience life long emotional distress, mental health problems and
poor reproductive health. Their self-esteem gets eroded and violates the
human rights.
Domestic violence is more that physical abuse, hitting or an
occasional argument. It is a pattern of controlling and aggressive
behaviours directed towards a woman in an intimate relationship by a
man. Ahuja described wife battering as willfully striking of wife by
husband with or without injury. Intimate partner violence includes a
range of sexually, psychologically and physically coercive acts used
against women by an intimate partner. Violence against women can be
conceptualized as an act of omission or commission that causes harm
to women or keep her in a subordinate position. The United Nations
Declaration on Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993 has
maintained

that

manifestation

of

historically

unequal

power

relationship between men and women is the violence against women.


World Health Organization has defined violence as the intentional use
of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself,
22

another person or against a group or community that either results in or


has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm,
mal-development or deprivation. The Protection of Women from
Domestic Violence Act, 2005 defined domestic violence as any act,
omission or commission or conduct that 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 an includes causing physical
abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and

economic

abuse. The following pints indicate the contextual issues of domestic


violence:
z

It can be physical, sexual, psychological or emotional abuse.


Financial abuse and social isolation are also common features.

Violence or abuse can be actual or threatened and can happen


once or on a regular basis.

It can happen in all kinds of relationships.

People suffer domestic violence regardless of their social group,


class, age, caste, or lifestyle.

The abuse can begin at any time-in new relationships or after


many years spent together.

Children are affected by domestic violence both in the short and


the long term.

It may or may not be related to demand of dowry.

All forms of abuse-psychological, economic, emotional and


physical-come from the abusers desire for power and control.

It is reinforced by social and cultural factors.

Concept of Violence:
The lexicon meaning of the violence refers to any physical force
or any damage or injury to person or property. According to Webster's
New Collegiate Dictionary (Webster, 1961), violence means "exertion
23

of any physical force for instance: (a) violent treatment or procedure, (b)
profanation infringement, outrage, assault, (c) strength, energy, activity
displayed or exerted, vehement, forcible or destructive action or force,
(d) vehemence in feeling, passion, order, furry, fervor.
The Chamber's twentieth century dictionary describes violence as
excessive unrestrained or unjustifiable use of force. Violence also
means outrage, profanation injury or rape. Infliction injury on other
people is the essence of violence. It may be either physical or mental.
On the legal level, it is illegal employment of methods of physical
coercion for personal or group ends. The infliction of injury by police is
exercise of state's force as long as it is legal. But as soon as it crosses
the boundary of legality and inflicts injury for lust or for personal gain, it
becomes violence and is more dangerous than the violence by ill armed
and ill organized collectively people (Sinha, 1989).
According to Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (1983), in a
broad sense, "violence is a general term referring to all types of
behavior either threatened or actual, that result in the damage or
destruction of property or the injury or death of an individual". In a
limited sense, violence means "all types of illegal behavior, either
threatened or actual that results in damage or destruction of property, or
in the injury or death of an individual". In general, the definition covers
that behavior, generally considered as violent including such crimes as
criminal homicide, forcible rape, child abuse, aggravated assault and
most kinds of collective violence.
According to Black's Law Dictionary (1999), "violence means
unjust or unwarranted use of force usually accompanied by fury,
vehemence, or outrage, physical force unlawfully exercised with the
intent to harm".
L.B. Curzon's Dictionary of Law defines violence as "any conduct
so that it includes violent conduct towards property as well as towards
24

persons, and it is not restricted to conduct causing or intended to cause


injury or damage but includes any other violent conduct" (Curzon,
1994).
If we take 'violence' as conduct which incurs the formal
pronouncements of the moral condemnation of the community, or the
deviation from conduct norms of the normative groups, the scope of
cases of 'violence against women' becomes too broad. Narrowly, the
term 'violence' has been applied to "physically striking an individual
(Kempe et.al. 1982) and causing injury", (Gill, 1970) to "the act of
striking a person with the intent of causing harm or injury but not
actually causing it", (Gelles & Straus, 1979) to "acts where there is the
high potential of causing injury", (Straus, et.al., 1980) and to "acts which
may not involve actual hitting, but may involve verbal abuse or
psychological stress and suffering". Megargee has defined violence as
the "overtly threatened or overtly accomplished application of force
which results in the injury or destruction of persons or their reputation"
(Edwin, 1982).
The Encyclopedia of Social Sciences (Edwin, 1935) defines
violence in the social context as "the illegal employment of methods of
physical coercion for personal or group ends.which is distinct from
force or power".a purely physical concept. It goes beyond the
dictionary meaning of the term 'violence' as merely the exercise of
physical force so as to inflict injury or damage to persons or property
both spiritual and non-spiritual. The "illegality" and "illegitimacy" of social
violence will differ on situational norms and social context. There has
been overlapping between "force" and "violence", "legitimate" and
"illegal

violence",

between

"violence"

on

the

one

hand

and

"discrimination" and "oppressions" perpetuated on the female folks as a


group. For all these reasons, 'social violence' is roughly defined as the
illegal use of physical, mental and social concern or use of threats for
25

personal or group ends reflected broadly in our traditional social


structure and present day developmental processes. Here, the
'coercive' aspects (physical, psychological and social), 'threats' for harm
(battering, killing, insulting, isolating, molestation and rape, eve teasing)
and the 'discriminating' and 'oppressive' aspects (subjugation in different
walks of life i.e. child rearing and child bearing, employment, low wages,
education, health, denial of opportunities for dissent, etc.) are included.
Thus, the social violence means illegal use of force or threats for
use of such force by the patriarchal social order and their agents (e.g.
men) against women folks in general for perpetuating the goals of that
group (e.g. men) for subjugating women physically, socially and
psychologically (Sinha, 1989).
According to sociologist Elise Boulding (1981) structural violence
refers to the structural patterning of the family, cultural norms and
values and also political and economic system of a particular society
that determine who will injure and who will endure. Some individuals are
deprived of society's benefits and are rendered more vulnerable to
sufferings than others. Structural violence establishes physical violence.
Women experience both structural and behavioural violence. In all
societies, where patriarchal family structure prevails, women are
protected by the patriarch from other men, but they become victims of
men in their own families. In many societies, women are not allowed to
born even (foeticide) or female children are killed for fear of financial
burden in their marriages. Pregnant and lactating women are ill fed and
may face risks of death in child birth in many societies. Most pitiable
conditions are of single women like unmarried, widowed, deserted or
divorced.
Thus, sociologists have explained the why aspect of violence and
not what the term violence in itself means. No doubt, many
manifestations of violence against women (foeticide, female infanticide,
26

bride burning, wife battering, deprivations and discriminations in chi ld


rearing practices) have their causes in the social structure and systems
(Sinha, 1989).
The social psychologist Moyer (1976) defines violence as a form
of human aggression that involves inflicting physical damage on
persons or property. For psychologists, violence and aggression are
twin terms but with certain differences between them. Allen (1948) uses
the term aggression in both constructive senses. Aggression can be
sublimated in intrinsic, assertive or domineering behaviour such as
humour sports, scientific research etc., but violence can not be
sublimated. It can only be redirected or substituted. Social psychologists
have dealt with inter-personal behavioural violence. They have tried to
define violence in terms of human aggression which inflicts physical
injury. In violence against women, cases of female infanticide, bride
burning, dowry murder, rape, women battering, etc. may be included
which involve physical injury.
A definition of aggression acceptable to most social psychologists
says "Aggression in any form of behaviour directed towards the goal of
harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such
treatment." (Baron, 1977) However, the concept of intentionality is
important in separating aggressive behaviour from other forms of
behaviour that might lead to some harm. Wrightsman and Deau (1981)
argue that the definition of aggression does not limit aggression to
physical harm. Verbal insults and even the refusal to give a person
something that he or she needs can be considered a form of
aggression.
According to Niroj Sinha (1987), 'violence' may include especially
in relation to females both the physical violence against women and
exploitation of all kinds. But she is not satisfied with such a definition, to
her any group of persons may be identified as "victims" of violence if
27

they are shown the threat of use of force against them if they do not act
as per the desires of the group of persons, identified as oppressors. It
not only includes the context and particular situations under which such
"threats of use of force" are indicated. This definition also suffers from a
few limitations i.e. it does not operationally define the context and
situations under which the use of force becomes violence.
Niroj Sinha's probably correct when she indicates that "threat of
use of force against female forcing her unwillingly to do a thing in a
particular situation that she would not do is an indicator of violence
against her. This may be a sensitive definition if all the indicators of
situational oppressions are clarified. The "illegitimate use of force" in
critical areas of choice for female e.g. vocation, selection of life partner
(marriage), sex behaviour, search for self-identity, participation in public
life, etc. as customarily revealed in social customs, traditions and laws is
considered as violence. Gelles (1974) categorized family violence into
three varieties e.g., (a) normal violence (routine, normative and
necessary), (b) secondary violence (when the use of violence to resolve
a conflict is contrary to family norms, it creates additional conflict over
violence which produces further violence), and (c) volcanic violence
occurs when the offender has reached the end of line, has run out of
patience, it is illegitimate violence that is explained as arising out of the
building of stress and frustration--the stress builds up to the point where
the offender "erupts" into violence.

Definition of Domestic Violence:


Domestic violence is an extremely complex and vicious form of
abuse, committed most often within the four walls of the family house
and / or within a particular deep-rooted power dynamic

and socio-

economic structure, which do not allow even the acknowledgement or


recognition of this abuse. Meaning and detection of domestic violence
itself is the most demanding task.
28

The Criminal law in India is contained primarily in the Indian Penal


Code, 1860 (IPC). The IPC is supplemented by special laws, which
define and punish specific offences.
Under the IPC, 'culpable homicide' is defined as causing death by
doing an act:

With the intention of causing death.

With the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to


cause death.

With the knowledge that it is likely to cause death.


Culpable homicide amounts to murder unless it is committed

without premeditation in a sudden fight or in the heat of passion upon a


sudden quarrel and without the offenders having taken undue
advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner.
Where the death of a women is caused by any burns or bodily
injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within
seven years of her marriage, and if it is established that the wife had
been subjected to cruelty by her husband or his relatives, the death is
termed a 'dowry death'. The husband or relative who subjects the wife
to cruelty is presumed to have caused the dowry death and will have to
prove that the death was not a result of the cruelty.
Female infanticide or forcing the wife to terminate her pregnancy
are also forms of domestic violence recognized as offences under the
IPC. Often victims of domestic violence, especially bridges harassed for
dowry are driven to commit suicide. Abetment of suicide of a delirious
person is an offence punishable with death or life imprisonment.
Abetment of suicide is also an offence punishable with 10 years
imprisonment.
Causing bodily hurt is a common form of domestic violence. The
IPC defines hurt as causing "bodily pain, disease, pain or infirmity to
29

any person". A hurt may be 'grievous' if it results in serious injury such


as a fracture, loss of hearing or sight, damage to any member or joint,
etc. The IPC makes it an offence to voluntarily cause hurt grievous hurt.
Also criminalized is the voluntary causing of grievous hurt by dangerous
weapons and voluntarily causing hurt to extort property.
Another common form of domestic violence is in the form of the
wrongful restraint or confinement of the spouse within her matrimonial
home. Use of force and assault on the spouse, other common forms of
domestic violence, are also punishable under the IPC. Marital rape is
yet another common form of domestic violence. This is a grey area of
law and evidence. While many progressive nations have legislated on
marital rape, our law has so far only conferred a limited recognition.
Non-consensual sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife may be
an offence if she is living separately under a decree of separation or any
custom. In many a violent marriage, the spouse subjects the wife to acts
of sexual humiliation. Interestingly the IPC even addresses such forms
of violence--the provision for 'unnatural offences'. However, this
provision has rarely been used in the matrimonial context.
A

common

companion

of

domestic

violence

is

the

misappropriation of the spouse's property so that she is economically


crippled into subjugation. The IPC addresses this situation too. If the
husband or his relative dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his
own use any property, which the wife has entrusted him with, he is
liable for the offence of criminal breach of trust.
In 1983, matrimonial cruelty was introduced as an offence in the
IPC. Cruelty was defined as "any willful conduct which is of such a
nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause
grave injury or danger to life or limb or health (whether mental or
physical) of the woman". It includes harassment of the woman in
connection with demands for property and the like. Domestic violence is
30

society specific. Social mores impact the type of violence perpetrated


on the spouse. The 'dowry' system is a distinctive feature of the subcontinent. At the time of marriage, the bride's family is expected to give
gifts, in cash or in kind, to the groom. Often the bride's side commits to
deferred presentations. In such situations, the bride is often subjected to
domestic violence if the gifts are not made as promised. In recognition
of the fact that this dowry is the genesis of domestic violence in the
matrimonial home, the Dowry Prohibition Act criminalizes the giving and
taking of dowry.
There is another form of domestic violence which was rampant in
our past but ebbed in the last century, i.e. sati, Sati means the burning
or burying alive of widow along with the body of her deceased husband
or any other relative, or with any article, object or thing associated with
the husband or relative. The Commission of Sati Prevention Act,
enacted in 1987 after a shocking sati death in Rajasthan, criminalizes
observance, support, justifications or propagation of sati. The Preconception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex
Selection) Act, 1994 recognizes that domestic violence is also
perpetrated in the form of forced termination of female fetuses, the Preconception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act regulates the use
of pre-natal diagnosis. Such tests are permitted only for the purpose of
detecting certain specified abnormalities and disorders. Present Act
prohibits sex selection not only after conception but even before
conception on any tissue, embryo, concepts, fluid or gametes destined
from either man or woman or from both of them.
The recently introduced The Protection of Women from Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 defines the expression "domestic violence" to
include actual abuse or threat of abuse--physical, sexual, verbal,
emotional or economic violence. Section 3 of the Act says that any act,

31

omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute


domestic violence in case if-(a)

harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or wellbeing, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved or tends to do
so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal
and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or

(b)

harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with


a view to coerce him or any other person related to her to meet
any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable
security; or

(c)

has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person


related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause
(b); or

(d)

otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to


the aggrieved person.

For the purpose of section 3:


(i)

"physical abuse" means any act or conduct which is of such a


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 includes assault, criminal intimidation and criminal
forces;

(ii)

"sexual abuse" includes any conduct of a sexual nature that


abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of
woman;

(iii)

"verbal and emotional abuse" includes-(a) insult, ridicule, humiliation, name calling and insults or
ridicule specially with regard to not having a child or male
child; and

32

(b) repeated threats to cause physical pain to any person in


whom the aggrieved person is interested.
(iv)

"economic abuse" includes-(a) deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to


which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law or
custom whether payable under an order of a court or
otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of
necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities
for the aggrieved person and her children, if any, stridhan
property, jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person,
payment of rental related to the shared household and
maintenance;
(b) disposal of household effects, any alienation of assets
whether movable or immovable, valuables, shares, securities,
bonds and the like or other property in which the aggrieved
person has an interest or is entitled to use by virtue of the
domestic relationship or which may be reasonable required
by the aggrieved person or her children or her stridhan or any
other property jointly or separately held by the aggrieved
person; and
(c) prohibition or restriction to continued access to resources or
facilities which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy
by virtue of the domestic relationship including access to the
shared household.

Theories of Domestic Violence:


Violent behaviour is often caused by an interaction of situational
and individual factors. An analysis of various types of violence against
women and their varied patterns calls for examining the important
theories pertaining to domestic violence.
33

Feminist Theory:
As the name suggests, this theoretical perspective emerged
during the height of the Women's movement in 1970s. Advocates of this
theoretical orientation argue that domestic violence is broadly defined
as male coercion of women. Domestic violence is one form of violence
against women, but other forms include: rape, sexual assault, female
infanticide, marital rape and female circumcision (Kurz, 1989). The
common elements in all these type of violence against women are
gender and power. At the core of feminist explanations is the view that
all violence is a reflection of unequal power relationships: domestic
violence reflects the unequal power of men and women in society and
also, therefore, within their personal relationships (Sharma, 1997).
Feminist theorists never employ terms such as "family violence",
"spouse abuse", "marital violence", and "conjugal violence" because
they believe these terms shift the focus away from the concept of male
coercion and away from the woman. Rather, they advocate for terms
such as "wife-beating", "domestic violence", "battered women" and
"woman abuse" because they more accurately depict the phenomenon
of domestic violence (Davis & Hagen, 1992). By defining and
conceptualizing domestic violence in this manner, the victims are clearly
women and wives, and they should be the focus of research,
interventions, and policies. Advocates of the feminist theory assert that
the etiology of domestic violence lies in the patriarchal structure of
society, in which men play a dominant role in most social institutions
(Pence & Paymar, 1993). Male dominated structures are exhibited in
the economic structures, social institutions, sexist division of labour, and
traditional gender role expectations (Scheeter, 1982).
Along with verbal, emotional, and economic abuse, violence is a
means of maintaining male power in the family when men feel their
dominance is being threatened. Economic roles have left women
34

dependent on men and unable to escape abusive situations (Johson,


1992). Men's superior physical strength may enable them to dominate
women through violence. Feminists argue that a consequence of the
social arrangement in which men hold the positions of respect and
power is that men and women alike devalue the feminine and overvalue the masculine. To the batterer, women are childlike and
incompetent. This differential access is the result of society assigning
value to certain characteristics. In other words, there is a hierarchy of
what is viewed as inferior or superior, and the attribute "male" for
gender is valued more so than "female" (Griscom, 1992).
Paul has identified the close relationship between the control and
management of money in marriage and the exercise of power. Wives
were likely to have greater decision-making power if they were in paid
employment. Research by Kalmuss and Straus shows that women's
economic dependence is a mediating factor in violence against wives,
the greater the dependence, the greater the risk of serious assault.
Homer, Leonard and Taylor have also studied the control and
management of money in violent relationships and concluded that 'the
exercise of the power of the purse and the force of the fist coincided in
the livers of vast majority of the women interviewed'.
In the feminist view, batterers feel that they should be in charge of
the family: making decisions, laying down rules, disciplining disobedient
wives and children, and correcting unsatisfactory performance of duties
(Browne, et.al., 1996). Batterers may typically exercise control over the
family in non-violent, coercive ways and only sometimes resort to
violence. As men, batterers feel entitled to gender-based respect and
obedience; therefore, what they perceive to be disrespect and
disobedience infuriates them. Batterers often rationalize their violence
on the grounds that it was necessitated by their partner's actions: she
provoked or caused it, and they simply reacted as any man would.
35

The Family Systems Theory:


During the 1960s and the 1970s, occurring simultaneously with
the women movement there was an increased emphasis on family
economic policy and social programmes. As a result, the family as an
institution which was once viewed as private was now scrutinized by the
public (Fagan, 1988). In addition the "discovery" of child abuse in the
mid 1960s by medicine and sociology began to disseminate the notion
that the family or the home was not necessarily a safe and non-violent
place (Loske, 1989).
By the early 1980s, more scholars and researchers began to
focus on domestic violence from a family sociology perspective. This
theoretical orientation emphasizes the family structure. As a result the
family violence perspective maintains that domestic violence or spouse
abuse is one form of family violence. Other forms of family violence
include child abuse, sibling abuse and parent abuse. Terms commonly
used by advocates with a family violence perspective include "spouse
abuse", "marital violence", "conjugal violence" and "family violence".
This theoretical perspective asserts that the cause of spouse
abuse lies in the structure of the contemporary family institution--in
other words the family is a system of social relations with unique
properties that make it a particularly fertile ground for violence. For
example, family members spend a great deal of time with each other;
the involvement with each other is intense, they know each member's
vulnerabilities, membership is not voluntary and family matters are
generally private and therefore there is a lack of social control of
behaviours within the family. All these characteristics serve to cloak or
hide violence in the family (Gelles, 1993).
The family systems model regards individual problem behaviuors
as a manifestation of a dysfunctional family unit, with each family
member contributing to the problem rather than identifying one
36

individual as the cause of the violence and removing that person from
the home or singling that person out for treatment. According to the
family systems (or "interactional") model (Giles-Sims, 1983), both
partners may contribute to the escalation of conflict, with each striving to
dominate the other. Family systems theorists believe that most abuse is
verbal and emotional, but as the conflict escalates, either partner may
resort to violence. Because, from this perspective, interactions produce
violence, no one is considered to be the perpetrator or victim, even if
only one person is physically violent. Family systems theory also
suggests that interactions may permit or facilitate abusive behaviours in
one person, such as a non-abusive parent's failure to intervene in child
abuse or a family member's failure to establish appropriate personal
boundaries, thus setting the stage for their own victimization.

Psychological Theory:
Psychological perspectives hold that personality disorders or
early experiences of trauma predispose some individuals to violence
(Russell, 1998). Being physically abusive is seen as a symptom of an
underlying emotional problem. Parental abuse, rejection, and failure to
meet a child's dependence needs can be the psychological source of
battering. People with these underlying problems may choose partners
with whom they can re-enact the dysfunctional relationship they had
with their parents.
Specific disorders that have been found in batterers are posttraumatic

stress

disorder

(Probably

due

to

childhood

trauma)

depression low self-esteem, and personality disorders. Personality


disorders usually mentioned by therapists who work with batterers are
anti-social personality disorder, narcissism, and borderline personality
disorder. In addition, passive aggression, paranoia, obsessivecompulsive disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder have been said
to foster aggression. A psychotherapeutic reference describes the
37

personality disorders as follows: People with anti-social personality


disorder are irresponsible, irritable and aggressive; they are not sadistic
but are neckless and have no remorse; they are unable to maintain
friendships or romantic relationships. Narcissists are hyper-sensitive but
lack empathy; they have difficulty with relationship because they expect
others to meet special needs. Borderline personalities are characterized
by instability of identity, self-image, and relationships; they want to be
alone but fear abandonment; they are often moody and depressed and,
in severe cases self-destructive and suicidal (Reid & Weise, 1989).

Physiological Theory:
Another theory emphasizing on individual is physiological theory.
There are several variants of physiological theory. One focuses on
evolution and the genetic characteristic that predispose men to
violence. Others emphasize brain structures, chemical imbalances,
dietary deficiencies and hormonal factors such as testosterone. Genetic
and hormonal explanations offer reasons for the greater pre-disposition
towards violence in men than in women, but this does not apply to
chemical imbalances or dietary deficiencies.

Psycho-pathological Theory:
The psycho-pathological model focuses on the personality
characteristics of offenders and victims as chief determinants of criminal
violence. This model includes analysis that links mental illness (i.e., a
small number of mentally ill persons are violent), alcohol (i.e., what one
does under the influence of alcohol and other drugs) and other intraindividual phenomena to acts of violence. This theory gives two different
explanations. According to one, the causes of violence against women
arise from the offender's psychological problems (like depressive
impulsiveness, uncontrolled emotions, etc.). According to the other,
violence against women arises out of psychological problems of victims.

38

Perpetrators are said to be weak, pathologically jealous men with


low self-esteem and experiencing insecurity, especially about their
masculinity. Other researchers emphasize the perpetrators' rigid notions
of male and female roles. Several researchers attribute male violence to
aspects of the woman's personality or behaviour a classic case of
blaming the victim. In his evidence to the Select Committee, a
psychiatrist connected with Women's Aid, said that many battered
women 'have a degree of inadequacy' and that a few women present as
extremely damaged personalities who will need long-term support with
their children. Often they need protection against their own stimulusseeking activities. Though they finish from violence like other people
they have the ability to seek violent men or by their behaviour to
provoke attack from the opposite sex.
Pagelow refers to the contradictory nature of the evidence, which
claims to identify the characteristic of women that give rise to violence
from their partners. She refers to earlier work conducted by Snell et al.
which diagnosed a small number of battered women in contradictory
terms as passive, aggressive, indecisive, masculine, domineering,
masochistic frigid, overprotective of their sons, and emotionally deprived
people who needed periodic punishment "for her castrating activity".
Pizzey and Shapiro go further than simply asserting that women
provoke violence by their behavior or personal characteristics. They
claim that "battered women are addicted to violence; they need and
enjoy it, deriving sexual excitement from being abused" (Sharma, 1997).
The socio-psychological model assumes that criminal violence
can

best

be

understood

by

careful

examination

of

external

environmental factors that exercise impact on an individual offender.


This model also examines the types of everyday interactions (say,
stressful situations or family interactional patterns) which are precursors
of violence. Theories such as the Frustration-Aggression Theory, the
39

Perversion Theory and the Self-Attitude Theory approach criminal


violence from a socio-psychological level of analysis.

Frustration-Aggression Theory:
This theory first stated in 1939 by Dollard, et.al., derived many of
its basic postulates from Freudian theory. It explains the process by
which aggression is directed to the source of frustration. When
something interferes with an individuals attempt to reach some goal or
end, he feels frustrated and frustration in turn leads to some form of
aggression (John Dollard). After taking various criticisms into account,
this theory was modified. Today it is recognized that an actual display of
aggression may be inhibited by either internalized norms of external
controls, even though the impulse for aggression may be strong
following some frustrating experience. It is also recognized that
frustrations can be cumulative and that they can remain active over a
long period of time. It is also acknowledged that people perceive
frustrations

in

varying

ways,

with

those

deemed

arbitrary

or

unreasonable most likely to trigger aggressive responses. Further, it is


recognized that responses to frustrations can be learned. In short,
aggressive actions are not an automatic consequence of frustrations,
and their occurrence depends upon numerous factors (Ahuja, 1998).

Perversion Theory:
The psychoanalysts explain violence on the basis of the Theory of
Perversion (Giles Pie, 1952) and the Theory of Symptom Formation.
They do not regard perverts as constitutionally inferior people but
maintain that perversion develops from instincts. According to Freud's
early theory (1949), perversion essentially means persistence in the
adult infantile instincts and behaviour at the expense of adult behaviour.
In the pervert, infantile traits fail to undergo the normal process of
integration during puberty but are not converted into neurotic symptoms.
Violence can be the product of strong inborn drives or of pathological
40

experiences in infancy or early childhood (Johnson, 1956). In the latter


cases, childhood conceptions of the relations between the sexes as
being aggressive and sadistic and the idea of pleasure as a negative
process, essentially achieved by relief from a state of "unpleasure" are
carried into adulthood (Mishra, 2006). Explaining different kinds of
perversion, psychoanalysts point out that maturation involves leaving
early aims and objects and choosing new aims. Perversions can,
therefore, be conceived of as distortions of aims and objects and in the
absence of the distortions of appropriate feelings towards these objects.
Fenichel (1945) consolidated the approach that aggression arises
from castration fears which in turn are derived from earlier oral sadism.
This was later accepted by most psychoanalysts as a possible
explanation of the etiology of perversion, in particular violence against
the weak. This theory was considered important because it was
supported by the clinically established fact that there is a higher
incidence of perversion among males than among females. A
discussion of the dynamics of perversion has included the objects of
aggression and the operations of the ego and superego. One theory
suggests that the ego is 'split' in perverts; (Gilles Pie, 1944) another that
through ego mechanisms, the objects splits. Klien (1946) suggests that
a 'good' object is idealized by the pervert while he uses aggression
towards a 'bad' object (Ahuja, 1998).

Self-Attitude Theory:
This theory maintains that in a society, a culture, or a group that
values violence, persons of low self-esteem may seek to bolster their
image in the eyes of others and themselves by carrying out violent acts.
It explains the propensity to violence of those for whom society makes it
difficult to achieve an adequate level of self-esteem.

41

The Cycle Theory:


Two of the most often discussed theories on battered women are
Lenore Walker's 'The Cycle Theory of Violence' and 'Psycho-social
Theory of Learned Helplessness'. The cycle theory of violence
comprises three distinct phases in the cycle of violence--the tension
building stage, the acute battering incident and kindness and contrite
loving behaviour. In the first stage, when minor battering incidents
occur, the woman adapts, rationalizes and externalizes the problem.
Tension mounts in the second phase leading to the acute battering
incident leading to severe repercussions on the woman physically,
emotionally and psychologically. Phase three is welcomed by both the
partners, which is marked by uncontrolled love, affection and promises
by the husband never to repeat the incidents again. This cycle keeps
repeating itself in the lives of almost all battered women. The psychosocial theory of learned helplessness focuses on the factors which
reinforce battered women's victimization. According to this theory,
battered women operate from a premise of 'helplessness' which further
serves to only aid passivity and a fatal acceptance of the exploitative
situation (Subhadra, 1999).

Survivor Theory:
As opposed to the cycle theory, E.W. Gondolf and E.R. Fisher
proposed the survivor theory in 1988 which views women not merely as
passive victims but proactive help-seekers and survivors. The
assumptions of the survivor theory are in sharp contrast to the above
theory of learned helplessness. The survivor theory credits women with
the capacity to innovate newer strategies of coping and acknowledges
the efforts of the survivors in seeking help from formal and informal
sources. In addition, the survivor theory stresses the need for
accessible and effective community resources for the woman to escape
from the batterer. As mentioned earlier, the survivor theory takes
cognizance of the multiple help-seeking behaviours of women in the
42

face of increased violence. Further, it also lauds the 'female survivor


instinct' which focuses on nurturing rather than destruction, the
willingness to adapt and the efforts directed at furthering of self-growth.
The sociological or socio-cultural model provides a macro-level
analysis of criminal violence. This model examines criminal violence in
terms of socially structured inequality, and social and cultural attitudes
and norms regarding anti-social behaviour and inter-personal relations.
Besides the two well-known theories, viz. the Structural-Functional
Theory and the Theory of Sub-culture of Violence, the Learning Theory,
the Exchange Theory, the Anomie Theory, and the Resource Theory
also come under socio-cultural analysis (Gelles & Straus, 1974).

Structural Theory:
This theory asserts that social groups differ in respect to their
typical levels of stress, deprivation and frustration and in the sources at
their disposal to deal with these stresses. It explains that those
individuals would be more violence who combine high stress with low
resources. This theory thus explains an individual's action in terms of
the ways it is shaped or determined by social forces of one kind or
another. Among the possible sources of stress are 'economic
conditions, bad housing, relative poverty, lack of job opportunities and
unfavourable and frustrating work condition'. Men and women are
socialized into particular roles to which are attached a set of socially
determined

expectations.

If

structural

faction

prevents

these

expectations from being realized, frustration results and violence may


ensue. Furthermore, in a variety of ways violence is socially legitimated.

System Tension and Feedback Systems Theory:


This theory was developed by Straus to explain intra-family
violence. Straus accounts for violence in the home by viewing family as
a purposive goal-seeking, adaptive social system. Violence is seen as a
system of product or output rather than an individual pathology. Straus
43

specified positive feedback in the system which can create an upward


spiral of violence, and negative feedback which can maintain, dampen,
or reduce the level of violence. According to this theory, violence is
precipitated by factors such as stress and inter-individual conflict and is
followed by consequences which maintain or escalate violence in family
and in society.

Resource Theory:
This theory of intra-family violence developed by W.J. Goode
(1971) was in fact the first theoretical approach applied explicitly to
family violence. Goode states that all social systems rest to some
degree on force or threat. The greater the resources a person can
command within a social system, the more force he or she can muster.
However, the more resources a person can command, the less the
chances are that a person will actually deploy violence. Thus, violence
is one of the resources that individuals or collectivities use to maintain
or advance their interests. But violence is used as a last resort when all
other resources are exhausted. Applying this set of assumptions to the
family, Goode explains that family is a power system in which four sets
of resources are in operation to maintain stability, economic variables,
prestige or respect, love, and force or threat of force. As a child, the
batterer, torturer, murderer or humiliator learns to use force or threat of
force if he feels there is an imbalance in family transactions. For
example, when he feels he is missing out on respect or love or
faithfulness, force is the only resource he has at his command. A
husband who wants to be the dominant family member but has little
education, lacks inter-personal skills, is likely to resort to violence to be
the dominant person.

Patriarchy Theory:
This theory developed by R.E. Dobash, and R. Dobash (1979)
maintains that throughout history, violence has been systematically
44

directed towards women. Economic and social processes operate


directly and indirectly to support a patriarchal social order and family
structure. Dobash's central theoretical argument is that patriarchy leads
to the subordination of women and contributes to a historical pattern of
systematic violence directed against females.

Conflict and Control Theories:


Scholars like Foucault (1975), Thompson (1977) and Rothman
(1980) have presented a domination model of deviance. They have
talked of rules imposed on the powerless by the powerful. Radical and
conflict sociologists like Quinney (1977) have argued that the purpose
of controlling deviance is to protect the interests of the dominant classes
and to prevent access to their resources by outsiders. In other words,
the control apparatus is created to prevent the powerless from pursuing
their interests, particularly if that pursuit involves gaining access to
resources monopolized by the powerful. Imposing varied restrictions on
women

and

compelling

them

to

remain

dependent

on

men

economically, socially and emotionally to make them realize that they


are 'weak' and powerless in all respects, stands as an example of this
argument. To the extent that the agents of control belong to the
dominant group, an overall system of devaluation of the powerless
groups (women) can easily be implemented. Schur (1983) contends
that male control of deviance labeling results in their continued
dominance in most spheres of life.
The constraints on women's rights can be interpreted as function
of the successful definition of women as different from and inferior to
men. "Man talks of woman not in herself but as relative to him. She is
not regarded as an autonomous being. She is differentiated with
reference to man and not he with reference to her. She is the incidental,
the inessential as opposed to the essential. He is the Subject, he is the
Absolute; she is the other".
45

Sex role norms clearly differentiate men from women. When


these norms become internalized, they are accepted as facts and
seldom questioned. Millet (1970) has said: "Because of our social
circumstances, male and female are really two cultures and their life
experiences are utterly different. Women live in such a reactions cannot
be understood from a master model developed in male society.

Interactionist Deviance Theory:


This theory, exemplified by theorists such as Erikson (1964),
Becker

(1963),

Schur

(1971),

and

Lemert

(1978)

has

three

characteristics: (i) it cites sex roles as causal factors of why people


engage in crime and deviant behaviour, (ii) it maintains that societal
expectations about appropriate sex role behaviour influence the
diagnosis and labeling of certain actions as deviant or criminal, and (iii)
it holds that gender affects the response to such (deviant) behaviours
by society (Wisdom, 1984; 185). Since, women tend to be less powerful
and lower social status than men, they are easily labeled as deviant in
cases of domestic violence. This theory explains family violence in
terms of sex role or gender norms, i.e., differential expectations for
values, attitudes and behaviours as a function of one's gender. These
norms serve as important standards against which women and men are
evaluated through application of various sanctions (Schur, 1984).
According to the prevalent sex role norms, a husband expects a
'good wife' to behave in a certain manner. She has to run the household
smoothly,

ensure

children's

well-mannered

behaviour,

avoid

assertiveness of remain submissive to elders in family. Any show of


independence on her part would violate sex role expectations for female
behaviour. According to deviance theory, norm violations tend to trigger
forces aimed at making the violator conform to expected standards of
behaviour. Thus, when women do not behave like the male's ideal of

46

wife, husbands use violence against them to make them conform to


norms (Ajuja, 1998).

Social Learning Theory:


Social learning theory while still concentrating on individual
perpetrators, introduces a social element by attempting to explain men's
violence towards women as learned behaviour. This phenomenon is
seriously referred to as 'intergenerational transmission of violence'.
What it purports to demonstrate is that those who witness violence
between their parent, or who themselves experience abuse as children
are likely to resort to violence in adulthood (Sharma, 1997).
This theory asserts that human aggression and violence are
learned conduct, especially through direct experience and by observing
the behaviour of others. According to this theory (Albert Bandura,
Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis, 1973) the individual learns
violence through imitation. Individuals pick up the behaviour patterns of
those they are taught to respect and learn from. Whether observed in
the flesh or via visual media, the behaviour of aggressive models is
readily imitated by the individuals. Aggressive behaviour patterns
learned through modeling and imitation remain part of our repertoire of
social responses over time. Rewards and punishments also lay a crucial
role in the learning and expression of behaviour patterns. One might
think that physical aggression directed against one's fellows could
hardly have any rewards, actual or anticipated. But it is not so. Violence
offers abundant rewards and one learns it very early in life.
This theory explains both the variations of persons and situations
in their tendency to respond aggressive by reference to prior
experience, reinforcement patterns and cognitive processes. Steele and
Pollock (1974) and Bennie and Sclare (1969) have maintained that
abusive male adults are likely to have been raised in abusive homes. In

47

fact, this 'family determinism' approach maintains that all victims of


childhood violence will grow up to be violent adults (Ajuja, 1977).

Cognitive Behaviour Theory:


The cognitive behaviour theory postulates that men batter
because:

they are imitating examples of abuse they have witnessed during


childhood or in the media;

abuse is rewarded;

it enables the batterer to get what he wants; and

abuse is reinforced through victim compliance and submission.

Exchange Theory:
Richard J. Gelles feels that the Exchange Theory is the best
theory of violence because it integrates the key elements of the diverse
theories of human violence. According to the Exchange Theory,
interaction is guided by the pursuit of rewards and the avoidance of
punishment and costs. In addition, an individual who supplies reward
services to another obliges him to fulfill an obligation and thus the
second individual must furnish benefits to the first. The exchange does
not pertain to concrete or tangible things; rather, it involves intangibles
such as esteem, liking, assistance and approval. If reciprocal exchange
of rewards occurs, the interaction will continue, but if reciprocity is not
received, the interaction will be broken off. Thus, actors expect rewards
to be proportional to the investments (distributive justice). The costs and
rewards are judged in the light of alternatives (Finkelhor, et.al. 1983).
This theory explains the growth of resentment, anger, hostility and
violence when the principle of distributive justice is violated. In applying
the principles of the Exchange Theory to explain violence in a family (in
our case wife beating, dowry death and rape by family member), we
expect that people will use violence in a family if the costs of being
48

violent do not out-weigh the rewards. Goode suggests that force is used
more by those in the poorer classes partly because they have less
alternative resources and partly because their socialization experiences
teach them to depend more on force. However, all researchers do not
agree that the poor classes do use more force, though statistics show
more violence against women in lower classes. Higher figures of
violence in poor classes are there because of the fact that greater
proportion of the population belongs to lower classes or it may be that
middle classes have more resources or have greater motivation to hide
their offences.

Integrated Approach Theory:


An attempt has been made by Dr. Ram Ahuja (1998) to develop a
theoretical model which would explain all types of violence against
women. He describes this a middle-range theoretical proposition. This
approach has been adopted by borrowing certain concepts from
sociologists and criminologists like Hirschi (1976), Schultz (1964), etc. It
not only explains the etiology of violence against women but also
uncovers the recurring patterns in which particular types of people are
found to commit a particular type of crime against a particular type of
individuals, in particular type of circumstances.
He prepares an integrated model which takes into consideration
both innate and acquired behaviours, this model assumes the role of
four factors: (i) social norms and social organization which socialize the
individual, (ii) the personal characteristics of offenders and victims
(psychiatric view) like emotional disturbances, aggressive impulses, a
tendency to be rigid and domineering, a history of having been
neglected or abused in childhood, low self-esteem, and so forth, (iii) the
inter-personal characteristics of offenders (socio-psychological view)
such as failure to get praise, appreciation, words of affections and polite
models of address from others, higher than normal levels of coercive
49

behaviour from others, such as verbal threats and words of dislike and
disapproval, below average (or below normal) frequencies, etc. and (iv)
the ecological or environmental factors, for it is within ecological
boundaries that personal dispositions to use violence or commit crime
are developed and crime-evoking situations arise (Mishra, 2006).
This model concentrates on the sociological analysis of socialstructural conditions. The important conditions which lead a person to
woman's victimization are: status frustrations, life stresses, career crisis,
and structural opportunities. This view focuses attention not only on the
aggressive act itself but also on the person who uses aggression and
the person against whom aggression is used. The man who assaults a
woman, physically or mentally, is often the man who either feels at a
disadvantage with women or who feels at an advantageous position in
demanding a specific thing from a woman.

The Multi-factorial Systemic Theory:


This theory was propounded by Bhatti and Beig (1985). Within the
multi-factorial and systemic model, family violence can be defined as 'an
act/action performed by a family member to get the desired conformity
from the other members and when it carries a negative emotional
component'. By multi-factorial it is meant that we are looking at the
nature of family violence from more than one perspective that is not only
from a psychological angle or sociological angle, but also from physical,
emotional, and intellectual angles.
This model assumes that societal, cultural and socio-political
developmental phases of a developing society bring a variety of
changes in the value patterns of the system. Such transitional phases
tend to disrupt the traditional homeostasis of the system. Norms and
values of the system begin to dilute in search for newer adaptations.
During this period to develop morphogenesis becomes extremely
challenging for the family as a system. In order to seek the desired
50

conformity from a fellow family member, family may use any means,
namely, physical violence, verbal violence, emotional violence or
intellectual violence. Thus, underdeveloped societies may pose
concrete norms and values while developing and developed societies
possess more fluid norms and values. Within this model it is postulated
that lower degrees of violence exist in underdeveloped societies as the
norms and values are more concrete. It is expected that violence may
increase in degree, as norms become more fluid as in the case of
developing and developed countries. It is also expected that the acts of
violence will show qualitative changes with the development of the
society and the ensuing change in norms. The acts of violence seen in
underdeveloped societies may be more physical in nature while families
in the developing countries may exhibit violence in emotional and
intellectual areas. The relative degree of violence and the type of
violence will therefore, depend on the developmental phase of the
society.

Factors of Domestic Violence:


Violence against women and girls is a worldwide phenomenon
which spans all social classes and age groups. The main cause is the
power gap between men and women and the way women are
disadvantaged in key areas. Relations between men and women are
closing bound up with political and economic structures. Majority of the
poor worldwide are female. They generally less than men and are
forced into marginal sectors of the labour market with a lower economic
status. They are less likely to have access to education and carrier
development and are less involved in political decision making process.
Violent behaviour is not biologically predetermined. Rather, it is
acquired as a result of gender-specific socialization. In many societies,
for instance, physical strengths, aggressive behaviour and threatening
gestures in male children and young men are approved and fostered as

51

positive qualities. Girls, on the other hand, are brought up to be


compliant and considerate.
Analyses of the phenomenon assume that several inter-related
factors increase the likelihood that women and girls will become victims
of violence, namely:
z

Low status of women within society

Imbalance of power within the family and within society

Economic dependence of women

Acceptance of violence as a means of settling disputes

Readiness to resort to violence

Causes of Domestic Violence:


In order to understand the nature and extent of domestic violence
against women, to identify the major social factors associated with
domestic violence, different theoretical models have been developed
and used by the social scientists and the psychologists. The resource
theory rests on the notion that decision making power in family
relationship depends to a large extent on the value of resources each
person bring to the relationship. Violence is used as a last resort to
regain statuesque. Social control theory of domestic violence proposes
social control model of domestic violence. According to theory, interfamilial relations can not be broken of easily. Consequently, when family
member perceive injustice in daily interaction they resort to violence.
Symbolic interaction theory of domestic violence explores the different
meanings of violence people hold and consequences of such meanings
in situational setting. The sub-culture of violence theory suggests that
some sub-cultural groups develop norms and values that emphasize the
use of physical violence to a greater extent than is seemed appropriate
by dominant culture. General system theory explains the domestic
52

violence as a product of system rather than of individual pathology. The


dependency framework has been involved and is being used to
understand the phenomenon of domestic violence against women.
Various studies have revealed the following common reasons for the
occurrence of domestic violence:
z

Mens habit of consuming liquor is a common cause for quarrel


between the husband and the wife. A drunken husband at home
is seldom a pleasant sight for the wife.

Infidelity/suspected infidelity by the husband or by the wife


become a cause for spousal conflict.

Economic inequality between men and women is another reason


that creates rifts in families. It is mostly the men who are the
bread earners in the family for which they feel that they should
enjoy a superior position. This many a times translates into a
coercive behaviour to suppress their partners.

Hierarchical gender relations and established traditions in the


family is one of the reasons of violence against women. Acts of
violence against female members of the household, whether wife
or child, are perceived as acts of discipline considered essential
for maintaining the rule of male-authority within the family.

Tendency of polygamy (due to the womens infertility, family


pressures etc.) sometimes gives rise to spousal fighting, which is
the most demeaning experience for women.

In-laws dissatisfied with the dowry, torture the daughter-in-law to


give in to their greed.

Sometimes, the rising awareness among women about their


rights is another cause of violence against women. When literate
and educated women raise their voices at some point of time

53

against such violence, this, in retaliation, provokes and adds fuel


to further violence from the male partners.
z

Report of incidents such as preparing a meal late/improper


cooking or not disciplining/caring a child may seem trivial but in
cases of failure to fulfill such duties becomes an excuse for
violence against women.
There are a number of causes of domestic violence against

women. These causes range from the trivial to bizarre and include
mainly the following:
z

Not doing house-work properly

Dressing fashionably

Jealousy of husband

Husbands alcoholism

Dowry Demands

Husbands mistress

Laughing without reason

Combing hairs a number of times during day

High tone during dialogue

Free and Social nature

Close relations with friends

Boys friends

Disrespectful behaviour with elders in the family

Refusal to bring money from parents house

Partial fulfillment or non-fulfillment of promises made at the time


of marriage

54

Doubt of love affairs before marriage

Doubt of extra-marital relations

Resistance for abnormal sexual behaviour of the husband

No child bearing capability

Birth of girl child repeatedly

Husband economically dependent on parents

Husband has problems at work place

Sexual difficulties

Low job satisfaction

Single personality factor

Anti-social personality disorders.


In addition to the reasons listed above there may also be a long

list of reasons which are not identified or reported by the victims of


domestic violence. In conclusion it can be said that anything can serve
as an excuse for inflicting violence against a women. No single factor
explains the phenomenon of domestic violence against women.

Nature and Forms of Domestic Violence:


The domestic violence against women may be classified as under
(a) Physical Violence (b) Mental Abuse (c) Economic Abuse. The kinds
of domestic violence are shown in Chart 1. Our society is a patriarchal
system which reduces women to commodities controlled by men.
Domestic violence on women is based on the idea of women as their
property. Violence is a weapon that is used to curve, control and
regulate womens behaviour and aspiration.

55

Chart: 2.1

Kinds of Violence

Domestic
Social

Criminal

Rape, Abduction

Dowry Harassment,

Female infanticide,

Murder etc.

wife battering

eve-teasing,

sexual abuse, illtreatment of widows,

refusing share in
property, sati etc.

ill-treatment of elderly
women, etc.

Each of the above may take different forms however only the
most common forms which are frequently used by the perpetrators are
described below:

Physical Violence:
The most common and frequently used forms of physical violence
used against women are (i) Slaps (ii) beating (iii) pulsing (iv) kicking
(v) throwing objects (vi) beating with cane (vii) burning with rod (viii)
holding with rope (ix) sexual coercion or assault.

Mental/Emotional Abuse:
The mental or emotional abuse of a woman may take the
following forms (i) using abusive language (ii) insulting her in the
presence of children, other member of the family and relatives (iii)
56

blaming her for everything that goes wrong in the family (iv) charging
her frequently on small and negligible issues (v) making her feel guilty
for no fault of her (vi) calling her names (vii) giving her threat of divorce
(viii) treating her from meeting her friends and relatives (xi) prohibiting
her on expression of her view on family matters (xii) suspecting her for
extra-marital relations (xiv) using ugly and insulting language for her
parents (xv) insulting her for house-keeping (xvi) demeaning her family
background (xvii) criticizing her for lacking intelligence (xviii) threatening
her to commit suicide (xix) giving her verbal threats to use physical force
(xx) threats to kill or burn.

Economic Abuse:
Following are the most frequently used forms of economic abuse
against women (i) preventing her from taking a job (ii) forcing her to
leave present job (ii) not allowing her to purchase things of her liking
and choice (iv) stopping her from access to resources or money (v)
pressurizing her to bring money from her parents and so on.

Abortion Deaths:
Abortion act legitimized the medical termination of pregnancy on
the grounds of risk to the life of physical or mental health of the mother
or alternatively on the ground that, if the children were born, it would
itself be likely seriously handicapped by physical or mental abnormality.

The Battered Girl Child:


Children have been killed, neglected, starved on abandons, and
chastised with cruelty even to death. Battered babies involve mostly of 6
months to 5 years of age. The peak period is the initiating crawling
nappy wetting, mopping unhappy 1 to 3 years when any child may drive
its present beyond endurance.

57

Sex Violence:
Forceful restraints, pinioning on disablement are not often
features of more in sexual offences in decant assault, out ranging the
modesty. In fact it is with respect to rape that because the demands
clear evidence of a lack of consent becomes important evidence. In the
case of Delhi Domestic Working Womens Forum V. Union of India
(1995) 1 SCC 14, the Supreme Court has schemes for compensation
and rehabilitation to ensure justice to the rape victims. The court has
said that the legal assistance must be provided at the police station.
The police must inform the rape-report should state that the victim has
been so informed. The advocates for the victims shall be appointed by
the court. In all rape trials anonymity of the victim must be maintained,
as far as necessary. The guidelines laid down by the Court provides
further that because of the directive principles contained in Article 38 (1)
it is necessary to set up Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The
compensation to the victims shall be awarded by the Court on
conventions offender and by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board,
whether or not, a conviction has taken place. However, interim
compensations to the rape victims may be awarded by the Court in
appropriate cases.

Battered Wives:
Many housewives suffer regular battering at the hands of their
husbands or in-law. But domestic discord often in families with
numerous children, ancillary housing, or sleeping accommodation
problem women have for centuries accepted ill treatment at the hands
of the men. They live with, especially in the lower social economic
levels.
The concept of equality among the sexes extends to the being of
both men and women including the control over their own body and
58

mind. The womens right to decide the number of children they wish to
have and right to terminate an unwanted or forced conception is well
recognized. Further the right to privacy is also recognized in the matters
of whether to bear or beget children. Abortion in India, like any other
countries, had been treated as a criminal offence under sexes, 312 to
316 of Indian Penal Code.
Medical termination of pregnancy can be performed only in a
Government hospital or any place approved by the Government. It is
illegal unless the operation has to be performed to save the womens
life. An unqualified doctor who performs MTP will be punished. A doctor
who is negligent or acts without proper care, action can be taken for
compensation.

Dowry Harassment:
Dowry, a common phenomenon prevalent all over India was
initially a kind of primortem inheritance of daughters in parental property
which was given at the time of marriage ceremony for better status at
the in-laws house. This social evil prevailed in India since ancient times.
Dowry today is being demanded and paid without any relation to the
brides fathers income and wealth. It has been usually found that
attitude of women as a mother is different from that as a mother-in-law.
The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 is the first attempt by the
Government of India to recognize dowry as social evil and to curb its
practice. This act was modified in 1984 and 1986. The Act says that any
person giving or taking dowry or abetting is punishable. The offences
are cognizable. Burning, poisoning, strangulation, battering and then
setting on fire are some ways used to kill the women.

59

Dowry Death:
It is a new term in criminology in India, and implies the death (by
murder or suicide) of a young bride who is harassed by her husband
and in-laws by making exorbitant and ever-increasing demands for
money and for households articles to be brought from her parents
house or at their expenses. The phenomenon of demanding dowry has
filtered down to the poorer sections of society. Some see this as a result
of the devaluation of women. As women become housewives instead of
earners or producers, they are considered to be economic parasites.
Lack of property rights to women is a contributory factor. Rising
consumerism on the part of the bridegroom and his parents is also a
reason. But the basic flaw lies in the structure of the Indian family and
the pattern of marriage. Marriages are universal and early, and an
unmarried girl is a blot on her parents reputation. Marriages are
arranged by the parents and are more in the nature of a family alliance
than a relationship between two individuals.

Rape:
It is a common crime against women all over the world. It is
grossly under-reported because of the stigma attached to the victim.
Even when reported, the culprit is rarely apprehended; and if he is ever
brought to trial, attempts are made to exonerate him by casting
aspersions on the womens moral character. The high risk categories
are young girls (including minor girls) in squatter settlements. Another
major category is that of low caste and tribal women who are molested
when their community launches a struggle for its rights. Rape is used in
these cases as a form of retaliation and backlash against the
community in question. Women belonging to religious and other
minority communities also become victims during communal riots. The
army and various paramilitary forces have been offenders in politically
60

sensitive areas. The victimization of women during riots is common. In


rare but much publicized cases, middle class women have been
victimized for political vendetta.

Widow Immolation (Sati):


It is the burning alive of a widow on the funeral pyre of her dead
husband, was an ancient practice in specific caste communities in some
parts of India, and it were legally abolished by the British Government.
However, several cases have been discovered in the State of Rajasthan
after Indian Independence in 1947. The most traumatic and widely
publicized case was the immolation of a young widow, Roop Kanwar, in
Rajasthan in 1989. It was made into a spectacular ceremony by her-inlaws and the local priests, and watched by thousands of people, while
the police and the Government did not even attempt to intervene. Its
defense as a part of the Rajput religious tradition shows the
intensification of ideology and its vocal and sustained articulation to
perpetuate a custom of extreme violence to women. Feminist groups
mounted protests against this unholy alliance between religion,
patriarchy, and politics.

After continued public pressure, the

government passed a law making the glorification of sati an offence, for


which the woman attempting to commit it as well as the abettors are
punishable. Once again, the law seeks to punish the victim.

Child Marriage:
It has been the Hindu practice for centuries, and the lower age
limit at marriage, set at 18 years by the Child Marriage Restraint Act, is
often flouted. The physical injury to girls due to early consummation of
marriage and early pregnancies can be fatal, while the emotional strain
of domestic responsibilities at an immature age compounds the
problem.

61

Female Infanticide and Female Foeticide:


Female infanticides are common phenomena in societies which
place a high premium on male children. Both are done clandestinely
and are rarely brought to light, except in small pockets where the scale
of female infanticide is discovered to be high. The use or misuse - of
amniocentesis to detect the sex of the foetus, and to abort it if female, is
a relatively new but rapidly spreading phenomenon. Due to pressure
from voluntary groups in Bombay, the Maharashtra Regulation of
Prenatal Diagnostic Technique Act was passed in 1988, but its
implementation has been indifferent and no convictions are made.
Besides, the Act has become a mockery.

Prostitution:
It has registered an alarming increase. It is a highly organized
crime which takes place despite the Prevention of Immoral Traffic in
Women Act. According to the provisions of the Act, the woman who
solicits is liable to prosecution, but the abettors of brothels the pimps,
male customers, corrupt policemen are able to escape. Poverty in rural
areas makes women and girls easy victims of the prostitution racket,
and their condition is pitiable. But the women rescued from brothels and
sent to their families face rejection while their fate in rescue homes is
also quite bad. One variation of prostitution is the dedication of girls as
Devadasis to specific deities in temples ostensibly to serve God, but in
reality to be sexually exploited by men. The border area between
Maharashtra and Karnataka is notorious for this practice. An Act
abolishing the custom was passed in Karnataka, but its incidence has
increased across the border.

62

Eve-teasing:
It is sexual harassment of women in crowded public places,
common in large cities as well as in villages. It is a minor offence,
usually punishable by a small fine and one days imprisonment. Until
recently, the police did not register any complaints of this type, and
even now the authorities seem to be unaware that there is a special
department to handle such cases.

Pornography:
It remains difficult to deal with, because obscenity is not easy to
define. The Anti-Obscenity Act is problematic for women, because
liberty of expression is advanced as a defense. Some vocal womens
groups were inducted by the government in monitoring films, but were
promptly dissociated when they criticized official apathy.

Threat and Intimidation:


The abuser uses threatening looks, voice, gestures and actions to
keep her in constant fear. He may damage valued objects, hurt pets or
punch holes in the wall in the form of warning to show that he can
further in order to discipline her. There is a constant threat that violence
can happen at any time. The abuser may threaten to commit suicide,
take children, hurt a pet, hurt or lie to her family and friends, or seriously
injure her.

Wife-Beating:
Violence inside the home includes beating with a stick (or any
other object used as a weapon), slapping, kicking, punching and biting.
Rape is also widespread in states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and
Rajasthan. It affects women throughout from wealthy urban households
to poorest rural households irrespective of religion, class and caste.

63

Violence on Pregnant Women:


The health consequences of domestic violence in terms of
pregnancy loss and infant mortality are considerable. It ranges from
miscarriage to low birth-weight infants to maternal morbidity and
mortality. The battered pregnant women are twice likely to have
miscarriage and four times likely to have a low-birth- weight baby than
non-battered pregnant women. The children born to battered women
are 40 times more likely to die before the age of five than children of
non-battered mothers.

Thrown out of House:


The most common form of domestic violence is driving the victim
out of her home or forcing her to go to her parents place. Women
ejected from their homes in such circumstances often have nowhere to
go. It is because of this threat of being thrown out without any viable
options of living, millions of women today continue to silently tolerate
and suffer extreme violence at the hands of their relatives, sometimes,
even to the point of death.

Types of Abuse of Women:


z

Physical Physical abuse is defined as experiencing any act of


physical aggression including minor acts such as slaps and
severe acts such as assault with deadly weapons. It includes
pushing, shoving, hitting with first, kicking, choking, grabbing,
pinching, pulling hair, or threatening with weapons. Physical
violence involves intentionally using physical force, strength or a
weapon to harm or injure the woman.

Sexual Sexual abuse can take the form of any sexual act that a
woman submits to against her will, due to force, threat or
coercion. It also encompasses acts of sexual exploitation, control
over reproductive freedom and marital rape. It may includes
forced sex with the threat of violence, sex after violence has
64

occurred, sex without the womans consent, inserting objects or


other damaging acts or showing pornography against her will.
z

Psychological / Emotional Psychological abuse can take the


form of a behaviour designed to instill fear or otherwise
undermine a womans sense of self e.g. name calling, control of
the womans freedom to come and go when she chooses,
ridiculing her in front of others, keeping a woman away from
seeing her friends, or family, hostile withdrawal, threats of
divorce, restrictions, or not allowing her to go to work.

Financial Depriving of money for daily needs, keeping or taking


womens earnings, withholding money, abusing a woman or her
loved one for dowry, taunting her for bringing les or no dowry,
destruction of property, not allowing her to pursue a job are all
examples of financial violence. Economic violence includes
denying a woman access to and control over basic resources. It
also involves alienating her from assets and property, deprivation
of basic necessities of life or all or any economic or financial
resources, to which she is entitled to, including household
necessities for herself and her children, if any, dispossessing her
from using stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned by her.

Spousal Abuse - Violence, thus involves force or power both


physical and mental applied from the position of power or
authority. In case of domestic violence this authority is legitimize
by the social sanctions due to inherent unequal family structure
where women are expected to suffer pain silently without even
questioning. Spousal abuse is generally carried out for one
purpose: to gain and maintain total control over the victim.
Abusers may use several tactics to exert power over their
partners:

65

Dominance Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the


relationship. They make decisions for a woman, tell her what to
do, and expect her to obey without question. An abuser may treat
a woman like a servant, child, or even as his possession.

Humiliation Abuser will do everything he can to make a


woman feel bad about her and make her feel worthless and
unwanted. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs
are all weapons of abuse designed to erode a womans selfesteem and make her feel powerless.

Isolation In order to increase a womans dependence on him,


an abusive partner will cut her off from the outside world. He may
keep her from seeing family or friends, or even prevent her from
going to work or school. A woman may have to ask permission to
do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.

Threats Abusers commonly use threats to keep their victims


from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. He may
threaten to hurt or kill her, her children or other family members.
He may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against
her.

Intimidation Abuser may use a variety of intimidation tactics


designed to scare woman into submission. Such tactics include
making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of
her, destroying property, or putting weapons or display. The clear
message is that if she doesnt obey, there will be violent
consequences.

Denial and Blame Abusers are often good at making excuses.


They blame their abusive and violent behaviour on a bad
childhood, a bad day, and even find fault with the victims. They
will commonly shift the responsibility onto the victim as if
Somehow, his violence and abuse is her fault.
66

The Table 2.1 shows a systematic classification of the various


forms of violence in the female life cycle.
Table: 2.1

Gender-Based Violence Throughout


The Female Life Cycle
Pre-natal
Infancy

Childhood

Adolescence

Reproductive Age

Old Age

z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z

Sex-selective fertilization
Sex-selective abortion
Female infanticide
Unequal access to food and medical care
Neglect
Genital mutilation
Incest and sexual abuse
Unequal access to food, medical care and
education
Child labor and child prostitution
Marriage involving abduction and rape
Economically coerced marriage
Economically coerced sex
Sexual harassment and abuse on the way to or
from school, at home or at the workplace
Denial of sexual self-determination
Forced prostitution
Psychological and physical abuse by partner and
relatives
Marital rape
Dowry-related crimes and murder, honour killings
Forced prostitution
Sexual harassment and abuse at the workplace
Abuse and rape of women with disabilities
Persecution of lesbians
Abuse and exploitation of young widows
Abuse widows
Neglect of older women

Consequences of Domestic Violence:


Domestic violence leads to violation of human rights and prevents
them from enjoying their fundamental freedom. Violence also
perpetuates the subordination of women and results in unequal
distribution of power and resources between women and men. Women
who experience violence suffer a range of health problems and their
ability to earn a living. Their children are significantly more at risk for
67

health

problems,

poor

school

performance

and

behaviuoral

disturbances. Domestic violence has devastating consequences for


victims. It involves significant economic, health and social cost.
Economic consequences include decreased productivity and efficiency
and lower earnings. The violence also affects a womans participation in
labour force in variety of wage. Thus, the violence against women has
serious implications on family, society and the nation. The violence
against women may cause lifelong damage to health, trauma and leads
to death in a number of cases. The consequences of domestic violence
are discussed below:

Health Consequences:
Domestic violence has long-lasting adverse effect on womens
reproductive health; including unwanted pregnancy, complications
during pregnancy including miscarriage, unsafe abortion, sexually
transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, and maternal death.
According to the World Bank, in developing countries, rape and
domestic violence together account for 5 per cent of the healthy years
of life lost in a womens reproductive age.
The health consequences of domestic violence are considered as
a burden on health care systems and a drain of resources. Violence
against women is also an obstacle on the socio-economic development
of a nation. This lowers educational attainment, affects maternal health,
and produces adjustment problems in children. An increasing amount of
research also indicates that the acceptance and experience of domestic
violence

has

adverse

consequences

on

womens

health

and

subsequently on the health of their children.


The non-fatal outcomes of domestic violence are disturbances in
both physical and mental health. The physical health problems
stemming out of violence against women include injury from lacerations
68

to fractures and internal organ injuries,


gynecological

problems,

miscarriage,

unwanted pregnancy,

headaches,

permanent

disabilities, asthma, and self-injurious behaviour like smoking and


unprotected sex. Similarly, in the mental health front, victims suffer from
depression, fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, sexual dysfunction, eating
problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress
disorder. The fatal outcomes of domestic violence may be suicide,
homicide, maternal death and HIV/AIDS. Health consequences of
domestic violence are shown in Chart 2.2.
Chart: 2.2

Health Consequences of Domestic Violence


Physical
Injury and
Bruises Fractures
Cuts Burns
Stab wounds
Homicides
Gastrointestinal
Disorders
Chronic pain

Psychological
and emotional
Poor self esteem
Depression
Anxiety Post
Traumatic
disorder Phobia

Sexual and
reproductive
Gynecological
disorders
Pregnancy
Related
complications
Miscarriage

Fatal effects
High Maternal
Mortality,
Suicides,
AIDS related
mortality

Suicidal
behaviour Alcohol Unwanted
Pregnancy
and drug abuse
Increased risk of
RTI STI including
HIV and AIDS

Source: Shalu Nigam, 2008.

Consequence on Children:
Violence in home has harmful effect on children. Children in
violent homes may not get the desired care and protection while the
violent behaviour of their parents may cause serious psychological loss
which may result in abnormal behaviour, absenteeism from schools, low
educational performance and physical and mental retardation. In the
extreme cases, the violent behaviour of parents may create
69

psychological trauma to the children which may result serious


psychological damage.

Economic Consequences:
Domestic violence has also significance economic consequences
like reduction in family income, increasing health care costs, job
absenteeism, non-productivity and costs related attending to the rule of
the law. Gender-based violence also compounds other effects of
economic exploitation. In India, domestic violence is used as a
bargaining instrumental to extract huge amounts in the form of dowry
from in-laws, once the marriage has taken place.
According to a World Bank report, one workday in every five lost
by women in India is a result of health problems arising from domestic
violence. The costs that a woman may have to incur as a victim of
domestic violence are medical services related to physical, psychiatric,
or

psychological

care;

physical

and

occupational

therapy

or

rehabilitation; necessary transportation, temporary housing, child care


expenses, loss of income (if she is employed), attorneys fee in addition
to the costs incurred in obtaining a civil protection order; and any other
losses suffered by the victim as a proximate result of the offense.

Violation of Human Rights:


Primarily, violence is taken to mean physical aggression and
physical or sexual harm. Threats or humiliation are, however, also forms
of violence. In fact, it is difficult to define violence properly. Any
restriction of the freedom, independence or physical integrity of women
and girls is a form of gender-based violence. This conforms to the
definition as understood by the Declaration on the Elimination of
Violence against Women adopted by the UN General Assembly in
1993.
70

This broad definition of the term violence was confirmed at the


Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. Although
the Declaration is not legally binding for signatory states, it provides a
valuable addition to our understanding of human rights, which are laid
down in a binding form in various UN Covenants, including
z

The right to life and the right to liberty and security of persons
(Articles 6 and 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights).

The right to just and favourable conditions of work (Article 7 of the


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).

The ban on discrimination (Articles 16 and 26 of the International


Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), which is elaborated
further in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
The analysis of theoretical perspective pertaining to violence

against women simply demonstrates that there are multiple reasons


responsible for violence against women however; the main reasons are
related to money, sex and self-respect. The physical environment,
human interaction and attitudinal behavior also influence the incidence,
nature and form of violence against women. It has been observed that a
majority of the cases of domestic violence against women are not
reported due to the fear conscious that the matrimonial and familial
relations are not disturbed. Even in most of the reported cases, the
victims do not get adequate relief and support due to ineffective judicial
response and social attitude.

71

Chapter: 3

Magnitude of Domestic Violence


The total number of crime against women reported for the year
2006 was 1,64,765 with the conviction rate of 31.3. This is 5.9 percent
more as compared to 1,55,553 in 2005. The NCRB Report 2006
released recently shows that 7,618 dowry deaths case were reported in
the year 2006 with the conviction rate of 33.7 which imply that in only
about 34 per cent cases the guilty were punished by the courts. The
report also stated that a total of 63,128 cases were reported under the
Section 498-A IPC with the conviction rate of 21.9 with 8.2 per cent
variation in 2006 as compared to figure in 2005. Most of the cases (14.5
per cent) are reported from Andhra Pradesh with highest cases from
Tripura. The rate of crime has increased from 14.1 during the year 2005
to 14.7 during 2006. Tripura and Delhi were top two states at 28.0 and
28.1 respectively. The data reflects that there has been a dramatic
increase in the number of reported crimes against women over the
decades. The NCRB reported in 1998 that the growth rate of crimes
against women would be higher than the population growth rate by
2010.
A nationwide survey conducted by ICRW (2000) reveals 52 per
cent of women suffer at least once incident of physical or psychological
violence in their life time. In 2005, a UN Population Fund Report found
that 70 per cent of married women in India between ages 15 and 49
were victims of beating, rape, or forced sex. Another large study in India
found that 43.5 per cent of women reported that they were
psychologically abused by their partners, and 40.3 per cent reported
that they were physically abused. Fifty per cent of women who were
physically abused reported violence during pregnancy. The National
Family Health Survey II report shows one in five married women in India
experiences domestic violence from the age of 15.
72

National

Commission for Women has in 2003-04 recorded 902 cases of dowry


harassment and 310 cases of matrimonial disputes. The National Crime
Record Bureau (NCRB) Report 2003 indicates that 36.1 per cent of the
total reported crimes against women pertain to domestic violence.
A pilot study conducted recently by Ahmedabad Womens Action
Group (AWAG) under a project undertaken by the Indian Institute of
Management, Ahmedabad revealed that 58 per cent of women suffer
significant mental distress. The study was conducted on 1,500 women
between the age group of 18 and 45 years revealed that 33 per cent
women admitted to being victims of domestic violence. The study
revealed that women faces appalling forms of physical violence which
include slapping reported by 68 per cent, kicking 62 per cent, punching
53 per cent, hitting with hard objects 49 per cent, biting 37 per cent,
choking 29 per cent, and banding with cigarette buts 22 per cent. Half of
them admitted that they were forced to engage in sex resulting to
marital rape. The study also revealed that sex was used as a doubleedged sword, with men assaulting 56 per cent women by depriving
them of sex. About 76 per cent women reported that they were abused
before family, 69 per cent before neighbours, 60 per cent before friends,
67 per cent were abused in public places. 70 per cent reported verbal
abuse and threats and 69 per cent stated that they were excluded from
decision making. Another study conducted in West Bengal found that
event of giving birth to a male child has a protective influence against
domestic violence. The commonest form of assault women reported to
face was slapping, as per the study. The main emotional reaction of
victim was anger, others felt guilty or afraid and some express guilt.
Another study of 1,842 women aged between 15-39 years from two
districts in Uttar Pradesh in North India and Tamil Nadu in South India
reported 42-48 per cent and 36-38 per cent prevalence of violence
respectively.

73

There has been increasing trend in the crimes against women in


India during 2002 2006. During 2005-2006, around 6 per cent
reported crimes increased against women and the highest growth of
such crimes was reported in case of crimes under the head of Dowry
Prohibition Act, 1961 (40.6 per cent). However, the crimes reported
under Sati Prevention Act, 1987, Importation of Girls, Indecent
Representation of Women Act and Immoral Traffic Act have declined
significantly (Table 3.1).
Table: 3.1

Incidents of Crimes Against Women


Sl.
No.

Crime Head

Year
2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Percentage
variation in
2006 over
2005

1.

Rape (Sec.
376 IPC)

16373

15847

18233

18359

19348

5.4

2.

Kidnapping &
Abduction
(Sec. 363 to
373 IPC)

14506

13296

15578

15750

17414

10.6

3.

Dowry Death
(Sec.
302/304B
IPC)

6822

6208

7026

6787

7618

12.2

4.

Torture
(Sec. 498A
IPC)

49237

50703

58121

58319

63128

8.2

5.

Molestation
(Sec. 509
IPC)

33943

32939

34567

34175

36617

7.1

6.

Sexual
Harassment
(Sec. 509
IPC)

10155

12325

10001

9984

9966

- 0.2

7.

Importation
of Girls (Sec.
366-B IPC)

76

46

89

149

67

- 55.0

74

8.

Sati
Prevention
Act 1987

- 100.0

9.

Immoral
Traffic (P)
Act, 1956

6598

5510

5748

5908

4541

- 23.1

10.

Indecent
Rep. of
Women (P)
Act, 1986

2508

1043

1378

2917

1562

- 46.5

11.

Dowry
Prohibition
Act, 1961

2816

2684

3592

3204

4504

40.6

143034

140601

154333

155553

164765

5.9

Total

Source: National Crime Records Bureau, New Delhi, 2007.


There has been nominal increase in the proportion of crimes against
women during 2002-2006. During 2006, about 8.2 per cent crimes were
reported against women as against the total crimes reported under Indian
Penal Code (Table 3.2).
Table: 3.2

Proportion of Crime Against Women


Sl.
No.

Year

Total IPC
Crimes

Crime Against Women


(IPC cases)

Percentage
to total IPC
crimes

1.

2002

17,80,330

1,31,112

7.4

2.

2003

17,16,120

1,31,364

7.6

3.

2004

18,32,015

1,43,615

7.8

4.

2005

18,22,602

1,43,523

7.9

5.

2006

18,78,293

1,54,158

8.2

Source: National Crime Records Bureau, New Delhi, 2007.

75

Alarmingly, according to UNIFEM more than 12 women die every


day as a result of dowry disputes, mostly in kitchen fires designed to
look like accidents. The National Commission for Women in India states
that Everyday almost six hours somewhere at some place in India a
young married woman is being burnt alive or beaten to death or being
pushed to commit suicide. Over the past few years, the cases of bride
burning have registered a sharp increase throughout India. A study
conducted in Chandigarh found that married women comprised 78 per
cent of total female burn fatalities. 55 per cent of these fatalities were
aged between 21-30 years. Harassed women were also driven to
suicide. In Gujarat alone, it is estimated that 2000 women committed
suicide on account of domestic violence in 1989-90. Other studies
identify domestic strife and violence as the most significant reason for
suicide among women. While unemployment and other financial
problems and discord with parents are considered as significant
reasons for suicide among males, family ill-treatment and violence are
more significant in case of female suicides.

Extent of Domestic Violence Against Women:


Domestic violence against women is almost universal social
problem. As domestic violence mainly takes place behind close doors,
within the family environments, it is very difficult to collect reliable
figures on this social problem. However, various studies highlight the
enormity of the problem. According to World Health Organisation1 most
studies on violence against women indicate that :

the perpetrators of violence against women are almost exclusively


men;

women are at greatest risk of violence from men they know;

women and girls are the most frequent victims of violence within
the family and between intimate partners;
76

physical abuse in intimate relationships is almost always


accompanied by severe psychological and verbal abuse;

social institutions put in place to protect citizen too often blame or


ignore battered women.
Women are more likely to be victimized by someone with whom

they are intimate with, commonly called Intimate Partner Violence. The
impact of domestic violence in the sphere of total violence against
women can be understood through the example that 40-70 percent of
murders of women are committed by their husband or boyfriend.1
According to the Department of Justice of the United States of America
95 percent of the victims of domestic violence are women. The National
Crime Victimization Survey in the U.S.A. consistently finds that no
matter who initiates the violence, women are 7 to 10 times more likely to
be injured than are men. According to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation of the U.S.A. about 2 million men per year beat their
partners. The Council of Europe - Europes leading human rights
organization-has shown that 12-15 percent women in Europe face
violence in the home everyday.
The figures provided by Womens Aid the national domestic
violence charity in England reveal the following facts:

In Somalia, around 95 percent of girls will be genitally mutilated


by the time they are 8 years old.

In the United Kingdom, since 1981 the largest increase in


violence crimes has been in incidents of domestic violence.

In Papua New Guinea, 67 percent of rural women and 56 percent


of urban women have been physically abused.

One Russian woman is killed by her husband every 40 minutes.

In South Africa a woman is raped every 17 seconds.

77

A quarter of all women killed in Jordan for having an illicit


relationship die because they were suspected of involvement in
such a relationship. In Jordan and Lebanon 70-75 percent of the
perpetrators of these killings are womens brothers.

A random sample of 150 women in Trondheim, Norway found that


25 percent had been physically or sexually abused by their male
partners.
Box 3.1

Domestic Violence against Women


Industrialized Countries
Canada
29% of women (a nationally representative sample of 12,300
women) reported being physically assaulted by a current or
former partner since the age of 16.
Japan
59% of 796 women surveyed in 1993 reported being physically
abused by their partner.
New Zealand
20% of 314 women surveyed reported being hit or physically
abused by a male partner.
Switzerland
20% of 1,500 women reported being physically assaulted
according to a 1997 survey.
United Kingdom
25% of women (a random sample of women from one district)
had been punched or slapped by a partner or ex-partner in their
lifetime.
United States
28% of women (a nationally representative sample of women)
reported at least one episode of physical violence from their
partner.
Asia and the Pacific Cambodia
16% of women (a nationally representative sample of women)
reported being physically abused by a spouse; 8% report being
injured.
78

India
Up to 45% of married men acknowledged physically abusing their
wives, according to a 1996 survey of 6.902 men in the state of
Uttar Pradesh.
Korea
38% of wives reported being physically abused by their spouse
based on a survey of a random sample of women.
Thailand
20% of husbands (a representative sample of 619 husbands)
acknowledged physically abusing their wives at least once in their
marriage.
Middle East Egypt
35% of women (a nationally representative sample of women)
reported being beaten by their husband at some point in their
marriage.
Israel
32% of ""omen reported at least one episode of physics by their
partner and 30% report sexual coercion by their husbands in the
previous year, according to a 1997 survey of 1,826 Arab women.
Africa
Kenya
42% of 612 women surveyed in one district reported having been
beaten by a partner; of those 58% reported that they were beaten
often or sometimes.
Uganda
41% of women reported being beaten or physically harmed by a
partner; 41% of men reported beating their partner (representative
sample of women and their partners in two districts).
Zimbabwe
32% of 966 women in one province reported physical abuse by a
family or household member since the age of 16, according to a
1996 survey.
Prevalence of domestic violence as per report of NFHS-II (199899) is shown in Table 3.3. It was found that the prevalence of domestic
violence is higher among illiterate women in all the regions of India.
With an increase in educational attainment, the reporting of domestic
79

violence declined sharply and this difference is statistically significant


indicating lower education is correlated to increase in domestic
violence. However, there is difference in reporting domestic violence by
regions and educational levels. The differential in domestic violence
varies significantly with marital duration. The prevalence of domestic
violence is found to be substantially higher among alcoholic women as
compared to those who are non-alcoholic. Similarly, the prevalence of
domestic violence is found to be lower among the female headed
households as compared to the male head households.
Table: 3.3

Domestic Violence by Background Characteristics


Background
Characteristics

Regions
North

Central

East

Northeast

West

South

Womens Educational Status


Illiterate

7.0

14.9

17.7

12.0

11.5

18.6

Literate but less


than middle
school

5.9

11.1

9.5

6.9

7.0

12.9

Middle school
complete

5.2

8.7

6.7

2.8

7.8

9.3

High School
and above

2.7

4.4

5.8

1.7

3.9

5.3

Rural

5.5

13.5

14.1

7.7

8.4

13.7

Urban

7.2

8.4

11.9

11.1

8.4

12.6

Hindu

5.5

12.6

14.0

6.7

8.1

13.7

Muslim

7.6

13.3

13.3

9.2

7.2

8.6

Residence Type

Religion Group

80

Christian

14.3

28.6

14.8

9.2

11.8

21.5

Others

6.9

2.9

7.4

8.7

14.2

--

Less than 5
years

4.9

9.8

10.6

6.7

7.9

11.0

5-9 years

8.0

16.8

18.7

10.2

9.2

17.7

More than 10
years

8.7

16.7

19.0

10.0

8.5

15.0

Marital Duration

Husbands education
Illiterate

8.4

16.5

19.2

11.4

11.0

19.5

Less than
middle school

7.0

15.0

12.7

9.9

10.8

13.5

Middle school
complete

7.2

12.2

11.1

5.4

8.5

12.3

High School
and above

3.3

8.7

8.7

2.3

5.3

7.5

Husbands occupation
Not working

4.4

6.6

13.2

4.3

9.5

16.7

Prof., Tech.,
Manag, Clerical

4.6

10.4

7.7

4.1

6.1

8.5

Agriculture &
allied

5.7

13.8

14.7

6.5

7.7

15.0

Sales &
Services

3.5

11.3

11.7

6.1

6.5

9.0

Skilled manual

7.4

12.4

13.6

10.2

9.7

13.6

Unskilled
manual,
domestic ,
others

7.3

14.9

18.1

15.2

13.4

15.7

5.9

12.6

13.6

7.5

8.3

13.1

Drink alcohol
No

81

Yes

25.0

18.8

24.3

14.0

16.7

33.7

Mass media exposure


No exposure

5.8

14.7

16.6

9.2

7.8

17.7

Had exposure

6.0

10.6

9.9

6.9

8.6

12.1

Employment status
Work at home
no cash

9.4

12.4

8.5

11.1

9.9

16.7

Work away no
cash

5.5

14.2

30.6

11.4

7.4

14.5

Work at home
cash

11.2

18.0

13.9

22.2

7.4

12.2

Work away
cash

11.1

18.2

23.5

13.9

14.2

21.5

Sex of head of household


Male

6.1

12.9

13.9

7.9

8.4

13.2

Female

2.7

10.2

12.3

8.2

8.1

14.8

Sex composition of children


No son

3.8

8.8

10.6

5.3

5.8

11.7

No son but 1
daughter

3.9

11.6

13.4

9.2

11.8

12.0

No son but 2
daughters

7.3

16.2

16.5

8.3

7.6

13.1

No son but 3 or
more daughters

8.0

14.8

20.2

18.2

13.4

24.5

No daughter but
son

8.3

16.5

14.1

7.5

8.2

14.4

Both son and


daughter

7.4

14.4

17.9

10.1

8.9

15.1

9.4

13.4

8.1

7.7

11.0

Spousal age difference


Less than 1
year

4.9

82

1 3 years

4.4

11.1

13.9

8.0

7.2

14.0

3 5 years

6.5

11.4

14.5

7.4

8.5

13.2

5 9 years

7.2

14.8

12.8

7.9

8.0

12.5

9 and above

8.4

16.5

15.0

8.2

11.2

14.8

Low

5.5

13.9

14.3

8.0

9.8

13.5

Medium

5.7

11.3

13.4

7.9

7.8

13.0

High

8.7

11.6

14.1

7.5

6.3

14.6

Not using

5.6

12.9

14.8

7.5

8.1

13.1

Spacing

6.5

9.7

8.2

7.1

7.3

9.4

Limiting

8.4

13.0

17.1

31.3

11.1

15.3

Autonomy index

Contraceptive Use

HH Standard of Living
Low

7.9

18.3

18.2

11.9

11.3

20.3

Medium

6.7

11.7

10.5

5.1

8.7

11.1

High

3.8

5.8

3.0

3.5

2.7

4.2

SC

8.5

15.4

18.4

9.9

14.2

18.8

ST

5.9

14.0

13.8

6.9

10.5

25.7

OBC

7.1

11.3

14.2

6.8

6.0

12.8

Others

4.2

11.9

10.3

8.3

7.2

7.7

Caste Groups

Source: NFHS-II, 1998-99.

The National Family Health Survey (NFH-III) carried out in 29


states during 2005-2006 and released in 2007 reveals over 37 per cent
married women in the country are victims of physical or sexual abuse by
their husbands. Over 40 per cent of Indian women have experienced
83

domestic violence at some point in their married lives, and nearly 55 per
cent think that spousal abuse is warranted in several circumstances.
The survey showed that countrywide more women face violence in rural
areas (40.2) as compared to those in the urban areas (30.4). NFHS-III
found that over a third of women who had been married at any point in
their lives said they had been pushed, slapped, shaken or otherwise
attacked by their husband at least once. Slapping was the most
common act of physical violence by husbands. More than 34 per cent of
women said their husbands slapped them, while 15 per cent said their
husbands pulled their hair or twisted their arm. Around 14 per cent of
the women had things thrown at them. The survey also found that one
in six wives had been emotionally abused by their husbands, while one
in 10, have experienced sexual violence like marital rape on at least one
occasion. Experience of different forms of violence by women in the age
group of 15-49 is shown in Table 3.4.
Table: 3.4

Experience of Different Forms of Violence


Physical or
Physical
sexual
and sexual
violence
violence

State

Physical
violence
only

Sexual
violence
only

India

26.9

1.8

6.7

35.4

15 19

18.0

1.8

2.7

22.5

15 17

18.6

1.4

1.6

21.6

18 19

17.2

2.4

4.2

23.8

20 24

24.7

2.4

6.2

33.2

25 29

29.7

1.9

8.4

39.9

30 39

30.8

1.7

8.5

41.1

Age

84

40 49

30.5

1.3

7.2

39.0

Urban

23.5

1.1

4.8

29.4

Rural

28.5

2.1

7.6

38.3

Ever married

29.7

2.1

8.3

40.1

Never married

15.7

0.8

0.3

16.9

Delhi

14.9

0.2

1.4

16.5

Haryana

23.4

1.4

4.3

29.0

Himachal Pradesh

4.1

0.3

1.1

5.6

Jammu & Kashmir

10.1

0.9

1.9

12.9

Punjab

25.0

1.0

4.9

30.9

Rajasthan

27.5

4.6

12.6

44.6

Uttaranchal

22.1

0.4

4.2

26.8

Chhatisgarh

24.0

0.8

5.3

30.1

Madhya Pradesh

37.0

1.4

8.4

46.8

Uttar Pradesh

30.3

1.1

6.7

38.1

Bihar

38.9

2.9

13.8

55.6

Jharkhand

23.5

2.1

9.2

34.8

Orissa

24.5

3.5

8.2

36.2

West Bengal

19.9

6.2

12.2

38.3

Arunachal Pradesh

25.1

2.8

7.5

35.5

Assam

24.7

2.2

9.6

36.5

Manipur

28.8

2.1

7.9

38.9

Meghalaya

14.6

0.4

1.0

16.0

Residence

Marital Status

States

85

Mizoram

22.9

0.5

2.1

25.5

Nagaland

12.9

3.1

3.0

19.0

Sikkim

16.8

1.6

2.4

20.9

Tripura

28.9

2.5

13.2

44.7

Goa

12.5

0.6

1.8

15.0

Gujarat

20.7

2.2

4.8

27.8

Maharashtra

27.2

0.3

1.7

29.2

Andhra Pradesh

29.9

0.5

3.4

33.8

Karnataka

16.7

0.2

2.9

19.9

Kerala

12.6

1.3

3.4

17.3

Tamil Nadu

36.1

0.0

2.5

38.7

Source: NFHS-III, 2006-07.

A study conducted by Yugantar Education Society, Nagpur (2003)


in the auspices of Planning Commission, Government of India
highlighted the following facts on the basis of an empirical study on
Nature, Extent, Incidence and Impact of Domestic Violence Against
Women in Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and
Maharashtra:
z

The women of younger age who were married at a lower age


were at higher risk of being physically abused in contrast to those
who were of higher age group and married at later age. As
against this women of higher age group were more likely to be
abused emotionally as compared with women of younger age
group.

The educational level and occupational status of women victims


disclosed that women who had no education and those highly
educated were more prone to domestic violence as compared
with those who were moderately educated. Similarly, women
86

engaged in paid work of low social status were at higher risk of


being abused in contrast with those who were purely housewives.
Again out of the women who were engaged in paid work outside
their homes in occupations having lower social status and less
monetary returns were at high risk of being abused than those
engaged in occupations of higher prestige.
z

The social class background of victims of domestic violence


revealed that women belonging to families living below poverty
line and lower class run higher risk of being physically abused as
compared to women belonging to middle classes and upper
class. However, emotional abuse was more frequent upper class
and upper middle class families.

The most common forms of domestic violence reported by the


majority of the respondents were slaps, beating, pushing, kicking,
sexual coercion and assaults. The perpetrators of physical
violence were mostly husbands of the victims. Majority of the
victims of physical violence were mostly from rural areas and
from lower class and lower middle class families of urban areas.

The respondents from urban and rural areas of the five states
reported a large number of reasons for domestic violence caused
to them. Dowry was, however, not a major cause. Alcoholism of
husband was reported as a major cause of violence by victims
from rural areas and those belonging to lower class families. In
urban areas of the states victims from upper class and middle
class

families

reported

suspected

extra-marital

relations,

suspected love affairs before marriage, unemployment of


husband and repeated demand for money from the family of
orientation of the victims were the major causes of domestic
violence against women.
z

It is observed that only 49 per cent of the victims approached


parents, relatives and friends for seeking their help in abusive
87

situation. Therefore, the general contention that victims of


violence would report their miseries to nearest relatives and
friends is not supported by the findings of this study.
z

Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age,


sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects
people of all socio-economic backgrounds and education levels.
Domestic violence occurs in both heterosexual and same-sex
relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are
married, living together, or dating. Domestic violence not only
affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on
family members, friends, co- workers, other witnesses, and the
community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic
violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime.
Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes
children to numerous social and physical problems, but also
teaches them that violence is a normal way of life therefore,
increasing their risk of becoming societys next generation of
victims and abusers.

According to National Crime Records Bureau in India one crime


against woman every three minutes, one rape every 29 minutes,
one dowry death case every 77 minutes, one case of cruelty by
husband and relatives every nine minutes.

The National Crime Records Bureau,(NCRB, Annual Report


2005), also recorded a total of 1,55,553 cases of violence against
woman(VAW)including 18,359 cases of rape involving 18,376
victims, 34,175 cases of molestation, 15750 cases of kidnapping ,
6,787 cases of dowry deaths and 58,319 cases of torture in 2005.
Despite high rate of violence against woman, only 24 out of 28
states in India have established State Commission for Woman by
2005 a total of 1,172 cases of rape of the Scheduled Caste
88

woman and a total of 640 cases of rape of the Scheduled Tribe


women were recorded in 2005.
Ten thousands domestic violence cases by major states in India

are reported against woman during 2006-2007 (After prevention


of Domestic violence Act-2006) is presented in Table-3.5.
Table: 3.5

State-Wise Domestic Violence Cases


State

No. of cases

Rajasthan

3440

Kerala

1028

Andhra Pradesh

331

Delhi

607

Maharashtra

603

Goa

603

Gujarat

315

Punjab

249

Haryana

235

Uttaranchal

145

Karnataka

124

Bihar

64

West Bengal

54

Orissa

12

Uttar Pradesh

00

Other states

1087

Source: According to Indira Jai Singh, Lawyers Collective (till July 2007).

89

The analysis of research findings of various surveys and studies


show that there is increasing trend of domestic violence against women.
There are various socio-cultural and economic determinants of
domestic violence while the nature and forms of domestic violence vary
from society to society depending upon socio-economic and cultural
status of the societies. There are also marked variations in the nature,
extent and impact of domestic violence against women across the
geographical regions of India.

90

Chapter: 4

Legal & Administrative Provisions for


Protection of Women
Women constitute about half of the population and human
resources of the country, however, development has bypassed them.
They have been victims of violence, exploitation, discrimination and bias
in almost all the societies in India. Violence is a phenomena that starts
at the conception and carries on through their entire life span. In India
too, sex selection and consequent infanticide is a common occurrence
and the preference for the male child is wide spread. The discrimination
and gender bias is found prevalent by way of access to adequate food,
nutrition, health and medical care, burden of domestic work, care of
siblings, education and skill enhancement etc. Vulnerability is further
compounded by early marriages and early child bearing resulting in
disastrous health consequences. During the reproductive age, physical,
mental and emotional abuse of women is another area of concern that
deprives womens reproductive rights in majority of the cases. A large
numbers of women face severe harassment due to unfulfillment of
dowry demands and many are victims of domestic violence. The
widowhood is one of the most curse imposed on women because in
many communities and families they are being neglected, discriminated,
exploited and victims of violence.
In order to create violence free environment and provide
protection to women against discrimination, exploitation and violence,
constitutional and legal provisions have been made. A number of legal
Acts have been enacted to provide justice to the victims of violence and
also to prevent the crimes and violence against women. There has been
a long history of legal control and judicial response towards the
protection of womens rights, prevention of violence and rehabilitation of
victims. However, Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act,
91

2005 is the milestone in the history of legal control and judicial response
in domestic violence affairs.
In order to make the dejure equality into a defacto one, women
specific and women related legislations have been enacted to
safeguard the rights and interest of women, besides protecting against
discrimination, violence, atrocities and also to prevent socially
undesirable practices like child marriage, dowry, Sati, etc. Some of the
important legislative support for women in India is shown in Box 1.
Box: 1

Legislative Support for Women


z

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.

The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987.

Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The Christian Marriage Act, 1872.

The Married Womens Property Act, 1874.

The Indian Succession Act, 1925.

The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929.

The Muslim Personal Law (Shariyat) Application Act, 1937.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954.

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act, 1956.

The Indian Divorce Act, 1969.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986.

The Pre-natal Diagnostic Technique (Regulation and Prevention of


Misuse) Act, 1994.

Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Despite the legal and policy framework, the gender inequalities,


atrocities and discrimination existed and therefore, womens movement
advocated for a new law since early 1990s. The year 2005 is the
milestone in women specific legislations. Protection of Women from
92

Domestic Violence Act was enacted in the year. The rules under this
Act were promulgated in October 2006 and since then it has been
operationalized.

The Indian Constitution:


In our Constitution, Art. 14 provide Equality before Law that the
state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal
protection of the laws within the territory of India. In the eyes of law both
men and women are equal, has already been decided in the earlier
judgments also such as in the case of Ajay Kumar vs. Chandigarh
Administration. Ashwinder Kaur vs. Chandigarh Administration.
The reservation of certain posts exclusively for women is valid
under article 15 (3), article 15 covers every sphere of state action,
Union of India vs. V.P. Prabhakaram. Clause (3) of Article 15, which
permits special provision to the women and children, has been widely
resorted to and the courts have upheld the validity of special measures
in legislation or executive orders favouring women. In particular,
provisions in the criminal law, in favour of women, or in the procedural
law discriminating in favour of women, have been upheld. The following
decisions may be seen in the context: (i) Girdhar vs. State (ii) Yusuf vs.
State of Bombay (iii) Choki vs. State of Rajasthan (iv) Shahbad vs.
Abdulla. Similarly, provisions providing for reservation of seats for
women in local bodies or in educational institutions is valid as it is
already decided in the case of Sagar vs. State of Andhra Pradesh.
Sexual harassment of working women amounts to violation of
rights guaranteed by articles, 14, 15 and 23 (equality and dignity), the
court issued detailed directions on the subject in the case of Vishakha
vs. State of Rajasthan.

93

Under Article 39 (equal pay for equal payment), no women can be


deprived or can be paid less payment for the same work. It is mentioned
in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
Similarly in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Hindu Succession Act,
1956, Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 and in Hindu
Disposition of Property Act, 1916, many provisions have been given in
favour of the women even the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 2001
also favour women.,
Despite all these provisions the actual position of women is still
very sympathetic. She is ill treated by her in-laws, family members and
discarded in the every field of the society. The reason is nonimplementation of the laws.
We all know that many rights have been granted to women on
paper. In fact apart from paying lip service to issues of violence against
woman from time to time, a very little effort has been made in the past
by the State to actually curb or deal with violence. An issue arising from
the above is that are women aware of their rights and even when they
are aware, are these rights within their reach, are these accessible to
her or are these rights merely illusionary, like the mirage in the desert?

Constitutional Privileges
(i)

Equality before law for women (Article 14)

(ii)

The State not to discriminate against any citizen on grounds only


of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them
(Article 15 (i))

(iii)

The State to make any special provision in favour of women and


children (Article 15 (3))

(iv)

Equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to


employment or

appointment to any office under the state

(Article 16)
94

(v)

The State to direct its policy towards securing for men and
women equally the

right to an adequate means of livelihood

(Article 39 (a); and equal pay for equal work for both men and
women (Article 39 (d))
(vi)

To promote justice, on a basis of equal opportunity and to provide


free legal aid by suitable legislation or scheme or in any other
way to ensure that

opportunities for securing justice are not

denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities


(Article 39 A)
(vii) The State to make provision for securing just and humane
conditions of work and for maternity relief (Article 42)
(viii) The State to promote with special care the educational and
economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and to
protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation
(Article 46)
(ix)

The State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living
of its people and the improvement of public health (Article 47)

(x)

To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood


amongst all the people of India and to renounce practices
derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51 (A) (e))

(xi)

Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved


for women

belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the

Scheduled Tribes ) of the total number of seats to be filled by


direct election in every Panchayat to be reserved for women and
such seats to be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in
a Panchayat (Article 243 D (3))
(xii) Not less than one-third of the total number of offices of
Chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level to be reserved for
women (Article 243 D (4))
95

(xiii) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved
for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled
Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election
in every Municipality to be reserved for women and such seats to
be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality
(Article 243 T(3))
(xiv) Reservation of offices of Chairpersons in Municipalities for the
Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such
manner as the legislature of a State may by law provide (Article
243 T (4)).

The Indian Penal Code, 1860:


The Indian Penal Code, 1860 keeping in view the religious, moral,
social and ethical background of the Indian community, made induced
abortion, a criminal offence under Section 312-316 of IPC.
Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 enables a man to
prosecute another man for committing adultery with his wife, however,
it excludes from the purview of this provisions the adulteress wife,
though a participant in the act of adultery.
The Supreme Court of India in the case of Yusuf Abdul Aziz vs.
Somotri Vishnu, upheld the views of

this provision as protective

measures for women on the basis of Article 15(3) of the Constitution.

The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929:


While providing punishment for child marriages make an
exemption that no woman shall be punished under the Act.

The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961:


As amended from time to time is another example of socio-legal
reform under which acts of giving and taking dowry, demanding dowry
and abatement of these three acts, have been declared offences
punishable with imprisonment and fine or both. This Act is totally for the
96

protection of women in the sense that it endeavours the social evil


dowry.

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872:


Section 113-A inserted in 1983, provides that when the question
is whether the commission of suicide by a woman had been abetted by
her husband or any relative of her husband and it is shown that she had
committed suicide within the period of seven years from the date of
marriage and that her husband or such relative of her husband had
subjected to her cruelty, the court may presume, having regard to all
other circumstances of the case, that such suicide had been abetted by
her husband.
Section 113-B was added by way of amendment to the Indian
Evidence Act in 1986 which contains that, when the question whether a
person ahs committed the dowry death of a woman and it is shown that
soon after her death such woman had been subjected by such person
to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with demand for dowry.

The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973:


Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code has also been
amended in 1983 and sub section (3) has been inserted which provides
that the case involves the suicide if it is caused within seven years of
her marriage.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971:


In order to eliminate the high incidence of illegal abortions, the
Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 was enacted, which
permitted abortions on three grounds:
z

Health grounds - where there is a danger to the life or risk


to physical or mental health of the woman;

97

Humanitarian grounds where pregnancy is caused as a


result of a sex crime or intercourse with a lunatic man etc.
and;

On Eugenic Grounds where there is a substantial risk that


the child, if born, will suffer from deformities and disease.

Thus right to birth is conferred on the unborn child, who can be


restricted in the interest of the health of the mother or the child itself.

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,


2005:
Basic purpose of this Act has been enacting the law to effectively
deal with the cases of domestic violence and to provide civil remedies to
the victims. The salient features of the Act include clear cut
conceptualization of domestic violence, domestic relationship, womens
rights and about the civil remedies. The Act provides for appointment of
Protection Officers and NGOs as service providers to provide
assistance to the women with respect to medical examination, legal aid,
safe shelter etc. The Act also provides penalties for breach of protection
order or interim protection order by the respondents as a cognizable
and non-bail able offence punishable with imprisonment. The law
operates as a single window clearance supporting womens access to
justice.
The Act provides more effective protection of rights of women
guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any
kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or
incidental thereto. The Act defines domestic violence as any act,
omission or commission or conduct causing physical, sexual, verbal,
emotional and economic abuse. The Act has laid down the duties of
police officers, protection officers and other service providers to provide
social remedies to the victims of domestic violence. The Act also
empowers the magistrate to pass orders for grant of monetary relief to
98

the aggrieved person from the respondent to meet the expenses


incurred and losses suffered including the loss of earning, medical
expenses, loss of property and maintenance to the aggrieved person
and her children including the maintenance. On the request made by
the aggrieved person, the protection officer or service provider may
make a request under section 6 to the person incharge of a shelter
home to provide shelter to the victims of domestic violence. Similarly,
medical facility will be provided to the aggrieved person by making a
request under section 7.
In a majority of the states, Protection Officers have been
appointed at the district level. In

the of states, of

Bihar, Himachal

Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra


Protection Officers have been appointed at the Block levels in addition
to district level appointments. Interestingly in Manipur and Tamil Nadu,
Protection Officers were appointed pursuant to court orders passed in
public interest litigation filed by concerned civil society groups. In all
states, except for Delhi, existing government officials have been
appointed to the post of Protection Officers. Of these appointments, in
many of the states, Protection Officers were already functioning as
Social Welfare Officers under the state Department of Women and
Child Development in Assam, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Mizoram, Tamil
Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. In others, Child Development
Project Officers (CDPO) appointed under the Integrated Child
Development Scheme(ICDS) have been vested with the additional
responsibility of acting as Protection Officers in Arunachal Pradesh,
Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra
Manipur, Mizoram, Orissa, Uttaranchal Pradesh, and Andaman and
Nicobar Islands It must be noted that CDPOs also work under the
auspices of state Departments of Women and Child Development.

99

Main Features of The Act :

The definition of an 'aggrieved' person' is equally wide and covers


not just the wife but a woman who is the sexual partner of the
male irrespective of whether she is his legal wife or not. The
daughter, mother, sister, child (male or female), widowed relative,
in fact, any woman residing in the household who is related in
some way to the respondent, is also covered by the Act

The respondent under the definition given in the Act is "any male,
adult person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with
the aggrieved person" but so that his mother, sister and other
relatives do not go scot free, the case can also be filed against
relatives of the husband or male partner. The law will cover those
women who are or have been in a relationship where both parties
have lived together in a shared household, and are related by
marriage or adoption. [Chapter. I, - Sec.2 (a)].

In addition to physical violence of beating, slapping, hitting,


kicking and pushing, the Act also covers sexual violence like
forced intercourse, forcing his wife or mate to look at pornography
or any other obscene pictures or material and child sexual abuse.
The new law also addresses sexual abuse of children and forcing
girls to marry against their wishes. This certainly proves that the
new Act has been formed keeping the current relationship culture
in India and the irregularities in the previous Domestic Violence
Laws in mind.

The

Act

has

also

defined

Physical

Violence

very

comprehensively, as : Any kind of bodily harm or injury or a threat


of bodily harm or Beating, slapping and hitting. Thus, physical
violence is defined as any act or conduct which is of such a
nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb, or
health, or an act that impairs the health or development of the
100

person aggrieved, or that includes assault, criminal intimidation


and criminal force.

But violence against women is not always physical. For the first
time, the law has expanded the definition to include sexual, verbal
and economic violence. Under the law, Sexual Violence will
include : Forced sexual encounter , forcing a woman to look at
pornography or any obscene pictures , any act of sexual nature to
abuse, humiliate or degrade a woman's' integrity.

The new law is also tough on men who subject women to name
calling or verbal abuse. While Verbal Violence is often trivialized
as unimportant, observers say it can damage a woman's selfesteem. The Act defines Verbal Violence as : Name calling or any
kind of accusation on a woman's character or conduct, or insults
for not bringing dowry or preventing a woman from marrying a
person of her choice or any form of threat or insults for not
producing a male child.

Another significant step has been to recognize Economic


Violence. Under the Act, Economic Violence is : not providing
money, food, clothes, medicines or causing hindrance to
employment opportunities or forcing a woman to vacate her
house

or not paying rent. As is apparent the inclusion of

economic violence is a very forward-thinking and important part of


this definition. The deprivation of economic or financial resources
to which the aggrieved woman or child is entitled under law or
custom, or which the person aggrieved requires out of necessity,
can be claimed under the provisions of this law; withholding such
resources now falls under the category of economic abuse. This
provision comes into play in instances of marital disputes, where
the husband tends to deprive the wife of necessary money as a

101

weapon. The law also sees a husband who sells off his wife's
jewellery and assets as being guilty of economic abuse.

The information regarding an act or acts of domestic violence


does not necessarily have to be lodged by the aggrieved party but
by "any person who has reason to believe that" such an act has
been or is being committed. Which means that neighbours, social
workers, relatives etc. can all take initiative on behalf of the victim.
[ Chapter III - Sec. 4.]

This fear of being driven out of the house effectively silenced


many women and made them silent sufferers. The court, by this
new Act, can now order that she not only reside in the same
house but that a part of the house can even be allotted to her for
her personal use even if she has no legal claim or share in the
property. [Chapter IV - Sec. 17]

Sec.18 of the same chapter allows the magistrate to protect the


woman from acts of violence or even "acts that are likely to take
place" in the future and can prohibit the respondent from
dispossessing the aggrieved person or in any other manner
disturbing her possessions, entering the aggrieved person's place
of work or, if the aggrieved person is a child, the school.

The respondent can also be restrained from attempting to


communicate in any form, whatsoever, with the aggrieved person,
including personal, oral, written, electronic or telephonic contact" .
The respondent can even be prohibited from entering the
room/area/house that is allotted to her by the court.

Preventing one's wife from taking up a job or forcing her to leave


job are also under the purview of the Act

The Act allows magistrates to impose monetary relief and monthly


payments of maintenance. The respondent can also be made to
102

meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved


person and any child of the aggrieved person as a result of
domestic violence and can also cover loss of earnings, medical
expenses, loss or damage to property and can also cover the
maintenance of the victim and her children.

Sec.22 allows the magistrate to make the respondent pay


compensation and damages for injuries including mental torture
and emotional distress caused by acts of domestic violence.

Sec.31 provides husbands or live-in partners who would be guilty


of domestic violence can be put behind bars for a year and fined
Rs 20,000. The offence is also considered cognizable and nonbailable.

Sec. 32 (2) goes even further and says that "under the sole
testimony of the aggrieved person, the court may conclude that
an offence has been committed by the accused"

The Act also ensures speedy justice as the court has to start
proceedings and have the first hearing within 3 days of the
complaint being filed in court and every case must be disposed of
within a period of sixty days of the first hearing.

It makes provisions for the state to provide for Protection Officers


and the whole machinery by which to implement the Act.

The act enunciates the certain duties of central and state


government to make wide publicity & training programs for the
police officers.

The Act also provides for the assistance of welfare experts if


found necessary by the Magistrate.

The Act also provides for the penalty for not discharging duty of
Protection Officer

103

Scope of The Domestic Violence Act, 2005


The DV Act states that it is an "an act to provide more effective protection to the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution
who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and
for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto." The statement of
the objects and reasons of the Act which lays down the scope of the Act
is as under:
1.

Domestic violence is undoubtedly a human rights issue and


serious deterrent to development. The Vienna Accord of 1994
and the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action (1995)
have acknowledged this. The United Nations Committee on
Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women (CEDAW) in its General Recommendation No. Xll (1989)
has recommended that State parties should act to protect women
against violence of any kind especially that occurring within the
family.

2.

The phenomenon of domestic violence is widely prevalent but has


remained largely invisible in the public domain. Presently, where
a woman is subjected to cruelty by her husband or his relatives, it
is an offence under section 498A of the Indian Penal code. The
civil law does not however address this phenomenon in its
entirety.

3.

It is, therefore, proposed to enact a law keeping in view the rights


guaranteed under articles 14,15 and 21 of the Constitution to
provide for a remedy under the civil law which is intended to
protect the woman from being victims of domestic violence and to
prevent the occurrence of domestic violence in the society.

4.

The lnter alia, seeks to provide for the following:


i.

It covers those women who are or have been in relationship


with the abuser where both parties have lived together in a
104

shared household and are related by consanguinity,


marriage or through a relationship which is in the nature of
marriage or adoption.
In addition, relationships with family members living
together as a joint family are also included. Even those
women who are sisters, widows, mothers, single women, or
living with the abuser are entitled to legal protection under
the proposed legislation. However, whereas the Bill
enables the wife or the female living in a relationship in the
nature of marriage to file a complaint under the proposed
enactment against any relative of the husband or the male
partner, it does not enable any female relative of the
husband or the male partner to file a complaint against the
wife or the female partner.
ii.

It defines the expression" domestic violence" to include


actual abuse or threat or abuse that is physical, sexual,
verbal, emotional or economic. Harassment by way of
unlawful dowry demands to the woman or her relatives
would also be covered under this definition.

iii.

It provides the rights of women to secure housing. It also


provides for the right of a woman to reside in her
matrimonial home or shared household, whether or not she
has any title or rights in such home or household. This right
is secured by a residence order, which is passed by the
Magistrate.
[Also, the woman is entitled to an alternate accommodation
in case she does not wish to reside in the shared
household.]

iv.

It empowers the Magistrate to pass protection orders in


favour of the aggrieved person to prevent the respondent
105

from aiding or committing an act of domestic violence or


any other specified act, entering a workplace or any other
place frequented by the aggrieved person, attempting to
communicate with her, isolating any assets used by both
the parties and causing violence to the aggrieved person,
her relatives or others who provide her assistance from the
domestic violence.
v.

It provides for appointment of Protection Officers and


registration of non-governmental organizations as service
providers for providing assistance to the aggrieved person
with respect to her medical examination, obtaining legal
aid, safe shelter, etc.

Rights of Aggrieved Person under The DV Act:


Under the DV Act, the victim of domestic violence has the following
rights:

The right to reside in the shared household. This right also


entitles her to seek restraint on other persons residing in the
same house, from interfering with or disturbing peaceful
enjoyment of the house and the amenities facilities therein, by her
or her children under section 19.

The right to immediate and emergency relief against domestic


violence.

The assistance of a Protection Officer and Service Providers to


inform her about her rights and the relief which she can get under
the Act under section 5.

The assistance of Protection Officer, Service Providers or the


Officer-in-Charge of the nearest police station to assist her in
registering her complaint and filing an application for relief under
sections 9 and 10.

106

To receive protection for her and her children from acts of


domestic violence under section 18.

She has the right to measures and orders protecting her against
the particular dangers or insecurities she or her child are facing.

To regain possession of her stridhan, jewellery, clothes, articles of


daily use and other house hold goods under section 18.

To get medical assistance, shelter, counselling and legal aid


under sections 6, 7, 9 and 14. Under the Act, medical
professionals and shelter homes are under a duty to assist the
woman who has faced domestic violence, in case she
approaches them.

To restrain the person committing domestic violence against her


from contacting her or communicating with her in any manner
under section 18.

To get compensation for any physical or mental injury or any


other monetary loss due to domestic violence under section 22.

To file complaint or applications for relief under the Act directly to


the court under sections 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23.

To get the copies of the complaint filed by her, applications made


by her, reports of any medical or other examination that she or
her child undergo.

To get copies of any statements recorded by any authority in


connection with domestic violence. The assistance of the
Protection officer or the Police to rescue her from any danger.

She can file a complaint under section 489A of Indian Penal Code
(IPC) simultaneously. This right has been recognized under the
DV Act.

Implementation of the Domestic Violence Act:


Before implementation of any Act it is essential to know what the
Infrastructure of Act is. Infrastructure can be seen in form of
107

appointment of Protection Officer in States and Union territories,


Service providers registration of service providers, status of notification
of shelter homes and medical facilities.
Protection Officers have been appointed in States and Union
territories respectively. In a majority of states Protection Officers have
been appointed at the district level. In a handful of states Protection
Officers have been appointed at the Block levels in addition to district
level appointments. In two States Protection Officers were appointed
pursuant to court order passed in public interest litigation field by
concerned Civil Society groups. No Protection Officers have been
appointed in only states and 2 UTS.
In all states, except for Delhi existing government official have
been appointed to the post of Protection Officer of these appointments,
in many of States. Protection Officers were already functioning as
Social Welfare Officers under the State Department of Women and
Child Development, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and
officers. Manner about appointment of Protection Officer can be seen
under following Table 4.1.
Table: 4.1

Appointment of Protection Officers in States


Name of state

No

Level

Designation

Andhra Pradesh

23

District

Project Directors (WCD)

Arunachal
Pradesh

16

District

ICDS officers in 2 dist and


CDPO in 10 dist

Assam

27

District

District Social Welfare Officers

190*

Block

CDPO

Chhatisgarh*

16

District

Women and Child Welfare


Officers and/or program officers

Goa

District

Police (Superintendent of
Police)

Gujarat

25*

District

District Social Defense Officer

Haryana

Bihar

108

Himachal Pradesh

324

Some below
block level

ICDS Supervisors

Jammu and
Kashmir

NA

NA

NA

Jharkhand*

212

Block

Block Development Officers

Karnataka

185+27

185 taluk
level

(185) CDPO and ICDS officers


and and 27 - Dist level 27
(Deputy Directors ,WCD)

31

District

Probation Officers

48+313*

48 District and
313 Block

CDPO

Kerala
Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra*

800

CDPO, Tehsildar,Nayab
Tehsildar

Manipur

7+2

District (7) +2
(State)

CDPO

Meghalaya*

Mizoram

District

Dist Child Development Officer


+ Dist Social Welfare Officer

Nagaland*

Orissa*

30

District

CDPO

Punjab

Rajasthan

Sikkim

Tamil Nadu

30

District

Tripura*

District

Uttaranchal
Pradesh*

13

District

ICDS

Uttar Pradesh

39

District

Probation Officers

West Bengal

19

District

Social Welfare Officer

NCT Delhi*

19

Asst Director (Nutrition)


Social Welfare Officer

Protection Officer (contractual


basis) MSW Degree

Source: UNIFEM, 2007.

Generally Protection Officers are located in the Department of


Women and Child Department of Women and Child Development or in
Collectors Office. They have not been provided with staff to who they
can delegate their functions to ensure effectiveness. As most of the
109

Protection Officers are not appointed on a full time basis, they are
facing restraints of time and in some cases overwhelmed by their
substantial workload.
Provision for registration of service providers under the law has
been mention under 10 of the Protection of Women under Domestic
Violence Act provides that any voluntary organisation registered either
under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or Companies Act, 1956
apply to be registered as Service provider under P.W.D.A. Apart this
only 5 States have registered service providers. No information about
the nature of service being provided by these registered Service
Providers 12 States U/s under the registration process of registration.
There appears to be no discernable reasons for this organizations
engaged improvising service to women or work on issue concerning
womens right Status of registration in other States can be seen in
Table 4.2.
Table: 4.2

Status of Registration in States & UTs


Status

Names of States/ UTs

Total

States where Service Providers have


been registered

Andhra Pradesh (72), Orissa (59), Tamil


Nadu (30), Tripura (1), Uttar Pradesh (39)

States / UTs where applications

Assam, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal


Pradesh, are being processed Karnataka ,
Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram,
Andaman and Nicobar

States / UTs that have invited


applications from Service Providers

Lakshadeep , Sikkim , West Bengal

States / UTs where the process of


registration has not been initiated

Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Haryana,


Jharkhand , Maharashtra, Manipur
Meghalaya, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan,
Uttaranchal, NCT Delhi, Chandigarh, Dadar
& Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Puducherry

17

Source: UNIFEM, 2007.

Provision for the notification of medical facilities and shelter


homes have been mentioned u/s 6 and 7 provide that it is the only of all
shelter homes and medical facilities to provide their service on a
request made by an aggrieved women or the Protection Officer on her
110

behalf. Information about status of notification of shelter homes and


medical facilities is provided in Table 4.3.
Table: 4.3

Medical Facilities and Shelter Homes


Name of state
Andhra Pradesh

Arunachal
Pradesh

Medical Facilities

Shelter homes

Govt hospitals are provide free


medical facilities

26 Swadhar Homes

All civil surgeons instructed to


provide medical facility to women
who produce letters from Protection
Officers.

2 existing state run shelter


homes.

Bihar

District magistrates instructed to


shortlist shelter homes

Chhatisgarh

Nari Niketan are in the process


of being changed to shelter
homes which will also provide
vocational trainings

Gujarat

The health department has been


instructed to issue notifications.

Himachal Pradesh

National Rural Health Mission and


other government hospitals already
provide free medical facilities.

Karnataka

The DWCD has requested the


department of health to issue
circulars to public hospitals and
PHCs to provide free medical aid to
women facing domestic violence.

Kerala

Government facilities always provide


medical aid free of cost.

Orissa

Tamil Nadu

15 shelter homes have been


notified under the Act
25 Swadhar homes already
functioning as shelter homes.

All government hospitals and PHCs


have been instructed to provide free
medical services

Uttaranchal
Uttar Pradesh

5-6 existing shelter homes.

Existing shelter homes present.


Chief Medical Officers instructed to
provide free medical treatment.

Source: UNIFEM, 2007.


111

34 short stay homes + 5


protection homes + 8 shelter
homes under the ITPA have
been instructed to function as
shelter homes under the
PWDVA.

On the other, Act is being implemented across the State by the


Court. This is partly relatable to the kind of infrastructure put in place as
well as the manner in which the Act is being interpreted. Number of
case that have been filed under the P.W.D.V.A.
Maximum cases have been filed in Rajasthan (3440) where no
Protection Officers have been appointed and same position has been
followed by the Kerala where 1028 cases have been filed. No official
information was received from Uttar Pradesh though inter-action with
Civil Society Groups and lawyers present that over 150 cases have
been field. Less than 50 cases have been field in 10 states over
country. Actual scenario about filing of applications can be seen in
Table 4.4.
Table: 4.4

Number of Cases Filed Under the PWDVA


(As on 31st July, 2007)
Name of State

No of cases filed

Andhra Pradesh

731

Arunachal Pradesh

Assam

39

Bihar

64

Chhatisgarh

Gujarat

315

Haryana

235

Himachal Pradesh

37

Jammu and Kashmir

NA

Jharkhand

13

Karnataka

124

112

Kerala

1028

Madhya Pradesh

159

Maharashtra and Goa

603

Manipur

13

Meghalaya

Mizoram

Nagaland

Orissa

12

Punjab

249

Rajasthan

3440

Sikkim

Tamil Nadu

37

Tripura

Uttaranchal

145

Uttar Pradesh*

West Bengal

54

NCT Delhi

607

Total

7913

Source: UNIFEM, 2007.

In short Domestic Violence Act provides speedy mechanism for


offences defined under the Act and the Act is special legislation in
addition to laws regarding offences against women as contained IPC
and others statues dealt herein before besides, Constitutional
guarantee in terms of the provisions of Constitution contain in part III,
Part IV Part IVA. The Act is an encouragement for protecting modesty
of weaker sex and the women-hood. But, despite all these Laws,
execution and implementation of laws within the time frame specified in
the Act is not adhered in letter and sprit. Delays in decision making trials
113

and execution of order are at presentmalice of the adjudicatory system


irrespective of legislation thereto. Let the legislation and executive,
besides, judiciary pay attention for adjudicating cases relating to offence
against women without delay and much earnestness on one side and
executing the sentences with respect and without any delay. Even a
lesser punishment, if granted and executed with quickness has for more
implications for social stability and social order than delaying trials and
decisions thereto.
Other officers appointed to the post of Protection Officers include
Probation Officers n Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, police officers in Goa
and Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Tehsildars in Maharashtra and
Chandigarh In Jharkhand, Block Development Officers have been
designated as Protection Officers. Only in the NCT of Delhi have full
time Protection Officers been appointed on a contractual basis. In
Andhra Pradesh, Project Directors of the Department of Women and
Child Development have been appointed to the position of Protection
Officers who perform this function on a full time basis.
Only 5 states have registered Service Providers. There are no
available details of the nature of services being provided by these
registered Service Providers. In 12 states/ UTs, the process of
registration is under way. Disappointingly, 17 states/ UTs have not yet
initiated the process of registration. There are others, particularly in
Uttar Pradesh, who have put in their application for registration but have
been denied the same without being given any reasons for the rejection.
There appears to be a certain level of confusion over the
registration of service providers and the notification of medical facilities
and shelter homes services. The distinction that is to be made is that a
service provider can be any entity defined under the Act, which applies
for registration and fulfils the conditions stipulated in the law. On the
other hand, any medical facility or shelter home may be notified by the
114

state government without the receipt of applications for registration. In


no state, except Kerala, have such notifications been issued. Existing
government services have been providing free medical and shelter
facilities to women facing violence. No new facilities have been notified
under the PWDVA. The state sponsored services are not adequate in
meeting the needs of women facing violence.
The highest number of cases has been filed in Rajasthan (3440)
where no Protection Officers have been appointed or any infrastructure
been put in place. This is followed by Kerala where 1028 cases have
been under the PWDVA. No official information was received from Uttar
Pradesh though interactions with civil society groups and lawyers show
that over 150 cases have been filed in Uttar Pradesh. Less than 50
cases have been filed in Assam, Chhatisgarh, Himachal Pradesh,
Jharkhand, Manipur, Orissa, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and West
Bengal No cases have been filed in 4 states viz Arunachal Pradesh,
Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. One of the reasons for this wide
variation may be due to the level of awareness on this law in each state.
It is not necessary that awareness has been created by state agencies
in the states where there is a high rate of filing, a case in point being
Rajasthan. In this state it appears to be the lawyers and members of the
civil society who have taken the initiative of filing applications under this
Act. In Andhra Pradesh, the police have been giving women the option
of either filing a civil complaint under the Act or a criminal complaint
under the IPC when approached.
Numerous practical difficulties have been reported while filing
applications under the new law. In many states, Protection Officers
have been appointed at district level; however, most of them have
appointed existing government officials as Protection officers. Even in
some states, Special Welfare Officers working under the state
department were given the task of Protection Officers. A few studies
115

have also highlighted the misconceptions and lack of awareness about


the law. The court cases coming under the new Act also indicate that
many women are raising their complaints under the Act as it provides a
platform for them to seek justice.
The functioning of the administration of criminal justice in India
appears to be ineffective as the violence against women, despite the
legal and administrative provisions and judicial response is showing
increasing trend. Thus, it is imperative to improve the functioning of
criminal justice administration in the context of judicial reforms. There is
need of fundamental change in concept, attitude, training and
motivation for the service providers and particularly the forces that are
engaged in enforcement of legal acts and policies. The domestic
violence is a major challenge against criminal justice system as it
happens in the four walls of the family and in majority of the cases the
victims are not ready to expose themselves due to fear of disturbance in
their familial and marital relations. Even due to prevailing socio-cultural
values, the Indian women are not mentally prepared to raise their voice
against domestic violence. Thus, it is need of hour that we change the
mindset of society and empower women socially and economically to
become self dependent.

116

Chapter: 5

Background of Domestic Violence Victims


Domestic violence against women is world-wise phenomena. It is
being experienced in both patriarchal and matriarchal societies as well
as in different religious sects. The social status of the victims of
domestic violence is of paramount importance, which affects the nature
and magnitude of domestic violence. Even the social status of the
victims of domestic violence has direct bearing on the response,
reaction, reporting and receiving legal and other assistance for the
social rehabilitation by the victims. In this part of the dissertation, an
attempt has been made to analyze the socio-economic background of
the respondents, particularly the victims of domestic violence. The
emphasis has been made to select those households who experienced
some kind of domestic violence against women.
Age-wise distribution of respondents is shown in Table 5.1. Most
of the respondents were found belonging to the age group of 25 to 40
years. About 1/3rd respondents were in the age group of 20-30 years
while 21.04 per cent respondents were found belonging to the age
group of 30-35 years. There are marked variations in the age groups of
the victims of domestic violence across the states. Around 64 per cent
respondents were found belonging to the age group of 25-30 years in
the state of Bihar as compared to only 13 per cent respondents in the
state of Madhya Pradesh. More than 1/3rd respondents were found
belonging to the age group of above 40 years in the state of Madhya
Pradesh. The average age of victims of domestic violence has been
reported to be 32.28 years. It was reported high in Madhya Pradesh.

117

Table: 5.1

Age of Respondents
Age

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Less than 20
Year

27

10

22

68

2.35

1.05

0.95

1.83

1.60

119

49

40

164

372

10.35

5.16

4.21

13.67

8.75

739

124

196

463

1522

64.26

13.05

20.63

38.58

35.81

226

176

197

295

894

19.65

18.53

20.74

24.58

21.04

39

226

341

138

744

3.39

23.79

35.89

11.50

17.51

178

101

77

356

0.00

18.74

10.63

6.42

8.38

168

57

38

263

0.00

17.68

6.00

3.17

6.19

19

31

0.00

2.00

0.95

0.25

0.73

Total

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Average

27.89

37.26

34.8

30.54

32.28

20-25 Year
25-30 Year
30-35 Year
35-40 Year
40-45 Year
45-50 Year
50 to above
Year

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

It is very difficult to compare rural and urban society. Gist and


Halbert are of the view that rural and urban is more of a theoretical
concept than a division based upon the facts of community life. The
rural and urban societies may be differentiated in terms of social
organizations family, marriage, conditions of women, neighborhood,
inequality of classes, social cohesion, etc.; differences in social
restrictions; differences in social relationships; differences in social
interactions; differences in social view point and differences in social
118

mobility and stability (Sharma, 2005:17-19). Transportation and


communication result in successful rural-urban contracts. It reduces the
hold of religion and folk believes upon rural people and introduces some
aspects of scientific attitude into the rural mentality. There may be
several factors including economic, social, better living standards, better
housing facilities, etc. that promote the rural-urban migration. However,
migration from rural to urban areas creates problems to the urban
dwellers since the poor cannot afford good living environment and are
forced to live in squatters and slums where the environmental
conditions are reported to be worse.
It is said that the Marxian class and class conflict theory has been
reputed by certain unforeseen social changes that have taken place
since Marx like separation of ownership and control, differentiation in
the working class, rise of the so-called middle class, etc. in modern
industrial society (Dahrendorf, 1959). Many sociologists conceptualize
class chiefly in terms of occupation and income (Packard, 1964). There
is another criterion to define social class. Cooley holds that the relation
between the class of employer and the class of manual labour is a
primarily a question of individual point of view (Cooley, 1902:98).
Richard Centers put it, social class is a psychological phenomena in the
fullest sense of the term (Centers, 1949: 27). Jordan while analyzing the
Marxist theory defines the term as a distributive sense that it ceases to
be a real and independent entity (Jordan, 1971:23).
Ecological background of respondents is shown in Table 5.2.
46.94 per cent respondents were from rural areas. This was found more
pronouncing in the state of Uttar Pradesh (48.75 per cent) followed by
Rajasthan (48.32 per cent). The proportion of women victims belonging
to urban areas was reported significantly high in the state of Uttar
Pradesh (32.33 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (30.63 per cent).
Around 1/4th respondents were also found belonging to semi-urban
119

areas. It was reported slightly high in the state of Bihar as compared to


other states. Thus, it is proved that the cases of domestic violence are
comparatively higher in urban areas than rural areas.
Table: 5.2

Ecological Background of Respondents


Background

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Urban

320

291

255

388

1254

27.83

30.63

26.84

32.33

29.51

305

233

236

227

1001

26.52

24.53

24.84

18.92

23.55

525

426

459

585

1995

45.65

44.84

48.32

48.75

46.94

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Semi-urban
Rural
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 5.2 (a)

Ecological Background of Respondents


Background

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Urban

320

339.3

291

280.3

255

280.3

388

354.1

Semi-urban

305

270.9

233

223.8

236

223.8

227

282.6

Rural

525

539.8

426

445.9

459

445.9

585

563.3

Calculated value of 20.05 = 25.81 d.f= 6.


Table value of 20.05 12.6 d.f = 6
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 6 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
The respondents were further asked that whether they have still
contact with rural areas. Around 30.86 per cent respondents revealed
that they have still contact with their native places in the rural areas.
120

This was found slightly high in the state of Madhya Pradesh (33.02 per
cent) and Bihar (31.68 per cent). Majority of the respondents further
revealed that they have regular contact with their native villages. About
51.01 per cent respondents said that they are still getting support from
their native places. This was found more pronouncing in the state of
Uttar Pradesh (57.37 per cent) as compared to other two states
(Table 5.3).
Table: 5.3

Whether You Have Contact With Village


Bihar
Yes

173

135

190

696

31.68

33.02

27.49

30.89

30.86

427

351

356

425

1559

68.32

66.98

72.51

69.11

69.14

625

524

491

615

2255

86

97

65

115

363

43.43

56.07

48.15

60.53

52.16

112

76

70

75

333

56.57

43.93

51.85

39.47

47.84

Total

198

173

135

190

696

Yes

95

92

59

109

355

47.98

53.18

43.70

57.37

51.01

103

81

76

81

341

52.02

46.82

56.30

42.63

48.99

198

173

135

190

696

Total
Regular
Irregular

Getting
support

Total

198

No

If yes

Madhya Rajasthan
Uttar
Pradesh
Pradesh

No
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

The concept of sociology of religion was given by Durkheim.


Durkhiem argued that religious phenomenon emerge in any society
when a separation is made between the spheres of the profane the
realm of every day utilitarian activities and the sphere of the secret
the area that pertains to the numinous the transcendental the extra
121

ordinarily. The religion is a great binding force. Thus, religion is not only
a social creation but it is in fact society divinized (Coser, 2002:137-138).
Religion-wise distribution of respondents is shown in Table 5.4.
More than 3/4th respondents were from Hindu communities. This was
reported significantly high in the state of Madhya Pradesh (81.05 per
cent) and Rajasthan (78.75 per cent). The Muslim respondents were
also found significant as 21.15 per cent respondents comprised of this
community. Thus, it is found that domestic violence is more prevalent in
the Hindu and Muslim communities as compared to other religious
groups.
Table: 5.4

Religion of Respondents
Religion

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Hindu

845

770

748

829

3192

73.48

81.05

78.74

69.08

75.11

255

107

202

335

899

22.17

11.26

21.26

27.92

21.15

14

19

33

0.00

1.47

0.00

1.58

0.78

22

51

81

1.91

5.37

0.00

0.67

1.91

13

0.00

0.63

0.00

0.58

0.31

28

32

2.43

0.21

0.00

0.17

0.75

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Muslim
Christian
Sikh
Jain
Buddhist
Others
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

122

The caste system in India has been studied with three


perspectives: Indo-logical, Socio-anthropological and Sociological. The
Indologists have viewed caste from the scriptural point of view, socioanthropologist from the cultural point of view, and sociologists from the
stratification point of view. There are several theories for the study of
the caste system in India. The sociological perspective views the caste
system in terms of social stratification in a society, and as a
phenomenon of social inequality (Ahuja, 2007: 229). Scholars like
Leach, Dumont, Pocock, Bougle, Hocart, Hutton, Senart, Sriniwas,
Gould, etc. feel that the caste is a phenomenon peculiar to India only.
However, Risley, Crook, etc. believe that a caste is a universal
phenomenon. Ghurye (1961:138-156) has analyzed the elements of
caste outside India. Leach (1960:4) has also studied social stratification
system of Muslims in Swat, north Pakistan. Dumont (1958) feels that
caste is confined to India. Hocart (1950:45) maintains that castes are
merely families to whom various offices in the ritual are assigned by
heredity. Senart (1930:26) also feels that caste is peculiar to India since
it

is

determined

by

ethnological,

economic,

geographical

and

psychological conditions which are essentially native. Hutton (1961:46)


also refers to its uniqueness due to its complex origin. Gould (1986:33)
is of the view that caste in its fullest sense is an exclusively Indian
phenomenon. Now-a-days, caste has acquired a new shape with the
social change. The political mobilization of caste system has created
social problems resulting in caste and class conflict. The social
cohesion is being deteriorated with the change in caste system. No
doubt education, inter-caste marriages, ban on untouchability, positive
discrimination for the lower caste in job and education etc. have weaken
the caste system, however, it has not totally withered away. With the
introduction of decentralized governance and politicization of caste
system, the politics of reservation is gaining momentum.
123

Caste-wise distribution of respondents is shown in Table 5.5.


Majority of the respondents were found belonging to the backward &
scheduled castes. Slightly more than 1/4th respondents were from
general caste. This was found more pronouncing in the state of
Rajasthan (47.16 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (34 per cent). The
proportion of respondents belonging to scheduled tribes was reported
slightly high in the state of Madhya Pradesh (15.79 per cent) and
Rajasthan (8.53 per cent). Slightly less than half of the respondents
were from OBC communities in the state of Bihar. Thus, it is clear that
domestic violence is more prevalent in lower communities as compared
to other caste and communities.
Table: 5.5

Caste of Respondents
Caste

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

General

152

323

448

227

1150

13.22

34.00

47.16

18.92

27.06

565

256

220

529

1570

49.13

26.95

23.16

44.08

36.94

352

221

201

423

1197

30.61

23.26

21.16

35.25

28.16

81

150

81

21

333

7.04

15.79

8.53

1.75

7.84

1150

950

950

1200

4250

OBC
SC
ST
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 5.5 (a)

Caste of Respondents
Caste

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

General

152

311.2

323

257.1

448

252.1

227

324.7

OBC

565

424.8

256

350.9

220

350.9

529

443.3

124

Scheduled
Caste

352

323.9

221

267.6

201

267.6

423

338.0

Scheduled
Tribes

81

90.11

150

74.4

81

74.4

21

94.0

Calculated value of 20.05 = 590.34 d.f= 9.


Table value of 20.05 16.9 d.f = 9
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 9 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Class-wise distribution of respondents is shown in Table 5.6.
More than half of the respondents were from labour class. It was found
more pronouncing in the state of Bihar (74.70 per cent). Around 18.64
per cent respondents were from peasant's class. The proportion of
respondents from service class was reported low however, it was 20.11
per cent in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Table: 5.6

Class of Respondents
Class

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Feudal

23

57

19

99

0.00

2.42

6.00

1.58

2.33

26

108

39

36

209

2.26

11.37

4.11

3.00

4.92

134

209

216

233

792

11.65

22.00

22.74

19.42

18.64

859

381

425

614

2279

74.70

40.11

44.74

51.17

53.62

55

191

73

197

516

4.78

20.11

7.68

16.42

12.14

76

38

140

101

355

6.61

4.00

14.74

8.42

8.35

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Landlord
Peasants
Labour
Service
Others
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


125

Education is an important social variable. This has direct bearing


on the social status of the individual both in the family and society.
Education in the context of domestic violence is also significant variable
as it influences the awareness and sensitization towards the social and
legal measures for preventing the domestic violence and also social
rehabilitation.
Education Level-wise distribution of respondents is shown in
Table 5.7. Most of the respondents were found educationally backward.
About 20.96 per cent respondents were found illiterate. This was found
more pronouncing in the state of Uttar Pradesh (30.33 per cent) and
Bihar (25.22 per cent). Slightly less than 1/4th respondents were primary
educated while 22 per cent respondents were educated upto middle
level. The proportion of respondents from higher education was also
reported significant (about 8 per cent). It was found more pronouncing
in the state of Madhya Pradesh as compared to other states.
Table: 5.7

Education Level of Respondents

Illiterate
Primary school
Middle School
High school
Intermediate
Graduate

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

290

97

140

364

891

25.22

10.21

14.74

30.33

20.96

344

202

208

297

1051

29.91

21.26

21.89

24.75

24.73

262

192

305

198

957

22.78

20.21

32.11

16.50

22.52

164

155

117

159

595

14.26

16.32

12.32

13.25

14.00

84

133

75

114

406

7.30

14.00

7.89

9.50

9.55

121

94

58

279

0.52

12.74

9.89

4.83

6.56

126

Postgraduate
Others
Total

50

11

68

0.00

5.26

1.16

0.58

1.60

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.25

0.07

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Age-wise education of respondents is shown in Table 5.8. The


proportion of illiterate respondents was found mainly concentrated in the
above age groups while the higher education levels were found
concentrated in the low age groups.
Table: 5.8

Age-wise Education of Respondents


Education

Less
than 20
year

20-25

25-30

30-35

35-40

40-45

45-50

Illiterate

56

189

278

179

157

30

2.94

15.05

12.42

31.10

24.06

44.10

11.41

0.00

20.96

44

571

145

122

33

120

16

1051

0.00

11.83

37.52

16.22

16.40

9.27

45.63

51.61

24.73

48

295

218

285

78

32

1.47

12.90

19.38

24.38

38.31

21.91

12.17

0.00

22.52

13

76

159

95

95

76

66

15

595

19.12

20.43

10.45

10.63

12.77

21.35

25.10

48.39

14.00

37

39

184

79

46

11

10

54.41

10.48

12.09

8.84

6.18

3.09

3.80

15

90

85

68

15

22.06

24.19

5.58

7.61

2.02

0.28

1.90

19

36

11

5.11

2.37

1.23

0.27

Primary
School

Middle school

High school

Intermediate

Graduate

Postgraduate
0.00
Others

Total

Total

891

957

406
0.00

9.55
279

0.00

6.56
68

0.00

0.00

0.00

1.60
3

0.00

0.00

0.20

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.07

68

372

1522

894

744

356

263

31

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

127

50 to
above

Caste-wise education of respondents is shown in Table 5.9. The


poor educational levels were reported in the lower caste while the
higher education levels were reported in the general caste. The illiteracy
and poor educational levels were found more concentrated among the
tribal women followed by scheduled caste women.
Table: 5.9

Caste-wise Education of Respondents


Education

General

OBC

SC

ST

Total

Illiterate

186

232

375

98

891

16.17

14.78

31.33

29.43

20.96

120

674

220

37

1051

10.43

42.93

18.38

11.11

24.73

286

268

277

126

957

24.87

17.07

23.14

37.84

22.52

241

186

124

44

595

20.96

11.85

10.36

13.21

14.00

165

124

107

10

406

14.35

7.90

8.94

3.00

9.55

108

67

86

18

279

9.39

4.27

7.18

5.41

6.56

42

18

3.65

1.15

0.67

0.17

0.06

0.00

0.00

0.07

1150

1570

1197

333

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Primary School
Middle school
High school
Intermediate
Graduate
Postgraduate
Others
Total

68
0.00

1.60
3

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Marriage is conceived differently by social scientists in different


fields. While the popular concept of marriage is a union between man
and woman, however, it is accomplished by different rituals and
ceremonies in order to promote cordial relations for life time. Sociologist
like Blood, Lantz and Snyder, Bowman, Baber, Burgess, etc. view it as
128

a system of roles and as involving primary relationships. A sociologist,


while studying marriage, analyzes not only the primary relationship
involved in marriage but also how marriage involves performing new
and varied roles and whether the persons involved are capable of
performing those new roles or not, and how the inadequacy of
performing these roles leads to family disorganization.

What is

important in marriage is how the role enactment of one partner


correspondents to the role expectations of the other (Blood, 1960:189).
According to Koos (1953:44), marriage is a dividing line between
the family of orientation and family of procreation in terms of the nature
of roles one performs in the two families. According to Bowman (1960),
the basic objects of the marriage are sex gratification, desire for home
and children, companionship, social position and prestige, and
economic security and protection. Today, as traditional society is
changing into modern one, marriage has become a social necessity
rather than a social ceremony. It is believed that spouse may
significantly contribute in the development and maintenance of a house
that is essential for performing human activities. Thus, the traditional
concept of Hindu marriage as a sacrament to perform Dharma is
gradually changing. Now-a-days, the new considerations are influencing
the nature and rituals of Hindu marriage system. Couples are preferring
marriages that fulfill the emerging needs of individual family. Thus,
personal

interest,

economic

earnings,

mutual

adjustment

and

compromising lifestyle is replacing the traditional criterion of Hindu


marriage. Similarly, the nature and motives of Muslim marriage is also
gradually changing with the change of time and technology. Thus, the
basic concept of marriage in Muslim society as a contract is replacing
with the change of time. Perhaps it is the growing influence of western
culture and values of other religions. Earlier, the marriages were based
on social value system rather than mutual understanding, personal
129

relationship, personal interest and compromising living patterns. It is a


growing tendency of later marriage due to economic reasons. It has
also affected the social values, biological considerations and motives for
the marriage.
Marital Status of respondents is shown in Table 5.10. Most of the
respondents were found married (78.21 per cent). The proportion of
married respondents was found significantly high in the state of Madhya
Pradesh (85.16 per cent) and Bihar (81.13 per cent). Around 14 per
cent respondents was found divorcee and separated. It was found more
pronouncing in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Around 7 per
cent respondents were also reported to be widows. This was found
more pronouncing in the state of Uttar Pradesh (10.92 per cent).
Table: 5.10

Marital Status of Respondents

Married

Separated

Divorced

Widow

Unmarried

Total

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

933

809

754

828

3324

81.13

85.16

79.37

69.00

78.21

36

64

96

69

265

3.13

6.74

10.11

5.75

6.24

90

40

53

172

355

7.83

4.21

5.58

14.33

8.35

91

37

47

131

306

7.91

3.89

4.95

10.92

7.20

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


130

Table: 5.10 (a)

Marital Status of Respondents


Marital
Status

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Married

933

899.4

809

743.0

754

743.0

828

938.5

Separated

36

71.7

64

59.2

96

59.2

69

74.8

Divorced

90

96.0

40

79.3

53

79.3

121

100.2

Widow

91

82.8

37

68.4

47

68.4

131

86.4

Calculated value of 20.05 = 186.74 d.f= 9.


Table value of 20.05 16.9 d.f = 9
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 9 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Occupation of respondents is important social variable as it
influence the social status of respondents in the family and society. It
has also direct bearing on the income of individual because most of the
occupations enable individuals to earn money.
Occupation of Respondents is shown in Table 5.11. More than
2/5th respondents were reported to be housewives. This was found
more pronouncing in the state of Rajasthan (50.95 per cent). About 1/4th
respondents were found labourers. It was recorded significantly high in
the state of Bihar (40.26 per cent). The proportion of farm labour and
maid servant was also recorded high in the state of Bihar and Uttar
Pradesh. Thus, most of the victims of domestic violence are engaged in
low paid economic activities mainly concentrated in unorganized sector.

131

Table: 5.11

Occupation of Respondents
Occupation

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Housewife

278

457

484

538

1757

24.17

48.11

50.95

44.83

41.34

20

104

65

58

247

1.74

10.95

6.84

4.83

5.81

463

201

184

254

1102

40.26

21.16

19.37

21.17

25.93

159

112

114

266

651

13.83

11.79

12.00

22.17

15.32

210

66

79

65

420

18.26

6.95

8.32

5.42

9.88

22

42

0.70

0.63

2.32

0.50

0.99

12

13

25

1.04

0.00

0.00

1.08

0.59

0.00

0.42

0.21

0.00

0.14

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Service

Labour

Farm labour

Maid labour

Business

Profession

Others

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Caste-wise occupation of respondents is shown in Table 5.12.


Most of the housewives reported that they are mainly from general
castes (68.96 per cent). Similarly, a significant proportion of
respondents engaged in service sector were found belonging to general
132

and OBC communities. The proportion of maid servants, farm labour


and labour was found significantly high in the lower caste and
communities. This is because of the fact that women from the lower
caste and communities are found engaged in economic activities
outside of the home for supporting family income however, women from
the higher caste are confined to the four walls of the house or engaged
in services sector.
Table: 5.12

Caste-wise Occupation of Respondents


Occupation

General

OBC

SC

ST

Total

Housewife

793

714

237

13

1757

68.96

45.48

19.80

3.90

41.34

101

79

49

18

247

8.78

5.03

4.09

5.41

5.81

35

224

702

141

1102

3.04

14.27

58.65

42.34

25.93

124

256

124

147

651

10.78

16.31

10.36

44.14

15.32

50

278

78

14

420

4.35

17.71

6.52

4.20

9.88

34

2.96

0.45

0.08

12

1.04

0.57

0.33

0.09

0.19

0.17

0.00

0.14

1150

1570

1197

333

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Service
Labour
Farm labour
Maid servant
Business
Profession
Others
Total

42
0.00

0.99
25

0.00

0.59
6

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Source of Income of Respondents is shown in Table 5.13. Slightly


more than half of the respondents were found having their own source
of income. It was found more significant in the state of Bihar (75.39 per
133

cent) and Uttar Pradesh (64.42 per cent). The average monthly income
of respondents was reported to be Rs. 1501. The average monthly
income was found significantly high in the state of Uttar Pradesh and
Rajasthan.
Table: 5.13

Source of Income of Respondents


Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

867

363

246

773

2249

75.39

38.21

25.89

64.42

52.92

283

587

704

427

2001

24.61

61.79

74.11

35.58

47.08

1150

950

950

1200

4250

1250

1500

1379

1875

1501

Yes

No

Total
If yes average
monthly
income

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 5.13 (a)

Source of Income of Respondents


Source
of
Income

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Yes

867

608.6

363

502.7

246

502.7

773

635.0

No

283

541.4

587

447.3

704

447.3

427

564.9

Calculated value of 20.05 = 657.54 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 7.81 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
134

Education-wise occupation of Respondents is shown in Table


5.14. The high educated women were reported to be either housewives
or engaged in service sector. However, the educationally backward
women were found engaged in unorganized sector of economy mainly
as maid servant, farm labour and other kind of labour.
Table: 5.14

Education-wise Occupation of Respondents


Education

Housewife

Illiterate

124
13.92

Primary School

High school

Intermediate

Graduate

Farm
labour

Maid
servant

345

247

175

38.72

27.72

19.64

251

84

46

23.88

7.99

4.38

346

308

156

140

0.73

32.18

16.30

14.63

205

15

178

137

59

34.45

2.52

29.92

23.03

9.92

270

76

20

27

66.50

18.72

4.93

6.65

141

111

50.54

39.78

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

38
0.00

Total

0.00

Labour

36.15

Postgraduate

Others

0.00

670
63.75

Middle school

Service

55.88

0.00

0.00

0.00

Business

Profession

Others

Total

891
0.00

0.00

0.00

100.00
1051

0.00

0.00

0.00

100.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

100.00

595

957

0.00

0.00

0.17

100.00

406

0.99

1.48

0.74

100.00

15

12

5.38

4.30

23

33.82

10.29

279
0.00

100.00
68

0.00

100.00

33.33

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

66.67

100.00

1757

247

1102

651

420

42

25

4250

41.34

5.81

25.93

15.32

9.88

0.99

0.59

0.14

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Family is basic and universal social structure of the human


society. It fulfills needs and performs functions which are indispensable
for the community, integration and change in the social system. The
forms and functions of family have undergone adoptive changes with
changes in the technological and economic superstructure of the
society (Singh, 2006:174). One way to characterize this change is to
associate conjugal are nuclear forms of families with relatively
135

modernized or industrial society and extended or joint types of families


with traditional agrarian and pre-industrial societies. The transition from
extended family-based society to nuclear family-based society is thus
an example of the structural changes. Changes in the structure and
functions of the joint families in India are thus following a reconciliatory
pattern, a pattern common in the structural changes in the Indian
society.
According to Cooley, the sociologist, and Freud, the psychoanalyst, the most important elements of the society is the family.
However, Marxist social analyst treat class as a basic personality
shaping group force, stating that the family is but a part of the super
structure and is therefore itself shaped by the economic system (Marx
and Engels). Thus, the family cannot be viewed in isolation from a
societys economic framework, in other words family is a dependent
variable (Worsley et. al. 1970:141). The family has lost many of its
earlier functions in modern industrial urban society. The family plays a
vital role in ones socialization (Lasswell and Kaplan, 1950:145).
Robertlane suggests three ways in which family may play its important
role: (1) overt and covert indoctrination, (2) putting the child in a
particular social context, and molding the childs personality (Lane,
1959: 502-511).
Type of family of respondents is shown in Table in 5.15. More
than half of the respondents reported that they belong to joint families.
More than 1/3rd respondents were found belonging to nuclear families.
This was reported significantly high in the state of Madhya Pradesh
(37.37 per cent) and Rajasthan (36.74 per cent).

136

Table: 5.15

Type of Family of Respondents


Type of
Family

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Joint

639

493

475

657

2264

55.57

51.89

50.00

54.75

53.27

343

355

349

367

1414

29.83

37.37

36.74

30.58

33.27

168

102

126

176

572

14.61

10.74

13.26

14.67

13.46

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Nuclear

Extended

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 5.15 (a)

Type of Family of Respondents


Type of
Family

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Joint

639

612.6

493

506.1

475

506.1

657

639.2

Nuclear

343

382.6

355

316.1

349

316.1

367

399.2

Extended

168

154.8

102

127.9

126

127.9

176

161.5

Calculated value of 20.05 = 26.49 d.f= 6.


Table value of 20.05 12.6 d.f = 6
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 6 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Family occupation of respondents is shown in Table 5.16. Most of
the respondents reported that the main occupation of their families is
137

labour and agriculture. Around 37 per cent respondents reported that


the main economy of their families is labour. It was found more
pronouncing in the state of Bihar (45.65 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh
(41.33 per cent). Only 10 per cent respondents reported that the main
occupation of their family is self employment. This was found more
pronouncing in the state of Rajasthan (17.68 per cent).
Table: 5.16

Family Occupation of Respondents


Occupation

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Business

42

56

20

68

186

3.65

5.89

2.11

5.67

4.38

112

21

168

127

428

9.74

2.21

17.68

10.58

10.07

60

211

202

127

600

5.22

22.21

21.26

10.58

14.12

525

266

281

496

1568

45.65

28.00

29.58

41.33

36.89

267

372

221

267

1127

23.22

39.16

23.26

22.25

26.52

100

12

33

35

180

8.70

1.26

3.47

2.92

4.24

44

12

25

80

161

3.83

1.26

2.63

6.67

3.79

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Self
employment

Service

Labour

Agriculture

Non-farm sector

Others

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

138

Table: 5.16 (a)

Family Occupation of Respondents


Family
Occupation

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Business

42

50.3

56

41.5

20

41.5

68

52.5

Self
employment

112

115.8

21

95.6

168

95.6

127

120.8

Service

60

162.4

211

134.1

202

134.1

127

169.4

Labour

525

424.3

266

350.5

281

350.5

496

442.7

Agriculture

267

305.0

372

251.9

221

251.9

267

318.2

Non-farm
sector

100

48.7

12

40.2

33

40.2

35

50.8

Others

44

43.5

12

35.9

25

35.9

80

45.4

Calculated value of 20.05 = 553.40 d.f= 18.


Table value of 20.05 28.9 d.f = 18.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 18 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Family status of respondents is shown in Table 5.17. Most of the
respondents reported that they belong to lower class (38.14 per cent)
and middle class (26.73 per cent). The proportion of respondents
belonging to lower class was reported significantly high in the state of
Bihar (43.48 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (40.50 per cent). More than
1/4th respondents from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh revealed that they
belong to middle class families. However, more less than 1/3rd
respondents in Madhya Pradesh were found belonging to middle class
families.

139

Table: 5.17

Family Status of Respondents


Status

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Upper class

40

82

38

33

193

3.48

8.63

4.00

2.75

4.54

125

38

88

45

296

10.87

4.00

9.26

3.75

6.96

234

323

249

330

1136

20.35

34.00

26.21

27.50

26.73

251

164

261

293

969

21.83

17.26

27.47

24.42

22.80

500

339

296

486

1621

43.48

35.68

31.16

40.50

38.14

18

13

35

0.00

0.42

1.89

1.08

0.82

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Higher middle
class

Middle class

Lower middle
class

Lower class

Others

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Annual family income of respondents is shown in Table 5.18. The


average family income of respondents was reported to be Rs. 48912. It
was reported significantly high in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya
Pradesh. Thus, most of the women respondents were from low and
middle income group. About half of the respondents revealed that their
annual family income ranges in between Rs. 25000 to Rs. 75000. Thus,
only 10 per cent respondents admitted that their family income is above
Rs. 1 lac.

140

Table: 5.18

Annual Family Income of Respondents


Income

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Less than 25000

73

18

85

112

288

6.35

1.89

8.95

9.33

6.78

429

285

375

343

1432

37.30

30.00

39.47

28.58

33.69

386

395

279

383

1443

33.57

41.58

29.37

31.92

33.95

177

121

110

188

596

15.39

12.74

11.58

15.67

14.02

56

101

75

137

369

4.87

10.63

7.89

11.42

8.68

29

30

26

37

122

2.52

3.16

2.74

3.08

2.87

Total

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Average income

42800

56450

37650

58750

48912

25000-50000

50000-75000

75000-100000

100000-150000

150000 to above

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 5.18 (a)

Annual Family Income of Respondents


Income

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Less
than
25000

73

77.9

18

64.3

85

64.3

112

81.3

2500050000

429

387.5

285

320.1

375

320.1

343

404.3

141

5000075000

386

90.5

395

322.6

279

322.6

383

407.4

75000100000

177

161.3

121

133.2

110

133.2

188

168.2

100000150000

56

99.8

101

82.4

75

82.4

137

104.1

150000
to
above

29

33.0

30

27.2

26

27.2

37

34.4

Calculated value of 20.05 = 147.08 d.f= 15.


Table value of 20.05 25.0 d.f = 15.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 15 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Occupation-wise annual income of family of respondents is
shown in Table 5.19. The respondents engaged in services sector and
household activities reported that they belong to families having higher
annual income. However, most of the women belonging to labour class
admitted that their family income is low.
Table: 5.19

Occupation-wise Annual Income of Family


Less
than
25000
Housewife

459

783

328

137

1757

14.93

32.05

54.26

55.03

37.13

5.74

41.34

27

110

97

247

0.00

0.56

0.35

4.53

29.81

79.51

5.81

85

474

336

132

75

29.51

33.10

23.28

22.15

20.33

142

Total

43

Service

Labour

25000- 50000- 75000- 100000- 150000


50000 75000 100000 150000
to
above

1102
0.00

25.93

Farm
labour

Maid
servant

Business

Profession

Others

Total

75

312

187

45

32

26.04

21.79

12.96

7.55

8.67

78

169

120

53

27.08

11.80

8.32

8.89

0.00

0.00

9.88

12

13

42

0.69

0.35

0.49

0.50

3.25

10.66

0.99

25

1.39

0.35

0.14

1.01

0.81

4.10

0.59

651

0.00

15.32
420

0.35

0.00

0.21

0.34

0.00

0.00

0.14

288

1432

1443

596

369

122

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00 100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Age at marriage is an important demographic variable as it


influences the social status and the health of individual. It has been
observed that in the Indian perspective majority of the women do not
enjoy the reproductive rights and entitlements and a large number of
girls are being married before attaining the mature age. They are also
forced to bear the pregnancy and child birth which has negative
consequences on their health. Due to early marriage of girls they are
unable to continue their education and thus, they are being deprived of
socio-economic opportunities for their carrier advancement. In the
context of domestic violence, the age at marriage is significant variable
that it may influence the domestic violence as the respondents married
in the child age group may be denied their reproductive rights and in
case of resistance they make experience domestic violence.
143

Age at marriage of respondents is shown in Table 5.20. Most of


the respondents revealed that they were married in the age group of 1620 years (72.71 per cent). This was found more pronouncing in the
state of Bihar (79.30 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (71.25 per cent).
About 20 per cent respondents revealed that they were married in
between the age of 21-24 years. Thus, it is clear that majority of the
women were married of in lower age group.
Table: 5.20

Age At Marriage of Respondents


Age

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

16-20 Year

912

664

659

855

3090

79.30

69.89

69.37

71.25

72.71

170

237

252

197

856

14.78

24.95

26.53

16.42

20.14

68

41

38

133

280

5.91

4.32

4.00

11.08

6.59

15

24

0.00

0.84

0.11

1.25

0.56

1150

950

950

1200

4250

21-24Year

25-30 Year

30 to above
Year

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Age-wise age at marriage of respondents is shown in Table 5.21.


The respondents belonging to lower age group were found married in
mature age group however, the respondents belonging to middle and
higher age group were found married in immature age group.
144

Table: 5.21

Age-wise Age At Marriage


Years

16-20

Less than 20 year

68

20-25

25-30

30-35

35-40

40-45

45-50

50 to above

Total

21-24

25-30

30 to
above

Total
68

100.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

100.00

276

90

74.19

24.19

1.61

1139

293

90

74.84

19.25

5.91

0.00

100.00

702

131

52

894

78.52

14.65

5.82

1.01

100.00

559

126

57

744

75.13

16.94

7.66

0.27

100.00

186

124

43

356

52.25

34.83

12.08

0.84

100.00

137

87

29

10

263

52.09

33.08

11.03

3.80

100.00

23

74.19

16.13

9.68

0.00

100.00

3090

856

280

24

4250

72.71

20.14

6.59

0.56

100.00

372
0.00

100.00
1522

31

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Education-wise age at marriage of respondents is shown in Table


5.22. Most of the low educated and illiterate women were found married
of in lower age group while the educated women were found married in
mature age group.
145

Table: 5.22

Education-wise Age At Marriage


Education

16-20

21-24

25-30

Illiterate

689

130

72

77.33

14.59

8.08

712

318

21

67.75

30.26

2.00

795

125

37

83.07

13.06

3.87

0.00

100.00

462

32

98

595

77.65

5.38

16.47

0.50

100.00

312

89

76.85

21.92

1.23

120

132

27

43.01

47.31

9.68

0.00

100.00

27

20

21

68

39.71

29.41

30.88

100.00

Primary School

Middle school

High school

Intermediate

Graduate

Postgraduate
0.00
Others

Total

30 to
above

Total
891

0.00

100.00
1051

0.00

100.00
957

406
0.00

100.00
279

0.00

100.00

0.00

0.00

100.00

3090

856

280

24

4250

72.71

20.14

6.59

0.56

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Caste-wise age at marriage of respondents is shown in Table


5.23. The proportion of women who were married in lower age group
was found mainly belonging to lower caste. However, women from
general caste were found married in mature age group.
146

Table: 5.23

Caste-wise Age At Marriage


Age

General

OBC

SC

ST

Total

16-20 year

662

1198

990

240

3090

57.57

76.31

82.71

72.07

72.71

370

278

148

60

856

32.17

17.71

12.36

18.02

20.14

106

86

57

31

280

9.22

5.48

4.76

9.31

6.59

12

24

1.04

0.51

0.17

0.60

0.56

1150

1570

1197

333

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

21-24

25-30

More than 30

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Family status-wise age at marriage of respondents is shown in


Table 5.24. Table reveals that lower class and lower middle class prefer
marriage of their daughters in lower age group however, upper and
higher middle class families prefer marriages of their daughters in
higher age group.
Table: 5.24

Family Status-wise Age At Marriage


Age

Upper
class

16-20 year

35

92

840

18.13

31.08

43

21-24

25-30

Higher Middle Lower


middle class middle
class
class

Lower
class

Other

Total

758

1351

14

3090

73.94

78.22

83.34

40.00

72.71

124

226

195

256

12

856

22.28

41.89

19.89

20.12

15.79

34.29

20.14

95

79

68

15

14

280

49.22

26.69

5.99

1.55

0.86

25.71

6.59

147

More than
30

Total

20

24

10.36

0.34

0.18

0.10

0.00

0.00

0.56

193

296

1136

969

1621

35

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Annual income of family-wise age at marriage of respondents is


shown in Table 5.25. Those families who had lower annual income
generally marry of their daughters in lower age group however; the
families whose annual income is higher prefer marriages of their
daughters in upper age group.
Table: 5.25

Annual Income of Family-wise Age At Marriage


25000- 50000- 75000- 100000- 150000
50000 75000 100000 150000
to
above

Total

Age

Less
than
25000

16-20 year

106

1111

1165

369

253

86

3090

36.81

77.58

80.73

61.91

68.56

70.49

72.71

102

240

221

168

93

32

856

35.42

16.76

15.32

28.19

25.20

26.23

20.14

75

79

56

52

14

280

26.04

5.52

3.88

8.72

3.79

3.28

6.59

1.74

0.14

0.07

1.17

2.44

0.00

0.56

288

1432

1443

596

369

122

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

21-24

25-30

More than
30

Total

100.00

100.00 100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


148

24

The respondents were asked that whether their parents alive.


Most of the respondents revealed that their parents are alive. However,
about 1/4th respondents reported that their mothers are not alive. It was
found more pronouncing in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Similarly, 1/3rd respondents in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar
Pradesh revealed that their fathers are not alive (Table 5.26).
Table: 5.26

Whether Your Parents Alive


Bihar
Mother

Yes

Total

1057

680

669

810

3216

91.91

71.58

70.42

67.50

75.67

93

270

281

390

1034

8.09

28.42

29.58

32.50

24.33

Total

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Yes

925

619

716

784

3044

80.43

65.16

75.37

65.33

71.62

225

331

234

416

1206

19.57

34.84

24.63

34.67

28.38

1150

950

950

1200

4250

No

Father

Madhya Rajasthan
Uttar
Pradesh
Pradesh

No

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 5.26 (a)

Whether Your Parents Alive


Bihar

Mother

Father

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Yes

1057

870.2

680

718.9

669

718.9

810

908.0

No

93

279.8

270

231.1

281

231.1

390

201.9

Yes

925

823.7

619

680.4

716

680.4

784

859.4

No

225

326.3

331

269.6

234

269.6

416

340.5

149

Calculated value of 20.05 = 231.24 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 7.81 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Intra personal and interpersonal relationship has direct bearing on
the nature and magnitude of domestic violence. The victims of domestic
violence generally have long experience of tense relations with their
family members and the attitude of family members towards them is
found to be discouraging and negative. In view of the above fact, the
respondents were asked regarding their interrelationship.
Relations with family members of respondents are shown in Table
5.27. Overall, most of the respondents reported that their relations with
family members are good. However, about 40 per cent respondents
revealed that their relations with family members are bad or very bad.
This proportion was found significantly high in case of mother-in-law,
father-in-law, husband and sister-in-law.
Table: 5.27

Relations With Family Members

Mother-in-law

Father-in-law

Parents

Sister-in-law

Very
good

Good

Not bad

Bad

Very
bad

Total

249

498

1161

1802

540

4250

5.86

11.72

27.32

42.40

12.71

100.00

340

659

1319

1351

581

4250

8.00

15.51

31.04

31.79

13.67

100.00

1400

1389

1240

155

66

4250

32.94

32.68

29.18

3.65

1.55

100.00

267

727

1610

1305

341

4250

150

Brother-in-law

Relatives of
husband

Husband

Total

6.28

17.11

37.88

30.71

8.02

100.00

289

738

1612

1122

489

4250

6.80

17.36

37.93

26.40

11.51

100.00

289

820

1699

941

501

4250

6.80

19.29

39.98

22.14

11.79

100.00

431

635

673

1508

1003

4250

10.14

14.94

15.84

35.48

23.60

100.00

3265

5466

9314

8184

3521

29750

10.97

18.37

31.31

27.51

11.84

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Respondents behaviour towards family is shown in Table 5.28.


Though, majority of the respondents reported that they have normal
relations with family members. However, 1/3rd respondents revealed
that they have tense relations with their family members. It was found
more pronouncing in case of mother-in-law, husband, sister-in-law and
father-in-law.
Table: 5.28

Respondents Behavior Towards Family

Husband

Father-in-law

Mother-in-law

Helpful

Normal

Neutral

Tense

Total

534

750

936

2030

4250

12.56

17.65

22.02

47.76

100.00

418

967

1124

1741

4250

9.84

22.75

26.45

40.96

100.00

287

986

958

2019

4250

6.75

23.20

22.54

47.51

100.00

151

Sister-in-law

Jethani/Dewrani

Children

Others

Total

364

743

1927

1216

4250

8.56

17.48

45.34

28.61

100.00

206

807

1370

1867

4250

4.85

18.99

32.24

43.93

100.00

1266

2190

611

183

4250

29.79

51.53

14.38

4.31

100.00

1451

883

1050

866

4250

34.14

20.78

24.71

20.38

100.00

4526

7326

7976

9922

29750

15.21

24.63

26.81

33.35

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Family behaviour towards respondents is shown in Table 5.29.


About 36 per cent respondents revealed that they experience tense
family behaviour toward them. It was found more pronouncing in case of
husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and father-in-law. The helpful
relations are being experience by the respondents mainly from their
children and other relatives.
Table: 5.29

Family Behavior Towards Respondents


Husband
Father-in-law
Mother-in-law
Sister-in-law

Helpful

Normal

Neutral

Tense

Total

487

703

886

2174

4250

11.46

16.54

20.85

51.15

100.00

320

915

1183

1832

4250

7.53

21.53

27.84

43.11

100.00

247

617

912

2474

4250

5.81

14.52

21.46

58.21

100.00

359

694

1810

1387

4250

8.45

16.33

42.59

32.64

100.00

152

Jethani/Dewrani
Children
Others
Total

215

835

1166

2024

4240

5.07

19.69

27.50

47.74

100.00

1173

1948

950

179

4250

27.60

45.84

22.35

4.21

100.00

1391

1068

1071

720

4250

32.73

25.13

25.20

16.94

100.00

4192

6780

7978

10790

29740

14.10

22.80

26.83

36.28

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Decision making in family is shown in Table 5.30. The


respondents were asked regarding their participation in the family
decisions. In most of the cases, family decisions are taken jointly by
husband and respondents or by their husband. Even, a larger
proportion of the respondents revealed that other family members
dominate in decision making in family.
Table: 5.30

Decision Making in Family


Family budget
Purchasing of
property
Rationing
Social relation
Children
education
Marriage

Self

Husband

Joint

Others

Total

193

690

975

2392

4250

4.54

16.24

22.94

56.28

100.00

105

688

930

2527

4250

2.47

16.19

21.88

59.46

100.00

224

858

943

2225

4250

5.27

20.19

22.19

52.35

100.00

182

770

1149

2149

4250

4.28

18.12

27.04

50.56

100.00

630

973

1142

1505

4250

14.82

22.89

26.87

35.41

100.00

136

739

1642

1733

4250

3.20

17.39

38.64

40.78

100.00

153

Employment
Family
requirements
Total

196

669

1603

1782

4250

4.61

15.74

37.72

41.93

100.00

172

694

1132

2252

4250

4.05

16.33

26.64

52.99

100.00

1838

6081

9516

16565

34000

5.41

17.89

27.99

48.72

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Reaction of other family members for decision is shown in Table


5.31. More than 2/5th respondents revealed that their participation in
family decisions is being discouraged. It was found more pronouncing in
the state of Bihar (65.39 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (50.42 per cent).
Thus, only around 30 per cent respondents reported that the reaction of
other family members towards their decisions is normal. It was found
more pronouncing in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Table: 5.31

Reaction of Other Family Members For Decision

Encouraging

Normal

Neutral

Discouraging

Total

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

14

64

51

63

192

1.22

6.74

5.37

5.25

4.52

192

394

355

340

1281

16.70

41.47

37.37

28.33

30.14

192

316

244

192

944

16.70

33.26

25.68

16.00

22.21

752

176

300

605

1833

65.39

18.53

31.58

50.42

43.13

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


154

Table: 5.31 (a)

Reaction of Other Family Members For Decision


Reaction

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Encouraging

14

51.9

64

42.9

51

42.9

63

54.2

Normal

192

346.6

394

286.3

355

286.3

340

361.6

Neutral

192

255.4

316

211.0

244

211.0

192

266.5

Discouraging

752

49.6

176

409.7

300

409.7

605

517.5

Calculated value of 20.05 = 571.8 d.f= 9.


Table value of 20.05 16.9 d.f = 9.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 9 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
The social status of women depends upon their say in the family
decisions both related to money and children. Their participation in
decision making process not only empowers them socially but also
influences their social status in the family and society. In view of the
above, the respondents were asked regarding their status in family.
Respondents position in family is shown in Table 5.32. Most of
the respondents revealed that they are being dominated by their
husbands. Only 25.15 per cent respondents reported that their position
in family is equal to their husband. It was found significantly high in the
state of Rajasthan.

155

Table: 5.32

Respondents Position in Family

Under husband

Same as
husband

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

776

641

490

857

2764

67.48

67.47

51.58

71.42

65.04

197

272

385

215

1069

17.13

28.63

40.53

17.92

25.15

80

48

20

154

6.96

0.63

5.05

1.67

3.62

97

31

27

108

263

8.43

3.26

2.84

9.00

6.19

1150

950

950

1200

4250

More important
to husband

Freedom

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 5.32 (a)

Respondents Position in Family


Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Under
husband

776

747.9

641

617.8

490

617.8

857

780.4

Same as
husband

197

289.3

272

239.0

385

239.0

215

301.8

More
important
to
husband

80

41.6

34.4

48

34.4

20

43.4

Freedom

97

71.1

31

58.7

27

58.7

108

74.2

156

Calculated value of 20.05 = 315.9 d.f= 9.


Table value of 20.05 16.9 d.f = 9.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 9 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Education-wise position in family is shown in Table 5.33. The
domination by husband is found more prevalent in case of women who
are illiterate or educationally backward. However, those women were
found having the equal position to their husband who are educationally
advanced.
Table: 5.33

Education-wise Position in Family


Education

Under
husband

Same as
husband

More
important
to husband

Freedom

Total

Illiterate

823

56

891

29.78

5.24

1.95

3.42

20.96

850

198

1051

30.75

18.52

0.00

1.14

24.73

485

434

30

957

17.55

40.60

5.19

11.41

22.52

310

198

12

75

595

11.22

18.52

7.79

28.52

14.00

152

67

75

112

406

5.50

6.27

48.70

42.59

9.55

140

110

21

279

5.07

10.29

5.19

7.98

6.56

45

13

68

Primary School

Middle school

High school

Intermediate

Graduate

Postgraduate

157

0.14

0.56

Others

Total

29.22

4.94

1.60
3

0.00

0.00

1.95

0.00

0.07

2764

1069

154

263

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

The respondents were further asked that whether their husbands


are alcoholic/drug addict. Most of the respondents revealed that their
husbands are alcoholic/drug addicts (70.78 per cent). It was found more
pronouncing in the state of Uttar Pradesh (77 per cent) and Bihar (74.70
per cent). Thus, it is proved that due to alcoholism and drug addiction in
the family, the incidence and magnitude of domestic violence against
women is found to be high (Table 5.34).
Table: 5.34

Whether Husband is Alcoholic/Drug Addict

Yes

No

Total

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

859

616

609

924

3008

74.70

64.84

64.11

77.00

70.78

291

334

341

276

1242

25.30

35.16

35.89

23.00

29.22

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

More than half of the respondents revealed that their husbands


are unemployed/out of job. This was found more pronouncing in the
state of Bihar (66.96 per cent). The unemployment and joblessness is
the main cause of domestic violence against women since the male
158

members are feeling over stressed due to economic crunch


(Table 5.35).
Table: 5.35

Whether Husband is Unemployed/Out of Job

Yes

No

Total

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

770

454

539

530

2293

66.96

47.79

56.74

44.17

53.95

380

496

411

670

1957

33.04

52.21

43.26

55.83

46.05

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

The respondents were asked that whether their spouse is


working. More than half of the respondents revealed that their spouse is
working. It was found more pronouncing in the state of Bihar (74.61 per
cent). Thus, a large proportion of the respondents revealed that their
husbands are not working (45.34 per cent). It was found significantly
high in the state of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (Table 5.36).
Table: 5.36

Whether Spouse Working

Yes

No

Total

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

858

462

399

604

2323

74.61

48.63

42.00

50.33

54.66

292

488

551

596

1927

25.39

51.37

58.00

49.67

45.34

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


159

Table: 5.36 (a)

Whether Spouse Working


Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Yes

858

628.6

462

519.3

399

519.3

604

655.9

No

292

521.4

488

430.7

551

430.7

596

544.0

Calculated value of 20.05 = 269.13 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 7.81 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Most of the respondents (60.31 per cent) revealed that their
husbands are living under mental stress. It was reported high in the
state of Bihar and Rajasthan. This is one of the most significant reasons
for domestic violence against women (Table 5.37).
Table: 5.37

Whether Spouse is Under Mental Stress

Yes

No

Total

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

899

585

595

484

2563

78.17

61.58

62.63

40.33

60.31

251

365

355

716

1687

21.83

38.42

37.37

59.67

39.69

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


T

160

Table: 5.37 (a)

Whether Spouse is Under Mental Stress


Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Yes

899

693.5

585

572.9

595

572.9

487

723.6

No

251

456.5

365

377.1

355

377.1

716

476.3

Calculated value of 20.05 = 356.16 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 7.81 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
The above analysis simply demonstrates that social status of the
victims of domestic violence is somewhat good. Most of them are from
the low educated, low socio-economic profile and are engaged in
household activities. Most of the cases the intra and interpersonal
relationship and behavioral pattern are reported to be normal. A large
proportion of respondents were found religious minded and having
strong faith in traditional value system.

161

Chapter: 6

Nature & Extent of Domestic Violence


Domestic violence against women is an age old phenomena.
Women were always considered weak, vulnerable and in a position to
be exploited. A life cycle approach is useful to examine the situation of
domestic violence against women and girls. There has been a very
strong gender bias and discrimination against women in almost all the
societies however, with change of time and legal enactments, the
situation is changing and the magnitude of gender discrimination and
bias is reducing. However, due to several economic and social factors,
the incidence of domestic violence against women is increasing in many
societies. The nature and extent of domestic violence vary depending
upon the socio-cultural setup and value system. In this part of the
report, an attempt has been made to examine the nature and extent of
domestic violence in selected states.
Experience of domestic violence is shown in Table 6.1. Overall
more than half of the respondents revealed that they have experienced
domestic violence in some forms. The high level of experience of
domestic violence was reported in case of scolding, rude behaviour,
beating, torturing, insulting repeatedly, repeated quarrels, suspecting
characters, mental harassment, etc. Even, 56.56 per cent respondents
revealed that they have also experienced the sexual abuse.
Table: 6.1

Experience of Violence
Beating
Torturing

Yes

No

Cannot say

Total

2516

1581

153

4250

59.20

37.20

3.60

100.00

2561

1444

245

4250

60.26

33.98

5.76

100.00

162

Scolding
Insulting repeatedly

Sexual abuse
Suspecting character

Repeated quarrels
Mental harassment
Rude behavior

2660

1130

460

4250

62.59

26.59

10.82

100.00

2617

1257

376

4250

61.58

29.58

8.85

100.00

2404

1234

612

4250

56.56

29.04

14.40

100.00

2435

1540

275

4250

57.29

36.24

6.47

100.00

2476

1536

238

4250

58.26

36.14

5.60

100.00

2626

1429

195

4250

61.79

33.62

4.59

100.00

2705

1370

175

4250

63.65

32.24

4.12

100.00

689

2793

768

4250

16.21

65.72

18.07

100.00

23689

15314

3497

42500

55.74

36.03

8.23

100.00

Any other
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Caste-wise experience of domestic violence is shown in


Table 6.2. The physical violence was reported high among the women
belonging to lower caste as compared to women belonging to general
caste. However, the level of mental torture and harassment was
reported high in case of women belonging to general caste.
Interestingly, around 3/4th women belonging to scheduled caste
reported that they have experienced sexual abuse as against only 46.26
per cent women belonging to general caste. However, the level of
sexual abuse among the scheduled tribes women was recorded
highest.

163

Table: 6.2

Caste-wise Experience of Violence


Experience of
Violence

General

OBC

SC

ST

Total

Beating

553

812

862

289

2516

48.09

51.72

72.01

86.79

59.20

538

769

954

300

2561

46.78

48.98

79.70

90.09

60.26

487

1224

701

248

2660

42.35

77.96

58.56

74.47

62.59

523

853

917

324

2617

45.48

54.33

76.61

97.30

61.58

532

658

901

313

2404

46.26

41.91

75.27

93.99

56.56

423

752

1021

239

2435

36.78

47.90

85.30

71.77

57.29

359

865

954

298

2476

31.22

55.10

79.70

89.49

58.26

532

753

1020

321

2626

46.26

47.96

85.21

96.40

61.79

538

911

970

286

2705

46.78

58.03

81.04

85.89

63.65

152

175

195

167

689

13.22

11.15

16.29

50.15

16.21

1150

1570

1197

333

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Torturing
Scolding
Insulting repeatedly
Sexual abuse
Suspecting character
Repeated quarrels
Mental harassment
Rude behavior
Any others
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Education-wise experience of violence is shown in Table 6.3. The


women who are educationally backward have experienced more
physical violence as compared to educated women. Around 70 per cent
illiterate women reported that they have experienced the physical
violence that beating, however, only 44.80 per cent graduate women
reported that they were victims of beating. Interestingly, 52 per cent
164

women educated upto intermediate were also found victims of beating.


Similarly the cases of sexual abuse were reported high among the low
educated women.
Table: 6.3

Education-wise Experience of Violence


Experience
of Violence

Illiterate

Primary
School

Middle
School

High
School

Intermediate

Graduate

Postgraduate

Beating

621

549

586

378

212

125

45

69.70

52.24

61.23

63.53

52.22

44.80

66.18

0.00

59.20

856

623

389

261

265

145

20

2561

96.07

59.28

40.65

43.87

65.27

51.97

29.41

66.67

60.26

564

756

532

421

235

125

27

63.30

71.93

55.59

70.76

57.88

44.80

39.71

428

864

622

358

342

48.04

82.21

64.99

60.17

84.24

1.08

881

859

354

154

123

33

98.88

81.73

36.99

25.88

30.30

11.83

0.00

795

654

124

545

165

120

32

89.23

62.23

12.96

91.60

40.64

43.01

47.06

0.00

57.29

531

486

714

241

298

162

42

2476

59.60

46.24

74.61

40.50

73.40

58.06

61.76

66.67

58.26

255

956

456

455

376

95

30

2626

28.62

90.96

47.65

76.47

92.61

34.05

44.12

100.00

61.79

643

811

512

320

245

124

50

72.17

77.16

53.50

53.78

60.34

44.44

73.53

0.00

63.65

195

142

79

96

65

86

24

689

21.89

13.51

8.25

16.13

16.01

30.82

35.29

66.67

16.21

891

1051

957

595

406

279

68

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Torturing

Scolding

Insulting
repeatedly

Sexual
abuse

Suspecting
character

Repeated
quarrels

Mental
harassment

Rude
behavior

Any others

Total

Others

Total

2516

2660
0.00

62.59
2617

0.00

0.00

61.58
2404

0.00

56.56
2435

2705

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Annual income-wise experience of violence is shown in Table 6.4.


The proportion of women experience in physical violence was reported
165

high among the women belonging to lower income group as compared


to women belonging to high income group. However, the proportion of
mental harassment, rude behaviour and quarrels were reported
significantly high among the women belonging to middle and higher
income group.
Table: 6.4

Annual Income-wise Experience of Violence


Experience
of Violence

Less
than
25000

2500050000

5000075000

75000100000

100000150000

150000
to
above

Total

Beating

280

798

756

354

274

54

2516

97.22

55.73

52.39

59.40

74.25

44.26

59.20

250

1247

461

423

120

60

2561

86.81

87.08

31.95

70.97

32.52

49.18

60.26

219

904

695

562

230

50

2660

76.04

63.13

48.16

94.30

62.33

40.98

62.59

232

825

849

451

185

75

2617

80.56

57.61

58.84

75.67

50.14

61.48

61.58

268

920

865

152

124

75

2404

93.06

64.25

59.94

25.50

33.60

61.48

56.56

195

837

633

485

275

10

2435

67.71

58.45

43.87

81.38

74.53

8.20

57.29

145

985

486

654

132

74

2476

50.35

68.78

33.68

109.73

35.77

60.66

58.26

223

865

756

407

275

100

2626

77.43

60.41

52.39

68.29

74.53

81.97

61.79

Torturing

Scolding

Insulting
repeatedly

Sexual
abuse

Suspecting
character

Repeated
quarrels

Mental
harassment

166

Rude
behavior

179

1014

839

298

286

89

2705

62.15

70.81

58.14

50.00

77.51

72.95

63.65

85

195

175

137

65

32

689

29.51

13.62

12.13

22.99

17.62

26.23

16.21

288

1432

1443

596

369

122

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Any others

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Frequency of violence is shown in Table 6.5. About 27.2 per cent


respondents reported that the frequency of violence is uncertain. It was
reported significantly high in the state of Madhya Pradesh and
Rajasthan. More than 1/4th respondents also revealed that they
experienced domestic violence a number of times in a month. More
than 1/3rd respondents in the state of Rajasthan admitted that they
experienced domestic violence a number of times in a month. A
significant proportion of respondents were found experience in domestic
violence daily (16.82 per cent) and once a week (7.15 per cent). Around
1/4th respondents in the state of Uttar Pradesh admitted that they
experience domestic violence daily.
Table: 6.5

Frequency of Violence
Frequency of
Violence

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Daily

250

140

23

302

715

21.74

14.74

2.42

25.17

16.82

64

59

63

118

304

5.57

6.21

6.63

9.83

7.15

61

46

15

60

182

5.30

4.84

1.58

5.00

4.28

110

14

91

86

301

9.57

1.47

9.58

7.17

7.08

166

53

121

134

474

Once a week
Trice a week
Once a month
Thrice a month

167

Number of
times in a
month
Uncertain
Not applicable
Total

14.43

5.58

12.74

11.17

11.15

278

288

321

231

1118

24.17

30.32

33.79

19.25

26.31

221

350

316

269

1156

19.22

36.84

33.26

22.42

27.20

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 6.5 (a)

Frequency of Violence
Frequency

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Daily

250

193.5

140

159.8

23

159.8

302

201.8

Once a week

64

82.2

59

67.9

63

67.9

118

85.8

Thrice a
week

61

49.2

46

40.6

15

40.6

60

51.3

Once a
month

110

81.4

14

67.2

91

67.2

86

84.9

Thrice a
month

166

128.3

53

106.0

121

106.0

134

133.8

Number of
times in a
month

278

302.5

288

249.9

321

249.9

231

315.6

Uncertain

221

312,8

350

258.4

316

258.4

269

326.4

Calculated value of 20.05 = 457.96 d.f= 18.


Table value of 20.05 28.9 d.f = 18.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 18 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Caste-wise frequency of domestic violence is shown in Table 6.6.
The women belonging to general caste are experience in less number
of domestic violence as compared to women belonging to lower caste.
168

However, 1/4th women from general caste admitted that the frequency
of violence is uncertain. The proportion of frequent violence was
reported much higher among the women belonging to lower
communities such as scheduled caste and scheduled tribes.
Table: 6.6

Caste-wise Frequency of Violence


Frequency of
Violence

General

OBC

SC

ST

Total

Daily

160

275

195

85

715

13.91

17.52

16.29

25.53

16.82

78

94

120

12

304

6.78

5.99

10.03

3.60

7.15

71

56

45

10

182

6.17

3.57

3.76

3.00

4.28

97

95

85

24

301

8.43

6.05

7.10

7.21

7.08

184

186

86

18

474

16.00

11.85

7.18

5.41

11.15

267

438

324

89

1118

23.22

27.90

27.07

26.73

26.31

293

426

342

95

1156

25.48

27.13

28.57

28.53

27.20

1150

1570

1197

333

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Once a week
Thrice a week
Once a month
Thrice a month
Number of times in a
month
Uncertain
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 6.6 (a)

Caste-wise Frequency of Violence


Frequency

General

OBC

ST

Daily

160

193.5

275

264.1

195

201.4

85

56.0

Once a
week

78

82.2

94

112.3

120

85.1

12

23.8

169

SC

Thrice a
week

71

41.2

56

67.2

45

51.2

10

14.2

Once a
month

97

81.4

95

111.2

85

84.7

24

23.5

Thrice a
month

184

128.3

186

135.1

86

133.5

18

37.1

Number of
times in a
month

267

302.5

438

413.0

324

314.9

89

87.5

Uncertain

293

312.8

426

427.0

342

325.6

95

90.5

Calculated value of 20.05 = 227.64.9 d.f= 18.


Table value of 20.05 28.9 d.f = 18.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 18 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Education-wise frequency of domestic violence is shown in Table
6.7. The frequent violence is being experienced by women belonging to
lower educational groups as compared to women belonging to middle
and higher educational groups. However, a large proportion of highly
educated women also reported that they experienced domestic violence
daily.
Table: 6.7

Education-wise Frequency of Violence


Frequency of
Violence

Illiterate

Primary
School

Middle
school

High
school

Intermediate

Graduate

Daily

186

142

111

124

91

61

20.88

13.51

11.60

20.84

22.41

21.86

0.00

43

52

67

75

32

23

12

4.83

4.95

7.00

12.61

7.88

8.24

17.65

30

30

22

18

43

39

3.37

2.85

2.30

3.03

10.59

13.98

Once a week

Thrice a week

Once a month

Thrice a month

Others

Total

715
0.00

16.82
304

0.00

7.15
182

0.00

57

61

76

25

33

24

25

6.40

5.80

7.94

4.20

8.13

8.60

36.76

126

124

88

28

71

37

14.14

11.80

9.20

4.71

17.49

13.26

170

Postgraduate

0.00

4.28

0.00

7.08

301

474
0.00

0.00

11.15

Number of
times in a
month

Uncertain

Total

197

291

358

142

76

53

1118

22.11

27.69

37.41

23.87

18.72

19.00

0.00

33.33

26.31

252

351

235

183

60

42

31

1156

28.28

33.40

24.56

30.76

14.78

15.05

45.59

66.67

27.20

891

1051

957

595

406

279

68

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Annual income-wise frequency of domestic violence is shown in


Table 6.8. The frequent violence is reported much higher among the
women belonging to the lower income group however, a large
proportion of respondents belonging to higher income group reported
that the frequency of violence is uncertain. Thus, the frequency of
violence among the lower classes is found to be high.
Table: 6.8

Annual Income-wise Frequency of Violence


Frequency
of
Violence

Less
than
25000

2500050000

5000075000

75000100000

100000150000

150000
to
above

Total

Daily

150

279

120

98

65

715

52.08

19.48

8.32

16.44

17.62

2.46

16.82

12

34

135

86

37

4.17

2.37

9.36

14.43

10.03

0.00

7.15

40

57

15

50

11

182

3.13

2.79

3.95

2.52

13.55

9.02

4.28

18

39

124

53

64

301

6.25

2.72

8.59

8.89

17.34

2.46

7.08

182

186

64

28

474

1.74

12.71

12.89

10.74

7.59

7.38

11.15

Once a
week

Thrice a
week

Once a
month

Thrice a
month

171

304

Number of
times in a
month

52

419

394

147

68

38

1118

18.06

29.26

27.30

24.66

18.43

31.15

26.31

42

439

427

133

57

58

1156

14.58

30.66

29.59

22.32

15.45

47.54

27.20

288

1432

1443

596

369

122

4250

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Uncertain

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Respondents were asked about the instigators of violence.


Mother-in-law, father-in-law, husband and sister-in-law are the main
instigators of violence. Less than 3/4th respondents in the state of Bihar
admitted that mother-in-law is the main instigator of violence. It was
again reported much high in case of father-in-law (60.09 per cent) in the
state of Bihar. Husband as main instigator of violence was reported
significantly high in the state of Madhya Pradesh (64.74 per cent)
(Table 6.9).
Table: 6.9

Instigators of Violence
Instigators

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Mother-in-law

835

381

273

693

2182

72.61

40.11

28.74

57.75

51.34

691

262

294

552

1799

60.09

27.58

30.95

46.00

42.33

389

615

285

277

1566

33.83

64.74

30.00

23.08

36.85

360

413

305

310

1388

Father-in-law

Husband

Sister-in-law

172

Brother-in-law

Relatives of
husband

Not applicable

Total

31.30

43.47

32.11

25.83

32.66

226

284

290

289

1089

19.65

29.89

30.53

24.08

25.62

140

148

251

207

746

12.17

15.58

26.42

17.25

17.55

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Physical violence is shown in Table 6.10. Most of the respondents


reported that they have experienced of slapping (66.12 per cent),
pushing (65.15 per cent) and beating (59.20 per cent). The experience
of beating was reported significantly high in the state of Uttar Pradesh
(69.17.40 per cent) and Bihar (67.91 per cent). Even about 1/4th
respondents revealed that they have experienced of burning with rod. It
was found more pronouncing in the state of Madhya Pradesh (39.68 per
cent) and Rajasthan (36.84 per cent). The proportion of respondents
having the experience of sexual abuse was reported significantly high in
the state of Uttar Pradesh (73.25 per cent) and Bihar (72.70 per cent).
Table: 6.10

Physical Violence
Nature of
Violence

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Beating

781

530

375

830

2516

67.91

55.79

39.47

69.17

59.20

984

354

379

1093

2810

85.57

37.26

39.89

91.08

66.12

915

399

472

983

2769

79.57

42.00

49.68

81.92

65.15

Slapping
Pushing

173

Kicking
Throwing
objects
Beating with
cane
Burning with
rod
Assaulting with
weapons
Holding with
rope
Sexual abuse
Any others
Not applicable
Total

898

380

367

812

2457

78.09

40.00

38.63

67.67

57.81

225

426

338

697

1686

19.57

44.84

35.58

58.08

39.67

1010

333

319

631

2293

87.83

35.05

33.58

52.58

53.95

163

377

350

107

997

14.17

39.68

36.84

8.92

23.46

160

374

404

89

1027

13.91

39.37

42.53

7.42

24.16

195

251

319

96

861

16.96

26.42

33.58

8.00

20.26

836

265

424

879

2404

72.70

27.89

44.63

73.25

56.56

242

270

56

568

0.00

25.47

28.42

4.67

13.36

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Emotional violence is shown in the Table 6.11. Most of the


respondents felt the experience of blaming for everything that goes
wrong in the family (62.24 per cent), frequently charging on small and
negligible matters (55.58 per cent) and compelling to feel guilty for no
fault (50.31 per cent). More than half of the respondents revealed that
they do not have freedom to express their views on family matters. This
was found significantly high in the state of Bihar (89.48 per cent). The
nature and extent of emotional violence vary from state to state.

174

Table: 6.11

Emotional Violence
Nature of Violence

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Insulting in the
presence of children
and relatives

186

547

344

600

1677

16.17

57.58

36.21

50.00

39.46

960

451

308

926

2645

83.48

47.47

32.42

77.17

62.24

976

242

303

841

2362

84.87

25.47

31.89

70.08

55.58

937

323

256

622

2138

81.48

34.00

26.95

51.83

50.31

147

203

242

170

762

12.78

21.37

25.47

14.17

17.93

674

113

352

562

1701

58.61

11.89

37.05

46.83

40.02

295

238

293

438

1264

25.65

25.05

30.84

36.50

29.74

216

241

281

320

1058

18.78

25.37

29.58

26.67

24.89

245

215

280

338

1078

21.30

22.63

29.47

28.17

25.36

1029

317

304

503

2153

Blaming for
everything that goes
wrong in the family

Frequently charging
on small and
negligible matters

Compelling to feel
guilty for no fault
Calling name
Threat of divorce or
desert
Treatment as a
servant in family
Keeping strict watch
on movements

Prohibiting to meet
with parents, friends
and relatives
No freedom to
express views on
family matters

175

Neglecting health
Suspecting extra
marital relations
Using insulting and
ugly language
Blaming for improper
house keeping

Demeaning family
background
Criticizing for lack of
less intelligence
Threat to commit
suicide
Giving verbal threats
to use physical force
Not applicable
Total

89.48

33.37

32.00

41.92

50.66

182

291

277

386

1136

15.83

30.63

29.16

32.17

26.73

221

125

215

189

750

19.22

13.16

22.63

15.75

17.65

257

528

187

351

1323

22.35

55.58

19.68

29.25

31.13

210

227

156

240

833

18.26

23.89

16.42

20.00

19.60

242

174

227

414

1057

21.04

18.32

23.89

34.50

24.87

771

338

163

459

1731

67.04

35.58

17.16

38.25

40.73

131

132

88

156

507

11.39

13.89

9.26

13.00

11.93

68

43

59

273

443

5.91

4.53

6.21

22.75

10.42

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Intervention by family members is shown in Table 6.12. About half


of the respondents revealed that their families members have intervene
in the domestic violence affairs. It was found more pronouncing in the
state of Uttar Pradesh (70.08 per cent) and Bihar (659.74 per cent).
Thus, in most of the cases, family members are found to be supportive
to the victims of domestic violence.
176

Table: 6.12

Intervention by Family Member

Yes

No

Total

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

687

367

332

841

2227

59.74

38.63

34.95

70.08

52.40

463

583

618

359

2023

40.26

61.37

65.05

29.92

47.60

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.


Table: 6.12 (a)

Intervention by Family Member


Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Yes

687

602.6

367

497.8

332

497.8

841

28.8

No

463

547.4

583

452.2

618

452.2

359

571.2

Calculated value of 20.05 = 363.5 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 7.81 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
The respondents were asked that whether they have reported the
cases of violence against them. More than 43 per cent respondents
revealed that they have reported the cases of domestic violence. This
was found significantly high in the state of Uttar Pradesh (61.25 per
cent) and Bihar (46.09 per cent). Those who admitted that they have
reported the cases of domestic violence further revealed that they
177

reported the cases to police (80.15 per cent), legal advisors (58.95 per
cent) and social organizations (46.71 per cent). The nature and extent
of reporting of domestic violence vary from state to state (Table 6.13).
Table: 6.13

Reporting of Violence
Bihar
Yes

530

311

263

735

1839

46.09

32.74

27.68

61.25

43.27

620

639

687

465

2411

53.91

67.26

72.32

38.75

56.73

1150

950

950

1200

4250

434

219

121

700

1474

81.89

70.42

46.01

95.24

80.15

337

258

152

337

1084

63.58

82.96

57.79

45.85

58.95

318

217

141

183

859

60.00

69.77

53.61

24.90

46.71

323

197

87

102

709

60.94

63.34

33.08

13.88

38.55

266

166

88

188

708

50.19

53.38

33.46

25.58

38.50

199

67

62

328

37.55

21.54

23.57

0.00

17.84

530

311

263

735

1839

No
Total
If yes

Madhya Rajasthan
Uttar
Total
Pradesh
Pradesh

Police
Legal
advisor
Social
organization
Panchayat
Family court
Prohibition
officer
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

178

Table: 6.13 (a)

Reporting of Violence
Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Yes

530

497.6

311

411.1

263

411.1

735

519.2

No

629

652.4

639

538.9

687

536.9

465

680.7

Calculated value of 20.05 = 298.8 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 7.81 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Caste-wise intervention by family members is shown in Table
6.14. The level of intervention by family members is found significantly
high in case of women belonging to OBC (57.90 per cent) and general
caste (56.26 per cent) as against scheduled tribes and scheduled caste
women. Majority of the women belonging to OBC and scheduled caste
families admitted that they reported the cases of domestic violence.
However, the proportion of such respondents in case of general caste
women was reported low as compared to other women.
Table: 6.14

Caste-wise Intervention by Family Members

Intervention
by family

Yes

No

Total

General

OBC

SC

ST

Total

647

909

524

147

2227

56.26

57.90

43.78

44.14

52.40

503

661

673

186

2023

43.74

42.10

56.22

55.86

47.60

1150

1570

1197

333

4250

179

Reporting

Yes

499

768

432

140

1839

43.39

48.92

36.09

42.04

43.27

651

802

765

193

2411

56.61

51.08

63.91

57.96

56.73

1150

1570

1197

333

4250

No

Total
Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Table: 6.14 (a)

Caste-wise Intervention by Family Members


General

Intervention
by family
Reporting

OBC

SC

ST

Yes

647

602.6

909

822.7

524

627.2

147

174.4

No

503

547.4

661

747.3

673

509.8

186

158.5

Yes

499

497.6

768

839.3

432

517.9

140

144.0

No

651

652.4

802

890.7

765

679.1

193

188.9

Calculated value of 20.05 = 45.73 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 7.81 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
There is no significant correlation between the level of education
and family intervention by family members against domestic violence.
Similarly, reporting by the victims of domestic violence against the
cases of violence is prevalent in all the educational groups. However,
the proportion of respondents revealing about family intervention is
found more prevalent among the women belonging to low educated and
educationally backward. Similarly, the proportion of reporting against
the cases of domestic violence is found to be more prevalent among the
low educated and illiterate women. This is because of the fact that
180

highly educated women attempt to accommodate themselves in the


family matters (Table 6.15).
Table: 6.15

Education-wise Intervention by Family Members

Intervention
by family

Yes

No

Total
Reporting

Yes

No

Total

Illiterate

Primary
School

Middle
school

High
school

Intermediate

Graduate

Postgraduate

Others

Total

375

498

629

275

213

197

38

2227

42.09

47.38

65.73

46.22

52.46

70.61

55.88

66.67

52.40

516

553

328

320

193

82

30

2023

57.91

52.62

34.27

53.78

47.54

29.39

44.12

33.33

47.60

891

1051

957

595

406

279

68

4250

257

391

553

217

200

186

33

1839

28.84

37.20

57.78

36.47

49.26

66.67

48.53

66.67

43.27

634

660

404

378

206

93

35

2411

71.16

62.80

42.22

63.53

50.74

33.33

51.47

33.33

56.73

891

1051

957

595

406

279

68

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

The proportion of reporting against the violence of beating,


torturing, suspecting character, mental harassment and rude behaviour
was reported slightly high as compared to other types of violence.
Similarly, the intervention by the family members in the violence of
beating, torturing, scolding, suspecting character, mental harassment
and rude behaviour was reported significantly high (Table 6.16).
Table: 6.16

Experience of Violence-wise Intervention by


Family Members
Intervention by family
Yes

No

Total

Yes

No

Total

Beating

1385

1131

2516

1186

1330

2516

55.05

44.95

100.00

47.14

52.86

100.00

1249

1312

2561

1075

1486

2561

48.77

51.23

100.00

41.98

58.02

100.00

1320

1340

2660

1138

1522

2660

Torturing

Scolding

181

Reporting

Experience
of Violence

Insulting
repeatedly

Sexual
abuse

Suspecting
character

Repeated
quarrels

Mental
harassment

Rude
behavior

Any others

Total

49.62

50.38

100.00

42.78

57.22

100.00

1104

1513

2617

986

1631

2617

42.19

57.81

100.00

37.68

62.32

100.00

1285

1119

2404

867

1537

2404

53.45

46.55

100.00

36.06

63.94

100.00

1475

960

2435

1275

1160

2435

60.57

39.43

100.00

52.36

47.64

100.00

1352

1124

2476

986

1490

2476

54.60

45.40

100.00

39.82

60.18

100.00

1627

999

2626

1186

1440

2626

61.96

38.04

100.00

45.16

54.84

100.00

1279

1426

2705

1031

1674

2705

47.28

52.72

100.00

38.11

61.89

100.00

324

365

689

277

412

689

47.02

52.98

100.00

40.20

59.80

100.00

2227

2023

4250

1839

2411

4250

52.40

47.60

100.00

43.27

56.73

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Frequency of Violence-wise intervention by family members is


shown in Table 6.17. The level of family intervention was reported high
in case of violence happen a number of times in a month, uncertainty of
violence and daily violence against women. Similarly a higher proportion
of women experiencing violence a number of times in a month,
uncertain and daily reported their cases of violence.

182

Table: 6.17

Frequency of Violence-wise Intervention by


Family Members
Frequency
Daily
Once a week
Thrice a
week
Once a
month
Thrice a
month
Number of
times in a
month
Uncertain
Total

Intervention by Family

Reporting

Yes

No

Total

Yes

No

Total

412

303

715

309

406

715

57.62

42.38

100.00

43.22

56.78

100.00

145

159

304

121

183

304

47.70

52.30

100.00

39.80

60.20

100.00

86

96

182

51

131

182

47.25

52.75

100.00

28.02

71.98

100.00

127

174

301

89

212

301

42.19

57.81

100.00

29.57

70.43

100.00

210

264

474

159

315

474

44.30

55.70

100.00

33.54

66.46

100.00

641

477

1118

562

556

1118

57.33

42.67

100.00

50.27

49.73

100.00

606

550

1156

548

608

1156

52.42

47.58

100.00

47.40

52.60

100.00

2227

2023

4250

1839

2411

4250

52.40

47.60

100.00

43.27

56.73

100.00

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Causes of violence are shown in Table 6.18. Most of the causes


of domestic violence were found related with economic matters and sex.
A larger proportion of the respondents reported that the main cause of
domestic violence is the fewer dowries or refusing to bring money from
patriarchal family. It was found more pronouncing in the state of
Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Around 1/4th respondents also revealed
that due to love affairs before marriage, they experienced domestic
183

violence. Similarly, around 30 per cent respondents revealed that due to


extra marital relations, there is case against domestic violence against
them. Resistance against sexual abuse was also reported one of the
significant reasons of the domestic violence. It was found more
pronouncing in the state of Bihar and Rajasthan. Interestingly, around
60 per cent respondents reported the main cause of domestic violence
as husbands alcoholism. It was found predominantly high in the state of
Bihar (83.48 per cent).
Table: 6.18

Causes of Violence
Causes

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

No dowry/less
dowry

114

196

249

330

889

9.91

20.63

26.21

27.50

20.92

344

240

245

312

1141

29.91

25.26

25.79

26.00

26.85

456

282

330

183

1251

39.65

29.68

34.74

15.25

29.44

387

266

217

199

1069

33.65

28.00

22.84

16.58

25.15

368

328

241

374

1311

32.00

34.53

25.37

31.17

30.85

375

308

250

225

1158

Refuse to bring
money from
patriarchal family
Partial fulfillment
or no fulfillment
of promises
given and
comments made
at the time of
settlement of
marriage
Love affairs
before marriage
Extra marital
relations
Resistance for
sexual abuse

184

Medically unfit for


child repeatedly
Giving birth to a
girl child
repeatedly
Unemployed
husband
Husbands
alcoholism
Husband
constantly under
tension due to
problems at work
place

Others
Total

32.61

32.42

26.32

18.75

27.25

402

321

255

244

1222

34.96

33.79

26.84

20.33

28.75

281

327

254

194

1056

24.43

34.42

26.74

16.17

24.85

783

269

285

345

1682

68.09

28.32

30.00

28.75

39.58

960

550

264

774

2548

83.48

57.89

27.79

64.50

59.95

288

158

253

290

989

25.04

16.63

26.63

24.17

23.27

60

11

277

119

467

5.22

1.16

29.16

9.92

10.99

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Reaction to violence is shown in Table 6.19. Majority of the


respondents reported that they feel shame (62.26.30 per cent) and that
nobody cares (55.39 per cent) and powerlessness (42.73 per cent). The
levels of reaction to domestic violence vary from state to state. Most of
the women admitted that they are trying to accommodate in the family
environment, however, 27.39 per cent respondents revealed that they
resist the cases of violence against them. It was found more
pronouncing in the state of Uttar Pradesh (49.17 per cent) and Madhya
Pradesh (32.74 per cent). Around 1/3rd respondents also revealed that
they have developed hate against abusers. It was found more
pronouncing in the state of Rajasthan (61.05 per cent).
185

Table: 6.19

Reaction to Violence

Resistance
Fighting back
Hatred against
abuse
Feeling of
revenge
Feeling that
nobody cares
Feeling of
humiliation
Feeling of
powerlessness
Feeling of
shame
Any others
Not applicable
Total

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

95

311

168

590

1164

8.26

32.74

17.68

49.17

27.39

119

240

147

259

765

10.35

25.26

15.47

21.58

18.00

242

347

580

307

1476

21.04

36.53

61.05

25.58

34.73

231

200

496

287

1214

20.09

21.05

52.21

23.92

28.56

768

475

522

589

2354

66.78

50.00

54.95

49.08

55.39

905

282

386

836

2409

78.70

29.68

40.63

69.67

56.68

270

617

500

429

1816

23.48

64.95

52.63

35.75

42.73

933

529

308

876

2646

81.13

55.68

32.42

73.00

62.26

92

14

58

94

258

8.00

1.47

6.11

7.83

6.07

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Help given by formal agencies is shown in Table 6.20. The


respondents were asked that whether they received any help from
formal agencies for their protection. Only 72.32 per cent respondents
admitted that they received help from formal agencies. This was found
more pronouncing in the State of Rajasthan (84.03 per cent). Again, the
186

respondents reported that they mainly received help from panchayats,


social organizations, legal advisors, police and family courts. Around 55
per cent respondents in the state of Bihar received help from legal
advisors. Similarly, a large number of the women in Rajasthan and
Bihar received help from police. The respondents further revealed that
they mainly received help from formal agencies for social and morale
support (61.90 per cent), psychological council (38.51 per cent) and
physical protection (31.68 per cent). The proportion of respondents
receiving help from formal agencies for physical protection was found
high in the state Bihar and Rajasthan. Similarly, the proportion of
respondents receiving help for psychological council was reported high
in the state of Rajasthan and Bihar.
Table: 6.20

Help Received by Formal Agencies


Bihar
Yes
No
Total
If yes

Police
Legal
Advisor
Social
organization
Panchayat
Family court

Madhya Rajasthan
Uttar
Total
Pradesh
Pradesh

345

366

221

693

1625

65.09

71.91

84.03

73.33

72.32

185

143

42

252

622

34.91

28.09

15.97

26.67

27.68

530

509

263

945

2247

207

39

98

161

505

60.00

10.66

44.34

23.23

31.08

189

213

89

171

662

54.78

58.20

40.27

24.68

40.74

138

210

94

222

664

40.00

57.38

42.53

32.03

40.86

209

76

113

374

772

60.58

20.77

51.13

53.97

47.51

133

187

102

89

511

187

38.55

51.09

46.15

12.84

31.45

171

165

66

31

433

49.57

45.08

29.86

4.47

26.65

84

28

62

31

205

24.35

7.65

28.05

4.47

12.62

345

366

221

693

1625

Prohibition
Officer
Others
Total
Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Awareness regarding Domestic Violence Act is shown in Table


6.21. About 59 per cent respondents were found aware about the
implementation of Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act,
2005. The level of awareness was found slightly high in the state of
Bihar (64.17 per cent) Madhya Pradesh (62.53 per cent) and low in the
state of Uttar Pradesh. The level of awareness regarding the various
provisions of the Act simply demonstrates that most of the women are
aware regarding provision of service providers, availability of medical
facility and checkup, procedure for obtaining orders of relief and
provision for shelter house.
Table: 6.21

Awareness Regarding Domestic Violence Act

Yes
No

If yes

Total
Provision of
protection
officers

Provision of
service
provider

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

738
64.17
412
35.83
1150
329

594
62.53
356
37.47
950
283

549
57.79
401
42.21
950
29

612
51.00
588
49.00
1200
159

2493
58.66
1757
41.34
4250
800

44.58
262

47.64
166

5.28
172

25.98
547

32.09
1147

35.50

27.95

31.33

89.38

46.01

188

Procedures
for obtaining
orders of
relief

Provision of
counselor &
seeking
assistance
from them

Medical
facility and
checkup

Provision of
shelter house
Seeking
assistance for
welfare

Seeking
assistance for
residence in
dispossessed
house

Seeking
monetary
relief

Seeking legal
assistance
Others
Total

201

240

121

222

784

27.24
219

40.40
198

22.04
120

36.27
157

31.45
694

29.67
198

33.33
262

21.86
215

25.65
177

27.84
852

26.83
248

44.11
152

39.16
152

28.92
175

34.18
727

33.60
226

25.59
245

27.69
195

28.59
102

29.16
768

30.62
248

41.25
46

35.52
51

16.67
105

30.81
450

33.60
229

7.74
79

9.29
67

17.16
59

18.05
434

31.03
226

13.30
54

12.20
22

9.64
42

17.41
344

30.62
15
2.03
738

9.09
46
7.74
594

4.01
42
7.65
549

6.86
66
10.78
612

13.80
169
6.78
2493

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

189

Table: 6.21 (a)

Awareness Regarding Domestic Violence Act


Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Yes

738

674.6

594

557.3

549

557.3

612

703.9

No

412

475.4

356

392.3

401

392.3

588

496.0

Calculated value of 20.05 = 49.51 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 12.6 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Caste-wise awareness regarding Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is
shown in Table 6.22. The awareness level was reported significantly
high among the women belonging to general caste as compared to
women belonging to other social groups.

Table: 6.22

Caste-wise Awareness Regarding Domestic


Violence Act
Yes
No
Total

General

OBC

SC

ST

Total

895

1082

379

137

2493

77.83

68.92

31.66

41.14

58.66

255

488

818

196

1757

22.17

31.08

68.34

58.86

41.34

1150

1570

1197

333

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

190

Table: 6.22 (a)

Caste-wise Awareness Regarding Domestic


Violence Act
General

OBC

SC

ST

Yes

895

674.6

1082

920.9

379

702.1

137

195.3

No

255

475.4

488

649.1

818

494.9

196

137.6

Calculated value of 20.05 = 644.2 d.f= 3.


Table value of 20.05 7.81 d.f = 3.
Since calculated value of 20.05 at 3 d.f. is greater than the table value
hence, difference between theory and observation is significant.
Education-wise awareness regarding Domestic Violence Act is
shown in Table 6.23. The level of awareness was found significantly
high among the women who are highly educated or educated. However,
it was found least among the illiterate women.
Table: 6.23

Education-wise Awareness Regarding


Domestic Violence Act

Yes

No

Total

Illiterate

Primary
School

Middle
school

High
school

Intermediate

Graduate

Postgraduate

Others

Total

333

468

642

402

375

213

58

2493

37.37

44.53

67.08

67.56

92.36

76.34

85.29

66.67

58.66

558

583

315

193

31

66

10

1757

62.63

55.47

32.92

32.44

7.64

23.66

14.71

33.33

41.34

891

1051

957

595

406

279

68

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Immediate impact of violence is shown in Table 6.24. The


immediate impacts of violence are reported mainly mental stress,
191

depression, disturbed sleep, anxiety, and chronic headache. The levels


of immediate impacts of violence vary from state to state.
Table: 6.24

Immediate Impact of Violence


Immediate
Impact

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Mental stress

794

338

198

1118

2448

69.04

35.58

20.84

93.17

57.60

852

255

217

1054

2378

74.09

26.84

22.84

87.83

55.95

770

453

281

1086

2590

66.96

47.68

29.58

90.50

60.94

765

456

306

762

2289

66.52

48.00

32.21

63.50

53.86

326

120

186

237

869

28.35

12.63

19.58

19.75

20.45

359

170

171

155

855

31.22

17.89

18.00

12.92

20.12

416

206

226

348

1196

36.17

21.68

23.79

29.00

28.14

344

154

199

361

1058

29.91

16.21

20.95

30.08

24.89

333

116

114

60

623

28.96

12.21

12.00

5.00

14.66

368

49

252

23

692

32.00

5.16

26.53

1.92

16.28

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Anxiety
Depression
Disturbed sleep
Palpitation
Physical fatigue
Chronic
headache
Psycho somatic
pain
Any other
No disorders
Not applicable
Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Most of the respondents reported that the long term impacts of


violence are mainly mentally disturbance, impaired health and hesitation
for mixing with relatives and friends. The levels of long term impacts of
192

domestic violence vary from state to state. Thus, the long term impacts
of domestic violence are mainly confined to mental disorganization and
distress (Table 6.25).
Table: 6.25

Long Terms Impact of Violence


Long Term
Impact

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Mentally
disturbed

874

582

154

1076

2686

76.00

61.26

16.21

89.67

63.20

309

382

282

500

1473

26.87

40.21

29.68

41.67

34.66

358

301

280

436

1375

31.13

31.68

29.47

36.33

32.35

301

301

239

352

1193

26.17

31.68

25.16

29.33

28.07

830

571

252

656

2309

72.17

60.11

26.53

54.67

54.33

153

61

429

44

687

13.30

6.42

45.16

3.67

16.16

22

0.00

2.32

0.00

0.00

0.52

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Mentally
disorganized

Ashamed of
mixing with
relatives and
friends

Restricted
social contracts

Impaired health

No impact

Not applicable

Total

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

193

22

The impact of domestic violence on family life is shown in Table


6.26. Most of the respondents reported that their family life is being
disturbed due to domestic violence. They mainly reported that their
conjugal relations are strained and under tension (63.13 per cent). They
also experienced frequent quarrels in their home (65.39 per cent).
About 39.20 per cent respondents also revealed that their children are
neglected due to domestic violence. It was found more pronouncing in
the state of Bihar. Even 52.61 per cent respondents in the state of Bihar
reported that their children are vulnerable to abuse due to domestic
violence. More than half of the respondents in the state of Uttar Pradesh
revealed that they have lost mutual trust due to domestic violence.
Table: 6.26

Impact on Family Life


Impact

Bihar

Madhya
Pradesh

Rajasthan

Uttar
Pradesh

Total

Conjugal relations
are strained and
under tension

892

505

257

1029

2683

77.57

53.16

27.05

85.75

63.13

928

486

335

1030

2779

80.70

51.16

35.26

85.83

65.39

131

205

138

326

800

11.39

21.58

14.53

27.17

18.82

165

232

148

612

1157

14.35

24.42

15.58

51.00

27.22

157

409

177

248

991

Quarrels take
frequently

Communication
gap &
misunderstanding

Mutual Trust
lacking

Children lost
respect

194

Children are
neglected

Children are
vulnerable to
abuse

Lost interest in sex


and love in
husband

No satisfaction
during sexual
intercourse

Developed
irritation for
husband

Surrender against
will

Others

Total

13.65

43.05

18.63

20.67

23.32

693

424

270

279

1666

60.26

44.63

28.42

23.25

39.20

605

125

134

210

1074

52.61

13.16

14.11

17.50

25.27

224

261

184

122

791

19.48

27.47

19.37

10.17

18.61

150

176

159

98

583

13.04

18.53

16.74

8.17

13.72

215

372

136

18

741

18.70

39.16

14.32

1.50

17.44

120

170

143

436

10.43

17.89

15.05

0.25

10.26

125

335

460

0.00

13.16

35.26

0.00

10.82

1150

950

950

1200

4250

Source: Field Survey, 2009.

Above analysis simply demonstrates that a large proportion of


women belonging to lower caste and communities experience domestic
violence. Moreover, physical violence is more pronouncing in the lower
classes of the society. The domestic violence is mainly reported in form
195

of emotional violence; however, nature and frequency of domestic


violence vary depending upon the socio-cultural variables. The main
reasons of domestic violence are related to economic spheres;
however, other social factors also influence the nature and frequency of
domestic violence. The educated victims of domestic violence try to
seek assistance from outside and expose to their relatives and friends
for prevention, legal aid and rehabilitation.

196

Chapter: 7

Conclusion & Policy Recommendations


Domestic violence against women is a wide spread problem.
However, its actual extent is difficult to measure. It may be very much
higher than that the reports indicate because many instances of
domestic violence against women are not reported. The research
studies and surveys conducted by individuals generally produce higher
estimates of violence than official records. However, they are also
assumed to underestimate the actual extent of domestic violence
against women. For a variety of reasons, women may fail to report
violence that takes place in the family. According to available statistics
from around the world, about 33 per cent of the women have
experienced violence in one form or the other in their intimate
relationship at some point in their life. This is an average based on
available national surveys across industrialized and developing
countries published in the report of the World Health Organization in
1997. In India, the actual prevalence of domestic violence against
women is scant.
The National Family Health Survey (NFH-III) carried out in 29
states during 2005-2006 and released in 2007 reveals over 37 per cent
married women in the country are victims of physical or sexual abuse by
their husbands. Over 40 per cent of Indian women have experienced
domestic violence at some point in their married lives, and nearly 55 per
cent think that spousal abuse is warranted in several circumstances.
The survey showed that countrywide more women face violence in rural
areas (40.2) as compared to those in the urban areas (30.4). NFHS-III
found that over a third of women who had been married at any point in
their lives said they had been pushed, slapped, shaken or otherwise
attacked by their husband at least once. Slapping was the most
common act of physical violence by husbands. More than 34 per cent of
197

women said their husbands slapped them, while 15 per cent said their
husbands pulled their hair or twisted their arm. Around 14 per cent of
the women had things thrown at them. The survey also found that one
in six wives had been emotionally abused by their husbands, while one
in 10, have experienced sexual violence like marital rape on at least one
occasion.
Basic purpose of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence
Act has been enacting the law to effectively deal with the cases of
domestic violence and to provide civil remedies to the victims. The
salient features of the Act include clear cut conceptualization of
domestic violence, domestic relationship, womens rights and about the
civil remedies. The Act provides for appointment of Protection Officers
and NGOs as service providers to provide assistance to the women with
respect to medical examination, legal aid, safe shelter etc. The Act also
provides penalties for breach of protection order or interim protection
order by the respondents as a cognizable and non-bailable offence
punishable with imprisonment. The law operates as a single window
clearance supporting womens access to justice.
The Act provides more effective protection of rights of women
guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any
kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or
incidental thereto. The Act defines domestic violence as any act,
omission or commission or conduct causing physical, sexual, verbal,
emotional and economic abuse. The Act has laid down the duties of
police officers, protection officers and other service providers to provide
social remedies to the victims of domestic violence. The Act also
empowers the magistrate to pass orders for grant of monetary relief to
the aggrieved person from the respondent to meet the expenses
incurred and losses suffered including the loss of earning, medical
expenses, loss of property and maintenance to the aggrieved person
198

and her children including the maintenance. On the request made by


the aggrieved person, the protection officer or service provider may
make a request under section 6 to the person in-charge of a shelter
home to provide shelter to the victims of domestic violence. Similarly,
medical facility will be provided to the aggrieved person by making a
request under section 7.
Numerous practical difficulties have been reported while filing
applications under the new law. In many states, Protection Officers
have been appointed at district level; however, most of them have
appointed existing government officials as Protection officers. Even in
some states, Special Welfare Officers working under the state
department were given the task of Protection Officers. A few studies
have also highlighted the misconceptions and lack of awareness about
the law. The court cases coming under the new Act also indicate that
many women are raising their complaints under the Act as it provides a
platform for them to seek justice.

Main Findings:
z

Most of the women were found belonging to the middle age group
that 25 to 40 years with the average age of 32.28 years . Majority
of the women were from urban and semi-urban areas however,
about 47 per cent were from rural background.

Most of the victims of domestic violence were reported to be from


scheduled castes and OBC communities. However, more than
1/4th respondents were from general caste. Majority of the
respondents were found belonging to Hindu communities
however, about 21 per cent respondents were from Muslim
communities.

Most of the women were found belonging to labour and peasant


class. They were mainly from joint families. The main occupation
199

of their families was reported to be labour, agriculture and


service. The average annual family income was reported to be
Rs. 48192. However, the average monthly income of the victims
of domestic violence was found meager that is Rs. 1501.
z

Majority of the women were found educationally backward as the


educational levels were reported to be poor. Overwhelming
majority of the domestic victims was reported to be married. Most
of the respondents reported that they were married in the age
group of 16-20 years.

Around 3/4th respondents reported that their parents are alive.


Though, their relations with family members were found to be
normal however, about 2/5th women reported that their relations
with family members are not normal. More than 1/3rd respondents
further revealed that family behaviours towards them is tense.

In majority of the cases, respondents reported that family matters


are being decided by in-laws and elders and their share in
decision making is found to be meager. Ever their participation
on decision making in family matters is reported to be
discouraging by their family members. Thus, their position in
family is found to be under the dominance of their husbands and
in-laws.

Most of the respondents reported that their spouses are alcoholic/


drug addicted. Even more than half of the respondents reported
that their spouses are unemployed.

Around 60 per cent

respondents further revealed that their husbands are under


mental stress.
z

Overall, most of the respondents experience the different types of


domestic violence. It was reported high in case of scolding, rude
behavior, mental harassment, beating, torturing and repeated

200

quarrels. The experience of domestic violence varies depending


upon the socio-cultural background characteristics of women.
z

Most of the respondents reported that mother-in-law, father-in-law


and husband are mainly responsible for domestic violence.
However, the instigation of violence varies depending upon
nature of violence and socio-cultural and economic background
characteristics.

The majority of the women that experience physical violence


reported that they have experience of slapping, pushing, beating,
kicking and beating with cane, sexual abuse, etc. Similarly, a
large number of women reported that the main emotional violence
are related to blaming for everything that goes wrong in the
family, frequently charging on small and negligible matters,
compelling to feel guilty for no fault, freedom to express views on
family matters, threatening of divorce and desertification.

The frequency of violence is found to be uncertain in number of


cases; however, about 1/4th respondents reported that it is a
number of times in a month. The degree of frequency of violence
varies depending upon socio-cultural and economic background
characteristics of women.

The main causes of violence are reported to be refused to bring


money from patriarchal society, partial fulfillment or no fulfillment
of promises made at the time of settlement of marriage, extramarital relations, and resistance for sexual abuse, medically unfit
for bearing child, dowry, etc. However, the most prominent factors
of domestic violence were reported to be alcoholism and drug
addiction of husbands and their unemployed status.

More than half of the respondents revealed that they reported the
cases of violence mainly to the police, social organizations and
legal advisors. However, 72.36 per cent respondents could avail
201

the help from formal agencies. About 59 per cent respondents


were found aware about the implementation of Protection of
Women against Domestic Violence Act.
z

The impact of domestic violence has been both in short term and
long term. In most of the cases, it was reported that domestic
violence has disturbed the marital and familial relations, created
mental stress and depression. It has also made them mentally
disturbed. They are unable to mix up with the relatives and
friends. A large number of women also reported about impaired
health and strained conjugal relations.

Policy Recommendations:
z

In order to bridge the gap between legislations and their


implementations, a multi-sectoral approach is needed that tackles
various levels concurrently. Improving the legal and institutional
framework for the protection of women and girls is crucial to
preventing and combating gender-based violence effectively.

NGOs play an important role in counselling and assisting victims


of violence and also raising awareness regarding domestic
violence. The vigorous lobbying of NGOs is needed for the policy
advocacy.

Besides reducing gender-based violence, sustainable poverty


reduction is only possible if systematic improvements are made
granting women access to education and health care and control
over economic resources. This is also prerequisites for equal say
in social and economic decision making process.

Domestic violence needs a coordinated and systematic response


from the justice system. While Sector 498A has been one of the
most significant criminal law reforms protecting womens rights,
this reform is not enough. Therefore, stepping of measures for
202

better policing is imperative to have a civil law which addresses


domestic violence. We need to look towards a coordinated legal
approach to protect women facing domestic violence.
z

Fundamental social change that eliminates womens subordinate


status may bring an end to domestic violence. The changes
needed include eliminating laws that discriminate against women
and children, promoting women in leadership and decision
making processes, improving access and sense of entitlement to
education, an increasing womens access to economic resources,
health information and other rights of women.

There is need to upgrade skills of people working in different


organizations. Strengthening capacity of personnel of government
and non-government organizations addressing the issue of
domestic violence against women is the need of hour. Training
and professional development is essential for professionals who
come into contract with women subjected to violence.

Building a constituent base is an important step in generating


public support for addressing gender-based violence. This
responsibility lies with civil societies on one hand, the state
agencies on the other. However, womens organizations should
be the facilitators in this process. Community watch groups
should be created and mobilization of local government officials,
legal advisors and community volunteers should be ensured for
reducing domestic violence against women.

Family reconciliation is clearly a commonly desired end sought by


most community intervention strategies and this is a telling and
significant feature of the social response to violence against
women in India. Proactive or holistic efforts to address domestic
violence through community development schemes, women self

203

help collectives, efforts to raise public consciousness and to


empower women economically and politically are important.
z

Public awareness programmes that are carefully designed and


coherently oriented around economic and political initiatives
should include gender sensitization components. In order to
accomplish this, networks between organizations, between
activists, and between state officers need to be strengthened.

Creation of crisis referral services is also needed. The local help


line or crisis referral services can take calls from women or family
members or concerned neighbours regarding a given case or
incident, or an enquiry about legal, medical or psychological
services.

Prevention of domestic violence ultimately depends upon


changing the norms of society regarding violence as a means of
conflict resolution and regarding traditional attitudes about
gender. To achieve this, the concept of gender and human rights
must be introduced in the curriculum and schools, universities,
professional colleges and other training settings.

Special courts must be setup for cases of violence against


women and children with upto date technological support like
video graphing of statement of rape and child abuse victims.
Mobile courts should also be introduced as an effective strategy
for reaching out to more and more victims in the remote areas.

A massive awareness campaign involving the community,


religious leaders, womens organizations, civil societies, NGOs
and other opinion makers is necessary to counter the present
trend of domestic violence against women.

The Central and State Governments should conduct regular


training programmes of law enforcement officers, judges and
204

other court personnel and prosecutors to identify and respond


more effectively to the cases of domestic violence against
women.
z

The government should encourage developing and supporting


projects to implement community driven initiatives to address the
needs of the victims of domestic violence. The role of NGOs and
civil societies may be strengthened for initiating community-based
approaches to address the issue of domestic violence against
women.

Changes in patriarchal value system of our society through


education, awareness and empowerment in all spheres need to
be emphasized. This can be possible if traditional attitudes,
believes and values are replaced by progressive, objective,
scientific orientation and human values.

Women must be made aware about legislations, legal provisions,


rights and entitlements while equal social rights of women in at
family and community level is suggested. State must actively
intervene to protect womens social, political, economic and
cultural rights and withdraw restrictive legal and administrative
provisions, which tend to weaken their rights in practice.

The consumption pattern and Consumption habit also have a


significant impact on the domestic violence which also interwoven
with the other threads like Types of houses, house condition,
ethnic composition, propensity to consume etc.

There has been a significant impact of Domestic violence on the


Income generation from the forest products.

As a result their

livelihood has suffers a lot due to high intensity of domestic


violence and strengthened the vicious circle of poverty in the
study area. It is also recommended that the long-term upward
occupational-shifts are required in the study area through
205

Government Intervention and enhancing income generating


activities or sustainable livelihood and forest conservation
activities.
z

The short-term measures related to resolving domestic violence


should be given priority at the family level. Some of the social
forces like elders of the family may work as counselor for coping
up the low, medium and high intensity of domestic violence.

The non-conducive environment as created by domestic violence


at family level compels to run in the clutches of distortion which
lead to negative growth rate by swallowing the fruits of
sustainable development of livelihood.

To over come from the domestic violence the cost of violence is


very high which includes not only tangibles but intangibles cost
too and lead the economic un sustainability of the households
and family. Thus the domestic violence must be cured at the initial
stage before it converts in volcanoes.

In order to eradicate physical and sexual violence, a long-term


commitment and strategies involving all sections of society is
required. Safe motherhood programmes may be organized which
are sensitive and responsive to the conditions and needs of
battered women during pregnancy and during post-partum period.
There should be provisions for medical and psychological
services including provisions of counselling for severely injured
women.

Existing preventive and supporting services and programme


interventions also need to be expanded for the victims of
domestic violence while attempts should be made to strengthen
womens economic capacities by improving womens access and
control over income and assets.

206

For creating awareness level it is recommended that training, and


extension programmes need be designed in tune with the region
wise priority.

The syllabus must be designed for the school,

college and at the university level to curb and minimize the effects
of domestic violence.
z

The law implementing agencies and authorities should be


sensitized how to deal with the problems of violence against
women and the courts established under the Act should be
strengthened with adequate manpower, judicial magistrates and
machinery.

Focus must be placed on the appointment of Protection Officers.


All Protection Officers should be appropriately qualified, trained
on the law and appointments must be made on a full time basis.
The role of the Protection Officer must be understood as being
akin to Outreach officers of the court. Their duty is to facilitate
access to courts. They also are part of the infrastructure of the
court in as much as they assist courts in fact-findings and in the
implementation of court orders.

The registration of service providers must be commenced in


earnestness as not only will women be able to access them
better, but because the Protection Officer will be able to rely on
them for guidance. In all States there are womens rights. Such
organizations shall play a valuable role in supporting and guiding
Protection Officers in the discharge of their Duties. It is however,
clarified that only those private service providers who Volunteer
should be registered.

There is the need to identify qualified counselors, particularly


keeping in mind the high rates of referrals to counseling ordered
by the Magistrates. Counselors may be identified from service
providers providing such services.
207

There is need to build a multi-agency response between the


Protection Officers, Police, legal Services Authorities, service
providers, counselors etc. to aid women facing domestic violence.
This response requires coordination amongst the different
departments of the government as well as partnerships with civil
society organizations.

With regards to the fact that the child is disadvantaged in matters


of access to court and it was never the intention to exclude
children from the ambit of the law it is recommended that the
definition of aggrieved person be amended to include children
within its ambit.

Finally, none of the provisions of the law should be interpreted to


deny women access to court directed reliefs. Hence, an
amendment should be effected to the proviso to Section 12 (1)
clarify that neither a DIR nor a home study report is mandatory
before passing any order under the Act. Whether or not they are
required is a matter of judicial discretion and may be called for by
the judge.

Supreme Court of India and the High courts may issue guidelines
as protocols for dealing with all procedural and substantive issues
including the manner and method of conducting hearings on
applications filed under Section 12 and trials under Section 31.

Economic independence of women is of paramount importance


for their emancipation. Thus, it is important to create more
economic opportunities for women for their self-dependence.

Women need to be provided access and control of the sources.


They should be provided adequate education, skills for availing
the economic opportunities. The delayed marriages can play an
important role in decreasing womens sense of powerlessness
and in protecting them from marital violence.
208

The perception of youth regarding marriages, womens status and


roles in the family need to be revised and changed. Young boys
and girls need to develop life skills to strengthen marriage and
family life. They should be empowered to take firm decision in
relation to selection of marriage partners, type of wedding, refusal
to give dowry, number of children, type of contraceptives and
other familial and non-familial matters.

The law implementing authorities need to be sensitized how to


deal with the problems of violence against women and the women
police officers should be appointed to deal with the cases of
violence against women. Gender sensitivity should be included in
the training of police, judiciary, public officials, policy makers,
social workers, service providers, etc.

209

A Study on
Socio-Cultural & Economic Aspects of Victims of
Domestic Violence in India
1.0 Respondents Profile
1.1

1.2

Age of Respondents: (1) Less than 20 years

Marital Status:

(2) 20-25 years

(3) 25-30 years

(4) 30-35 years

(5) 35-40 years

(6) 40-45 years

(7) 45-50 years

(8) 50+ years

(1) Married

(2) Separated

(3) Divorced

(4) Widow

(5) Unmarried
1.3

1.4

1.5

1.6

Age at Marriage:

Educational Level:

(1) 16-20 years

(2) 21-24 years

(3) 25-30 years

(4) 30+ years

(1) Illiterate

(2) High School

(3) Middle School

(4) High School

(5) Intermediate

(6) Graduate

(7) Postgraduate

(8) Others (Specify)

Occupation of Respondent:
(1) Housewife

(2) Service

(3) Labour

(4) Farm Labour

(5) Maid Servant

(6) Business

(7) Profession

(8) Others (Specify)

Do you have any other source of income:

Yes

No

If yes, what are other sources..


1.7

Monthly income: Rs. .

1.8

Whether your parents alive:


(1) Mother

1.9

Yes

No

(2) Father

Number of children: (1) School going children

(2) Kids

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1.10

Relations with Family Members:

(1) Very Good

(2) Good

(3) Not Bad

(4) Bad

(5) Very Bad

1.11

(i)

Mother-in-Law

(ii)

Father-in-Law

(iii)

Parents

(iv)

Sister-in-Law

(v)

Brother-in-Law

(vi)

Relatives of Husband

(vii)

Husband

Your behavior towards family:


(1) Helpful

1.12

(2) Normal

(i)

Husband

(ii)

Father in Law

(iii)

Mother in Law

(iv)

Sister in Law

(v)

Jethani/Dewrani

(vi)

Children

(vii)

Others

(3) Neutral

(4) Tense

Family behavior towards you:


(1) Helpful

(2) Normal

(i)

Husband

(ii)

Father in Law

(iii)

Mother in Law

(iv)

Sister in Law

(v)

Jethani/Dewrani

(vi)

Children

(vii)

Others

(3) Neutral

(4) Tense

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1.13

Who takes decisions in your family:


(1) Self

1.14

1.15

(2) Husband (3) Joint

(i)

Family Budget

(ii)

Purchasing of property

(iii)

Rationing

(iv)

Social Relations

(v)

Children Education

(vi)

Marriage

(vii)

Employment

(viii)

Family requirements

(4) Father/Mother /Others

Reaction of other family members for your decision:


(i)

Encouraging

(ii)

Normal

(iii)

Neutral

(iv)

Discouraging

Your position in family:


(i)

Under Husband

(ii)

Same as husband

(iii)

More important to husband

(iv)

Freedom

2.0 Family Background


2.1

Ecological Background : (1) Urban

(2) Semi-Urban

If rural, do you have any contact with village:


If yes, (1) Regular

Yes

(3) Rural
No

(2) Irregular

Are you getting any kind of monitory support from your village:
Yes

No

If yes, Kind of support

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2.2

Religion/Sect:

(1) Hindu

(2) Muslim

(3) Christian

(4) Sikh

(5) Jain

(6) Buddhist

(7) Others
2.3

Caste:

(1) General

(2) OBC

(3) SC

(1) Feudal

(2) Landlord

(3) Peasant

(4) Labour

(5) Service

(6) Others
(3) Extended

(4) ST
2.4

Class:

2.5

Type of Family: (1) Joint

(2) Nuclear

2.6

Size of Family: (1) Adults :

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

(2) Working:
(3) School Going
Children:
(4) Kids
2.7

Family Occupation: (1) Business

(2) Self Employment

(3) Service

(4) Labour

(5) Agriculture

(6) Non-farm Sector

(7) Others
2.8

Family Status: (1) Upper Class

(2) Higher Middle Class

(3) Middle Class

(4) Lower Middle Class

(5) Lower Class

(6) Others

2.9

Annual Family Income from all sources: Rs

2.10

Whether husband is alcoholic/drug addict:

(1) Yes

(2) No

2.11

Whether husband is unemployed/out of job: (1) Yes

(2) No

2.12

Whether your husband and yourself are working: (1) Yes

2.13

Whether your husband lives generally under mental stress:


(1) Yes

(2) No

(2) No

Solidarity of Nation Society


Bahar-B, 10/32, Sahara States, Jankipuram, Lucknow-21, Phone: 0522-2735574

3.0 Domestic Violence:


3.1

3.2

3.3

Experience of Violence: (1) Yes


1.

Beating

2.

Torturing

3.

Scolding

4.

Insulting Repeatedly

5.

Sexual Abuse

6.

Suspecting Character

7.

Repeated Quarrels

8.

Mental Harassment

9.

Rude Behaviour

10.

Any Others (Specify)

(2) No

(3) Cannot Say

Instigators of Violence
1.

Mother-in-Law

2.

Father-in-Law

3.

Husband

4.

Sister-in-Law

5.

Brother-in-Law

6.

Relatives of Husband

7.

Not Applicable

Nature of Violence
I.

Physical
(i)

Beating

(ii)

Slapping

(iii)

Pushing

(iv)

Kicking

(v)

Throwing Objects
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II

(vi)

Beating with Cane

(vii)

Burning with Rod

(viii)

Assaults with Weapons

(ix)

Holding with Rope

(x)

Sexual Abuse

(xi)

Any Others (Specify)

(xii)

Not Applicable

Emotional
(i)

Insulting in the presence of children and relatives

(ii)

Blaming for everything that goes wrong in the family

(iii)

Frequently charging on small and negligible matters

(iv)

Compelling to feel guilty for no fault

(v)

Calling names

(vi)

Threat of divorce or desert

(vii)

Treatment as a servant in family

(viii)

Keeping strict watch on movements

(ix)

Prohibiting to meet with parents, friends, and relatives

(x)

No freedom to express views on family matters

(xi)

Neglecting health

(xii)

Suspecting extra marital relations

(xiii)

Using insulting and or ugly language

(xiv)

Blaming for improper house keeping

(xv)

Demeaning family background

(xvi)

Criticizing for lack of less intelligence

(xvi)

Threat to commit suicide

(xviii) Giving verbal threats to use physical force


(xix)

Not applicable

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3.4

Frequency of Violence
(1) Daily

(2) Once a week

(3) Thrice a week

(4) Once a month

(5) Thrice a month

(6) Number of times in a month

(7) Uncertain

(8) Not applicable


3.5

Causes of Violence
1.

No Dowry / Less Dowry

2.

Refused to bring money from patriarchal family

3.

Partial fulfillment or no fulfillment of promises given and


comments made at the time of settlement of marriage

4.

Love affairs before marriage

5.

Extra marital relations

6.

Resistance for sexual abuse

7.

Medically unfit for child bearing

8.

Giving birth to a girl child repeatedly

9.

Unemployed husband

10. Husbands alcoholism


11. Husband constantly under tension due to problems
at work place
12. Others (Specify)
3.5

Reaction to Violence
(i) Resistance

(ii) Fighting Back

(iii) Hatred against abuse

(iv) Feeling of revenge

(v) Feeling that nobody cares

(vi) Feeling of humiliation

(vii) Feeling of powerlessness

(viii) Feeling of shame

(ix) Any other (Specify)

(x) Not applicable

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Bahar-B, 10/32, Sahara States, Jankipuram, Lucknow-21, Phone: 0522-2735574

3.6

Intervention by family member: (1) Yes

(2) No

3.7

Reporting of violence:

(2) No

If yes (1) Parents


(4) Police
3.8

(1) Yes
(2) Relatives

(3) Friends

(5) NGO

(6) Others (Specify)

Seeking help outside:

(1) Yes

(2) No

If yes (1) Police

(2) Legal Advisor

(3) Social Organization

(4) Panchayat

(5) Family Court

(6) Prohibition Officer

(7) Others (Specify)


3.9

3.10

Help given by formal agencies (1) Yes

(2) No

If yes (1) Physical Protection

(2) Social & Moral Support

(3) Psychological Counselling

(4) Others (Specify)

Awareness regarding Domestic Violence Act: (1) Yes

(2) No

If yes (1) Provision of Protection Officers


(2) Provision of Service Providers
(3) Procedures for obtaining orders of relief
(4) Provision of Counsellor & Seeking assistance from them
(5) Medical facility and checkup
(6) Provision of shelter house
(7) Seeking assistance for welfare
(8) Seeking assistance for residence in dis -possessed house
(9) Seeking monetary relief
(10) Seeking legal assistance
(11) Others

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Bahar-B, 10/32, Sahara States, Jankipuram, Lucknow-21, Phone: 0522-2735574

3.11

3.12

3.13

Immediate Impact of Violence


(i)

Mental Stress

(ii)

Anxiety

(iii)

Depression

(iv)

Disturbed Sleep

(v)

Palpitation

(vi)

Physical Fatigue

(vii)

Chronic Headache

(viii)

Psycho Somatic Pain

(ix)

Any Other

(x)

No disorders

(xi)

Not applicable

Long Terms Impact of Violence


(i)

Mentally disturbed

(ii)

Mentally disorganized

(iii)

Ashamed of mixing with relatives and friends

(iv)

Restricted social contracts

(v)

Impaired health

(vi)

No impact

(vii)

Not applicable

Impact on family life


(i)

Conjugal relations are strained and under tension

(ii)

Quarrels take place frequently


Solidarity of Nation Society

Bahar-B, 10/32, Sahara States, Jankipuram, Lucknow-21, Phone: 0522-2735574

(iii)

Communication gap & misunderstanding

(iv)

Mutual trust lacking

(v)

Children lost respect

(vi)

Children are neglected

(vii)

Children are vulnerable to abuse

(viii)

Lost interest in sex and love in husband

(ix)

No satisfaction during sexual intercourse

(x)

Developed irritation for husband

(xi)

Surrender against will

(xii)

Others (Specify)

4.0 Your opinion for prevention from domestic violence


(i)
(ii)
5.0 Your opinion for rehabilitation of victims of domestic violence
(i)
(ii)

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