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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Still a nightmare for domestic violence survivors

 

Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Current events of national importance(Different social service Schemes, PWDVA 2005, NFHS etc
  • Mains GS Paper I & II: Laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections of society etc

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • On International Day for Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women (November 25), the brutal murder and mutilation of a young woman by her partner has drawn attention to intimate partner violence.
    • It is recognised under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 (PWDVA) as a kind of domestic violence.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Domestic violence:

  • It is violence committed by someone in the victim’s domestic circle.
  • This includes partners and ex-partners, immediate family members, other relatives and family friends

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence, 2005:

 

 

Status of domestic violence in India:

  • National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21): 32% of ever-married women aged 18-49 years have ever experienced emotional, physical, or sexual violence committed by their husband.
  • Rural vs urban: More rural than urban women reporting experiences of domestic violence.
  • Domestic violence: Almost a third of women are subject to domestic violence.
  • National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21): only 14% of women who have experienced domestic violence have sought help(much lower in the rural areas).
  • NFHS-5: Women are more likely than men to justify a scenario in which it is acceptable for a husband to beat or hit his wife.

 

Challenges associated with reporting of domestic violence:(on the basis of research in Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu):

  • Hopeful: Women are hopeful that things will change.
  • Burden: women did not want to be a ‘burden’ on others, in particular their families.
  • Source of problem: Women believe that they would become ‘a problem’ or a source of ‘tension’ for their families, bringing them shame and dishonor
  • Migrant women, trans people or those with several sisters, or ill, older or deceased parents: Perpetrator’s violence was their individual responsibility to manage

 

From whom do most of the women seek help?

  • First group of women mainly turned to their parents.
  • In a minority of cases: Daughter’s welfare was prioritized over the well-being of the family.
  • Police and lawyers: Some Infrequently approach the police and lawyers.
  • Actions of relatives or neighbors who witnessed the violence were often pivotal in transforming their situations.
    • They were key ‘turning’ or ‘tipping’ points such as a survivor’s heightened concerns for their children’s safety

 

Role of the police:

  • Reporting to police: Women who reported experiences of violence to the police were cynical about the outcome.
  • Majority believe: The police were part of the problem rather than a solution to violence.
  • Police were more likely to send women back to violent households
    • To reconcile with the perpetrator
  • Use violence against perpetrators as a deterrent instead of filing an official complaint or connecting women to protection officers and other service providers.

 

Way Forward

  • Despite the law existing on paper, women are still largely unable to access the law in practice.
    • Its promise and provisions are unevenly implemented, unavailable and out of reach for most Indian women
  • Access to legal justice through the courts was a material possibility only for women with independent wealth and connections or those supported by specialist non-governmental organizations.
    • More awareness and assistance is a step forward direction.
  • Several States are yet to implement Protection officers: where they are in post, they are under-resourced, under-skilled and overworked, making their remit impossible.
    • Capacity building and training to service providers and law enforcement officers to handle cases of violence against women
  • Legislature recognises that domestic violence is a crime, and civil remedies exist through protection orders, managing the fallout of domestic violence is still being subcontracted to survivors and the family.
  • Financial Independence: Improving women’s access to paid employment.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

Q. Explore and evaluate the impact of work from home on family relationship.(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)