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Domestic violence act

Do we need gender biased law :-domestic violence act


Domestic violence is a silent crisis that happens daily and with impunity behind closed doors and within close relationships in many Indian homes. Community gender norms tacitly sanction domestic violence. Domestic Violence isn't just hitting, or fighting, or an occasional argument. It's an abuse of power. The abuser tortures and controls the victim by calculated threats, intimidation, and physical violence. . Although both men and women can be abused, in most cases, the victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are also abused or neglected. Although the woman is usually the primary target, violence is sometimes directed toward children, and sometimes toward family members and friends.

What is the real purpose of any act? It is to provide a law which help to make a society which does not discriminate among each other, it provide a remedy against the criminal or civil activities which is in voilative of any law.

On the similar footings " The Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005" was passed which provide security to women against the violence done by their male partner or his family member. Under Sec. 5 of PWDVA (Protection of women against domestic violence act 2005) domestic violence defines:

"For the purposes of this Act, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it

(a) harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or

(b) harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her 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."

Scope of the act

This definition gives a wider scope to make domestic violence a criminal activity, as it says domestic violence includes any physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse, but the problem arises in Sec. 1 of PWDVA which states :

"An Act to provide for more effective protection of 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"

Here, rights were given only to women and nothing in this act shall deal with rights of men under domestic violence, though it can easily be seen that men were also victimised of domestic violence and definition under Sec. 6 of PWDVA can very well be applied.


Impact of the act become more worsen for men when it is been misused and act as an instrument for blackmail, even Sec. 498 A Indian penal code is been misused. This law deal with basic human right and fundamental right of female but strictly prohibit males to get protection under the same situation. The role of media is also is also biased towards women as it hypes the issue of violence against the women but very rarely the issue of domestic violence against the men were discussed. Hence, this has become a very vital issue and to fight with such a situation some amendment in domestic violence act is required so that it widens the scope of domestic violence act and society cannot be divided on the basis of gender.

Why domestic violence act actually came?

From very early period women were subjected to domestic vilence. According to studies, women enjoyed equal status and rights during the early Vedic period. However, later (approximately 500 B.C.), the status of women began to decline with the Smritis (esp. Manusmriti) and other religious texts curtailing women's freedom and rights.

The Indian woman's position in the society further deteriorated during the medieval period. Sati, child marriages and ban on widow remarriages became part of social life in India. The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent brought the purdah practice in the Indian society. Among the Rajputs of Rajasthan, the Jauhar was practised. In some parts of India, the Devadasis or the temple women were sexually exploited. Polygamy was widely practised esp. among Hindu Kshatriya rulers. In many Muslim families, women were secluded to Zenana.

Hence there was need felt by legislature to make such legislation which protect women from violence inside there house. But one thing though which previously prevailed at very few instance but now is quite frequent is domestic violence on men, and this very significant issue was completely dropped while drafting this act and it had become completely biased towards women.

Response of police towards Domestic Violence

The police response to domestic violence is the promotion of pro-arrest or mandatory arrest polices. In cases involving simple or minor injuries, "probable cause" arrest policies allow police officers to make arrests based on the presence of evidence (such as damaged property, visible injuries, or a frightened woman) that would lead to the conclusion that an assault occurred. Police may make the arrest without witnessing the crime.

Situation in different countries of the world- A report

"Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return. It is estimated that approximately 3 million incidents of domestic violence are reported each year in the United States."

One of the most pervasive myths of our society is that domestic violence is something men do to women. Solid scientific research reveals that domestic violence is something women do to men more frequently than men do to women.

While it is true that men account for most violence outside the home, women instigate most domestic violence and they injure men more frequently and more severely.

The Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, under grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, recently finished the last of three national studies on domestic violence. The first two studies revealed results similar to the latest study. Anyone who would like a copy of it may order it from the University of New Hampshire (ask for Document V55). The data tape and documentation of the 1975 and 1985 studies are available from the Interuniversity Consortium For Political and Social Research at the University of Michingan.

The average results in the 'severe assault' category are reported below:

Wives report they have been severely assaulted by husband 22 per 1000

Wives report they have severely assaulted husband 59 per 1000

Husbands report they have been severely assaulted by wives 32 per 1000

Husbands report they have severely assaulted wives 18 per 1000

Husbands & wives both report wife has been assaulted 20 per 1000

Husbands & wives both report husband has been assaulted 44 per 1000

Is this act and similar provision are biased towards one section of the society i.e. males?

Misuse of Section 498A and provision of PWDVA?

Women go to the police with a complaint (may be false), but the system provides to record that as a criminal complaint and that data adds in to the National Statistics of Crime Against Women. When male goes with a genuine complaint the police at max can record a Non Cognizable offence against the women. That will never reflect in the statistics. Then how will one guage crime against men? Every 100 Suicides in India have 63 Males and 37 Females. Every 100 male suicides have 45 married males, and every 100 women suicides have 25 married Women. Married women suicides have default arrests of the inlaws under presumed dowry death. Married men suicides entitle wife for a 50% share in property. What kind of equality is this?

In the last few years, marriage has become a crime for Indian men. Multiple cases, containing false and baseless allegations, under Section 498A and the Domestic Violence Act are being filed against Husbands and their parents and relatives. These false cases are filed with a pervert motive of, either treating the Husband as FREE ATM MACHINE, separate him from his immediate family, to grab his property, to hide the wife's illicit relationships and extra marital affairs, to deny access of his children to the father, or for any reasons other than actual Dowry Harassment and Domestic Violence.

There is no investigation done on the complaints received, nor any evidences are verified before registering a case and arbitrarily arresting people. Because of such malpractices, more and more number of married men are losing their jobs and committing suicides as well. Some shocking statistics, regarding the misuse as per data available from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB),

1. 1,23,000 women (mothers, sisters and other female relatives of husbands), have been arrested in the last four years (2004-2007) merely on the basis of complaints by wives under Section 498A, without trial or investigation, whereas even the barbaric British Government arrested only 20,000 women in 40 years.

2. 57,000 married men have committed suicide in 2007, of which 16,000 are directly due to domestic abuse. In the last 11 years (1996-2007) 1,56,000 married men have committed suicide directly due to domestic violence. Equivalent figures for women are 83,787 which means in the last 11 years the number of married men's suicides has been 1.86 times that of married women's suicides.

3. Family disputes and Domestic Violence is the number one killer for married men as 26% of suicides are directly attributed to the above cases.

Very recently Honorable Chief Justice of India Shri. K.G.Balakrishnan has expressed serious concern over the growing misuse at a Seminar organized by the National Commission for Women. Added to that, Honorable Chief Justice of Karnataka Shri P.D.Dinakaran had also voiced the problems that men face when false cases under Domestic Violence Act are lodged against them at a workshop organized for Awareness of Domestic Violence Act. Even Honorable President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil has agreed in a recent speech, that there is widespread misuse of the dowry laws by women in the country. Time and again various judges of the High Court and Supreme Court have repeatedly expressed displeasure on the misuse of dowry laws and Domestic Violence Act and have recommended several corrective measures which have fallen on deaf ears so far, sadly enough.

Impact on children

Women also misuse legal provisions to alienate children from fathers when marriages break down.Many fathers suffer immensely due to separation from their children and many children are deprived of access to fatherly love and care.

Is it completely gender biased?

"¢ Provision in PWDVA which empower women to discriminate women

Section 32 (2) says that under the sole testimony of the aggrieved person, the court may conclude that an offence has been committed by the accused.

This means with one word of women, it will empowered her to punish men at her will. This is very dangerous for innocent men. As it is in the Divorce, alimony, rape, and dowry laws are already in favour of women. This law will not allow men to escape from the clutchs of women who would lodge false complaint. All she has to do is, go to police station and shed some crocodile tears. thats all, and husband will be full time member of jail at no cost; SORRY tax payers cost.

Ch.IV, S.17 makes the "right of residence" a powerful tool in the women's hands whether or not she has any title in the household.

An adulterous woman can abuse her husband or in-laws and threaten them of false domestic violence but she cannot be thrown out of the house as per the Act. This is open license to women to harass innocent men. She could even bring her lover to the house and the husband or in-laws can't do anything or stop her. Even husband has no right if she has sex in front of her husband, may may file case for stoping her from enjoying, ist harassment for her.

(Ch.II, S.3) of the Domestic violence Act includes actual abuse or threat of abuse "" physical, verbal, emotional or economic.

it means whatever husband do to his wife is wrong, but same if she do, thats ok, Even with hold sex, shout at him, slap, insult, Humiliate

Ch.III, S4 of the Act says that 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 When husband Stop wifes lover entering his home, he can file complaint in behalf of his lover.

Preventing one's wife from taking up a job or forcing her to leave job are also under the purview of the Act.

Only solution is to save Institute of Marriage and Family of india, we should ask all organisations not to appoint women at any cost..

What about Domestic Violence against male?

The Domestic Violence (DV) Act claims to protect women from physical, verbal, emotional, sexual and economical abuse. While this law is heavily biased against men, there are many gross inconsistencies in the law, which prove that the DV Act is not good for women either. The DV Act allows legally wedded women, divorced women and girlfriends (former or present) to subject a man and his relaties to domestic violence and legal harassment. The law also allows a daughter-in-law to evict the husband along with his dependent mother, father, brothers and sisters from their own property.

In united kingdom

Men make up 24% of domestic violence victims in the past five years

  • 1 in 6 men will become victims of domestic violence in their lifetime
  • There are no male-only refuges in the UK as opposed to over 470 for women. There are five women's refuges that have at most 11 places for men.
  • There are only three small charities funded mainly by donations helping male victims whilst female charities receive huge state funding
  • It is time for the government and all elements of the state to officially recognise the problem and to produce, fund and implement a nationwide strategy to help male victims
  • It is time for the media and society to recognise that domestic violence is a social problem and that it affects men as well as women

Due to the lack of support, practically or emotionally, men find it hard to find places to turn to. Some men feel that it is not "˜macho' to admit they have suffered domestic violence and some authorities react to such claims with incredulity. It is of course not just about the victims themselves but also their families and their children.

Similar situation is persisting in India also where men are subjected to domestic violence and no help is available neither from society nor from government as every legislation empowering women.

What Needs To Be Done?

The first stepping stone is for male victims of domestic violence to be recognised as people who are in need of help and need to be supported. This ignorance of the true situation needs to be overcome especially when the government itself produces statistics to show that 24% of domestic violence victims are men.

The media can also help in this and not continue to portray victims of domestic violence as solely being women.

Viewing victims solely as women is not only inequitable to men but ignores the plight of those children who have to live with violent mothers

Violation of Human rights and fundamental right

As this act gives enormous amount power to women and discriminating men it tends to violation of fundamental right of men as it violate right to equality under Art. 14 of Indian constitution, this article clearly state equality among equal and here when men were subjected to domestic violence they are also at equal footing with women who are subjected to DV, further article enumerate that gender should not be reason to discriminate. Even such legislation violates Art. 21 of Indian constitution which gives Right to life and dignity and DV clearly takes away right to live with dignity. A men loss its self respect and this lead to loss of dignity.

Role of media biased toward females

Even media is biased towards female as it hype up the issue of DV when it is commit against women but no is still ready to accept the fact that even male are victim of this type of crime. The law like domestic violence act, dowry provision in IPC etc, bring the attention of media only towards women and this very drastic failure of government is been left by the so called fourth leg of constitution i.e. media.

Amendment required under domestic violence act 2005?

Now it's high time to bring some amendment in gender biased law like protection for women against domestic violence act 2005. Recently in Naaz foundation case Delhi high court came up with the decision that gay right are legalised, with such decision legislature must include right of men under DV act or there must be a separate legislation must be passed which help the victimised male from DV done either by female or by male.

This anti masculine law must have certain provision for men its certain provision like sec32, 17 etc. Should be amended and made to just fair so that they cannot be misused at anyone wish. The principle of natural justice must be followed.


Now, society and legislature need to understand that DV does mean torture to female it means any physical, verbal, emotional or any other kind of abuse by one on other with the four walls is crime, and discriminating it on the basis of gender is not just fair and it is against the principle of natural justice.

Domestic violence not effect life of individual but also the lives of their children who are innocent, it doesn't matter violence is against male or female it's violence and so law must stringent for both and not only to men, everyone who commits this heinous crime must be punished

We do need act like domestic violence but not in the current form we need it with some amendment like it will not only contain the provision for women but also for male, gay's lesbian etc., all should come under the ambit of such legislation. The present form of this act wholly biased towards women and men are discriminated there fundamental and legal right are been violated. Now there is a need that media must play an active role to remove this discriminatory and biased law, and only then society will come overcome from this evil.