Domestic violence act “shield or weapon of an Indian women”: Two sides of a coin

Ritu Singh, Kusha Pant, Amit K. Mishra


Domestic violence refers to violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in
marriage or cohabitation. In India, one out of every fourth Indian women is a victim of domestic violence at some
point of her life or the other. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005) has been passed under
Indian Constitution which ensures protection of women against violence of any kind occurring within the family
and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. On the face of it, the law appears to be a “shield” or
blessing for Indian women who are into abusive or violent relationships. However, another disturbing fact is that at
times, women themselves have played an unpleasant and catalytic role in perpetrating violence against another
woman like daughter-in-law, mother-in-law or female domestic helps. Second issue is that if it's male dominated
society in some parts of India it's also female dominated in few other parts of it. Thirdly, nowadays, males and
females both are equally involved in different crimes in the country like theft, murder, abduction etc. In light of all
these facts, it can be said that if in most instances domestic violence is perpetrated by man in some instances it can be
vice versa too. Instances exist whereby protective legal provisions for the benefit of women have been subjected to
distortion and misuse and women have used PWDVA as “weapon” to wreak petty revenge and to settle scores. Deep
scrutiny of PWDVA projects that “it” in an attempt towards “women and children welfare”, has granted Indian
women an unconditional legal supremacy over men and created a society where men are deprived of their rights of
“welfare”. The bottom-line therefore, is the fair incantation of legal provisions and their objective and honest
implementation. The responsibility of this lies on the shoulders of we educated and elite group of the society.


marriage, abuse, domestic violence, women

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