The United Nation Conventions on Woman
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or another status.” (Article 2)
The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women states that “violence against women means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” (Article 1) It further asserts that states have an obligation to ” exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or by private persons.” (Article 4-c)
The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), defines discrimination against women as any “distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on the basis of equality between men and women, of human rights or fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.” (Article 1)
In India where almost half of the population are women, they have always been ill-treated and deprived of their right to life and personal liberty as provided under the constitution of India. Women are always considered as a physically and emotionally weaker than the males, whereas at present women have proved themselves in almost every field of life-affirming that they are no less than men due to their hard work whether at home or working places. Behind closed doors of homes all across our country, people are being tortured, beaten and killed. It is happening in rural areas, towns and cities. It is crossing all social classes, genders, racial lines and age groups. It is becoming a legacy being passed on from one generation to another.
Violence against women is not a new phenomenon. Women have to bear the burns of domestic, public, physical as well as emotional and mental violence against them, which affects her status in the society at the larger extent. The statistics of increasing crimes against women is shocking, where women are subjected to violent attacks i.e. foeticide, infanticide, medical neglect, child marriages, bride burning, sexual abuse of girl child, forced marriages, rapes, prostitution, sexual harassment at home as well as workplaces etc. In all the above cases women are considered as an aggrieved person.
â€˜Domestic Violenceâ€™ includes harms or injuries which endangers womenâ€™s health, safety, life, limb or well being, whether mental or physical. It may also be through physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse. According to â€˜United Nation Population Fund Reportâ€™, around two-thirds of married Indian women are victims of Domestic Violence attacks and as many as 70 per cent of married women in India between the age of 15 and 49 are victims of beating, rape or forced sex.
Though there can be no reason or any cause that can justify domestic violence but let’s just discuss the thinking that perpetrator may have while committing the act of violence.
- An unsettling demand of dowry by in-laws may result in domestic violence to the woman.
- To establish domination over the woman of the house.
- If neglecting children or not looking after in-laws.
- Refusal to have sex with him.
- Infertility in females may lead to their assault by the family members.
- Short temper or alcoholism of the spouse.
- Having a desire for a male child.
Consequences and effects of domestic violence on victim and family
Consequences of domestic violence are devastating. Women get affected psychologically, physically and emotionally. Functioning of the daily work may seem difficult. Their self-esteem shatters. If they are working women then they might leave their job due to lack of concentration.
The family gets affected the most. Children and other family members get traumatized and disturbed, for who can tolerate seeing their parents gets in violence on the regular basis. Thought of self-harm, divorce and suicide is prevalent in such cases. The suicide case of such ill-treatment is a deadly consequence and counting of such case is increasing.
Things that can be done
- First and foremost talk to your relatives, friends, neighbours and person who are close to you.
- Do not hesitate in opening the problem. Continued denial and hiding the situation may worsen the situation.
- Say no to ill-treatment, stand for yourself. Donâ€™t retaliate but confront him.
- Prepare yourself for separation or divorce if the situation arises.
- File a complaint to the protection officer, police officer or magistrate in the form of â€˜Domestic Incident Reportâ€™ under The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. This act is made to Protect the right of the women.
- Consider all the other legal options that are given.
- Get proper counselling or consultations from concerned authorities, lawyers or organization involved in solving such cases.
Nobody deserves to be ill-treated, harassed or abuse. Facing any form of domestic violence is not your fault, it is the fault of the corrupted thinking of the perpetrator. Make a wise decision, decide on your future. Keeping quiet and to endure will not going to work at all stand for yourself and fight your way before your dignity dies.