How To Prove A Domestic Violence Case?

Domestic violence against women is a disease of old age. Women were often seen as weak. For a long time, violence has been accepted as something which happened to women. The family that has been known as an environment of love, affection, gentleness and a center of unity and warmth has now become a center of oppression and aggression ranging from kicking, punching, homicidal attack by one family member to dowry or for another cause, dowry deaths, wife improvement, female child abuse, and elderly female abuse.

According to WHO’s report on Global and Regional estimates of violence against women the South-East Asian region is the worst affected regions across the globe I terms of Prevalence rates of Intimate partner violence consisting of 37.7% of the worlds cases. [1]

According to National Family Health Survey report on Experience of Physical and Sexual Violence, Nearly two in Five (37%) married women have experienced women have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their husband [2]

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, domestic violence is: “inflicting physical injury by one family member or member of a household on another; also: a repeated / usual pattern of such behavior.” Domestic violence is now more broadly defined to include “all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence” that may be committed by a person who is a family member.

In 1993, the United Nations’ Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women of identified domestic violence as one of three contexts where violence against women occurs, describing it as

“Family physical, sexual and psychological violence, including battering, household sexual abuse of women, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and exploitation-related violence.”

In India, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is a law enacted by the Indian Parliament to protect women from domestic violence. The Indian government brought it into force as of 26 October 2006. For the first time in Indian law, the Act provides for a definition of “domestic violence,” under section 3 of the act, which involves not only physical violence but also other types of violence such as emotional/verbal, sexual, and economic abuse. against women.

According to Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, “any act or omission or conduct by the respondents shall constitute domestic violence in the event that it is:

(A). harms or injuries or threats to the health, safety, life, limb or well-being of a person, whether mental or physical, aggrieved or tendency to do so, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse, and economic abuse;

(B). harassing, damaging, injuring or endangering the person concerned with a view to coercing him or any other person connected to him or her to meet any unlawful demand for any valuable protection dowry or other property; or

(C). Has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person with whom it relates by any conduct referred to in clause (a) or (b);

(D). Otherwise, it injures or harms the aggrieved person, whether physically or mentally.

Further Section 2(q) of the Domestic Violence Act defines “respondent” as any adult male in a domestic relationship with the person concerned and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under this Act: Provided an aggrieved wife or woman living in a relationship in the nature of a marriage can also file a complaint against a husband’s relative or male partner.

However, in the case of Sandhya Wankhede vs. Manoj Bhimrao Wnakhede[3], the Supreme Court addressed the issue by asserting that the provisions of Section 2(q) do not exclude husband’s or male partner’s female relatives from the scope of a complaint that may be made under the Domestic Violence Act provisions. Consequently, complaints against the adult male, but also the female relative of such an adult male, can be sustained.

Further section 12 of the said act says that an application to magistrate should be made by the aggrieved person or a protection officer seeking one or more relied upon under this act and sub-section 3 provides that the applicant should provide every particular as may be prescribed for the magistrate.

So as to prove that there existed domestic violence on an aggrieved by a respondent in a scenario the aggrieved needs to prove that the violence on her was one which falls under the categories provided under section 3 of the said act i.e. the violence is either physical violence or sexual violence or verbal and emotional abuse or economic abuse. Or violence of any other kind which arises out of the domestic relationship between the aggrieved and the respondent. And lastly, list out all the relevant abuse for the purpose of section 12 so as to get the justice.

[1]https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/85239/9789241564625_eng.pdf;jsessionid=037BBDC21727227919F7D638F117A15D?sequence=1

[2] http://rchiips.org/NFHS/nfhs3.shtml

[3] (2011) 3 SCC 650

This Article Written by Lavish Sharma, Student of Institute of Law Nirma University.

Also Read – What are the Evidences Needed in Prosecuting Domestic Violence Cases

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Md Sahabuddin Mondal

Junior Advocate, Calcutta High Court

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