Dark Side of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic and religious. Domestic violence against women is a violation of human rights and is a crime under Indian law. Contrary to popular belief, more and more men are the target of harassment and psychological and physical abuse by women. Men's rights activists in India have long argued that some of the country's laws discriminate against men.

What is Meaning of Dark Side of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence in India includes domestic violence perpetrated by a relative, but mostly by female family members or relatives. It can be defined as an act of gender-based violence that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm or abuse to women.

History of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has a long history in India, which is rooted in patriarchal attitudes and practices that have been entrenched in society for centuries. Following are some key historical events that have shaped the current landscape of domestic violence in India −

  • The caste system − The caste system, which has been in place for thousands of years, has played a significant role, as contributed to the subjugation of women and reinforced the idea that men are superior to women.

  • The practice of dowry − In later phase rise and practice of dowry, which involves giving money or gifts to the groom's family at the time of marriage, has contributed to violence against women on large scale, as men and their families often demand increasingly large dowries.

  • Stratification in the society − The class and strata in the society also lead to patriarchal system, which further gave opportunity to suppress and oppress women.

Development of Laws Against Domestic Violence

Following are the major laws and policies, which has been legislated to curb the domestic violence in India −

  • The British colonial era − During the British colonial era, laws were enacted to protect women from domestic violence, but these laws were often not enforced.

  • The Indian independence movement − The Indian independence movement brought attention to issues of gender inequality, and women played a key role in the struggle for independence.

  • The women's movement − In the 1970s and 1980s, the women's movement in India brought attention to issues of domestic violence and pushed for legal reforms to protect women.

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act − In 2005, the Indian government enacted the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, which provides legal protection and support to women who are victims of domestic violence.

  • Dowry Prohibition Law − According to dowry act, if a person demands or gives a dowry or even wishes, he is punished with imprisonment or a fine or both.

Abuse of Rights

The issue of abuse of rights in India has recently come to the force when the Supreme Court identified these individuals as family victims. But instead of making the law gender-neutral, the judge said Indian women's allegations of domestic violence were false.

The Madras High Court had previously stated that the 2005 Women's Protection from Domestic Violence Act was flawed because it would leave women vulnerable to the provisions of the law in cases where men fear the case is illegal. Many judges also noted a similar offense under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.


In spite of having several laws that protect women’s right still the issue of domestic violence is a serious concern. The hundreds of cases related to physical abuses, mental abuses, financial abuses, homicide, intergenerational abuses, etc., are registered in different police stations of the country. But many of such cases are also there, which never been reported.

Therefore, it is important to recognize the dark side of domestic violence in order to fully understand the devastating effects it can have not only on women, but also on husbands, children, families, and even communities. It is crucial to provide support and resources to victims of domestic violence and to hold abusers accountable for their actions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the punishment for filing false case of Domestic Violence?

Ans. With the growing number of filing False case of DV, the judiciary has taken some substantial step, under which, before making any arrest, police need to investigate the matter properly. Further, if a person is found guilty of filing a false case of domestic violence, they can face criminal charges and can be imprisoned for a term of up to three years and/or a fine.

Q2. What is Residence rights in domestic violence cases?

Ans. Residence rights refer to the legal right of a victim of domestic violence to remain in their shared household or to obtain alternative housing if necessary. In India, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides for the right to residence for victims of domestic violence.

Q3. What is the difference between a 498A and domestic violence case?

Ans. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are two separate legal provisions that provide protection to women who are victims of domestic violence. While both deal with issues related to domestic violence, there are some key differences between the two. The most important difference is, section 498A of the Indian Penal Code is criminal in nature, while Domestic Violence Act is civil in nature.

Updated on: 09-May-2023


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