What comes under domestic violence? –
Normally, when someone talks about domestic violence, the first thing that comes to our mind is physical violence or causing physical injuries to your partner. However, physical harm is only one form of abuse under Domestic Violence. There are various other forms of domestic violence. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or psychological, etc. Following are some examples of emotional abuse:- Ignoring a partner’s feelings, insulting women as a group, disrespecting her beliefs, religion, race, heritage, or class,continually criticizing, or shouting at partners, humiliating partners in private or public, regularly threatening to leave or told to leave,etc. Domestic violence can be done by partner or ex partner or carer or someone living with the victim, basically any abuse or violence that you have been subjected to under four walls of a home i.e domestically. It is generally observed against women but that is not to say that it does not cover men. It is a legally punishable offence. In legal terms it can be defined as “Any act consists of domestic violence when it harms or endangers the health, safety, life, limb, or wellbeing (mental or physical) of the victim, or tends to do so, and includes causing: physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and economic abuse“. It is also important to remember that it can be done by anyone who was in domestic relationship with the victim not just the partner. Various Supreme Court judgements have held that even a woman can be an aggressor against other women.
To contain this wrong of domestic violence many legislations have been passed one such act is The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. It defines domestic “Domestic Violence” under Section 3. Domestic Violence includes causing any harm or injury to the safety, life, health or well being of the aggrieved woman by committing any physical, sexual, verbal or economic abuse. According to this act, the definition of Domestic Violence includes four categories of abuse namely: physical, sexual, verbal/emotional and economic.
Where to complain?
1.FILE AN FIR – If you are being subjected to domestic violence or you think that an act of domestic violence has been, or is being, or is likely to be committed, you can go to your nearest police station and register a FIR known as First Information Report. The police can’t refuse your complaint, they are obligated to register it. In case your incident is out of the jurisdiction area of that police station, still you can ask them to register a zero FIR and later, it can be transferred to the suitable police station. Make sure that the police take your signature on filing the FIR and before signing, check every detail carefully. Keep in mind that there’s no compulsion for you to talk to the male officer, if you are not comfortable, you can request for female officers.
2. ONLINE FIR – This is available only when your state has the facility for it. Other alternative is that you can simply visit the National Commission for Women (NCW) website and lodge your complain. This requires you to fill a form and submit it.
3. LEGAL HELPLINE NUMBERS –
Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) – (011) 26497483 / 26496925
Delhi Police HELPLINE – 1091
National Human Rights Commission – (011) 23385368/9810298900
Women’s Cell, Delhi Police – (011) 24673366 / 4156 / 7699
Counselling Services on Women in Distress – Organised by Delhi Police – 3317004
Delhi Commission for Women – (011) 23379181/ 23370597