Let’s first understand the phrase “domestic violence.” Let’s consider them as two separate words. “Domestic” means “within the realm or the household territory” and “violence” means “using physical force to hurt and to cause damage”. Therefore, as a phrase “domestic violence” is a “pattern of coercive and assaultive behaviours that include physical, sexual, verbal, and psychological attacks and economic coercion that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partner”.

Domestic violence against women:

On papers, it is said that the position of women holds the society’s index of cultural and spiritual attainment. But we all know that women struggle to pursue respectable careers and work to come at par to their male counterparts. Domestic violence happens in rural areas, towns, cities and in metropolitans as well. Irrespective of social classes, genders, racial aspects and age groups we find domestic violence happening in Indian households.

According to ‘United Nation Population Fund Report’, around two-third of married Indian women are victims of Domestic Violence attacks and as many as 70% of married women in India between the age of 15 and 49 are victims of beating, rape or forced sex. In India, more than 55 percent of the women suffer from Domestic Violence, especially in the states of Bihar, U.P., M.P. and other northern states.

Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kriti Singh sentenced a man to five years in jail for torturing his pregnant wife who ultimately committed suicide. They claimed that “This resembles the tale of so many similar young ladies who end their life due to untold miseries and hardships faced by them within the confines of the four walls of their matrimonial home.”

According to Unicef‘s Global Report Card on Adolescents 2012, 57% of boys and 53% of girls in India think a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife. The dowry system, horror killing, and patriarchal norms against women have resulted in extreme and numerous cases of domestic violence.

Domestic violence against men:

The violence against women have been prominent in India but domestic violence against men is also gaining momentum. The patriarchal system disguises men to not be vulnerable to domestic violence.

Rukma Chary, the General Secretary of Save Indian Family Foundation claims,

“Domestic violence against men in India is not recognised by the law. The general perception is that men cannot be victims of violence. This helps women get away scot-free”