Aditi Kumari, Galgotias University
Many surveys and news turned out this article to be fully dedicated to determining the new emerging domestic violence cases and their consequences in the Pandemic.
Domestic violence at what level during a lockdown? Lockdown in this pandemic has brought family members close to each other. But as everything has its own pros and cons, do this also have any such good and bad effects together?
Effect of lockdown: In this busy life where family and relatives did not bother to make time for each other and spend time together, this lockdown has shown a good side of it by bringing the family home with a lot of family time. I think, at some level it was good but excess of being together, jobless at home, the frustration level became very high. Lockdown has restrained many citizens at home and many of them lost their job. This might be a reason for frustration and depression which lead to bitterness in the relations. At the initial stage of lockdown, it was not expected to go this long. People were happy at that time with family. But subsequently, too much family time raised a lot of family issues. As per my research, many married women have complained of domestic violence being practised on them due to this lockdown. They are not able to seek the help of courts and are not even able to leave their houses. Apparently, adhesive frustrated jobless men started bursting their anger on their women. This of course aids in an increased rate of domestic violence in the country.
Raise in a number of cases: According to a survey it was discovered to be at a very high rate of domestic violence this year after lockdown. 80% of women muted her voices and never let anyone know the same. Remaining cases come to the knowledge for rescue. Women are being tortured not only physically but emotionally and sexually at the same time. Many of the women have been found to feel fear of their husbands and inlaws and their mood. Domestic violence has scared many of the victims (women) of them whom she used to call her own family. A statement made by a woman that she is always scared of what would change the mood of her husband and what would make him angry. Another woman made a statement that after this long term lockdown she is not able to predict the behaviour of her husband and inlaws. As lockdown caused confinement of people at their homes it raised the rate of domestic violence to women in many ways such as sexual assault, mental torture, verbal abuse, threatening, etc. There could be many possible reasons behind such brutal actions, such as
Frustration for economic fall
Anger for being not able to go out and do any work
Depression due to any of the above reasons.
I don't say that domestic violence has some reason behind it and is justified. No! But simply, no reason for the wrongdoer can be this much justified for causing violence to their expected beloved ones.
Legal concepts and provisions: In India domestic violence is dealt with by the provisions of The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Domestic violence is not at all a onetime violence and it does happen at the domestic level. Also, it is to be mentioned here that this is not a gender-specific offence but is victimising all the genders of all the age groups. Although, domestic violence with women and children have reached the top position. The Government has introduced the Act for the purpose of dealing with such offences.
The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act of 2005 is applied to the domestic violence practices in India.
Section 498A of Indian Penal Code of 1860, added after amendment, is the provision that deals with harassment and cruelty caused by husbands and their relatives to the women.
Section 364 of the Indian Penal Code talks about outraging the modesty of women.
Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code deals with Dowry Death, which is also punishable.
And Section 313 of Indian Penal Code states causing miscarriage without women’s consent.
These are some legal provisions which give protection to women from any kind of torture caused to her domestically.
Government actions against domestic violence during a lockdown: Generally there are legal remedies provided by the government for domestic violence. Women who have been subjected to domestic violence files F.I.R. against the accused or approaches the court for help. During this lockdown, the situation has been changed a bit. Now courts were not operating. New cases were not being filed. People were not allowed to roam outside. That is why it was supposed that the women (victim) might not be able to approach even the nearby police stations. For the solution of which the government had joined hands with many online agencies which provide easy online help. The victim can call on women helpline numbers provided by the state government using any phone to seek help. The Government also has promoted some online applications for the help of victims of domestic violence. WhatsApp numbers were also available for the direct connection of victims to the authorities for providing help. Also, many NGOs have come in front to provide legal aid to women and children subjected to domestic violence. Video callings are another mode of recording the victim's statements. In Delhi High Court an NGO's plea, named, All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties and Social Justice (AICHLS) for seeking measures for avoiding and stopping domestic violence was considered by the Judges. The NGO in their research claimed an increased rate of domestic violence and abuse which was causing an infringement of human rights in the society. The court ordered the leading party in Delhi, i.e., AAP for organising a meeting of ministers and coming up with the solution of the same. In order to award safety to the women, state governments have come up with online services and call on help services. The state government of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, etc, are actively working on the same.