Domestic violence is a sad reality of almost every country, and when it comes to India, it becomes severe. Studies have proven that nearly every other woman faces one or the other types of domestic violence once in her lifetime.
Domestic violence, in general, denotes violent, abusive behaviour by one or more household members against another.
Section 3 of The Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides the legal definition of domestic violence. It can be any form, and by any means, for instance, in the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, or any other state, the means are endless.
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Types of Domestic Violence
The Protection of Domestic Violence Act,2005 majorly recognizes four types of abuse
It is the most recognizable form of violence, where it is difficult to hide the person’s intention. This form of violence occurs when a person applies physical force on the victim by hitting, stabbing, choking, or other forms.
This form is the most difficult form of violence to recognize. It occurs when a person is forced to engage in sexual activity unwillingly. Forced sex even by the partner is a form of violence.
It occurs when someone says or does something that makes a person feel useless. Calling names, ignoring feelings, taunting, constantly criticising, insulting are just examples of this type of abuse.
When someone tries and controls the financial independence of the other person, it causes financial abuse. Restricting to use even a single penny and blaming for every expense are some common ways of abuse.
These are just a few of the violent behaviours faced by women. The list of violence may be endless. Some of them are as follows:
- Spiritual violence
- Cultural violence
- Asking for dowry
Laws and Rights for Women Under Criminal Law
Women in India are provided with rights under various enactments to protect them. These rights are as follows:
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
This act has a broader scope than Section 498A IPC. It protects women from domestic violence. Through the act, a woman can apply to get protection, monetary relief, custody of the child, etc.
The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act,1956
This act protects women from trafficking. The act helps women to protect themselves from trafficking for prostitution as means of living.
The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
This act prohibits giving or taking dowry at the time of marriage. It safeguards the women from being killed or tortured for dowry. Women under this act can file a case against husbands and in-laws.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
This act provides women with maternal paid leave during pregnancy and after birth. Not any office can expel a woman for taking maternity leaves.
The Family Courts Act, 1984
This act has made special family courts for speedy settlement of disputes among families.
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
This act has various provisions that protect women in every aspect of Hindu marriage. A woman can file for divorce under Section 13 of the act, ask for restitution of conjugal rights, and much more.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013
This act protects women from being harassed or sexually exploited at the workplace.
Many other such acts protect women in one way or the other.
Both IPC and CPC. have provisions that protect and provide women’s rights from being exploited at various stages of life.
Case Laws Involving Domestic Violence
Sandhya Wankhede v. Manoj Bhimrao Wankhede
In this case, the Apex Court has held that the proviso of Section 2(q) of The Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 has not excluded female family members of the husband under the meaning of ‘adult male’. Thus, the domestic violence case under the Act is maintainable against male and female family members.
Sadhna v. Hemanta
In this case, the Bombay High Court has decided that if the woman is divorced when filing a case, she cannot file a domestic violence case. Thus, divorced women cannot be protected under the act.
For ages, women were victimised and subjected to domestic violence. But now, with certain acts, women cannot be protected and have the right to raise their voices against any ill-treatment. The Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005, protects women from any type of domestic violence. Many other acts protect women and provide them with certain rights. Our Court, from time to time, defines the ambit of such rights in various cases.
How is criminal intimidation proved?
If the accused tends to alarm the victim with threats, then it proves intent of criminal intimidation.
Can an accused be arrested for the said offence?
Yes, the accused in a criminal intimidation case can be arrested.
Is criminal intimidation a cognisable offence?
No. Criminal intimidation is a non-cognizable offence.
Is Section 506 bailable?
Yes. Section 506 is bailable.