As per the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-4), one out of every four women is a victim of domestic violence. This is one of the most alarming social issues plaguing societies across the globe. Many countries do have stringent laws to keep a check on it. Nonetheless, the graph seems to be rising with every passing year.
One of the major issues for a victim of domestic violence is not being able to recognize the fact that he/she is a victim of the same. Additionally, many are not even familiar with their basic rights as a result of which many cases go unreported and thereby unpunished. Even the educated people without any special knowledge of the law are also unaware as to what exactly constitutes Domestic Violence thereby adding to the number of cases swept away.
The term domestic violence in normal parlance refers to an act which is violent or aggressive in nature and it could be by any person in the home. Both men and women can be victims of domestic violence. Further, Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides for acts which come under the ambit of domestic violence. It includes:
- Any threat to life, safety, health etc and can be mental, physical, emotional or economic
- Any harm, injury by forcing him/her or any other person which is related to him/her for any unlawful demand for property or valuable security etc
- Any continuous harassment in any close or intimate relationship.
The laws of domestic violence in India are quite gender neutral in their approach as the law considers that the victims of such atrocities can be both men and women and it does not discriminate when it comes to punishing such offenders. There are a number of sections in the Indian Penal Code which also deal with the punishment of such offenders like section 304B, 305, and 306. Section 498A of IPC also enables the victim to file a complaint about cruelty under domestic violence.
Besides this, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 also exists which protects the interest of women against any such cases of domestic violence. The same has also been highlighted by a number of High courts and the Apex court in a plethora of cases.
Even minor incidents of domestic violence can leave a deep and lasting impact on the victims depending upon the age, intensity and the frequency of such violence. The victims could end up in a state of trauma. Some extreme cases lead to the victims taking their own lives, leading to a rise of suicide cases. A working woman might end up dropping out of the job as a result of any such ill-treatment or lose her efficiency due to loss of confidence as a consequence. It isn’t unusual for the victims of domestic violence to face serious health issues if tortured physically or mentally. In these cases, the survival of such victims becomes really difficult and even more painful day by day.
One of the first steps to fight in such matters is reporting of any such violence. Though reporting of such matters is a trauma in itself and certainly needs the professional and emotional support to talk about the same. The victims need a good attorney to represent them, who possesses the requisite skills and experience. The attorney not only plans the course of action as per the possibilities but at the same time also ensures that the victim is protected from the perpetrator. This protection basically includes two things i.e. finding a place which is safe for the victim and secondly, handling all the legal matters so that the victim does not have to deal with the perpetrator personally and suffers no more.
A basic help that a domestic violence lawyer can provide is to enlighten the victim about his/ her rights and all the possible outcomes from the current position and help the victim in choosing the most appropriate one. These options can include a suit for damages for the pain and suffering of the victim or even filing for divorce looking at the seriousness of the matter. In case of a divorce, the lawyer also has to make sure that his/ her client gets due alimony and custody rights of the children, if any. The lawyer must ensure the client’s rights are respected and a fair treatment provided.
In cases of domestic violence, a good divorce lawyer in Chandigarh can also ensure that the victim receives the spousal support or in other words alimony if the victim is staying in the relationship taking all the abuse for money. Here a domestic violence lawyer really plays a major role in ensuring that the victim receives fair treatment.
Simranjeet Law Associates is a client-centric law firm situated in Chandigarh. The firm specializes in disputes related to family and marriage with 45 years of experience in the field. Our team of advocates provide legal services in major areas of practice and we also represent clients at the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Over the years we have successfully handled various cases of domestic violence as well. Feel free to consult us if you or any of your near ones need reliable legal help.