In India. It is estimated that 62.5 percent of people belong to lower-income households. This section of society consists of people from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other less privileged citizens. Crime does not distinguish to which section of society it happens, domestic violence against women too still prevails.
Table 1: Rate of Domestic violence against women in India.
Image Source: Poushali Sengupta for The Social Talks.
Neeta (name changed), now in her thirties hails from West Bengal. Born in poverty, she dropped out of her school and eloped with her classmate at the tender age of 16. A few months later, she found herself pregnant. Upon her son’s birth in 2010, her husband started to show the first signs of being abusive.
According to Neeta, her husband lost interest in her and began to beat her. To add to her woes, her in-laws followed suit. One morning, when her husband found out that she had lent some money to her friend, he beat her and used a rod to cause burns to her neck and chest. That evening, she escaped with her only son, risking her life in the pursuit of freedom.
She survived on the streets for days with her son, then four years old, oftentimes sleeping on an empty stomach. Thereafter, she found employment as domestic help.
Neeta is few among many who managed to turn her life around. Today it is estimated that about 27% of women still face domestic abuse. Out of this 33.5 % of women are married. A survey shows West Bengal has the highest percentage of women suffering from domestic abuse at about 30%. Violence against women - World Health Organization (WHO)Another survey also showcases that women believe that men are allowed to be abusive towards women. This is due to a lack of proper education and exposure. Indian society encourages patriarchy while women are subdued in most cases. This leads to a belief that men can subdue or control women the way they want. Women need education and exposure to the world to come out of their age-old thinking and the customs that make them think freely.
With domestic abuse, marital rape is also a common occurrence in such households. India is one of the 34 countries in the world which has still not decriminalised marital rape Marital rape is a form of sexual abuse and domestic violence according to the Supreme Court. It is estimated that 31.9% of women continue to suffer from marital rape and other kinds of abuse from their husbands.
Domestic Violence is not only physically harmful but also hurts the mental health of the victims. This could lead to a lifetime of trauma for women., who have been tortured and they may refuse to lead a normal life. The survivors need to be consoled and treated at par with other people in society so that they never feel left out or treated as unequal. Some of the survivors need counseling and many organizations teach them how to earn. This makes them confident and strong as a person. Nevertheless, according to Child Development minister Smriti Irani, the cases of domestic violence declined between 2019-2020. Hopefully, with empowerment and the criminalisation of Marital rape, women like Neeta, will not have to suffer in silence.
Edited by:Kavya Venkateshswaran
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in