Domestic Violence against Women

Methodology of the study

Social scientist in India has remained indifferent to the phenomenon of domestic violence in general Consequently on theoretical frame-work has been developed for empirical verification suitable for Indian conditions under these circumstances the presents study has to be depended on exploratory & descriptive designs of research . For the purpose of the presents study physical violence is define as any action of the intention of causing her physical injury this definitions covers the most common& frequently used forms of physical violence against women In our country i.e. slaps beating, pushing, kicking, throwing injurious objects, beating with cane, burning with rod sexual abuse & coercion & so on with a view to know the nature & extent of physical covered by the study the respondents were asked to report the nature of physical violence experience by them.

Objective of the study

The presents study is undertaken with the followings principal objective
(1) To study the nature extents & incidence of domestic violence against women.

(2) To identify the correlates of domestic violence against women.

(3) To trace the reasons for which abused women continue to stay in abusive relationships

(4) To examine the impact of domestic violence on the abused women their children & interfamily relations.

(5) To suggest measures to control minimize & if possible, eliminate domestic violence against women.

Tools & techniques : of data collection

For collection data from different sources the followings tools & techniques were used:-
(1) Informal discussion with respondents.
(2) Observation by researcher


On the basis of analysis and major findings the following Conclusions may be drawn –

(1) The women of younger age who were married at a lower age were at higher risk of being physically abused in contrast to those who were of higher age group and married at later age. As against this women of higher age group were more likely to be abused emotionally and economically as compared with women of younger age group.

(2) The educational level and occupational status of women victims disclosed that women who had no education was more prone to domestic violence as compared with those who were moderately educated. Similarly, women engaged in paid work of low social status were at higher risk of being abused in contrast with those who were purely housewives. Again out of the women who were engaged in paid work outside their homes in occupation shaving lower social status and less monetary returns were at high risk of being abused than those engaged in occupations of higher prestige.

(3) The social class background of victims of domestic violence revealed that women belonging to families living below poverty line and lower class run higher risk of being physically abused as compared to women belonging to middle classes and upper class. However, emotional abuse was more frequent in upper class and upper middle class families.

(4) No marked difference was observed in the percentage of domestic violence in families having large number of members and families having less number of members. However, as compared to joint families the incidence of violence was Comparatively more in nuclear families.

(5) No clear-cut association was found in religious background and domestic violence against women. There was no marked difference in the percentage of victims of violence between different religious groups.

(6) The perceptions of domestic violence against women were found to be different. This may be due to the level of education, family value orientation, life situation and availability or non-availability of alternatives.

(7) The most common forms of domestic violence reported by the majority of the respondents were slaps, beating, pushing, kicking, sexual coercion and assaults. The perpetrators of physical violence were mostly husbands of the victims. Majority of the victims of physical violence were mostly from rural areas and from lower class and lower middle class families of urban areas.

(8) More percentage of victims of emotional abuse was found in upper class and upper middle class families.

(9) It was observed that economic abuse was executed alongwith other types of violence and not separately. The percentage of victims of economic abuse was more in rural areas and lower class families as compared to middle class .

(10) No uniform trend of frequency of violence was observed in the present study. However, the analysis revealed that violence was more frequent in nuclear families as compared to joint families and in lower class families as compared to middle class . Similarly, victims of violence were more frequently abused in rural areas as compared to urban areas.

(11) The respondents were reported a large number of reasons for domestic violence caused to them. Dowry was, however, not a major cause. Alcoholism of husband was reported as a major cause of violence by victims from rural areas and those belonging to lower class families victims from middle class families reported suspected extra-marital relations, suspected love affairs before marriage, unemployment of husband and repeated demand for money from the family of orientation of the victims were the major causes of domestic violence against women.

(12) There was no resistance to and fighting back of violence by victims from upper middle class families but victims from lower middle class and lower class families resisted to and fought back the perpetrators of violence. However, majority of the victims could not resist or fought back due to a number of limitations.

(13) It is observed that only half of the total number of the victims approached parents, relatives and friends for seeking their help in abusive situation. Therefore, the general contention that victims of violence would report their miseries to nearest relatives and friends is not supported by the findings of this study.

(14) NGOs and Women’s organisations working in the field of women’s empowerment and welfare failed to attract the victims of violence in sufficient number . Moreover, the work of these organisation was limited to urban areas only in majority of the cases and hence women from rural areas of the state were totally ignorant about the working of these organisations.

(15) The analysis revealed that domestic violence affected the mental and physical health of the victims in different ways i.e. mental stress, depression, sleep disorders, anxiety physical fatigue etc. It was observed that among the victims of mental and/or physical disorders the percentage of women .

(16) Attempts were also made to find out the long-term impact of domestic violence on the victims. Most of the respondents had long-term impact of violence on their life in the form of permanent mental disorders, disorganized personality, reduced social contacts, hesitation and feeling of shame in mixing with relatives and friends and permanent physical disorders. In majority of the cases domestic violence also affected their family life, sex-life and the life of their children adversely.

(17) A large number of respondents were not sufficiently aware of the present relief available under law to the victims of violence. Those who had some knowledge were not satisfied with the benefits of these relief measures while others found the present relief insufficient to protect the interest of the victims.

(18) The respondents were confused about the measures to be suggested for reducing the evil of domestic violence. However, many of them believed that by introducing a comprehensive law on domestic violence, by orientation of family members and by launching a drive on national level this evil could be reduced to some extent.


In the light of the objectives and finding of the present study and the discussion with women’s organisations and social activists the researcher would like to make the following recommendations to reduce the incidence and impact of domestic violence against women.

(1) A massive awareness campaign involving the community, religious leaders, women’s organisations, National Service Scheme (N.S.S.), NGOs, and opinion makers at all levels is

necessary to counter the present trend of violence against women in general and domestic violence in particular.

(2) Domestic violence against women is an area where rights of women are not fully secured by laws and there are laws which are either discriminatory against women or provide a weak enforcement and punishment mechanism which do not deter the recurrence of crimes against women. They were not sure that the law would give them sufficient and durable relief. Hence, it is necessary to see that the legal provisions against perpetrators of domestic violence are strictly enforced and no one is left without punishment. Moreover, the entire gamut of laws related to abuse and harassment of women need a comprehensive and through review in the light of the present trends and requirements.

(4) It is learned that the Central Government is introducing a new scheme for women in difficult circumstances during the 10th Plan period. The study team would like to suggest that women who are victims of domestic violence should be covered under the proposed scheme.

(5) A carefully planned mass media strategy is of critical importance for women’s employment in general and domestic violence against women in particular. This can be done through media intervention. Issues relating to domestic violence against women and awareness of family members on the tragic effects of domestic violence should be packaged in interesting, viewer friendly programmes for assimilation and absorption in social psyche. It is, therefore, necessary to plan a media strategy for bringing a massive awareness and education on the issue of domestic violence against women. The Government of India should provide adequate resources for implementation of such a comprehensive media strategy for social change.

(6) The Central and State Governments should conduct regular training programmes of law enforcement officers, judges, other court personnel and prosecutors to identify and respond more effectively to the cases of domestic violence against women in particular and crimes against women in general. The units of law enforcement officers specially targeting domestic violence against women should be created, develop, trained and expanded. Similarly, data collection and communication systems, linking police, prosecutors and courts for the purpose of identifying domestic violence against women should be introduced at the earliest.

(7) The Central and State Governments should develop, enlarge and strengthen social support services programmes for the women who are victims of domestic violence.

(8) Very few victims of domestic violence approach to medical professionals for treatment. Very few, again, disclose that the mental or physical injury is caused due to domestic violence. It is, therefore, necessary to give proper training to our medical personnel in dealing with and treating the cases of domestic violence against women. The training should cover the collection and preservation of evidence, analysis, providing expert testimony and treatment.

(9) The State Governments should carry out the implementation of comprehensive strategies addressing domestic violence against women that are sensitive to the needs and safety of the victims and hold offenders accountable for their crimes.

(10) The Central and State Governments should encourage to develop and support projects to implement community driven initiatives to address the needs of victims of domestic violence. A large number of NGOs have emerged in different parts of the country, having to their credit significant contribution, expertise, and experience at grass-root level in projecting and addressing women'’ issues. The services of these organisations should be encouraged, supported and availed of, so that the eradication of the evil of domestic violence against women becomes a truly national and peoples movement.
(11) Another deep concern of women is the tremendous physical and emotional violence which they experience when the men in their families are drunk. Freedom of families from liquor is their first need. The State Governments should enforce the prohibition in more widespread and effective ways in their efforts to minimise the incidence of domestic violence against women.

(12) Most of the victims of Domestic Violence are uneducated, backward and economically disadvantaged. The legal aid and advice should be made available to them without any cost.