Updated: Jul 31, 2020
With the Third phase of Lockdown and ease on the restrictions on alcohol; Pandemic is on its way to ruin domestic peace.
In snug claustrophobic houses when police officials are busy protecting Nation from Coronavirus outbreak; our Men with toxic masculinity take out their frustration on women!
We all know the whole world is confronting coronavirus and trying to get rid of it. A vaccine has not been made yet because it is a new thing but India has known something prevalent since decades and years of toiling and awaring people has been in vain. When we all have to keep ourselves quarantined there is this old social evil showing up in the new coronavirus times. Yes, I am talking about the rising cases of violence against women. The irony is that everyone is staying indoors to be safe our females are not protected even in their own home which becomes a platform of harassment. Pandemic has surely trapped the sufferers in hell. With the third phase of lockdown, the reports of domestic violence are inevitable to increase. People have a huge concern about what females wear outside homes but what if the demon is inside the home in the form of Father, Uncle, Grand Father, Brother etc. It is more pathetic than other women of the house watch them being harassed which is either they support it or are helpless. Most of the cases go unreported and the ones who report are just the tip of an iceberg.
According to NCW (National Commission for Women), the average of reported cases has increased from 5-6 to 9 per day from the time lockdown started.
Let's know about the legal consequences one can face due to Domestic Violence. There are altogether three laws, in particular, dealing with this menace.
· The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
· The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
· Section 498A of Indian Penal Code
1). The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: it is a civil law which protects not only the married women but the females in live-in relations too! The law also seeks to protect the other females of the house like Mothers, Grandmothers etc from violence. Women can get protection from domestic violence, financial compensation and right to live peacefully under the same roof. In case a woman is living apart from her husband she has to be provided maintenance. This law ensures that the aggrieved female is not kicked out of the house and lives peacefully as well as being able to sustain themselves. The magistrate can also pass order prohibiting the perpetrator to go near the survivor.
2). The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961: A criminal law which intends to punish and penalise people who demand dowry or gives dowry. That person can be imprisoned for 6months or can be made to pay 5000rs.
3). Section 498A of Indian Penal Code: this law aims to protect and help women who are facing domestic violence at home either by her husband or other relatives of the spouse. If convicted one can be imprisoned for 3 years.
It is high time that our government should take measures as even UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has urged the Governments to look after this menace and safeguard its women living in their house cum hell. First thing First if authorities get a call from the women in distress they should try to evacuate her from the situation and take them to the shelter homes. Further, why should women be removed from her house and children? I would rather suggest taking away the husband or anyone who has done cruelty so that our women can live peacefully in this quarantine time. Fast track justice mechanism should be evolved so that justice is administered at a faster pace.
To help the victims of Domestic violence amidst lockdown NCW has released a helpline number. Urging those who know and the ones who are suffering to give SOS.