The Domestic Violence Act, aims at getting relief for the physically/emotionally/mentally abused woman in the house from her perpetrator, allowing her to continue living in her house while still going on with the case. It is aimed at getting her rights to live with dignity in her own house without giving up her residence. However, does this act achieve it in reality???
What happens to a woman who placed her life and her future, on this act? What became of her finally? Is the Police in India sensitized on how to handle a woman who has come to file an FIR in the police station under this act? When such a case comes to them , are they educated on the issue to be able to distinguish it from other criminal cases and deal with the victim most sympathetically? Does she get relief from them or harrassment? How does she pay for the litigation costs and where does she keep her child while she is in the court or running around for the legal procedures which are exhaustive? What happens to her employability?Can she pursue the case with the same vigour as her opponent in court with a small child to take care of , and her job? Is it even worth it??
There is a legal provision for relief and punishment, all in the ambit of law but the question to ponder over is what stops a woman from going to law in spite of fully knowing she has a way out? The reason is just one- she wants to remain married to the same man. And the apprehension of deteriorating the situation at home looms large in her weak abused mind.
(A story coming up from a real victim)
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"From Fear to Freedom: Ending Violence Against Women" http://learningpartnership.org/vaw-film