India's "Domestic Violence Act"
A Study Report Compiled by Rudolph D'Souza and Others

For centuries in India women were treated like goddesses " or devis. Even though there was sati (suttee), with widows voluntary taking to and immolating themselves on their late husband's funeral pyre, as devout Hindus believe, or forced to do so, as opponents of sati believe, it was purely a religious custom, that had nothing to do with women rights1.  Man was the head of the family, but at home in fact he was his wife's puppet, a situation described by the wry aside: "He is the BOSS of the House " he has his wife's permission to say so!" 

The worth of a civilization can be judged from the position that it gives to women. Of the several factors that justify the greatness of Hinduism's ancient culture, one of the greatest is the honored place ascribed to women. Manu, the great law-giver, said long ago, "Where women are honored there reside the gods." According to ancient Hindu scriptures, no religious rite could be performed by a man perfectly without the active participation of his wife " his wife's participation being essential to any religious rite. Married men could perform sacred rites on the occasion of various important festivals only when accompanied by their wives. Wives are thus befittingly called 'Ardhangani' (better half). They are given not only important but equal position with men (Source  by Dr. Ms. Rekha Singh of M.D.D.M. College. 

The Indian Domestic Violence Act

According to the Indian Domestic Violence Act:

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over a female partner.

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound the female partner.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender " except to males. It can happen among couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic Violence affects people of all socio-economic backgrounds and education levels.

A woman may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if her male partner:

1.Calls her names, insults her or continually criticizes her,
2.Does not trust her and acts jealous or possessive,
3.Tries to isolate her from family or friends,
4.Monitors where she goes, who she calls and who she spends time with,
5.Does not want her to work,
6.Controls finances or refuses to share money,
7.Punishes her by withholding affection,
8.Expects her to ask permission,
9.Threatens to hurt her, her children, her family or her pets,
10.Humiliates her in any way.

A woman may be in a physically abusive relationship if her male partner has ever:

1.Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
2.Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked her.
3.Abandoned her in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
4.Scared her by driving recklessly.
5.Used a weapon to threaten or hurt her.
6.Forced her to leave her home.
7.Trapped her in her home or kept her from leaving.
8.Prevented her from calling the police or seeking medical attention.
9.Hurt her children.
10.Used physical force in sexual situations.

And also... a woman may be in a sexually abusive relationship if her partner:

1.Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
2.Accuses her of cheating or is often jealous of her outside relationships.
3.Wants her to dress in a sexual way.
4.Insults her in sexual ways or calls her sexual names.
5.Has ever forced or manipulated her into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
6.Held her down during sex.
7.Demanded sex when she were sick, tired or after beating her
8.Hurt her with weapons or objects during sex.
9.Involved other people in sexual activities with her
Ignored her feelings regarding sex.

By contrast, the Indian Domestic Violence Act specifically and clearly exculpates women from being prosecuted as the principal accused of Domestic Violence, excepting mothers, sisters, etc. of the accused man being prosecuted as abettors etc., and also specifically provides that the prescribed reliefs, such as maintenance, restraining orders, can be obtained ONLY by a woman and NEVER against a woman!

These rules which are set out in the Indian Domestic Violence are totally biased, and work, not to protect the institution of marriage and families, but to break marriages and families, giving ample opportunities for misuse, with no remedial measures provided for.

Together with the so-called "Section 498 (A)" of the Indian Penal Code and the associated amendment to the Evidence Act, these legislations have resulted in widespread misuse and social malaise.  Additionally, under these legislations, the indirect sufferers will be women in majority of the cases, as daughters-in-law file case against husbands, mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Homes and relationships cannot be run by State terrorism and force. Money can't make any one happy, otherwise, no one would have yearned for family and friends and children.

Women can not both obtain "relief" and also retain relationships by taking recourse to these legislations, a fact that should be fully understood by one and all.  The relationship between men and women is by heart and voluntary, otherwise, it results in prostitution.


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