Domestic violence is one of the most prevalent least addressed social maladies of our times. It plagues the lives of Indian women to such an extent that they appear to accept it as part of their lives. We have tried exploring the phenomenon of domestic violence in the city of Mumbai, but we believe that the trends found in our city are similar to national trends of domestic violence. However, it needs to be understood that an issue like domestic violence is not only hard to define or comprehend but also is a matter of perspective. In spite of overwhelming evidence of the existence of domestic violence, we continue to be disbelieving or maintain an embarrassed silence. The first part of the paper deals with understanding domestic violence, its causes and its impact on women’s lives.
Some women who experience domestic violence, despite the subjugation and fear, gather the courage to speak out, and to change the realities of their lives. Their recourse is the law. The second paper delves into the legal aspect of domestic violence. It analyses the previous laws and sheds light on the failure of legal system to some extent in dealing with the issue of domestic violence a decade ago. It also critiques the recent Domestic Violence Act, 2005, determining the impact the new law has had on the lives of the victim.
Though the women gather enough courage to speak out against their perpetrators, often, external support is vital in realising freedom from abuse. There are several organisations in this city that provide various kinds of assistance and aid to victims of domestic violence. The last part of the paper explores these agencies of redressal. It studies the strengths and limitations of these organisations and the impact that they have on the redressal process for the victims and the role played by the police.
DEFINING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
In society, the best indicators of discrimination are everyday acts of oppression that take place without the.