Domestic violence in women between ages 15 to 49 has been on the rise worldwide with an estimated 27 million women being affected in their lifetime. Usually, men are held responsible for violence and domestic abuse, but often other family members too contribute. October is celebrated as World Domestic Violence month to bring awareness about this heinous act and let victims come out and talk openly about it.

Domestic violence in India:

According to a G20 survey conducted in 2012, India is the worst country for women to live in. Domestic violence, and violence against women in India is grossly underrepresented statistically is a well-known fact as many cases go unreported. Many times the victim says the abuse suffered is “much less” whereas the reality is starkly contradictory. Domestic violence laws in India have been strengthened to restore the rights and dignity of the women, but the Indian legal system has yet a long way to go.

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Causes of domestic violence:

Domestic violence can happen in any form, there are no fixed criteria to it.Violence against women can be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or economic in nature. It varies from household to household and can vary in degree ranging from debilitating physical injuries to forcing to commit suicide or even death. Any woman regardless of her age, ethnicity, class or lifestyle might be a subject of domestic violence. Since the past few years, men too have been victimized by domestic violence.

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How to know if you are subjected to domestic violence/Abuse?

Physical violence can be :

  • Beating.
  • Slapping / hitting with hand/objects , punching, kicking .
  • Pulling of hair.
  • Sexual abuse : forced sex , unnatural sexual acts.

Verbal abuse:

  • Constant demanding of dowry from parents.
  • Threatening violence.
  • Calling names, ridiculing , insulting.
  • Repeated nagging for not bearing son or not bringing dowry.
  • Taunting on looks , appearance, cooking skills, character assassination etc.

Financial or economic hardships suffered by women as a result of :

  • Husband not able to maintain and provide for his wife.
  • Failure of the son to not provide for mother.
  • Husband preventing their wives from working.
  • Husband taking away wife’s income.
  • Male member forcing wife/mother/daughter/live -in partner out of house.

How to stop domestic violence at home?

  • Identify the pattern that you are being subjected to as domestic violence.
  • Dont suffer in silence, speak to a friend, family aide, or confidante.
  • Pluck courage and stand up.
  • If the abuse you are suffering is getting persistent despite talking about it, file a police complaint.

Ways men can help in ending domestic violence

Men are held responsible for the majority of domestic violence cases in women, but  a large percentage of men are also non abusive partners or husbands. They should be made to realize of their potential to identify and curb the instances of domestic violence by other men. There are many ways men can be a great support to female victims of domestic violence:

  • Speak up  and do not be a bystander.
  • Challenge the men who make degrading jokes on women.
  • Ask the woman about the impact the experience has had on her life.
  • If the woman, is afraid to file a complaint , you do it – Domestic violence is a crime, not a private affair.
  • Be part of group that addresses gender violence and support anti- violence campaigns.
  • Be a good role model for young boys and men to maintain communicative and  healthy relationships.
  • Recognize that the way women are portrayed in media could lead to violence against women in future.
  • Boycott any video, magazine that may provoke violence against women.
  • Check-in on the friend you helped, to keep an eye on any future similar incidents.
  • Document the incident in a detailed manner, so that it could be of help to the police as a witness.
  • Make use of technology: Encourage downloading of women safety apps or call emergency helplines that could be used if she is in danger without any immediate help around.

help

Here are some helplines you can call in times of distress:

  • Dial 103 – Women helpline number to complain about eve teasing to learn about women self defense.
  • Mumbai Police Helpline(s) For Molestation incidences : 103 / 1090 / 7738133133 / 7738144144
  • 1298 : This number will connect distressed women to relevant NGO’s.
  • Family Service Center- 22828862.
  • Women’s Center-  26140403.

Domestic Violence NGO’s in Mumbai:

  • SNEHA Mumbai :24042627 / 24086011
  • MAJLIS Mumbai : 26662394 / 26661252

Domestic Violence Helplines in Pune:

  • Aks Helpine Numbers :8793088814
  • For legal advice : 8793088815
  • For any psychological counselling call: 8793088816

Women’s Organizations for domestic violence in Delhi:

  • Aks Helpine Numbers :8793088814
  • For legal advice : 8793088815
  • For any psychological counselling call: 8793088816
  • Call Sakshi Violence Intervention Center: (STD:0124) 2562336/ 5018873
  • Shakti Shalini : 1091/ 1291 (011) 23317004
  • Shakti Shalini Women’s Shelter: Call (011) 24373736/ 24373737
  • SAARTHAK NGO: Call on (011) 26853846/ 26524061
  • Call on All India Women’s Conference: 10921/ (011) 23389680
  • JAGORI: (011) 26692700
  • The Joint Women’s Programme ( they also have branches in Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai: (011) 24619821

This link will redirect you to the women helpline directory in Delhi based on each area. Here is an additional list of all the NGO’s that help in mitigating gender-based violence in Delhi.

For those who own a smartphone can also choose to follow their respective police departments on twitter to give an SOS complaint as well:

Additionally, you may also download these women safety apps available on the app store:

  • VItU app:

1https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.startv.gumrah&hl=en

  • Raksha: women safety alert:

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https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=app.raksha&hl=en

  • SOS- Stay safe app

3https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.extentia.sos

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author

Visit Psychologist, M.A. Counseling Psychology

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