Domestic violence

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It may be one of the most unreported cases, but there is sufficient evidence that cases of domestic violence are on the rise in the State. This is a cause of serious concern as human values and morality, understanding each other, tolerance, failures to settle problems amicably, etc appears to be grossly undermined. Let us not treat a first instance of happening of violence even ‘moderate’ by its own standards in a family, casually and a passing phase but try to contain it lest the same could result later into a big and a heinous crime. Domestic violence in simpler parlance means not only when a person uses physical violence to ‘control’ another member or partner in a relationship but includes intimidation, threats, abuses, coercion, threat of desertion, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, etc. In a strict sense, it is tantamount to violating the right to have healthy, supportive and safe relationships. Cases under the above categories in isolation or under more than one or two causes together being reported in our State cannot be termed as the only instances to judge the enormity of the problem as most of the cases are not reported unless transgressing the limits of keeping the same within the four walls of the place of occurrence. Indeed some cases of domestic reaches the women cells of the State police, but most are kept within the family for varied reasons. But the fact that some complaints are being lodged indicates that the number of cases is increasing as well as the targeted or the victims. What are the causes need to be gone into and not only getting the offenders punished depending on the severity of the abuse or the violation of the law? This prima facia is not an easy task as excepting making generalised opinion based on the type of abuse, we simply do not look at it as a very serious social problem with negative impacts on individual victims. Perpetrators or batterers resort to domestic violence because in most of the cases, it works to get them what they want. We, however, do not proceed further in the subject matter by educating, propagating and exhibiting that violence or abuse heaped on a victim in relationship in homes and private rooms is as serious a crime as if doing it on a road or in a public place openly. We do our duty only half-way and in ‘we’ are included all those who should believe in fighting it out not only by legal recourse but by invoking social, cultural and religious tenets and traditions. It is immensely painful to find the incidence of such type of abuse even in newly married couples whereas the new relationships and an entirely different new experience should have proved otherwise. Abuse, likewise against the elderly who in many cases are treated as ‘superfluous ‘ or a liability, is shocking and depicts abysmal low moral standards and turning blind fold and deaf on account of preferring materialistic pursuits. Interestingly, abusers comprise educated as well as economically better placed also in most of the cases and not only those of lesser or lower levels in both parameters. Here it is heartening that the police, the women cell in particular, even plays the role of arbitration in that many cases are settled on the spot on daily basis (according to reports) which in every case, except where serious violation of the law has occurred, should be the thumb rule. It must have been observed by the police and the prosecuting apparatus that the victims of the abuse are generally females including minor girls than males where the nature of domestic violence and abuse is regular battering, intimidating, harassing, isolating and threatening. Abuses generally are emanating from greed, effects and addiction on account of drinking, gambling, suspecting fidelity and illicit relations, property disputes and the like. Moral values, inherited solemn teachings, value based education and controlling emotions and greed could play a vital role in containing this menace.