Alcoholism is the root cause of Domestic violence against women: legal perspective.
“Yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra devatah |
Yatratastu na pujyante sarvasastra falah kriyah ||”
“Where Women are honoured, divinity blossoms there, and wherever women are dishonoured, all action no matter how noble it may be, remains unfruitful.”
The Socioeconomic Status of ladies in India is slightly different compared to those living within the remainder of the planet. Socioeconomic status encloses not just income but also educational accomplishments, financial security, and instinctive impression of rank and socio-economic class. The standard of life attributes in addition because the opportunities and privileges afforded to people within society builds person’s socioeconomic status. Most of the women are now self-independent in India. They do not need financial support to lead their life. However, in terms of the marginalized section we cannot say the identical. Poverty can increase Particular groups of women including women and girls living in poverty, face multiple sorts of discrimination, and face increased risk of violence. Women belong to a lower income background are more at risk of physical and mentalassault.
Additionally, thosethat experience domestic or intimate partner violence have fewer options to go away violent relationship, thanks to their lack of income and resources. Domestic violenece is treated as taboo in India even during this 21st century where world is moving rapidly, Women are not allowed to speak about it openly or somehow they create their destiny liable for all the tortures they get from their partners or from in-laws. Women taught to be more compassionate since childhood, which makes them believe that they are the one who are guaranteed to spread love and respect regardless of what they receive in response. Men are physically strong it’s a fact and nobody can deny that, but this doesn't mean they will use their wives as punching bags so as to determine their manhood. Wife beating, verbal abuse, marital rape, emotional violence, spiritual violence etc is becoming quite common now a days. Violence occurs for several reasons but during this research paper, I am focusing on Alcoholism as a primary explanation for abuses against women behind the doors. The role of alcohol in increasing intimate partner violence is immense, If we take the recent lockdown scenario as an example then we will realise the ability of alcohol in our country where public have broken all the social distancing norms just to shop for liquor, which later resulted in an increasing number of covid cases in India. Many women, mainly the marginalized section of the society repeatedly asked government to stop the sale of liquor as it has effected them the most due to the increase of violence they are facing their homes.
National Commission for Women registered a pointy spike in violence against women amid lockdown [at least 2.5 times higher], in step with official data. Intimate partner violence is not something new it had been there in pre covid era also but these 41 days of rigorous lockdown intensified matters as women are locked in with their abusers 24 hours.
The condition of violence and drinking are just the identical worldwide. In South Africa, it had been seen domestic abuse cases are reported 2,300 times higher during the covid 19 lockdown as women are trapped in homes they can’t even make complaints. In USA, it has been expected that a
tenth increase within the price of alcohol willdecrease thepossibilities of violence against women by 5%.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says excessive alcohol consumption reduces the flexibility of negotiating problems within relationships whereas, this addiction may cause financial crisis, childcare difficulties and other family issues which is able to further cause aggressive behaviour after drinking and can function an excuse for the perpetrators’ of violence. Drunkards will continue drinking we cannot help it but we as a law keepers or as human being should try our greatest to safeguard women from becoming victims of such heinous crimes.
I am using secondary resources while writing this article such as various news clippings, research papers published in numerous journals, books, magazines available in the internet, government data etc.
Alcoholism Facilitates Intimate Partner Violence.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic abuse requires clear and provable etiological models, which can translate into effective interventions; violence is graver and more likely to steer to mutual violence.(Murphy, winters). It is a major public pathological state. There has been limited research that shows how alcohol enhances IPV, while both the things are going hand in hand. “Surveys of adults conducted within the US and abroad indicate that IPV occurs at alarmingly high rates across a large number aged groups, across both sexes, and among individuals of all ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds (2009 Black et al, 2011; Jose & O’Leary).” Severe alcohol intoxication is that the most common reason of violence. Cross – sectional research suggests that alcoholic males evidence higher rates of domestic abuse relative to non- alcoholic males (Chermack, Fuller, & Blow, 2000). Studies show that violent couples, when one partner has been drinking, O’Farrell, 2005)
The childhood exposure to alcohol and frustration, intersection of domestic violence which add to drinking and its consequences including forced sex, is explored through various analysis of data obtained from married men living with their wives in slum areas of India. The co existence of alcohol abuse and domestic violence including marital rape within marriage in India is widely admitted. Domestic violence is widespread across classes and regions in India, although it is more frequent among less well-educated women and women in situations that boost gender inequalities such as income, age or educational differentials.
Typology of Domestic Violence in India.
The World Health Organization (WHO) talks about four main types of domestic violence:
Physical violence – such as beating or kicking, slapping.
Sexual violence – such as forced sex or other forms of sexual abuse.
Psychological or emotional violence – such as rape, death threats, humiliation, stalking, or excessive possessiveness, cheating with another.
Deprivation or neglect – such as ignoring and lack of care.
We easily think about physical violence, but forget the other types so this distinction is important. In addition, it means that many more women affected by domestic violence than what we can even imagine.
Although women exposed to it more often but domestic violence can affect everyone, women suffer the most taboo category of interpersonal violence. The abusers are most often current or former intimate partner. Domestic violence is the most hidden crime that women witnesses today, In INDIA, elderly people, minors, and women are mostly becomes victim of this abuse. A woman harasses women, which is the bitter truth of today’s civilized society. Several newly married women have filed cases against mother in laws for physical abuse in the absence of husbands. Women have to feel the unity otherwise will fall apart badly. Remember unity is the strength lets help each other in climbing the ladder to happiness and peace.
Women’s responses to Domestic Violence
Women’s responses to violence perpetrated by an intimate male partner are not so strong I mean they are doing not want to defame their in-laws or their husbands. They have to grasp it's not about defame anybody it is about their mental, physical health and their self-respect. Women do not seem to be weak that they have to grasp first, if someone torturing you with none reason which means they are committing crime they are violating your right to live with human dignity. Here in India women do not even know that they are facing mental trauma due to such violence they still think in traditional way for them violence solely mean beating, slapping etc. The concept of mental and emotional torture has no existence in their lives. In such situations, someone like social activists, persons from legal fraternity incorporates a vital role to play. They will help them understand that they require the fundamental right to live with dignity as an individual's being no matter their class, position, status. They need to boost their voice to urge help nobody will speak on their behalf if they agreed to anything and everything without uttering one word people will suppress more. However, with shifting times a number of them started expressing their feelings ahead of their in-laws, they started talking about their likes and dislikes firmly. They started having their own opinions. They know how to own work life balance. Things are upgrading slowly. I am hopeful that in near future women will not tolerate any disgrace only to safeguard name and fame from anyone be it their husbands, colleagues or in- laws.
Some of the major findings from my research are-
Most of the domestic violence cases happened because of excessive alcoholism, incompatibility and dowry.
In all the cases, it is found that the victims were not only harmed physically but they were emotionally blackmailed.
Domestic violence harms not only the victims but it affects their family that has been found in all the cases. In some cases, it is found that victims left their husband’s home to their parent’s home due to insufferable abuses.
During my study, I realised women are neglected humiliated in every possible way but they tried to drag their relationship they were not giving up easily in spite of such difficult situations and somehow for this reason they are just taken for granted.
Indian laws against domestic violence
Definition: Section 3 of Domestic violence Act 2005, indicates what comprises the term domestic violence:
Threats to life, health and safety etc, whether physical, mental and economic abuse, or
Harassment through any forms like injuries, harms to the aggrieved person by coercing her or the other person associated with any demand for dowry or other property or valuable security, or
Otherwise injuring or causing harm, through mental or physical means to the aggrieved person.
Laws on domestic violence
Protection of women against domestic violence Act, 2005 this Act approved by the Indian parliament to ban domestic violence. It prevents a multiple range of physical, mental, sexual, emotional & economical abuse against women within marriage or in live in relationship and these are broadly defined under the Act. u/s 20 of this act provides for monetary relief to the victims u/s 125 CRPC.
Section 498A of the IPC: this section criminalises dowry and all sorts of harassments by husband and his family for dowry is punishable.
Dowry prohibition Act 1961: This legal code punishes the giving and taking of dowry. Whoever demands dowry will be imprisoned for a half year or they will be fined up to 5 thousand rupees.
Domestic violence is one among the foremost heinous styles of abuse suffered by women in our society. Laws are there to safeguard women from such aggressive behaviour like “The Protection of ladies from violence Act, 2005”; the Indian Government brought it into force from 26 October 2006. Nevertheless, the question is whether all the laws left within the paper only or actually in action. Cases aren't been reported because it should are reasons are many like women don't seem to be tuned in to such provisions of law or even they know but not willing to come back out of insecurities. I believe here the ladies right commissions have its role to play in spreading awareness, removing insecurities, taking suo motu actions against culprits when it seems fit. There are envy reasons of force like alcoholism, dowry, jealousy, ego conflict, orthodox believes, incompatibility, lack of understanding, financial issues etc. However, regardless of the reason is any sort of violence is not in any respect acceptable. The victims and her family bear physical and mental trauma and it takes a few years to return in a very normal and safe life. The family in which such incidents takes place tears apart, if the problems of domestic violence are not treated a way, which is sufficient then these variety of abuse will continue among all classes of societies with no ending.
Marriage is all about companionship and regardless of the problem is, violence is not the answer. Indeed, there is an urgent must change our traditional mindset that couples are made in heaven and that they need to drag their relationship irrespective of what. If someone is unhappy and not satisfied together with his or her marriage they will called it off by way of divorce, no need to commit violence.
Recommendations and Suggestions
To organise awareness camps and legal aid camps especially in rural areas to circulate the laws penalising domestic violence.
NGO’s for women right, NCW are some of the organisations that can take measures to prevent such crimes.
Laws against domestic violence need to be more strict and up to date.
WHO multi- country study on women’s health and domestic violence.
BMC public health, 11, Article 109.
Benegal, V. (2005) India : Alcohol and public health. Addiction, 100, 1051- 1056
Bennet, L.W. Tolman, (1994) domestic abuse by male alcohol and drug addicts. Violence and victims, 9, 359-368
Accessed date- 02/02/2021, time-12.00 noon
Accessed date- 03/02/2021, time- 2.00 p.m.
Accessed date- 03/02/2021, time- 2.00 p.m.
University Law College, Gauhati University, Assam.
BALLB(HONS) 10th semester,
(February intern, 2021)