44.4 percent women reported spousal violence in the past four years as compared to 20.6 percent before 2016.
Bengaluru: The National Family Health Survey – 5 shows that the percentage of married women facing domestic violence has more than doubled from 2016 to 2020. However, this is also means that more women are now able to voice their issues.
A victimised family had to endure a similar experience when their newlywed daughter underwent domestic violence. The family did not report the incidents to the police. They later revealed that they had approached the police initially. However, the police were unwilling to file a complaint and had advised them to adjust with the husband and his family.
A case worker at Vimochana NGO, Tabassum Ara said, “No, not at all, the police are not cooperative.” Also, it was mentioned that out of 250 cases (approx.) that the NGO used to handle every year, only 50 cases ever made their way to legal proceedings. The rest of them were concluded with out of court settlements. Tabassum Ara said, “What is the point?” as she agreed that the process was the punishment.
The in-charge of Parihar Vanitha Sahayvani, a police initiative to resolve family issues, Rani Shetty said, “The population has grown and the problems also increased. There are a lot of problems, of course, cases are increased physical, mental, sexual, emotional and financial and all.” She explained that most that they attempt to save the marriage, and when that fails, they advise them on how to proceed further. Although, she explained for that the women herself had to come forward. She said, “If there is a problem they have to come out with it, you know, complaint.”
Like the first victim, victims from the lower income households need to counter a lot of hindrances to pursue the legal conclusion. Finance plays a vital role as the cost of legal advice and protection is hefty. Tabassum had told us, “There is no cost for filling a complaint. But when a single woman goes to the police, is there no corruption?”
This does not mean that women from the higher income group are spared of such experiences. Victims are equally divided across the socio-income backgrounds. When it comes to the higher income groups it is more to do with the loss of face in the society that hinders women from speaking up.