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Since time immemorial, women have been on the receiving end of all forms of bestiality. Shurpanakha, Sita, Draupadi… The victims of countless wars that humanity has seen. We have normalized the rude and unfair ways that have unequally favored men for generations. Violence against women is so deeply engraved on us that the bad words that men or, sometimes, women themselves use to convey their disrespect or disdain towards another creature are illustrative of sexual violence directed towards a close relative of person. And this happens all day, every day. In a very practical way.
So, we talk to the lawyer Ishanee sharma, Managing Partner of Law Offices of Ishanee Sharma to understand what domestic violence entails, what the victim’s legal rights are, and how to find a way out of the abuse. This is what he had to say:
What is domestic violence?
Violence, as we speak now, is not limited to physical violence. His mental counterpart is just as heinous, if not more so. Women in this country have fought for their right to live, much less for others. Equal opportunities for education is a distant dream; equal pay for equal work, gender malnutrition, dowry, domestic violence, repeated episodes of cruelty under the guise of marriage.
The dowry, for the common man, is recognized as the fiduciary demand made by the boy’s family to the girl’s family instead of marriage. After a great deal of upheaval, now certain sectors of society are related to him even as the ‘gifts’ given to the groom’s family by the bride’s family.
Victim Of Domestic Violence Or By otnaydur | www.shutterstock.com
There is not so much talk about a very important facet of the dowry yet. Most of the time, unspoken social obligations, disguised as ‘vyavahaar’ in times of parties, childbirth, occasions, etc. Which, on occasions, are also explicitly required. The girl and her parents recognize this as an accepted norm. Nobody questions it! In fact, gifts and donors are under constant scrutiny from those who receive them and the people around them. This is also a dowry and equally unacceptable.
We have to defend all these women around us. Gender roles must be redefined. This deeply intrinsic discrimination must end. It is 50% of the population of the country and the world that we are talking about. In the most appalling circumstances, the most grotesque of human rights violations, empirical evidence suggests that women are, in most cases, the most severely affected victims.
A relationship can be violent and abusive without physical violence. It can include emotional, sexual, and physical abuse, and it can involve managing your finances. Emotional abuse is often not recognized, but it can be very painful. Someone who is emotionally abusive to the victim wants to undermine their feelings of self-worth and independence. There are so many cases of violence and abuse, specifically women victims who do not even know their rights, who do not know that they do not need ‘a place to go’ in order to defend themselves!
In fact, to resist any oppression in their marriages, they do not need anywhere to go or any outside financial support to support themselves. They must face any harm done to them, any form of abuse or violence! They have the full right to live their life with dignity. and a bucket full of rights to support this cause, a right they can exercise regardless of whether they are financially independent or not.
The legal rights of a victim of domestic violence
Domestic Violence Law by Vitalii Vodolazskyi | www.shutterstock.com
The wife has the legal right to live in the marital home, even after the death of the husband. Even if the house is not owned by the husband, it does not belong to his parents or it is a rented apartment. In the event of separation, she can stay in the marital home until an alternative is arranged for her or she goes to her parents’ home. There is no directive in the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) of 1955 stating that a married woman cannot stay in her parents’ home. She can stay legally, if she wants and whenever she wants.
When it comes to property rights, a woman has the same legal rights to inherit her husband’s property as other heirs. She can inherit it only if the husband has not prepared a will or has not excluded her from the will. If a husband remarries without dissolving the first marriage, property rights remain with the first wife.
- A woman can and should report domestic violence under the Law for the protection of women under domestic violence (DV Law), 2005. This law criminalizes physical, emotional, sexual, economic and other mistreatment. You can claim protection, maintenance, custody, compensation and continue living in the same house. Maintenance amount does not include Stree dhan and is established by the court on the basis of the husband’s economic and living situation (includes up to 25% of it).
- The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 it gives the woman full autonomy to abort a child without the husband’s permission. The maximum abortion limit for a child has been raised to 24 weeks.
- Guardians and Pupils Act of 1890 grants equal rights and duties of custody to both parents. However, if the child is less than five years old, the mother has superior rights. A woman has the right to take the child with her while she leaves the marital home without a court order. A woman can claim custody of her children after divorce or separation, regardless of whether she is employed or unemployed. You can always claim alimony from your husband.
The way to follow
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In the event of an unhealthy relationship, the victim should consult a trusted professional. With their help, recognizing the warning signs in the early stages would be easier, getting out of the relationship easier. Sometimes leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous, so having a safety plan in place is very important. And be in contact with the police or a lawyer, counselor or anyone who can be of help.
His plight is beyond imagination. And what they need from the justice administration mechanism is their basic right to live, breathe, eat, survive, which has been helped captive under the clutches of society and ‘log kya kahenge ‘.
Lastly, Attorney Ishanee Sharma, Managing Partner of the IS Law Offices saying,
Although the laws are different in each state, people who experience a domestic violence problem are mostly similar in their need for information, respect, advocacy, and attorneys equipped to stand by their side with real understanding. Domestic violence is a serious crime and every woman who faces physical, mental, sexual or any other type of aggression must report it within the framework of the Law for the protection of women under domestic violence (DV Law), 2005, you have the right to fight against ill-treatment.
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