In our country many progressive laws have been enacted to tackle gender-based violence. Data from the National Crime Records Bureau shows that violence against women is as yet increasing. The data suggests that a staggering two-thirds of all women are subjected to violence. One reason for such a high number of cases of violence against women in India could be a low conviction rate in cases involving violence against women.
Domestic violence is one form of violence that women have to face in India. Today while answering a question in Rajya Sabha Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told that in the year 2014 639 persons were charge sheeted under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 of which only 13 persons were convicted.
Such low rate of conviction when two-thirds of all women are subjected to violence only suggests that women need more help so that they can get justice in the court of law. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 defines domestic violence as, "any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it:
- Harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or
- Harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or
- Has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or
- Otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person."
Novel app to women's rescue:
To help women many NGOs too are coming up with novel ideas. One such NGO is Sneha which in partnership with UNDP has been helping women living in Dharavi Mumbai to raise their voice against domestic violence.
The women are trained to help other women who suffer from domestic violence and now they use mobile app to even capture the violence. All the women in distress has to do is press the icon of the app and the app captures the video of the violence and saves it on the NGOs server.
Suggestion offered by UNDP study:
One study conducted by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) suggests that India should set up a One-Stop Crisis Centres that will provide medical, legal and psychological support services to women who have faced violence.
This suggestion comes after recognising that women who have faced violence have undergone physical, emotional and psychological trauma and making such women run from pillar to post to seek help is like re-victimising them and making it difficult for women to continue legal processes.