Domestic Violence in India: An Analysis

17 Pages Posted: 6 May 2019

See all articles by V. Basil Hans

V. Basil Hans

St. Aloysius Evening College

Wajeeda Banu

Mangalore University

Date Written: April 7, 2019


Domestic violence is a severe social malady and an exploding problem. Also, it is one of the most common but least reported crimes. In recent times, however, there is a rush of publicity regarding women abuse in general. There are those who the victims as wrong-doers and justify violent acts such as wife beating. Some human right activists prefer to consider domestic violence as 'structural' violence in the family that manifests itself in poverty and unequal access to health, education etc.

Worldwide domestic violence is estimated between 20 to 50 per cent in various countries. Domestic violence is a manifestation of structural rigidities, unequal distribution of power and abuse of power itself. Further, as Jawaharlal Nehru said, "The status of women indicates the character of the society". In this paper, we attempt to re-look at the evolution of the family and to examine gender violence as a complicated situation in the family setting. Voices of concerns and corrections are analysed conceptually to show how 'power' for women involves both constraint and enablement.

Increasingly women are becoming the victims of discrimination and denial despite the overall progress in the society, economy and polity. That they are vulnerable and subject to humiliation and harassment even at homes – considered as the safest of all places – is strange yet painful. Both mental and physical tortures, often leading to the death of women in the family is shaking our faith even in familial ties.

While the mechanism of law and justice, in this case, has to be re-examined, the role of relationships, socio-cultural influences and economic rights and responsibilities in a gender perspective also call our attention. According to the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, the incidence of dowry deaths is on the rise. Fifteen thousand young brides are burnt to death every year in India. Abortion deaths are also on the rise.

This paper mainly focuses on the Indian scenario and is based on secondary data. In part II of this paper, we examine some important concepts related to the abuse of women and/or the absence of gender security. Part III discusses the shades and size of the problem in question. We deal with the causes and consequences of domestic violence in part IV, and some strategic interventions in part V. The paper is concluded in part VI.

Keywords: Abuse, crime, domestic violence, India, socio-cultural, women’s health

JEL Classification: B54, D6, J12, L82, Z13

Suggested Citation

Hans, V. Basil and Banu, Wajeeda, Domestic Violence in India: An Analysis (April 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

V. Basil Hans (Contact Author)

St. Aloysius Evening College ( email )

PB. No 720, St Aloysius Evening College
Light House Hill
Mangalore, Karnataka 575 003
0824-2449714 (Phone)

Wajeeda Banu

Mangalore University ( email )

Research Associate, CSSEIP, Mangalore University,
Research Associate, CSSEIP, Mangalore University,
Mangalore, 574 199

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