A number of cases surfaced in Kashmir valley very recently which point to the appalling prevalence of domestic violence in the society.
Last week, a young woman, mother of two children, lost her battle for life in a hospital, days after she was allegedly burnt by her in-laws. Only on 10 April 2021, a woman was found hanging from a ceiling and according to her family, she was harassed by husband and in-laws, forcing her to take the extreme step. The family also reportedly torched her in-laws house and reduced it to ashes. Such incidents should be unacceptable to the society.
The woman ending life as a consequence of harassment or killed either through different means such as fire, poison, hanging, strangulation, drowning or sometimes mysterious ways continues and these incidents, unfortunately galore.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for IPC cases, a woman becomes a victim of dowry death roughly every one hour. Additionally, she becomes a victim of cruelty by her husband or in-laws every four minutes.
The supreme court of India recently observed that domestic violence in India is rampant and several women encounter violence in some form or the other or almost every day. However, the top court underlined that it is the least reported form of cruel behavior. A woman resigns her fate to the never ending cycle of enduring violence and discrimination as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a partner or a single woman in her lifetime, the top court noted.
This is happening despite the fact the progress of any society depends on its ability to protect and promote the rights of its women.
As per the top court, the “non-retaliation” by women coupled with the absence of laws addressing women’s issues, ignorance of the existing laws enacted for women and societal attitude makes the women vulnerable.
The reason why most cases of domestic violence are never reported, the court observed, is due to the social stigma of the society and the attitude of the women themselves, where women are expected to be subservient, not just to their male counterparts but also to the male’s relatives.
The women still being forced to take extreme steps for dowry or harassed in contemporary times should enrage one and all. Above all, the entire society should rise above the occasion and let the home be a place that does not imperil lives and breeds the most drastic forms of violence perpetrated against her.