District Judge B. Kemal Pasha has called for raising public awareness about the Domestic Violence Act to ensure protection of women.

He was addressing a workshop on ‘Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act -2005' organised by the Social Welfare Department in association with District Probation Office here on Thursday.

“With limited or no understanding, women are unable to benefit from the new law. It has laid down stringent rules to punish men who harass or insult women at home,” he said.

Elaborating on the Act, Seena Rajagopal. Advocate, said the Act provided protection for women not only from physical or sexual abuses but also from other manifestations of violence such as psychological, verbal and economic.

“Physical violence includes beating, pushing, causing pain or criminal intimidation. Sexual violence covers any conduct of a sexual nature such as forced sex, forced exposure to pornographic material, sexual act with minors; emotional or verbal violence including insults, humiliation, ridicule for not having a male child, preventing a woman from taking a job, forcing marriage against a woman's will.; economic violence includes deprivation of money, medicines, forcing a woman to quit her job, not allowing her to use her partner's salary, facilities, not paying rent, and forcing her out.” Any relationships with in the family such as husband and wife, brother and sister, father and daughter or mother and son would come under the purview of the Act, she said.

According to the Act, the protection officer is supposed to handle complaints and file a Domestic Incident Report (DIR). Organisations appointed as service providers also can register complaints and provide care for the victim. Former family court judge Fathima Beevi spoke about ‘Family Court Act' at the workshop.

Judicial officers, shelter home superintendents, representatives of service providing centres, legal counsellors, police officers, jagratha samithy members, and social activists participated in the meeting.

More In: Kochi