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Be aware of provisions of law, women told

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Sharing her views: Former Delhi Police Commissioner Kiran Bedi delivering a lecture on ‘Domestic Violence’ in Coimbatore on Tuesday. —
Sharing her views: Former Delhi Police Commissioner Kiran Bedi delivering a lecture on ‘Domestic Violence’ in Coimbatore on Tuesday. —

Staff Reporter

To overcome the menace of domestic violence

Coimbatore: Dependence and lack of empowerment led to women experiencing domestic violence.

To overcome the menace, they should know the legal provisions of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 2005 for prevention if not for punishment, said Kiran Bedi, a former Indian Police Service officer.

She was delivering a lecture ‘Domestic Violence in India’ at a function organised by the Coimbatore Advocates Association and Rotary Coimbatore Spectrum.

A PhD scholar who had done her thesis on ‘Domestic Violence, Drug Abuse and Alcoholism’, Ms.Kiran Bedi said that emotional, physical, biological, psychological and financial dependence of women had turned women gullible victims of domestic violence.

The earlier legal provisions such as Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) served the needs of women going through agony and torture it never helped in combating the problem completely.

In fact, in the north there were more women accused in domestic violence against women, i.e., daughters-in-law being harassed by mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Procedural hitches such as delayed trials, police investigation procedures, false complaints and packed prisons were the outcome of the IPC provision.

The emergence of Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 2005 shifted the cases from the criminal domain to the civil domain, eliminating the role for police.

The act also very clearly defined cruelty. Slapping a woman, preventing a woman from visiting her parents’ place, denial of income, use of abusive language for reasons such as not giving birth to a male baby amounted to domestic violence.

In this act, the complainant has to be a woman and it could be against a woman also.

The law simplified the procedures such as eliminating the need for a counsel, need for going through the police and courts’ attention could be drawn through an ordinary petition.

Under this act, the court could appoint civilian protection officers to visit the petitioner regularly and ensure her protection and compliance with the directions.

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