No end to violence against women: SC

‘A majority prefer to suffer in silence’

October 16, 2020 04:50 am | Updated 04:50 am IST - NEW DELHI

A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi. File

A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi. File

The Supreme Court on Thursday said crimes against women continued in a “never-ending cycle” in India.

In a 151-page judgment, a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan said women in India faced violence and discrimination in one form or the other in their various roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, partner or single woman.

Though the judgment called a 2005 law against domestic harassment as a “milestone”, the Bench said domestic violence continued to be the least reported form of violence towards women.

Women continue to be vulnerable to these crimes because of non-retaliation, coupled with absence of laws addressing their rights and ignorance of the existing statutes. Societal attitude, stigma and conditioning also made women vulnerable to domestic violence, the court said.

Also, relationships outside marriage were not recognised. This set of circumstances ensured that a majority of women preferred to suffer in silence, not out of choice but of compulsion, the Bench, which included R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah, said.

It said the progress of any society depended on its ability to protect and promote the rights of women.

The observations came in a judgment that held that the relief granting right to residence to a married woman under the domestic violence law by a criminal court was relevant and could be considered even in civil proceedings seeking her eviction from the matrimonial home.

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