Features and Impact of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005

Features and Impact of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005!

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, was brought into force by the Indian government from October 26, 2006. The Act was passed by the Parliament in August 2005, and assented to by the President on 13 September, 2005.


For the purposes of this Act, any conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence if he, — (i) habitually assaults or makes the life of the aggrieved person miserable by cruelty of conduct, even if such conduct does not amount to physical ill-treatment; or (ii) forces the aggrieved person to lead an immoral life; or (iii) otherwise injures or harms the aggrieved person.

Primarily meant to provide protection to the wife or female live-in partner from domestic violence at the hands of the husband or male live-in partner or his relatives, the law also extends its protection to women who are sisters, widows or mothers. Domestic violence under the act includes actual abuse or the threat of abuse whether physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic. Harassment by way of unlawful dowry demands to the woman or her relatives would also be covered under this definition.

As on November 2007, it has been ratified by four of twenty-eight state governments in India; namely Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. Of about 8,000 criminal cases registered all over India under this Act, Rajasthan had 3440 cases; Kerala had 1,028 cases, while Punjab had 172 cases registered.

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