by Justice S. Vimala of Madras HC,         Workshop on Legal Literacy for Women Empowerment, Department of Criminology, Madras University, 8.5.2015; By Police Commissioner, MN Reddi, IPS, Police Commissioner’s Office, Bangalore, 21.2.2015; Seminar, Ecumenical Christian Centre, Whitefield, Bangalore, 4.10.2014.

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, violence and other abusive behaviors perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic, an epidemic that is affecting every community regardless of age, regardless of nationality, regardless of religion, economic status and educational background. It explodes in various forms such as physical, sexual and psychological. Not every place in the world has a problem with hunger, but every place in the world has problems with domestic violence. Domestic violence is a systematic pattern of control through violence. The hallmark of Domestic violence can be seen if a marriage is full violence, apologies, false promises and crocodile tears. Domestic Violence generally follows a three-stage cycle: The first is the ‘Tension building stage’: where the communication between the two drastically reduces, leading to passive aggression on the part of the victim and her awful fear of triggering her partner’s angry outbursts. This stage can last for a few hours to a few months. The next is the ‘The battering stage’: where the abuser tries to dominate and control his partner by overpowering her through a number of violent and abusive incidents. Then comes the ‘The honeymoon stage’: where the abuser cries, feels very sorry that the violence had happened and promises that it will never happen again. He takes her to the doctor if she requires medical assistance and threatens self harm or to commit suicide, if the victim plans to leave him. Even though the victim is badly abused, she gives him yet another chance. Hope springs eternal in the woman’s heart and she really believes with all her heart that he will change. She really wants him to change. But the abuser has made this promise over a hundred times; after a brief respite, he abuses her again and the cycle starts all over again. Domestic violence destroys life. It tears apart families and children exposed to violence develop social, psychological and behavioral problems and many become dysfunctional.  It violates the basic dignity and opportunity that every woman desires. It is our duty to stop this violence that destroys lives so that we can restore families.

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