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As all the newspapers today report a substantial decline in the crimes on road, ironically there is a tremendous increase in the crimes inside homes! Domestic violence as it is popularly known is elaborately defined under the Section 3 of the Protection of Women From Domestic violence Act of 2005. Ironically even after 15 years of passing of the said act it has failed to achieve its objective. One is forced to ask herself why…. in a country where 70-80% households are still living in a joint family system how is it possible that a man gets away with beating up his wife, the mother of his children and in some even more heinous cases his old and ailing parents. Unfortunately in most cases the answer to this is the societal behaviour, in simpler words it is because we as a society prefer to look away instead of meddling in the neighbour’s business or friends family life or a cousin’s relationship with his housemates, yes I chose that word housemates, coz can it really be called a family?

All of our mainstream newspapers are reporting a decline in the crime rate due to the lock down, but what about the crime where the victim is locked with the criminal 24*7? A side article recently published in one of the lead newspapers described the predicament of a woman living in a containment zone, she said earlier when her husband beat her up she ran out of the house and the neighbours helped her, but because of the lock down this time no one came out. When she reached the barricades, the policemen asked her to go home. In this situation must she get out and face the novel pandemic or stay indoors and face the age old one?

Crime is defined as a wrong against the society as a whole. Then why when it comes to domestic violence it becomes “their personal business”. In a case personally known to me, and I am sure there are many more similar cases where the man’s parents choose to completely overlook their son’s actions. Just because his acts of violence not against them today, are they justified to them? Or the basic instinct to shield their off spring has brought them to a state where they cannot differentiate between child’s play and out right crime!

Its high time to introspect. Its time to interfere. No matter who, no matter where. A crime committed anywhere is a crime and it is against all of us, us as a society, us as a nation. It is time to make our society a better place to raise our daughters!

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Category Family Law, Other Articles by - Kreeti Y. Khandelwal