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Law: How to Seek Help in a Case of Domestic Violence

MG Singh- early retired Air warrior who is PG in management and law.

law-how-to-seek-help-in-a-case-of-domestic-violence

Introduction

We are so focused on politics and whether Donald Trump is a terrorist that many of us do not lay any importance to the beating of wives by their husbands or girls by their boyfriends. This is called domestic violence. Now domestic violence can also be against the man because it is not gender-specific but generally, we have seen in 90% of the cases, it is the woman who suffers this trauma.

This phenomenon of domestic violence is not confined to the United States only but is a global malady. Domestic cases usually concern domestic violence. Theoretically, domestic violence can be both men and women, but in practice, 90% of the cases of domestic abuse are against women. Another point of importance is that most such cases are against women who are straight and enjoy a normal relationship. Cases involving homosexuals and lesbians are a microscopic minority. For this reason, most legal websites offering free advice are geared towards helping straight women. I don't think very many people have come across any cases of domestic violence between homosexuals and lesbians.

A case of domestic violence can have complicated overtones. The process of prosecuting or defending an accused can be quite tricky. This is so because the crime takes place in the confines of the home and in most cases, witnesses will not be available. In addition, powerful emotions are involved as the person perpetrating violence may have been in an emotional and passionate relationship with the accuser. The case can leave a deep emotional scar on a person and a wrong decision may leave a person emotionally shattered.



law-how-to-seek-help-in-a-case-of-domestic-violence

Domestic violence

As the word suggests domestic violence means inside the house. Yes I have already observed there are hardly any cases of a woman beating a man and indulging in domestic violence but it is very common that men are sometimes prone to violence against women.

What should a woman do in case she's beaten by her husband for anything? In case a woman is subjected to any domestic violence, the first step should be to consult the police. The police will give proper advice and also give legal options available. They will also direct the victim to specialist lawyers who will guide the victim through the legal process. It is advisable not to rush to conclusions and take a step after due thought and process.

The police will also put the person in contact with crisis counselors, who can give good advice. Once the victim has decided on a legal redress, the case should be discussed threadbare with the attorney who specializes in domestic abuse cases. There are many lawyers who give free consultation and there is no harm in talking to them.

There is a chance that one of your friends or relations or even an acquaintance may have been subjected to domestic violence. It will be a good idea to talk to such a person and find out how she coped with the situation. Once a person has a clear picture, she or he can decide what course of action to take.

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Never go into a case of domestic violence without expert advice. It is recommended that in cases of domestic violence it is best to contact the local women’s shelter before proceeding further. These shelters are non-profit and provide basic necessities like food, accommodation, clothing, and refuge. The persons who run these shelters will also give good advice in cases of domestic violence against women. This advice is free of cost and is not binding.

It is important to consult other organizations like the National Network to End Domestic Violence and respected organizations like Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR). Generally, most organizations will recommend prosecuting the culprits, rather than educating them. It is seen that education of the perpetrators of violence against women are hard nuts. I have not heard of a case of a man who perpetrated violence against his wife giving up this act because it is something over which he perhaps himself has no control.

One of the processes as a follow-up to trial may also involve the arrest of the accused by the police. In case the injuries are grievous the police invariably do carry out an arrest.

Most legal trials are time-consuming and to get a conviction a woman will also have to furnish medical reports of injuries sustained. Overall the process is tortuous and leaves scars that will take a long time to heal.



law-how-to-seek-help-in-a-case-of-domestic-violence

Epilogue

In the 21st-century science has gone much ahead of what it was about 100 years back. Domestic violence does not just concern physical violence but could also be psychological or sexual contact. The rights of a woman are recognized by law and no partner can force himself on the woman come what may.

Domestic violence has now been expanded to include bride burning, honor killing, and thrashing which is fairly common in SE Asia mainly in Pakistan and India.

Courts in the United States and England have now started looking at domestic violence through a different lens. It is worth recounting the case of Kiranjit Ahluwalia an Indian woman who burned her abusive husband to death in 1989 in the UK. She claimed it was in response to ten years of torture both physical and sexual. She was tried for murder in the UK but in 1992 she was acquitted of all charges as the court accepted her plea. This is a landmark judgment and gives hope to abused women all over the world.

In case a woman is subjected to domestic abuse she must think about the matter very carefully, talk to the husband and if there is no recourse take immediate steps as outlined in the earlier paragraphs, starting with registering the case with the police. She will need protection which the police will provide because there have been cases of men pouring acid over their wives as revenge.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 MG Singh emge

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