Forms of violence

They start with the practice of sex-selective abortion and infanticide, and continue through adolescent and adult life with high levels of female infant mortality, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, lesser wages for women, unsafe workplaces, domestic violence, maternal mortality, sexual assault and neglect of elderly women.

  • Domestic violence
    • Domestic violence is abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as dating, marriage, cohabitation or a familial relationship.
    • It is also categorised as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV).
    • It can be physical, emotional, verbal, economic and sexual abuse as well as subtle, coercive or violent.
  • Killings 
    • Female infanticide and sex-selective abortion
      • Female infanticide is the elected killing of a newborn female child or the termination of a female fetus through sex-selective abortion.
      • In India, there is incentive to have a son, because they offer security to the family in old age and are able to conduct rituals for deceased parents and ancestors.
      • In contrast, daughters are considered to be a social and economic burden
    • Dowry deaths
      • A dowry death is the murder or suicide of a married woman caused by a dispute over her dowry.
      • In some cases, husbands and in-laws will attempt to extort a greater dowry through continuous harassment and torture which sometimes results in the wife committing suicide.
    • Honor killings
      • An honor killing is a murder of a family member who has been considered to have brought dishonour and shame upon the family.
      • Examples of reasons for honor killings include the refusal to enter an arranged marriage, committing adultery, choosing a partner that the family disapproves of, and becoming a victim of rape.
      • Village caste councils or khap panchayats in certain regions of India regularly pass death sentences for persons who do not follow their diktats on caste or gotra.
    • Witchcraft accusations and related murders
      • Witchcraft is the practice of what the practitioner believes to be magical skills and abilities, and activities such as spells, incantations, and magical rituals.
      • Murders of women accused of witchcraft still occur in India.  Poor women, widows, and women from lower castes are most at risk of such killings.
  • Sexual Abuse/ Molestation/ Rape
    • Rape is one of the most common crimes in India.
    • According to the National Crime Records Bureau, one woman is raped every 20 minutes in India.
  • Marital Crimes
    • Marital rape
      • In India, marital rape is not a criminal offense.
      • India is one of fifty countries that have not yet outlawed marital rape.
    • Forced Marriage
      • Girls are vulnerable to being forced into marriage at young ages, suffering from a double vulnerability: both for being a child and for being female.
      • Child brides often do not understand the meaning and responsibilities of marriage.
  • Harassment
    • Trafficking and forced prostitution
      • Human trafficking, especially of girls and women, often leads to forced prostitution and sexual slavery.
    • Online abuse
      • As internet becomes an increasingly important part of human existence to make their voices heard, a woman’s inability to feel safe online is an impediment to her freedom.
      • Women are regularly subject to online rape threats, online harassment, cyber-stalking, blackmail, trolling, slut-shaming and more.
    • Harassment at the workplace
      • The #MeToo movement is aimed at demonstrating how many women have survived sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.
      • Scores of women, many journalists, came out with accounts of sexual harassment at workplace, mostly comprising of indecent remarks, unwanted touches, demands for sex, and the dissemination of pornography.