This article has been written by Archana Arora who has done her MSW from TATA Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Domestic violence can be broadly defined as any behaviour that is violent, abusive, or threatening in nature among adults who are relatives or partners/ex-partners. Domestic violence is a major human right and public health problem which can have physical as well as mental health-related adverse effects. As well as how the gender differences plays a role, the women are majorly the victims of the violence. Further how the violence affects their mental health. People consider domestic abuse, in which they usually concentrate on violence. However domestic abuse includes an attempt by one person in an intimate relationship or wedding to dominate and management the opposite.

Violence and abuse are used for one purpose which focuses: to realise and maintain total management over you. The abuser feels guilty, depressed and shameful which further leads to isolation and slowly and steadily excludes the individual from his/her social life.

Domestic violence and abuse will happen to anyone; it doesn't discriminate. Abuse happens inside heterosexual relationships and in same-sex partnerships. It happens inside all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels.

Whereas, girls are a lot of usually used men conjointly expertise abuse— especially verbal and emotional. Abusive behaviour isn't acceptable, whether or not from a person, woman, teenager, or associate older adult.

Although the domestic violence may be perpetrated by either sex, the women are invariably the victims in the majority of the cases, especially in the more conservative societies. The reasons for this are manifold, and there is sufficient literature to suggest this observation.

Although of late and particularly in the urban and semi-urban areas, there have been reports of reversal of this trend although the number of such cases is still very less as compared to the cases where females are the victims. The perpetrators are usually the husband or the in-laws in vast majority of the cases.

This is particularly true in case of the intimate partner violence where the domestic violence occurs between the current and ex-partners and is this is generally viewed as a gender issue cutting across the societies globally.

Domestic abuse usually escalates from threats and verbal assault to violence. Whereas physical injury could cause the foremost obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse also are severe.

Showing emotion abusive relationships will destroy your self- worth, cause anxiety and depression, and cause you to feel helpless and alone. No one should endure this type of pain—and your commencement to breaking free is recognising that your relationship is abusive.


In which Socialist Feminism emphasises on women’s oppression as part of structured inequality within a class and caste based society. Believe that just as capitalism organised production, patriarchy organised reproduction. Patriarchy determined women’s subordination in the home with their unpaid labour benefiting the capitalists.

According to Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 :

(a) Harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse.


(i)“Physical abuse” means any act or conduct which is of such a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb, or health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and includes assault, criminal intimidation and criminal force;

(ii) “Sexual abuse” includes any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of woman.

(iii)“verbal and emotional abuse” includes-insults, ridicule, humiliation, name calling and insults or ridicule especially with regard to not having a child or a male child; and repeated threats to cause physical pain to any person in whom the aggrieved person is interested.

(iv) “Economic abuse” includes-deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under an order of a court or otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, if any, property, jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to the shared household and maintenance.


The domestic violence has an adverse impact on the physical health of the

females, is associated with low birth weight, pregnancy complications, and also

impacts the overall well-being of the mother and children. The association

between the mental health and domestic violence is usually bidirectional, and it

is associated with some mental health outcomes such as depression,

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, and exacerbation of the psychotic symptoms.


Ajita Chakraborty (2001) wrote in her paper on “mental health of Indian: A field experience”. She stated that,

“Differences of gender, class and culture make the presentations of personal difficulties also different. The influence of poverty or women’s social conditions on their mental health can no longer be denied. It is now recognised that outcome of many psychiatric ailments depends on socio- economic structures and the social milieu.” (Davar eds. 2001)

Undoubtedly, it has been witnessed through empirically research and documentation that women are suffering of mental problems more than the men are. Hence, it infers that, women have more cases of mental disorder in society. Feminist claim that women reduced to her conventional role and them difficulty to jump out from their position. Whereas psychotherapeutic treatment invariably pursues negative self-image of women and prevailing problems of women suffering symptoms arising from their life situation. (ibid. p. 83)

Much stress in life is related not to how much things change but to how much an oppressive condition remains the same.” Other studies shown the relation between education and mental health disorder that relation between two was strong. In case of neurosis, it is likely to higher the level of education, it lowers the distress rate than average for women. (Davar 2001)


India is not a new in concern of violence takes place on women. There are a greater number of cases lodge in police records and commission reports about such violence’s. Also, many studies have been done by the different Authors and National Commissions on Women and Women Organisations also work in this direction to reveal the same. Further, World Health Organisation (WHO) promote studies and reports on day-to-day exploitation and gender based violence globally.

The violence used by the husband his family on the women. Here domestic Violence and violence has been used to specify the same meaning.

Consequences: - All physical, mental, social, economic and psychological effects a woman has experienced as a result of violence.

According to WHO report (2016) Violence against women

1. Particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.

2. Global estimated published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35 percent) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/ or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

3. Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.

4. In low-income settings, strategies to increase women’s economic and social empowerment such as micro-finance combined with gender equality training and community based-initiatives that address gender inequality and relationship skills, have shown some effectiveness in reducing intimate partner violence.

6. Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence, such as by intimate partners, and present additional forms of violence against women (WHO 2016)

Indeed, being equal human being women have equal rights in every transaction concerning her family matters. She has to fight for the same. Similarly, to prevent these kinds of unjust happening against her they should get unitedly fight.

Wife desertion is one of the hardest parts of women’s life. It treats like boycott from society because her position and views of people towards her get change. Singleness and abandonment by husband regarded blame and unforgettable stain on women only. It hardly matters for society that how much mental health issues she has. Nobody except her parent’s concern with her situation



  2. Heise L, Ellsberg M, Gottmoeller M. A global overview of gender-based violence. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2002;78 Suppl 1:S5-14.

  3. World Health Organization. WHO Multi-Country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women: Initial Results on Prevalence, Health Outcomes and Women's Responses.

  4. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2005.