Women Must Know Domestic Violence Report Is Stronger Than Filing FIR

Every other day, we read one more shocking case of gender violence across the globe. In many cases, the perpetrators are educated, married men, empowered by societal rules to believe that they are entitled to be in control of the women they marry. 

Mohua Chinappa
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Violence, Credit: Frame Studios Shutterstock

Representative File Image | Photo credit: Frame Studios, Shutterstock

Every other day, we read one more shocking case of gender violence across the globe. In many cases, the perpetrators are educated, well-heeled married men, who have been in the spotlight for abuse against their wives. The thought that arises is, do men hit or emotionally abuse a woman because society tells them it is okay, to do so? The answer is “NO”. They do it because societal rules empower them to believe that they are entitled to be in control of the women they marry. 


If we look into the system of marriage, it is a known phenomenon, that once a woman gets married, she will not only forgo her parental identity but also get used to the fact that his approval is a must in all her major life decisions. If she wishes to continue the arrangement without trouble, she must adjust. This adjustment list is a long one. But the basic ones include no self-opinion on her career choices, childbirth and finances. This cannot be her independent choice. It must have the stamp of approval from the figure of authority, who is a man. Most often it is the husband and in some cases, it is the father-in-law, elder brother or some other in-law who is considered the financial guardian of the family. 

Why Women Don't Question Adjustments

A woman therefore must learn to adopt the new ways. She is expected to adapt to not only his likes and dislikes but also to the entire extended family if she has to live peacefully with her in-laws post-marriage. 

Most women, don’t question these one-sided adjustments, as this has been the way since time immemorial. Any change means shifting the power dynamics in a family, which is met with staunch disapproval and hostility. This fear of how she will be viewed stops women from not opening up about their discomfort or disrespect. 

According to popular culture, a bride is supposed to bring peace, and prosperity and create a home without much adjustment expectations from the man. She must have the Midas touch to turn coal into diamond. If she can endure the discomfort of an unpleasant situation. She is lauded. In most cases, the coal happens to be the “spoilt ladla beta” who couldn’t be reigned in by the parents, so the onus is now on the bride, who is younger than the man, to be able to keep him happy and coerce him gently, to change his ways. And we all know this isn’t an easy task, as accountability for most men is coined as nagging by the wife. 

The recent case of the alleged horrific assault on Nawaz Modi by her billionaire husband Gautam Singhania, isn't surprising. We know many stories of powerful men who have been under the scanner for incidents that make one wonder, which mask they wear in the outside world? Which face truly belongs to them? 


It makes one wonder, at which stage does this power dynamic in a couple shift so blatantly? That woman organically gives up on her ability to make decisions that are in her favour. In cases of violence, a woman like a dripping tap, lets go of her identity, self-respect, and the idea of the self and loathes herself so much, that she starts to think that maybe it was her fault to get him angry, in the first place. 

Also, often women fear to report for various reasons. They worry about child protection, what if her husband contests for child custody? There are absolutely no guarantees that they or their children will be protected. The fear is in the existing marriage system in India, which is anti-divorce. It is always about the propaganda of the “happily ever after” fairy tale that most are fearful of bursting its toxic bubble. 

Sadly, the justice system often has successful men who easily find a means of escape, as the system too actively colludes with the perpetrator. So women fear to report. 

But there is good news. A 'Domestic Violence Report' is a non-bailable offence. The perpetrator can get three years of rigorous imprisonment and hard labour in jail. The DV rules are more pro-victim than they it was in the past. 

Nawaz Modi’s physical bruises will heal over time, but the mental trauma will take a lifetime to recover. 

Mohua Chinappa is an author and runs a podcast called The Mohua Show.

Views expressed are the author's own

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