Domestic abuse incidences in India soared by 53% between 2001 and 2018, according to a new study.


Domestic abuse incidences in India soared by 53% between 2001 and 2018, according to a new study.


A study published in BMC Women's Health that looked at patterns and lessons on domestic violence faced by Indian women from 2001 to 2018 found that India needs to focus on measures to fix gaps in administrative data, such as underreporting and data that has remained almost stagnant over time.

The bulk of domestic violence cases was filed under the category of "cruelty by husband or his relatives" between 2001 and 2018, with the recorded rate of this offense increasing by 53% over 18 years.

According to the report, the rate of occurrences of cruelty by husbands or relatives was 28.3 per 1,000 women in 2018, an increase of 53 percent from 2001. In 2018, the rates of recorded dowry fatalities and suicide abetment were 2% and 1.4 percent, respectively. The researchers analyzed data from the National Crimes Record Bureau's (NCRB) yearly reports under four domestic violence crime headings: cruelty by husband or relatives, dowry deaths, abetment to suicide, and protection of women against domestic violence act.

From 2001 to 2018, a total of 1,548,548 incidences of cruelty by spouses or relatives were reported in India, with 554,481 (35.8%) occurring between 2014 and 2018. In India, the recorded rate of this crime increased from 18.5 per 1,000 women aged 15–49 years in 2001 to 28.3 per 1,000 women aged 15–49 years in 2018, a considerable rise of 53 percent. At the state level in 2018, there were wide variances in the rate of reported cruelty by a husband or his family.

Between 2001 and 2018, the reported crime rate in Delhi, Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Jammu, and Kashmir increased by more than 160 percent. Mizoram saw the biggest decrease in the rate of reported crime, with a 74.3 percent decrease from 2001 to 2018.

However, Prof Rakhi Dandona, the study's primary researcher and a professor at the Public Health Foundation of India, pointed out that only a few states reported improvements in the reported incidence, with the reported prevalence of domestic violence in many states nearly unchanged over time.

The lack of anonymized individual-level data from incidents reported in the public domain, according to the study, inhibits the analysis of trends in domestic violence that might lead to evidence-based policy change. Target 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to eliminate all kinds of violence against women and girls, and rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner violence are two measures of progress. According to the WHO, IPV is present in 26% of ever-married/partnered women aged 15 years, with a frequency of 35% in southern Asia.

For improved evidence-informed policy to address the issue of domestic abuse in India, data and information systems must be strengthened. The findings of nearly two decades of domestic violence surveillance in Indian women show that changes in the reported rate of domestic abuse incidents are evident exclusively in some areas, while others have a fairly static rate. This emphasizes the need of comprehending women's and police's under-reporting of cases, hence boosting the data's robustness. More standardization in data collection and a broadening of the breadth of data collected by the police will improve the data's utility in informing policy and prioritizing prevention initiatives to minimize domestic violence against women in India, according to Dr. Dandona.

Only 6.8% of the cases filed in 2018 had completed trials, with the majority of the accused being acquitted, indicating that the official system's reaction to domestic abuse is inadequate. Women are known to be discouraged from reporting incidents because of the dreary state of waiting, long trials, and poor conviction rates, Dr. Dandona noted.


Previous Post Next Post