Almost two out of five (37%) ever-married women in India have experienced spousal violence. It is prevalent in every State, in all socio-economic and cultural populations.
2. Domestic violence is a severe violation of the most fundamental human rights laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Various studies have also highlighted the economic, health and social consequences of this form of violence; as long as it prevails India cannot claim to be fully developing, or progressing in gaining equality and peace.
3. The cycle of domestic violence is self-sustaining; women whose mothers were beaten by their fathers are twice as likely to experience violence when they marry. Similarly, research has found that men who witness domestic violence as children are more likely to be physically and sexually abusive towards their wives.
4. Domestic violence was recognized as a criminal offence in 1983 in India. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act became effective in 2005. However, many women are unaware of the Act’s existence, too few resources are allocated for infrastructure and adequate numbers of Protection Officers, and a lack of training hinders those in charge of its implementation.
5. The National Commission for Women (NCW) and a committee with representatives from civil society this year finalised a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), to ensure the effective implementation of PWDVA, estimating an annual budgetary requirement of 1158 crores per year.
6. This CSS is mentioned in the Draft Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012–2017) Document, however only a meager outlay of Rs.450 crores has been proposed for this Scheme. Not only is this amount grossly inadequate and far short of the estimated 1158 crores per year, the XIIth Plan Document is silent on the launch of the scheme in the coming financial year or its budgetary provisions.
7. In this current climate where we are finally seeing mass protests at the lack of protection for women, the overall budget for the Ministry of Women and Child Development has been slashed by 2,000 crores. It is therefore of utmost importance that we show the Government that we demand realistic budgetary allocations for the support and security of women in India.
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