Spread the love

This article is written by Ashwitha.T of 4th Semester of  ICFAI Law School Hyderabad


This Research paper highlights about different ways how women are being harassed by their partner or their other family members different provisions mention under domestic violence act 2005, laws relating to domestic violence and important judgments held by the courts. The second part of the paper defines what is shared household? And also defines about shelter home and service provider.


Shared household, Domestic violence, Physical abuse, Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, 2005, The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.


“Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.”

– Iyanla Vanzant

Domestic violence directed at women has never been a new issue in today’s culture. It refers to emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse in personal relationships.  As per World Health Organisation (WHO), 1 out of every 3 women has suffered physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime, with 30% of women experiencing such violence from their relationships. Men’s aggression towards women has a negative impact on their mental and physical health. Women in India feel frightened in the married home. It is because patriarchal culture does not provide women with enough chances. They are threatened by their spouses, in-laws, or others. Because of traditional culture and traditions, most domestic abuse situations are not reported by women. Many women are victims of various forms of domestic abuse, yet often do not report it. Despite the fact that the nations have implemented a procedure for women to submit domestic abuse accusations against their spouses, the incidences are still not being reported.

The Domestic Violence Act defines service providers as any independent organisations enrolled under Societies Registration Act, 1860 as well as a company established under the Companies Act, 1956 with the objective to protect the rights of women legally by offering legal aid, medical, financial, or other assistance.

A shared household is one in which aggrieved victim lives or has previously resided with the Respondents. It also refers to a house owned by the husband or a residence owned by a joint family wherein the husband is a part. If the couple have not lived together, the house belonging to the husband’s parents will not be considered a shared household unless they state that the house being a joint family estate in which her husband has a stake. As a result, a household held by the wife’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and so on is not a shared home, and the wife cannot claim right of residency in any such property as a matter of right.

A shelter house is generally where individuals go when they have an urgent requirement or an emergency. These shelter houses might be organised by a single individual or by government-sponsored hostels. Most persons without shelter, who are homeless or vulnerable, are in a critical situation and can approach shelter houses. Essentially, it is the government’s obligation to safeguard the abandoned and homeless individuals in society by offering them with shelter houses.


  • VIOLENCE: a physical act with the intent or capability to injure. Violence can cause physical, psychological, or perhaps both types of harm. Aggression, a broader category of aggressive behaviour.[1]
  • Office on violence against women an U. S department of justice defined “domestic violence” as a kind of violent behaviour by one partner to gain control over the other one. Domestic violence is a criminal offence under the law that might involve one or more episodes. It could involve a physical assault attempt or promises of impending damage. It could manifest as sexual assault.[2]
  • Domestic violence is an issue that happens all over the world which effects every nation in the globe it is the one of the major issues around the world. A variety of physical and sexual assaults, emotional abuse, and domineering behaviours between intimate partners are all considered forms of domestic violence. Women have been shown to endure more intimate partner abuse than males in numerous studies, despite the fact that assessing the level of “domestic violence” depends on factors including the exact meaning of domestic violence as well as how its prevalence and incidence are quantified. Compared to men women are the ones who have suffered physical injuries as well as mental stress.  [3]

Domestic Violence: Types of Abuse

Domestic violence defines many types of abuse

  • “Physical abuse”: Hitting, biting, slapping, pounding, pushing and many other acts are all examples of physical abuse. Any act of violence or harm to the victim’s body may be included. A victim’s kid may be subjected to abuse. Denial of medical care and coerced drug or alcohol usage are both examples of physical abuse. [4]
  • “Sexual abuse”: When the victim is forced into experiencing sexual contact or engaging in sexual behaviour without their permission, sexual abuse has occurred. This frequently manifests as marital rape, physical assault followed by forced sex, sexually insulting the victim, or even making sexual jokes about the victim.[5]
  •  “Emotional abuse”: Their sense of self-worth is undermined or invalidated when someone abuses them emotionally. Constant criticism and slurs are examples of emotional abuse. The victim’s connection with their children may suffer as a result of the abuser. A victim of abuse could experience interference from the abuser.[6]

There are many other types of abuse defined under domestic violence. Many laws were made for domestic violence by the authorities.[7]

Protection of women from domestic violence

In India domestic violence is governed by the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and it is defined under Section 3, which states that any act, commission, omission or conduct of a person harms or injures or endangers the health or safety of an individual whether mentally or physically it amounts to domestic violence. It further includes any harm, harassment or injury caused to an individual or any person related to that individual to meet any unlawful demand would also amount to domestic violence.

  • Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, 2005” The Indian Parliament approved this law to protect women from domestic abuse. The Act specifically defines all of the forms of physical, sexual, sentimental, and financial misconduct against women as being prohibited. It shields ladies from household males. The Act covers a range of situations, including live-in partnerships, grandparents, moms, and other family members, in addition to protecting women who get married to males.[8]
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961” The giving and receipt of dowry is punishable under this penal statute. The dowry system is prohibited under the “Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961”. A person who offers, receives, or even requests dowry may face a fine of a maximum of 5,000 rupee or a half-year in prison (i.e., 6 months)[9].
  • “Section 498A IPC” A criminal statute that prohibits abusive behaviour towards women by spouses or a husband’s family members is in effect. Under “Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC)”, harassment of a husband’s spouse for dower by the husband’s family or by the husband himself is unlawful. Both physical and psychological kinds of harassment are possible. Though forced sex with one’s wife may be considered “cruelty” under this Section, marital rape is not a crime in India. The matters covered by “Section 498A” are diverse. It also includes any intentional action towards a woman that drives her to kill herself or jeopardises her well-being, limb, or general wellbeing. Health here includes both a woman’s bodily and emotional well-being[10].
  • “Domestic Violence Act, 2005” In the case of “Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma”, the legislative objective of the “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005”, has been carefully examined. It was said that the law enacting such an Act was done so in order to defend the women rights and protect them from domestic abuse of any kind. With the help of this Act, women are protected against domestic abuse[11].
  •  In the case of “Vandhana V. T. Srikanth”, high court of Madras held that “the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act ,2005 was further described as an effective method of protecting women rights which are assured under Indian constitution[12].”

Who can seek help or can claim reliefs under the Domestic Violence Act?

Any women are offended by a domestic relationship with her partner and who claims to have been the victim of domestic abuse by the respondent may seek assistance in accordance with the provisions of this act. A women can file a complaint against her partner. She can report against any of the male or female relatives of the spouse or male partner (for instance, if they live together) who have acted violently. The Supreme Court in “Hiral P. Harsora v. Kusum Narottamdas Harsora” excluding an adult man from the definition of “respondent” by claiming that it lacks any discernible distinction with a connection to the goal sought after. The Apex Court also said in the aforementioned instance that women and non-adults are among the groups of people who are subject to the “Domestic violence Act’s” remedies. The phrase “respondent” in Section 2(q) or “persons” who may be considered perpetrators of violence against women or “against whom remedies under the “Domestic Violence Act” are actionable” cannot be limited to the phrase “adult male person” in Section 2(q). As a result, the DV Act provides remedies that can be used against both adults and non-adults, including female members.[13]

Protection of women from domestic violence

In India domestic violence is governed by the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and it is defined under Section 3, which states that any act, commission, omission or conduct of a person harms or injures or endangers the health or safety of an individual whether mentally or physically it amounts to domestic violence. It further includes any harm, harassment or injury caused to an individual or any person related to that individual to meet any unlawful demand would also amount to domestic violence.


“Domestic Relation”

“Domestic relationships” are simply those between two individuals who now share a home or have in the past. To qualify as a domestic relationship under the “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005”, two people must be related to one another through consanguinity, marriage, a relationship that has the same legal status as marriage, adoption, or being part of a joint family. The foundation for the harmed woman’s lawsuit against the accused domestic violence offender under this Act is a “domestic relationship”. However, this statute does not apply in cases when the parties are not cohabiting or only sometimes residing together.[14]  A shared home is one in which the aggr person currently resides or has previously resided with the respondents. Additionally, it denotes a residence that belongs to the spouse or the joint family to whom he belongs. If both individuals have not resided together, the husband’s house won’t be considered a shared home unless the parties specifically state that the home is a shared property in which the husband has a stake. Therefore, a home held by the mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, etc. would not be a shared home, and the wife might as a matter of right claim the right to stay in any such property. Additionally, the shared household is only applicable to the household and does not include all of the husband’s belongings.[15]

Right to Reside in a Shared Household

  • According to the definition, regardless of whether she has any rights, titles, or beneficial interests in the shared household, any woman who is in a “domestic relationship” has the right to live there, regardless of what other laws are now in effect. The Respondent will not expel or exclude the aggrieved person out of the “shared household” or any piece of it until following the legal process.
  • Which is something more than casual or temporary stay is known as ‘reside’. It is a solid intention to stay at a particular place. According to the courts, just when the husband moved out due to marital strife does not preclude the wife from enforcing her right to dwell in the same home where the couples had cohabited in a residence owned by another member of the husband’s family. If remaining together is not feasible due to practical considerations, the spouse is responsible for paying the rent for comparable replacement housing. The courts have also adopted a similar stance in cases where the wife left the home and moved out; in such cases, she would no longer be entitled to live there, and an injunction order could be issued against her prohibiting her from disrupting with the peaceful possession of the home by anyone other than the husband. even though if she is a wife or daughter-in-law of that house, she cannot be compelled into the house if she has left the shared home in the past.[16]

Judgements on Shared household

  • The Apex Court Division Bench held in “SK Batra v. Smt. Taruna Batra” that a wife has no right to reside in the home that her in-laws own and in which the husband has no interest when interpreting the aggrieved person’s right to reside in a “shared household under section 17 of the Domestic violence Act”. This concept’s stringent construction precluded the offended daughters-in-law from asserting their claim to the right to live on their in-laws’ land.
  • After fourteen years, in 2020, Supreme Court overturned S.K. Batra in the “Satish Ahuja v. Sneha Ahuja case”. The right of joint residence can be enjoyed by daughter -in-law, which is entirely owned by the in-laws, until her husband finds other housing, the court ruled. Whether or whether she has a legal stake, the court in this case defined “shared household” under Section 17 broadly.[17]


  • A “shelter house” serves as a haven for people who are in dire need or during emergencies. It is a short-term solution offered to those who are in need of home or disadvantaged and experiencing a crisis. For instance, a family that was forcibly evicted from their home, a woman who had been subjected to domestic violence, or a young person who had nowhere to go. People in need might find safety and security in shelter houses. Charities, municipal governments, and religious institutions manage these houses. In addition to providing food, clothing, and essentials like a bed, shower, and toilet, they also provide a variety of services and assistance.
  • “Shelter houses” give persons going through tough times a protective environment as well as counselling and assistance. They offer support on a practical and emotional level as well as guidance and counsel. They can get in touch with other agencies that can support them, such housing support and guidance services. The personnel in shelter houses are sympathetic and perceptive.[18]

The Role of Shelter Homes in Addressing Gender-Based Violence

Shelter houses are essential in offering resources, assistance, and safety to people who have been the victims of abuse or violence. These havens provide survivors a short-term haven where they may heal from the trauma and regain their self-worth. Additionally, shelter houses educate people on gender-based violence and other abuses of human rights[19].

Legal Framework around Shelter Homes

  • “The Domestic Violence Act” makes reference to the obligations of shelters. According to “section 6” of the act, the person in charge of a shelter house is required to offer shelter to an aggrieved person upon the request of the aggrieved person or protection officer. This option is crucial, especially for women who need immediate refuge after experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Shelter houses are mentioned in the “Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000”. According to Section 37 of the law, state governments must recognise reputable or competent non-profit groups and offer them support in establishing as many juvenile shelter houses as necessary. These residences must also have the necessary amenities[20].


Section 10 of the Domestic Violence Act contains the concept of service provider. It states:

“(1) Subject to such rules as may be made in this behalf, any voluntary association registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860) or a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) or any other law for the time being in force with the objective of protecting the rights and interests of women by any lawful means including providing of legal aid, medical, financial or other assistance shall register itself with the State Government as a service provider for the purposes of this Act.

(2) A service provider registered under sub-section (1) shall have the power to–

(a) record the domestic incident report in the prescribed form if the aggrieved person so desires and forward a copy thereof to the Magistrate and the Protection Officer having jurisdiction in the area where the domestic violence took place;

(b) get the aggrieved person medically examined and forward a copy of the medical report to the Protection Officer and the police station within the local limits of which the domestic violence took place;

(c) ensure that the aggrieved person is provided shelter in a shelter home, if she so requires and forward a report of the lodging of the aggrieved person in the shelter home to the police station within the local limits of which the domestic violence took place.

(3) No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any service provider or any member of the service provider who is, or who is deemed to be, acting or purporting to act under this Act, for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in the exercise of powers or discharge of functions under this Act towards the prevention of the commission of domestic violence.”


“Overcoming abuse doesn’t just happen, it takes positive steps every day. Let today be the day you start to move forward.”

– Assunta Harris

Since India’s independence, the Indian constitution including legislature have provided legislation and protection to women; nonetheless, women continue to face domestic abuse from husband families. In India, there is significant evidence that marital houses are still dangerous places for women. Domestic abuse during the Covid 19 epidemic has a variety of effects on women’s mental health. To combat domestic abuse, the government has launched a number of initiatives, including awareness campaigns, national television channels, radio stations, and social media platforms.  Domestic violence towards women is a big issue in India, according to the findings of the pilot research. Participants are aware of the notion of domestic abuse but are unaware of the regulations that govern it. The government, educational institutions, parents, as well as society are all accountable for the health of women who are victims of abuse. It’s because they didn’t perform any awareness campaigns, medical counselling for victims, or anything else. It is past time to acknowledge that women are on the receiving end of terrible forms of violence.

Society must recognise the significance of the female segment. Females have fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. The community should give possibilities for women to take part in other types of labour as well. The government should have established a check and balance system to ensure that laws are properly implemented. Domestic abuse victims should be provided with policies and shelter by the government. The government should outlaw daily soaps that depict unfavourable female characters. Government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should also engage in awareness programmes such as gatherings to debate laws and policies, discussions on how to deal with domestic abuse situations, mental as well as physical health counselling, and so on. It is high time for us to join hands together to fight against this social evil.

[1]   Jacquin, Kristine M.. “violence”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 26 May. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/topic/violence. Accessed 9 June 2023.

[2]  What is Domestic Violence?, available at  https://www.findlaw.com/family/domestic-violence/what-is-domestic-violence.html (last visited on June 8,2023)

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] What is Domestic Violence?, available at  https://www.findlaw.com/family/domestic-violence/what-is-domestic-violence.html (last visited on June 8,2023)


[8] Top 10 domestic violence cases,  available at https://blog.ipleaders.in/top-10-domestic-violence-cases/

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid


[12] https://blog.ipleaders.in/the-protection-of-women-from-domestic-violence-act-2005/

[13]  Law on Domestic Violence [Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005],available at https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2020/07/27/law-on-domestic-violence-protection-of-women-from-domestic-violence-act-2005/https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2020/07/27/law-on-domestic-violence-protection-of-women-from-domestic-violence-act-2005/(last visited on June 8 2023)

[14]  Domestic Relationship Shared Household Matrimonial House ,available at https://www.shoneekapoor.com/domestic-relationship-shared-household-matrimonial-house/#:~:text=Shared%20Household%20Meaning%3A%20Share (last visited on June 9 2023)

[15] Ibid

[16] Ibid

[17] A Woman’s Right to Shared Household under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, available at https://clpr.org.in/blog/a-womans-right-to-shared-household-under-the-protection-of-women-from-domestic-violence-act-2005/(last visited on June 9 2023)

[18] What Is Shelter Home: Meaning, Features, Shelter Home List  , available at https://www.squareyards.com/blog/shelter-home-smrthme (last visited on june 9 2023)

[19] Shelter Homes, available athttps://lawbhoomi.com/shelter-homes/(last visited on June 9 2023)

[20] Shelter Homes, available athttps://lawbhoomi.com/shelter-homes/(last visited on June 9 2023)


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *