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What is Domestic Violence?

What is Domestic Violence - Sardarco.org

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in familial relationships, used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Domestic abuse can include physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats that influence and terrorize another person. It can include frightening, intimidating, manipulating, hurting, humiliating, blaming, hitting, injuring, or wounding someone. Here it is important to note that victims of domestic abuse may also include children, relatives, or any other household member.

The perpetrators of domestic violence, especially tho who inflict psychological or emotional harm to their intimate partner or another family member can often confuse, manipulate and gaslight the victims into dismissing the harm, or in other cases, believing that they deserve the ill-treatment. Persons involved in domestic abuse often follow a know a known pattern – they can be charming, sweet, and apologetic at one instance and abusive in the next instance. On this front, experts emphasize that if domestic abuse or a threat of violence has been employed by a person once, there is an extremely high probability that they will do it again. Domestic violence usually gets worse over time, increasing in both frequency and severity. It is vital to be on the lookout for red flags. Although it is difficult to predict what can set off these episodes, a usual pattern is as follows

  • Parties observe a build-up of tensions and ruptures in communication
  • A trigger (which can be anything – an event, an action, or something else) sets off the abuser
  • The abuser commits a violent action
  • Violence is followed by a “honeymoon period”: the abuser apologizes, assures that they will never do it again, and perform courteous actions to win the victim back. The victim believes in their repentance and decides to forgive
  • Life returns back to normal until tensions start again, trigging the cycle to restart

Anyone – a woman, a man, or a transgender person can become a victim to cases domestic violence. However, oftentimes societal structures and cultures, such as patriarchy and misogyny enable and empower men to abuse women and other marginalized groups like transgenders.

Cases of domestic violence in Pakistan

According to the Pakistan Democratic and Health Survey, more than 1 in 4 ever-married women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15. Another study by the United Nations claims that more than 50% of married have experienced physical and sexual violence, and a startling 90% of these women have faced some form of psychological abuse by their intimate partners. These figures on domestic violence are deeply concerning, and need swift and concentrated actions from the government and civil society at large.

Pakistan’s laws on Domestic Violence

The bill for Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2020 was introduced in the National Assembly by the Ministry of Human Rights on the 8th of July 2020, with the aim to ‘establish an effective system of protection, relief and rehabilitation of women, children, elders and any vulnerable persons against domestic violence’. According to this bill, the perpetrator shall be punishable with imprisonment for a maximum of 3 years and a minimum of 6 months, depending on the gravity of the crime. A fine ranging from Rs20,000 to Rs100,000 would also be imposed on the perpetrator of domestic violence, which would be paid as compensation to the aggrieved person.

Apart from a national legislature, laws against domestic violence also exist at the provincial level. The laws of provinces Sindh and Balochistan have a very detailed definition of domestic violence and include dedicated protection committees. Similarly, the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Bill, presented in 2016 protects women from a number of crimes, including domestic violence.

Time to act

No one, under any circumstances, is deserving of physical, sexual, or psychological violence. It is crucial that survivors of domestic violence realize that they deserve better, and perpetrators never go unpunished. It is a sorry state of affairs that societal pressure discourages so many women from voicing for justice against the cruelties that they are subjected to. However, you are not alone. Our doors at Sardar and Co. are always open for consultations and representation. We can also help you find support from NGOs, and similar parties that make up our civil society.

If you’re looking for an expert attorney in Pakistan to deal with your family matters. Family Law in the section of Sardar & Co. can help you out in many ways. Contact us from anywhere in Pakistan.

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