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Despite being the largest democracy in the world, our country faces many challenges in protecting and promoting women and children. Federal and state governments have enacted and implemented a number of laws and programs to protect women and children. No matter how many laws are passed, the real success of the law lies in its proper implementation. Therefore, the role of the law enforcement officer is important.

Laws to address gender-based violence (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act - 2005)

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act – 2005 is a rights law that protects women from domestic violence. Its purpose is to provide immediate support to women facing domestic violence. It provides legal solutions for women in related cases and upholds their right to live in a non-violent family environment.

Who is the Aggrieved Person?

Victim means that someone is a woman.

  • The woman who came or is from the family relationship with the counter-petitioner.
  • Means the woman who accuses the counter-petitioner of engaging in domestic violence.
  • This includes unmarried sisters, mothers, widows, and so on.

Who is the Respondent?

Counter-petitioner means that someone (male) who has come of age. That is,

  • a man who came or is from a family relationship with the victim.
  • Means a man accused of domestic violence.
  • The victim's wife can also file a complaint against her husband's relative
  • A woman who is in a relationship (Live in Relationship) can also file a complaint against her male partner.

What is a family relationship?

A relationship in which a man and a woman share the same home for a period of time and live together. This relationship may be as follows.

  • Marriage Relationships
  • Blood Ties (Father - Daughter, Brother-Sister, Grandfather - Granddaughter, etc.)
  • Adoption
  •  Joint Family
  • Live in Relationship

What is Shared Household?

The house in which the woman lived alone or in a family relationship with the man also refers to the following houses: house where the

  • woman or the man is alone, owning or renting.
  • A house that is owned, leased, jointly owned, leased, owned, and owned by one of the two, male or female.
  • A house owned by the joint family of the man, without any possession, lease, or interests of the man or woman over the house, which can be solemnized.

Who is the child?

Child means

  • Someone under 18 years of age.
  • It also refers to adopted, remarried, or adopted children.

What is a Domestic Incidence Report (DIR)?

Report prepared after a complaint was received from a victim woman about domestic violence. This is the record that will be placed in the public register regarding the complaint.

What is a complaint?

Complaining is the act of informing the security officer in writing or in writing about the harm done to him.

Who is the Counselor?

A mentoring consultant is a person from a charity with experience in providing guidance counseling to individuals.

What is domestic violence?

Under this law, it is important to understand what domestic violence is. Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, "any act, conduct, or conduct that the accused person is not allowed to do" is considered domestic violence. That is, if it is, it is considered domestic violence:

  • Harm, injury, or danger to the victim's safety, health, life, limbs, or well-being due to physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, or economic misconduct.
  • Harassing, injuring, harming or endangering a victim woman or her loved ones to give away valuables such as dowry, property or money illegally.
  • Threatening the victim or her relatives to do the above.
  • Injury or harm to the victim, either physically or mentally.

Types of Domestic Violence:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Verbal and Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Economic Abuse

Law Enforcement Officers in charge:

  • Duty Bearers
  • Protection Officer
  • Service Provider
  • Police
  • Magistrate
  • Medical Facility
  • Shelter Home
  • Legal Service Authority

What are the duties of the Police Officer, Security Officer, Service provider, and criminal arbitrator?

The police officer, the security officer, the service provider, and the criminal arbitrator

  • When they receive a complaint of domestic violence or when they are at the scene of a domestic violence incident, they should inform the victim women about their rights

Victim's Rights:

Opportunity to apply for relief (Defense Order, Financial Relief, Police Order, Location Order, Compensation Order)

  • Facility to avail service from service providers
  • Security Officer Service Facility
  • Free Legal Aid
  • Complaining under 498- A of the Indian Penal Code
Note under Section A: It is the duty of the police to take legal action if the information is available about offenses which can be arrested without a warrant.

Information on Domestic Violence

Can a third party report domestic violence?

Yes. A third party may report a domestic violence incident to a security officer.

Duties and functions of Security Officer

What are the duties and functions of a security officer?

Steps to be taken by the Security Officer after receiving a report of domestic violence:

Step 1: Preparation of Family Event Report

Step 2: Submission of Family Event Report to Criminal Arbitration

Step 3: Provide a copy of the Family Event Report to the Police Station and the Service Provider(within the Domestic Violence Area).

Step 4: Assisting the victim woman to prepare applications, including an application for a non-refundable order requiring relief from the criminal arbitrator.

Step 5: Make sure the victim gets free legal aid.

Step 6: Provide the victim with a complaint form free of charge.

Step 7: If the victim seeks shelter, arrangements must be made to stay in a safe shelter. A copy of the report stating that the victim is staying in a safe, sheltered area should be sent to the relevant police station and the criminal arbitrator in the area where the shelter is located.

Step 8: If the victim has injuries, seek medical attention. A copy of the medical report should be sent to the police station concerned and the criminal arbitrator at the scene of the domestic violence.

Step 9: Arrange for transportation for the victim to have a medical examination if she has any children with him or her to go to a safe place to stay.

Step 10: Ensure that the victim receives cash relief assistance under Section 20.

Step 11: Maintain a list of information providers of services such as legal aid, guidance, shelter, and medical care.

Step 12: Talk to the victim and design an appropriate 'protection plan' for the victim, including measures to prevent further domestic violence.

What are the other duties and functions of a security officer?

What the Security Officer should do if ordered by the Criminal Arbitrator in writing:

  • If the court needs clarifications regarding the provision of uninterrupted interim relief to the victim, it may order a visit to the home where the incident took place.
  • In such a case, the security officer should go in person to the house where the victim lived and conduct a preliminary investigation.
  • After conducting a proper investigation, the security officer should file a report on the salary, assets, bank account, other documents related to the house, etc.
  • The house where the victim shared the property, belongings, jewelry, and gift items should be recovered and handed over to her.
  • The Security Officer must assist him or her in rescuing the child in order to keep the child in his or her custody. It should also help him gain the right to meet children under her supervision.
  • To assist the criminal arbitrator in the execution of orders.
  • If any weapons are used during domestic violence, they should be confiscated with the assistance of the police.

Who are the Service Providers?

Service Providers:

  • Voluntary charities registered under the Associations Registration Act, 1860.
  • Companies registered under the Indian Companies Act, 2013.

These organizations provide financial assistance, legal aid, and medical assistance to victims. Companies registered under this Act must be registered as service providers under the State Government.

Duties of the service organization

Note: Security officers and members of the service centers should be considered as civil servants.

Duties of service providers:

  • At the request of the victim, a Family Event Report (DIR) should be filed.
  • A copy should be sent to the security officer of the area concerned and to the criminal arbitrator.
  • The victim should undergo a medical examination.
  •  A copy of the medical examination report should be sent to the police station and security officer of the area concerned.
  • A copy of the report on the admission of the victim to the shelter should be sent to the relevant police station in the area where the domestic violence took place.
    - Homes
    - Shelter Homes
    - Must be approved by the state government.
    - Medical facilities
    - Must be approved by the state government.

What are the duties of shelters?

It is the duty of the shelters to provide accommodation for the victim. The request should come from the following:

  • Victim
  • Security Officer
  • Service Provider

What is the duty of Medical Facilities?

It is the duty of the medical center to provide medical assistance to the victim. The request for it should come from the following.

  • Victim
  • Security Officer
  • Service Provider

How can the victim get shelter?

The victim, security officer, or service provider must apply in writing to the caregiver. When the security officer applies, a copy of the Family Event Report filed under section 9 or 10 must be submitted with the application.

Note: The victim may not be denied accommodation at the care home even if the family event report is not submitted.
  • The victim’s identity should not be disclosed if he or she wishes not to do so.
  • Also, do not tell the details of the victim to the person against whom the complaint was made.

How can the victim get a medical facility?

The victim, security officer, or service provider must apply in writing to the Medical Service Center. Also, a copy of the Family Event Report must be submitted with the application.

Note: The medical center should not refuse to provide a medical examination or medical facility even if the family event report is not submitted.
  • If the family event report is not submitted, the person in charge of the medical center should prepare the family event report in Form-1 and send it to the safety officer.
  • The victim is entitled to a free copy of the medical examination report.

How to get relief?

What procedures should a victim of domestic violence follow to seek relief? The victim, the security officer, or someone else on behalf of the victim may apply to the criminal arbitrator.


  • The criminal arbitrator must decide the first date of the trial within three days of receipt of the application.
  • The criminal arbitrator must complete each application within 60 days of the first day's hearing.

The victim may request the following reliefs:

  • Protection Order
  • Monetary Relief
  • Custody Order
  • Residence Order
  • Compensation Order

What is a Protection Order?

After inquiring into the victim and the counter-petitioner, a defense order may be issued if the criminal arbitrator first considers that there is prima facie evidence that the victim is a victim of domestic violence or a would-be victim of domestic violence. The counter-petitioner may also be barred from committing the following acts:

  • Do not engage in acts of domestic violence.
  • Domestic violence should not be supported or aided.
  • The counter-petitioner should not go to the place of work or the place where the victim often goes.
  • Do not attempt to communicate with the victim in any way (personally, verbally, in writing, by electronic devices, by phone).
  • If the victim is a child, the counter petitioner should not go to school where the child is studying.
  • The property should not be subdivided. Should not use a bank locker or bank account. The counter-petitioner should not throw away or disturb the objects which the victim has been using or owning or enjoying collectively or alone.
  • They must not sell any other property they own, individually or collectively, without the permission of the criminal arbitrator, or transfer or obstruct their liability.
  • Violence should not be inflicted on dependents, relatives or those who are assisting the victim.
Note: The criminal arbitrator may order the police officer to assist in the execution of the security order.

What is a Residence Order?

If the criminal arbitrator considers domestic violence to have taken place, he may issue a stay order.

A) The Order restricts the sale or transfer or disruption of property owned by the victim woman, whether or not the house is owned by the respondent or is equitable for both parties.

  • It will order the counter-petitioner to stay away from the house where they lived together.
  • Restriction is imposed on the entry of the respondent or his relatives into the area where the victim woman lives in the house.
  • The respondent is restricted to divide the house in which he lived together or to sell it as his share.
  • Restrictions are also imposed on the objector to relinquish his rights to the home in which he lived.
The criminal arbitrator may also issue certain orders:
  • Order that the victim be provided with alternative accommodation.
  • Rent for alternative accommodation may also be ordered.
  • The criminal arbitrator may order the obligation of the respondent in respect of the money to be paid, including the rent of the house, taking into account the financial needs of the victims and the financial needs of the victims.

B) The criminal arbitrator may impose additional conditions or issue some other order to protect the victim woman or her child.

C) In order to prevent the perpetrator of domestic violence, the criminal arbitrator may ask that the respondent provide a guarantee (with or without bail).

When a criminal arbitrator issues an order under the headings A, B, and C, the police officer may issue the following orders:

  • Provide protection to the victim
  • To assist the woman in enforcing the order to
  • Someone must assist the petitioner on behalf of the woman to enforce the order.

Criminal Arbitrator may order to return the following items obtained from the victim:

  • Things received via dowry during the marriage.
  • Other property, monetary

What kind of monetary relief, can the court order to grant the victim?

The criminal arbitrator may order the counter-petitioner to provide relief to the victim and his child to cover the costs and damages caused by domestic violence. This relief includes the following:

  • Loss of income
  • Medical expenses
  • The loss of damages caused by damage, destruction, or removal of possessions
  • Cost of care for the victim and her children
  • The financial relief should be commensurate with the quality of life of the victim, honest, and reasonable.
  • Depending on the circumstances and nature of the case, the criminal arbitrator may order financial relief in whole or in monthly installments for the family care of the victim.
  • The respondent must provide financial relief to the victim within the period specified in the order.
  • The criminal arbitrator will send a copy of the financial relief order to the applicant and the relevant police station.

What happens if the counter-petitioner fails to provide financial relief to the victim?

  • If the counter-petitioner fails to provide financial relief, the criminal arbitrator may order the following:
  • The company where the respondent works
  • The one who owes the debt to the respondent
  • A portion of the respondent's salary or a portion of the debt arrears must be paid directly to the victim, or submitted to the court.

What is a Custody Order?

In any case, a criminal arbitrator may issue a Custody Order while the petition filed for a Protection Order or other relief is pending. In that way, the victim or the person applying on his or her behalf may be ordered to temporarily hand over the responsibility of protecting the child or children.

  • If necessary, the Criminal Arbitration Order may specify the right of the respondent to meet the child or children.
  • The criminal arbitrator may prohibit if the respondent considers meeting the child or children to be detrimental to the interests of those children

What is a Compensation Order?

The criminal arbitrator may order the respondent to pay legal compensation to the victim if the woman inflicts injuries, including mental torture and emotional distress.

What is the duration of the Security Order?

The protection order will remain in force until the victim woman applies for an exemption from liability.

Can a criminal arbitrator issue an Interim Order on an Ex parte Order?

Yes. The criminal arbitrator has the power to issue the following order.

  • An interim injunction may be issued if it is deemed fair and orderly.
  • A non-partisan order may be issued if the criminal arbitrator is satisfied at first sight that the respondent has been involved in domestic violence, and is no doubt likely to engage in domestic violence.

Emergency Situations

What should be done in case of an emergency?

If a security officer or service organization receives reliable information via e-mail or telephone from a victim or anyone else that domestic violence has occurred, the police should be contacted immediately.

  • The police should go to the scene of the incident with the security officer or a member of the service organization and record the Domestic Information Report (DIR).
  • The report must be sent to the criminal arbitrator without delay in order to obtain a formal order.
Note: In case of emergency the police can also record the family event report.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism

In the Protection of Women under the Domestic Violence Act, a victim who wishes to apply for a grievance may apply from a permanent or temporary place of residence, work, or place of employment.

  • The victim may apply from the place of respondent’s residence, place of work, or place of employment.
  • Victim can also apply from the place where the domestic violence took place (the place where the cause of the incident took place).

Is there a time limit to appeal?

Yes. Must appeal within 30 days.

In which court should the appeal be made?

To be appealed to the Sessions Court.

Security Order Violation:

What can a victim do if an interim injunction or security order is violated?

Note: Any order issued under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act will be enforced nationwide.

The victim has two options:

  • to appeal to the security officer
  • either directly to the criminal arbitrator or the police

The victim must file a complaint in writing to the security officer. The complaint must be signed. The security officer must send the complaint along with a copy of the defense order to the criminal arbitrator for appropriate order. If the security order is violated, the victim should seek the assistance of a security officer.

  • Next, the officer can immediately protect the woman with the help of the police.
  • The victim should be supportive of filing a complaint with the police.

Things to remember:

  • Once the police receive this complaint, it is necessary to take action to treat it as a cognizable offense.
  • Violation of the Security Order and the Interim Security Order should be reported to the police immediately.

What is the penalty if the respondent violates the protection order?

Violation of the Security Order or the Interim Security Order is a felony that can be arrested without a warrant and only the testimony of the victim is sufficient to prove that the crime has taken place.

The counter-petitioner can be sentenced to up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of Rs 20,000 or both.

The criminal arbitrator may file charges under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code or under the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 or any other relevant section of the Indian Penal Code when filing charges in connection with a breach of the Defense Order or the Interim Security Order.

Do I have to pay to get a criminal arbitrator's order?

No need. Any order issued by a criminal arbitrator can be obtained free of charge.

Note: Objection by the respondent or any other person on his behalf to the enforcement of the protection order or interim order issued by the court shall be deemed a breach of the order.

Is there any way in law to get counseling?

Yes. The respondent or victim may be referred to the guiding counsel at any time during the course of the case. They will advise both individually or in combination. During the trial, the criminal arbitrator may seek the assistance of a family health professional at any time.

How will the trial take place in court?

The case may be heard separately in the judge's chamber if deemed necessary by the circumstances of the case or at the request of those involved in the case.

Does the woman have the right to stay in the house she shares?

Yes. All women in the family have the right to stay in the shared home, regardless of their status regarding the right to share, lease, or gain available. The respondent cannot be evicted from the house or any part thereof to which the victim woman is to be shared. Also, going anywhere in the house cannot be prohibited. 

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