Anti-domestic violence bill introduced in Kashmir assembly

A bill to protect women in Jammu and Kashmir from domestic violence was introduced in the legislative Assembly earlier this month.

Introducing the bill, Social Welfare Minister Sakina Ittoo said the bill, aimed at giving protection to women against any kind of violence within the family, will be a ‘historical legislation’ in the state.

The bill defines ‘domestic violence’ to include actual abuse or threats by husbands that is physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic. Harassment by way of dowry demands would also be covered under the definition.

According to the objectives of the bill, the measure seeks to ‘protect the women from being victims of domestic violence in society and cover those women who are in a relationship with the abuser where both parties have lived together in a shared household and are related by consanguinity, marriage, adoption in addition to relationship with family members living together as a joint family’.

‘However, whereas the bill enables the wife to file a complaint under the proposed enactment against any relative of the husband or the male partner, it does not enable female relatives of the husband or the male partner to file a complaint against the wife or the female partner.’

The bill also provides for the right of women to secure housing and to reside in her matrimonial home or shared household, whether or not she has any title or rights there.


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