Friday, October 27, 2006
A landmark new law seeking to protect women from domestic violence has come into effect in India. The law also bans harassment by way of dowry demands and gives sweeping powers to a magistrate to issue protection orders where needed. Punishment could range from a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of up to 20,000 rupees ($450).
Every six hours, a young married woman is burned, beaten to death or driven to commit suicide, officials say. Overall, a crime against women is committed every three minutes in India, according to India's National Crime Records Bureau. Despite the scale of the problem, there had been no specific legislation to deal with actual abuse or the threat of abuse at home. Domestic violence, under the new law, includes "actual abuse or the threat of abuse whether physical, sexual, emotional or economic," a statement from the federal ministry of women and child development said.
Read the BBC News Report (last visited October 28, 2006 bgf)