Editorial | More awareness needed

That there has been a dip in the graph of domestic violence in the state during the past two years, is a heartening news. Studies conducted by various institutions in the past suggested that over some time, there had been a gradual increase in the incidents of domestic violence against women and other crimes in the state. Most of the women suffered these crimes without complaint, and many more for social taboos were reluctant to report it to police. Nonetheless, because of the sustained awareness campaign by some women activists and organisations and setting up of some police stations exclusively for women, the incidence of reporting of domestic violence to law enforcing agencies has increased. Besides, some non-governmental organisations have also established counselling centres, which help women in amicably settling issues related to domestic violence.

These efforts have started showing results, and the annual report issued by the Crime Branch of the state police is an indicator of this regard. In 2017, according to the report, 375 cases of domestic violence by husbands and other relatives of husbands were registered in the police stations and next year the number of such cases dropped to 325. Compared to the summer and winter capitals of the state, the incidence of domestic violence in the rural areas is far lesser, the report so suggests. Though the decrease in the incidence of domestic violence as indicated in the report is marginal, it strengthens the hope that through sustained awareness campaign and intervention by the society, the problem can be eliminated. Nevertheless, it needs to be understood at the societal level that domestic violence is not just physical assault that results in visible injuries to the victim. It is only one type of abuse; it has many other manifestations that have more devastating effects than physical assault. An effort to reign in the activities through persistent and unwarranted monitoring of the activities of the spouse, for its psychological consequences is also the worst form of domestic violence so hold about verbal abuse and isolation. For ending the menace of domestic violence, there is a need for educating students about women’s rights and sustained awareness campaign in rural areas.