ALAPPUZHA: Domestic violence against women continues to rise in the state in spite of the introduction of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act in 2005. The latest instance was the death of a home maker at the Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, on Sunday. Biji Balan, 35, from Nooranadu died as her spinal cord was shattered when her husband pushed her down to the floor on June 17. Her husband, Ramesan, 42, a tippler, was framed with murder charge. S. Jeeja, district women protection officer, said Biji was silently bearing his torture for years.
“We ask the women not to remain silent to domestic violence. After the Domestic Violence Act came into effect, there are many mechanisms to help vulnerable women. But it does not have any provision to punish the culprits. The Act is largely meant as an intervention tool for strife-torn families. Presently, women are more aware of their rights and hence, more cases are reported to police stations,” she said. She also said there were at least 40 calls from women to her office every month.
There is a correlation between crime and education as crime is seen more among the less educated women. Majority of the victims are daily wage labourers followed by housewives. Many cases are being settled out of court and most of the women approach the protection officer after registering complaints with the police. Those who need the assistance of women protection office can call 8281999054, she said and added that poverty coupled with alcoholism was the root cause of the crime against women. A study conducted by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, for the Kerala Police in 2013 had revealed that 51.4 per cent of the crimes were related to domestic violence against women aged between 26 and 40 years (44.9 per cent).
The study said that strong legal system to protect women, creation of the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KELSA), the friendly and helpful attitude of the police towards women and the presence of Janamaithri police stations had neither brought the crime rate down nor increased the registration of actual cases in the police stations. It also revealed that political interference hindered the smooth proceedings in the cases. Many women withdraw their cases due to interference by politicians, the study pointed out. According to the quarterly figures of the police department, cases relating to domestic violence have risen to 296 per day this year compared to 287 last year showing almost ten per cent jump. Last year, it was 3,455 and the number till April this year is 1,187. At least four dowry deaths (304(B) IPC) have been reported in the first four months this year....