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Till 2005, there was no civil law dealing with Domestic Violence. There was not even a definition in law of Domestic Violence, or any express recognition of it.
The need for immediate and emergency relief was fulfilled with the passing of this Act.


  • The Law forbids Physical, Verbal, Sexual, Emotional and Economic abuse of women

  • Every woman has the right to live in a violence-free shared household

  • Every woman can get a Protection Order for freedom from violence

  • Children are also covered by this Act any person can file a complaint on their behalf

  • Domestic relationships are not restricted to the marital context Any woman who has been in a domestic relationship (sisters, widows, mothers, daughters, women in relationships of co-habitation, victims of bigamous marriages, single women, etc,) who has been subjected to acts of domestic violence can seek relief under this Act.

  • Every woman in a domestic relationship shall have the right to reside in the shared household, whether or not she has any right, title or beneficial interest in the same. An aggrieved woman shall have a right not to be evicted or excluded from the shared household or any part of it by the respondent, save in accordance with the procedure established by law.


Protection Orders can be claimed preventing the Respondent from

  • Committing, aiding or abetting any act of Domestic Violence or any other Act specified in the order

  • Entering the place of employment or any other place frequented by the aggrieved woman

  • Attempting to communicate with the aggrieved woman including personal, oral or written, electronic or telephonic contact

  • Alienating assets, operating bank lockers or bank accounts used/held/enjoyed by both parties, including her stridhan (except with the leave of the court)

  • Causing violence to dependants, other relatives and persons who give the aggrieved woman assistance from Domestic Violence


Residence Orders can be passed by the Court directing the Respondent to

  • Restrain from disturbing possession of the aggrieved possession of the aggrieved woman from the shared household, or from entering any portion of the shared household in which the aggrieved woman resides

  • Direct the Respondent to remove himself from the shared household (This order cannot be passed against a woman)

  • Restrain the Respondent from alienating/disposing off/encumbering the shared household or from renouncing his rights in the shared household (except with the leave of the court)

  • Direct the Respondent to secure alternate accommodation for the aggrieved woman (where she so desires)


  • Monetary Relief: to meet expenses incurred and losses suffered, including maintenance, medical expenses etc

  • Temporary Custody: of any child (Best interest of child principle)

  • Compensation and damages: for injuries caused by acts of Domestic Violence committed by the Respondent (including mental injury)

  • Interim and Ex Parte Orders: depending on the views of the concerned Magistrate

The Act can be used in addition to existing laws. Hence, an aggrieved woman can continue to use existing provisions of law concurrently. (offences under IPC and other laws).
An aggrieved woman has the right to file a complaint simultaneously under Section 498A IPC
Reliefs under this Act can be asked for in other legal proceedings such as: Petition for divorce, maintenance, Section 498A IPC petitions
An application can be filed in a pending proceeding for a residence order according to the Rules of the Court in which the case is pending

For further queries on Domestic Violence or for help/counseling, please contact :


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