As per section 3 of THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT 2005, any act of omission or commission or conduct of the respondent (any adult male person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under this Act) shall constitute domestic violence in case it –
(a) harms/ endangers the health & safety- whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person (any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent) and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or
(b) harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or
(c) has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or
(d) otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person.
domestic relationship” means a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family
What relief the Aggrieved Person can get She can get the
- protection order
- an order for monetary relief
- a custody order
- a residence order
- a compensation order
- more than one of such orders.
- free legal services
- required assistance to file a complaint under section 498A IPC
Who are the relief providers
- A police officer – At any police station
- Protection Officer – At the Collectorate
- Service provider – Any voluntary association registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860(21 of 1860) or a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or any other law for the time being in force with the objective of protecting the rights and interests of women by any lawful means including providing of legal aid, medical, financial or other assistance shall register itself with the State Government as a service provider for the purposes of this Act.
- Magistrate – Passes orders for reliefs No. 1 to 7 supra basing upon the incident ‘Domestic Incident Report’ of the Protection officer/Service Provider to have Ist hearing within 3 days of filing likely to be completed within 6 months.
Harassment against Women at workplaces
What is sexual harassment ?
Many a times an woman faces harassment at her workplace because she is a woman(Agrived women). Sexual harassment to woman includes unwelcome acts and behaviour with physical contact or advances or a demand/request for sexual favour or making sexually coloured remarks showing pornography or any other unwelcome sexual conduct. It also includes preferential/ detrimental treatment in her employment, threat to present or future employment, creating offensive/hostile work environment, humiliatting treatment likely to affect her health or safety.
What is Aggrieved woman ?
An aggrieved woman is she who faces any of these harassment at her workplaces and she may be employed or not in relation to the workplace and may be a maid/domestic help at the house. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplaces(Prevention, Prohibitiopn and Redressal) Act 2013 applies to all regular, adhoc employees, probationers, apprentices, contract laborers and even individual engaged on daily wage basis.
What is workplace ?
- All offices of govt. or Semi Govt. Local body /authority, company,co-operative society owned or controlled wholly /substantially financed by the government.
- Any private sector organisation or NGO including Hospitals, nursing home, sports institute etc.
- The transportation provided by the employer for communication purpose.
To whom complain to be made
An aggrieved woman may make in writing a complain of sexual harassment at workplace to the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) of the organization where she is working-if constituted, or to the Local Committee at Collectorate of the District headed by a Nodal Officer of SDM rank , within three months of the alleged incident. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplaces(Prevention, Prohibitiopn and Redressal) Act 2013 mandates formation of an ICC if at least 10 persons are engaged at that workplace.
It is an Act in addition to any other similar Act and not in derogation there of.
What is Sexual Exploitation/Assault/Abuse.
Sexual Exploitation is an act committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage etc. It means abusive sexual behavior by one person upon another often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another, by any person, a male, a female, a stranger, neighbour,a tutor, a known person including family members, ex-husband etc.
- It can be through observation of one’s nudity or sexual activity without the consent of the party involved.
- Non consensual streaming of images, Photography, Video or Audio recording on sex activities etc.
- Prostituting another individual
- exposing another’s genital in non-consensual circumstances
- knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted disease without that individuals knowledge.
- inducing sexual incapacitation.
These are offensive under the Indian Penal Code (Voyeurism- Punishable under section 354 C IPC, Stalking – Punishable under Section 354 D IPC) and relevant Minor Acts including Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1986 and the victim can take shelter of Police.