Violence against Women – “the dark side of families” by Richa Kashyap & Vivek Saurav

About the Authors: Richa Kashyap & Vivek Saurav are IVth year Law Students at School of Law, KIIT University, Bhubaneshwar


Sexual Violence describes the deliberate use of sex as a weapon to demonstrate power over and to inflict pain and humiliation upon, another human being. Each society has mechanisms that legitimize, obscure, deny and thereby perpetuate violence against women. Powerful social institutions – the family, the community and the state perpetuate all the different categories of sexual violence and maintain status quo as far as women’s rights are concerned. The family has been traditionally considered as a retreat, where individuals are able to find security and shelter, a private heaven where peace and harmony prevail but throughout the world there are practices in the family that are violent towards women and harmful to their health. This essay tends to highlight the family violence which is generally hidden under the notions of intimacy of private sphere as the belief that family integrity should be protected at all costs preventing many women from seeking outside help. Focusing on these issues the essay has been divided into three parts. In Part I of the essay the authors will analyze the concept and determinants of sexual violence. Part II will throw lights on few illustrations of sexual violence occurring in the family like Female Genital Mutilations, Incest, and Marital Rape, Forced Marriages, Prostitution etc… Finally Part III will conclude with some suggesting remedies which will reveal that how these offences are crimes of power, the conceptualization of which are highly gendered and the mechanisms of law are inadequate and require massive overhauling.

Keywords:  Sexual Violence, Family Violence, Criminal Law, Massive-Overhauling.

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