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Govt lists advice parameters on domestic violence

The Central government has issued certain advice parameters on the issue of evidence in cases of domestic violence, considering that it takes place within the privacy of a home where no outside witnesses are likely to be present.

Elucidating queries on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PMDVA) 2005, the Women and Child Development Ministry has listed some advice parameters. The information was provided by Lawyers Collective Women’s Rights Initiative.

 On a query what kind of evidence is needed to prove verbal and emotional abuse or sexual abuse, the Ministry said: "Since the relief sought under the PWDVA is civil in nature, proof will be tested on the balance of probabilities and proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required."

"It must be remembered that domestic violence is unique as it takes place within the privacy of a home where no outside witnesses are likely to be present. If it happens within a joint family, then although the relatives of the husband witness the violence, it is unlikely that any relative of the husband will support the woman. The woman, therefore, will be the primary witness in cases under the PWDVA," it said in a statement.

The Ministry said that in case no direct eye-witness evidence is available, and there is only the statement of the statement of the woman, circumstantial evidence is considered to arrive at a conclusion on the facts of the case.

"It <g data-gr-id="27">is therefore</g> important, that the context in which the verbal or emotional abuse takes place be mentioned (Explanation II Section 3). Care should be taken to record the history and circumstances of the case, the impact of the violence on the woman and her children must be mentioned," it said.
M Post Bureau

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