Domestic violence is defined as any violence that takes place within the home and is mostly inflicted on a woman by any member of her family or in-laws.
Domestic violence is one of the most common and recurring forms of violence against women all over the world. It is recognized as a crime and there are laws against it.
In Pakistan there is no law specifically against domestic violence. However, causing physical grievous hurt is recognized as a crime and there are laws to protect you against any form of physical bodily hurt. You can register a case against any person – family member or non-family member. The law protects you against all forms of injury.
Usually a complaint of domestic violence is played down and the police m
ay not register an FIR against an abusive husband or close family member. They may insist on investigating before registering an FIR and usually advise against one, alleging that it is not in a woman’s best interest to do so. Women are often told to go back home as it is an internal matter, or told to bear with it because reporting might break up their family.
Women are often afraid for many reasons and endure suffering to avoid divorce, for fear of social stigma and/or the loss of losing custody of their children. Lack of economic independence is another major factor for women to avoid divorce and instead put up with domestic violence and abuse.
A physically abusive husband may at times promise not to repeat the violence, and women often try to forgive and forget. But it is important for women to know that men who are physically abusive and have inflicted hurt tend do it again. The intensity of violence increases with time but seldom reduces.