Bride-burning is a type of domestic violence mostly practiced in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and other countries located on or around the Indian subcontinent. A common form of bride burning is when a young woman is murdered by her husband or his family for her family's refusal to pay additional dowry, thus the common term dowry death.
Flammable liquids like kerosene or gasoline are poured on the bride, who then is set alight, leading to her death. In 1961, the Government of India made the ancient custom of dowry demands illegal under the Dowry Prohibition Act. Yet, in 2001 the Government of India released statistics showing that husbands and in-laws killed nearly 7,000 women over inadequate dowry payments.
With terrifying statistics of bride burnings per year this issue has become defined as a public health problem in India. This emerging form of domestic violence has nevertheless gained international attention and suggestions consisting of increasing standards of education for women, encourage economic and emotional independence, proper implementation of existing laws along with new, stricter legislation to abolish dowry related crimes have been set forth.
- Love Burns: An Essay about Bride Burning in India, Jutla, Rajni K. MD; Heimbach, David MD, Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation: March/April 2004 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - pp 165-170