Domestic Violence in India
The authors of the report used a combination of data sources including hospital-based studies, police records and other health datasets to uncover the full extent of the problem, since there are significant lacunae in police and government literature. They computed age—sex-specific fire-related mortality fractions nationally using a death registration system based on medically certified causes of death in urban areas and a verbal autopsy based sample survey for rural populations. They combined this with all-cause mortality estimates based on the sample registration system and the population census. The data was then adjusted to include ill-defined injury categories that might contain misclassified fire-related deaths, and estimated the proportion of suicides due to self-immolation when deaths were reported by external causes.
Young Indian women are more than three times as likely as young men to be killed by fire. The victims were mainly 15 to 34 years old. The study found that out of the 163, 000 fire-related deaths in 2001 (6 times higher than those in police records), 106, 000 (or 65%) were women.
"The high frequency of fire-related deaths in young women suggests that these deaths share common causes, including kitchen accidents, self-immolation, and different forms of domestic violence. Identification of populations at risk and description of structural determinants from existing data sources are urgently needed so that interventions can be rapidly implemented."
Domestic violence is a serious problem in India. Often, in disputes over dowries, women are doused with gasoline and set ablaze, and their deaths are reported as kitchen accidents. Women's rights campaigners have lamented on the passive and inactive response of authorities to the problem. Interviewed by the New York Times, Indira Jaising, director of the Women’s Rights Initiative of the Lawyers Collective in New Delhi, said the authorities paid the issue nothing more than lip service.
“Once the death takes place they are willing to investigate, but by then it’s too late,” she said. “When women go to them with complaints when they’re alive, those complaints should be taken seriously.”
'One bride burnt every hour in India'
According to reports appearing in the Indian media, there were 8391 reported cases of bride burning in India in 2010, working out to one such incident almost every hour. Compare this to 6995 reported cases in the year 2000. To add to the problem the conviction rate in cases of bride burning has dipped from a low 37% in 2008 to 34% in 2010. In cases falling under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (Cruelty by husband or relatives), the conviction rate is only 19%, although there were 94,000 reported cases in 2010.
The Times of India, reporting on January 28, 2012, says, "...perhaps the primary reason for the spread of this cancer has been the almost complete absence of any public campaign...As a result, girls are considered a burden on the parents, families go bankrupt trying to get their daughters married off, choice in forming relations is frowned upon and thousands of young women suffer violence silently behind closed doors."
- Domestic Violence and Child Mortality
- "Female Genocide" in India
- Domestic Violence: Myths or Reality?
- Women in India: Statistical Indicators, 2007
- Crime against Women in India, 2007
- Bride Burning