What are the main types of violence against women?

Violence against women can be classified broadly into three categories:

1. Domestic Violence

The violence which takes place within the household or by a known perpetrator is considered to be domestic violence. Wife beating, wife battering, dowry harassment, emotional torture by family members, sexual abuse, marital rape( sexual intercourse which is non-consensual in nature), deprivation of basic necessities, discrimination in the family and denial of economic rights are all a part of domestic violence.

2. Criminal Violence

The act which are considered to be crime and punishable under Indian Penal Code termed as criminal violence. They are Rape, molestation, trafficking of women, sexual harassment at work place, bride burning, abduction and kidnapping, eve teasing, female foeticide or infanticide are all part of Criminal Violence.

3. Social Violence

The violence which women face due to societal norms and religious practices are part of social violence. It includes Sati, prohibition of widow remarriage, child marriage, devdasi, denial of entering or worshipping at religious places, atrocities against woman in the name of caste, community etc.


Some of the forms of Violence against Women in India are discussed as follows:

1. Wife Beating and Battering

The physical torture a woman undergoes at the hands of her husband or in laws is one of the severe kind of violence against women. It often leads to physical injuries, loss of limbs and sometime even loss of life. Dowry demands and intoxication are the major reasons for the same.

2. Dowry Deaths and Bride Burning

Continuous and ever increasing demands for dowry by in laws or husband are a cause of great suffering for woman and a curse on Indian society. Young newlywed girls are burnt or brutally killed for the sake of dowry which is then depicted as a case of suicide. Sometimes the brides do commit suicide as an escape from the torture in the marital homes.

3. Discrimination and Sexual harassment at Work Place

As mentioned earlier 40% of the women have faced the harassment at work place. With increasing number of women going out to work and contributing to the national economy, there is an increase in the harassment at the work place. Inequality in the wages, denial of promotion or asking for favours of sexual nature by the authorities or colleagues has become a regular feature of urban economy.

4. Rape and Molestation

One of the most atrocious crimes against women is rape. In more than 60% of the cases the perpetrator is a known member to the victim. The ordeal of the victim continues even after the act where in the society and legal system continuously blame and question her for her character and loss of virginity. Most of the cases do not get register in the court of law due to the fear of social stigma attached to the act of rape. Abduction and kidnapping are generally followed by rape and murder.

5. Eve-teasing

One of the crimes which have not been taken seriously till date is eve-teasing. It can range from lewd comments or whistling to acid attacks or molestation. Public transport, public spaces like parks, gardens, railway stations or open spaces have become the home ground for eve- teasers. Ignorance or neglect is the general tools used by girls, which can later have serious repercussions.

6. Trafficking of Woman

Buying or selling of girls for slavery and sex trade is a serious crime that needs a mention. Women are used as slaves and tortured physically, mentally or sexually by their buyers. Sex trade and sex tourism is rampant at national and international level where woman are used as sex toys. Poor families sell their girls to repay their debts in developing nations.

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