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Domestic Violence Against Women

Radhika Agrawal, Mody University of Science and Technology

History of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is being most underrated crime as compared to any other crimes. In early1800’s British states the husband is having the right over her wife to beat and is comes under legal system. In 16th century the domestic violence is treated as breach of peace and wife has the right to seek redress in respect of peace bond. But this is also not very effective for them because it has no record in written and no formal process was there and no one is there for guidance so it does not make much impact on situation of domestic violence.

By extension the American colonies came into frame and in 1641 Body of Liberties of the Massachusetts Bay Colonists declared that married women should be free from bodily correction or stripes by her husband. Wife beating is explicitly banned in their criminal codes. Following this many states transferred jurisdiction in divorce cases from legislatures to their judicial system and increases the cases on divorce on ground of cruelty and assault which creates a liability on women to proof the crime done by the abuser that her life was at risk. During 19th century the first-wave feminist movement led to change in many popular opinions and legislatures in respect of domestic violence in US, UK and other countries. In 1850, Tennessee becomes the first state in US to explicitly outlaw wife beating. Other states also stated to follow the same. In the early 20th century it provided women with protection of their husband’s violence and courts also started to give the harsh punishments to female’s victim. In 20’s it is common for the police to interfere in the cases regarding domestic violence but not having the right to arrest. In recent decades there has been an end of legal impunity for domestic violence.

Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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