Some incidents like this are highlighted by the media, which helps the victim, but most of the domestic violence cases go unreported as the perpetrators silence the victim with threats. The victims usually don’t speak out because of shame.
Adolescent girls in Nepal participate in a Rupantaran training session © NISER 2016
Have you ever been beaten? Have you ever deprived from food or you’re not getting your basic needs. Ever treated by harsh words? Ever bullied?? Ever tortured? Ever taunted for dowry? Ever diminished from property? Ever denied of access to health services? If yes, you may be the victim of domestic violence. Violence can not only be something that would kill you but also could be something that kills your happiness and right. Human wants are unlimited and human always wanted to gain the top position in the hierarchy of power. So, it’s not about human nature, but their dominating mindset. In the name of being powerful they start suppressing the weak.
Nepal is a predominantly patriarchal society where societal values and norms hugely influence attitudes and responsibilities. Mostly in the context of Nepal, women are considering to be more victimized as Majority of the Nepalese society is backed by Patriarchy. Moreover superstition is another social stigma, that is being setting up people’s thought, which in terms the lack of knowledge and illiteracy has consumed the society so far. Mostly the victim gets frightened to report the cases, happening to them and is not being opened for what they are experiencing and this is likely to give perpetrators a freedom to repeat the act time and again. The perpetrators threaten to take their life, if they speak up to anyone, or report to the police. Victims are feared from society and even their own family members to share about the matter and being concerned on what the society will think?
The gender based violence may include including rape, attempted rape, allegations of witchcraft, polygamy, and other forms of domestic violence.
“Domestic Violence” means any form of physical, mental, sexual and economic harm perpetrated by person to a person with whom he/she has a family relationship and this word also includes any acts of reprimand or emotional harm. It includes general physical harm to brutal action like genital mutilation, physical attack leading to disfigurement. Any act of threatening, torture, showing terror, reprimanding him/her, accusing him/her of false blame, forcefully evicting him/her from the house or otherwise causing injury or harm to the Victim emotionally ,deprivation from joint property and so on.
In Nepal, social norms around masculinity, femininity, male guardianship of women and polygamy strongly shape men and women’s behaviour and choices, and have a strong bearing on Intimate Partner Violence. Men are accorded a superior social status and women’s inferior status is largely unquestioned. Domestic violence is also generally accepted as a means of controlling and making their voices unheard. When Nepal passed the Gender Equality Act in 2006, it brought tangible legal changes to sexual violence against women. A major achievement of this act is the provision that an offender convicted for rape must compensate the victim for mental and physical damage. Also important is the 2009 Domestic Violence (Crime and Punishment) Act, which recognized for the first time that domestic violence is a crime punishable by law. However, while the act recognizes domestic violence as a crime, it contains provisions for negotiations through police offices, which seems contradictory. Although there are some laws and provisions against domestic violence, many victims are left without support mainly because of the poor mechanism to deliver support services. As well as a lack of awareness among people regarding such provisions.
Dowry related abuse and death, marital rape and control over reproductive rights of women are some of the forms of domestic violence prevalent in the Nepalese communities. A family which is considered to be the most secure and trust worthy, if itself became unsecure there is nothing more brutal and inhuman than it.
Contradictory with the statement “My family my strength” Nepalese society portrayed a bitter reality that such issues were and are still frequent and the society as a whole is fostering it knowingly or unknowingly.
Conducting field research with adolescent girls in Nepal. © NISER 2016
According to Nepalese domestic violence act 2066,
No one shall commit; or aid Or abet; or incite for the commission of for the act of domestic violence. A person who commits such act shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this Act. The victim can file a complaint whether in police office, women commission or local body within 90 days. Complain after the limitation are not considerable cause law never heal the one who sleep over their rights. A person who commits an act of domestic violence shall be punished with a fine of Three Thousand Rupees up to Twenty Five Thousand Rupees or Six months of imprisonment or both. As far the law has determined it as crime it has not bench its mark up to the point. Still the society is stained by this inhuman behavior. Until and unless the victim speaks for them self the imagination of ending this ghastly is impossible.
What makes the situation worst is the perpetrator thinking them powerful committing the shameful act.
They think everything is under their control but if you stand, if everyone stand nothing is impossible. There’s still more to do to translate the policies and provisions of Nepalese law into specific actions so that a domestic violence victim would know how to seek their rights. The existing support mechanism for domestic violence survivors from government and non-government level should enhance their services and make it more accessible so that more survivors will come forward to seek help.
“Say no to violence”