Centre for Advanced Legal Studies and Research, (CALSAR), Thiruvananthapuram

Emotional Abuse Against Women


Rajeswari V Registered Patent Agent
Kerela Law Academ

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, states that any act, conduct, omission, or commission that harms or injuries or has the potential to harm or cause any injury will be considered domestic violence by the law. Even a single act of omission or commission may constitute domestic violence. According to Section 3 of the Act, abuse includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, and verbal and emotional abuse. Speaking of the  Indian context ,domestic violence constitutes domestic violence against women and children.


Violence means an act of aggression. It may be against a person who resists. Violence does not confine to physical violence alone and may include anything that can adversely affect one mentally. Several neurophysiological changes are mostly associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioral responses, and a degree of pleasure or displeasure. There is currently no scientific consensus on a definition.

Violence can be physical or emotional. Physical violence involves actions that hurt or injure a person using physical force. Marital or spousal rape is not a crime under IPC when the wife is not below 15 years. The victim needs to take the revival of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) 2005.

The seven universal emotions are anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, surprise, and contempt. emotional violence is also called mental cruelty or mental torture. Emotional or verbal abuse refers to actions meant to inflict trauma, cause distress or intimidate another person verbally or through non-verbal acts. Gaslighting is one form of emotional abuse. In India, emotional abuse is also called mental cruelty or mental torture, and unfortunately, there are no separate emotional abuse laws in India, so it is not easy to define.


Psychological (Mental or emotional) abuses are most commonly faced by women. Following are various examples of emotional abuse:

 1) Accusation/ aspersion on her character or conduct, etc

 2) Insult for not bringing dowry, etc

 3) Insult for not having a male child

 4) Insult for not having any child

 5) Preventing the wife from taking up a job

6) Insulting homemakers who dedicate their life and time to family

7) Discouraging women that they are only capable of doing household chores or limiting them to the four walls of a house.

 8) Sexual blackmail.


Any woman who alleges to have been subject to any act of domestic violence by the offender or any person may file a complaint on her behalf to a police officer/protection officer/service provider (an NGP) or Magistrate. As per section 22 of the Act, in addition to other reliefs under this Act, the Magistrate may upon an application filed by the aggrieved person, pass an order directing the respondent to pay compensation and damages for the injuries, including mental torture and emotional distress, caused by the acts of domestic violence committed by that respondent.


The Government should take proper measures to educate women and children about domestic violence. The education must not confine to making them aware of domestic violence, but also remind them of the fact that there are several laws governing it. Each woman should come forward to know the law available for domestic violence, how to legally enforce them upon violation of such law and how to derive benefit from it.

comment- Overall, it is fine. Consider the possibility of adding a few more points to the conclusion. If not feasible, it is fine

Overall, it is fine. Consider the possibility of adding a few more points to the conclusion. If not feasible, it is fine.

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