If you thought domestic violence was on the wane in India with the rise in education levels, take a look at these figures. Over 40 % of women in a nationwide survey reported being beaten by their husbands at some point of time. And around 54 % of the women surveyed thought that such violence was justified on one ground or another.
According to India’s most comprehensive National Family Health Survey, which interviewed 125 000 women in 28 states, 41 % of women justified wife beating if it was because they showed disrespect towards their in-laws while 35 % of women were OK being brutally assaulted by their husbands if they neglected household chores or their children. Not surprisingly then, 51 % of the 75 000 men interviewed didn’t find anything wrong assaulting their wives.
Slapping is the commonest act of violence. Only 2 % of abused women have ever sought police help. Among them, buddhist women ( In India, many buddhists are untouchables who converted to buddhism to avoid the discrimination they had to endure because of their low status.) report the highest level of violence ( 41 %) followed by muslim and hindu women.