Can I claim a residence order even if I am not the owner of that house?

Yes, the Act allows a survivor to be granted a residence order in the shared accommodation where she is currently residing or has resided with the accused in the past. Even if you are not the owner of that house and are a tenant or if it is the joint family property, you can apply for a residence order.

There is no Protection Officer or Service Provider in the region I live, what can I do if I am facing domestic violence?

You can either file a case under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code with the police. You also have the option of approaching the Magistrate directly to file a Domestic Incident Report. Further, you can also request the police to file the Domestic Incident Report on your behalf. In the scenario that the police refuse, you have the option of approaching a magistrate to ask the magistrate to direct the police to file a Domestic Incident Report on your behalf.

What if the police officer refuses to lodge my complaint?

In such a situation, you can directly approach Magistrate’s court with a ‘private complaint’ wherein you can request the court to get your FIR registered by the police. You can even file a complaint yourself and attach it along with your application.

Can you also file a case under the domestic violence law for dowry harassment?

Yes, depending on the type of harassment faced, whether verbal or physical, it would qualify as domestic violence under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. The act provides immediate relief from any kind of harassment faced. The definition of domestic violence given in the law is very wide and covers a broad range of behaviours and instances, including harassment and harm arising from an unlawful demand for dowry.1

  1. Section 3(b), The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.[]

How do I know my husband is subjecting me to domestic abuse/violence?

If your husband is physically beating you, or denying you access to food or money, or is forcing you to engage in sexual activities that you do not want to perform (including sex and something like forcing you to watch pornography) or mentally and emotionally harasses you about not being able to have a male child or any such other behaviour, it is domestic violence.  Further, please look at Form IV which provides information on the rights of aggrieved persons.1

  1. Form IV, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Rules, 2006.[]