How can you file a complaint against domestic violence?

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

[Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on domestic violence which some readers may find disturbing.]

You or anyone on your behalf, can approach the authorities listed below to file a complaint against any domestic violence that you have been facing:

Police

Go to the Police Station 

You can approach the police station in your area, or any other police station, and file a complaint for domestic violence. The police will file a DIR/FIR and/or direct you to the Protection Officer of the district who will be able to help you out further.

Protection Officer

Approach the Protection Officer 

To file a complaint, the Protection Officer of the district will be the first point of contact for you. The Protection Officer will help you file a Domestic Incident Report (DIR), make applications to the Court to get you monetary relief, protection etc. A state-by-state list of Protection Officers is given here. If you cannot find the Protection Officer of your area, you can reach out to NGOs, civil society organizations and service providers who will put you in touch with one.

National and State Commissions for Women

Approach the National/State Commission for Women

National Commission for Women (NCW) is a national-level government organization that is empowered to investigate complaints related to issues faced by women, such as domestic violence, dowry harassment, rape, etc. The NCW will help you by:

  • Monitoring and expediting the investigations being led by the police.
  • Providing counselling or a hearing before the NCW, so that the dispute can be resolved between the two parties.
  • Constituting an Inquiry Committee which makes spot inquiries, examines witnesses, collects evidence and submits the report with recommendations regarding the domestic violence.

You can get in touch with them by either calling the helpline number 1091, or sending an email to ncw@nic.in or filing an online complaint. As the NCW is located in New Delhi, you can approach the State Commission of Women situated in your state, and ask them for help.

Some states provide handbooks for ASHA workers where you can find more information on forms on violence, where it can happen and how to file a complaint to seek protection against domestic violence. For example, see this handbook published for ASHA in Chattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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