[Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on domestic violence which some readers may find disturbing.]
If you have faced domestic violence, then you can file an application with the Court (Civil Court, Family Court or Criminal Court) for immediate help and protection1. You should take the help of a lawyer and if you do not have one or from protection officers, NGOs, etc. who will put you in touch with legal aid services.
The Court will first look at whether your case is domestic violence under the law by seeing if:
- You are a woman who has faced domestic violence.
- You are/were in a domestic relationship with the harasser when the violence took place.
- You have/had a shared a household with your harasser.
The Court will serve a notice to the harasser(s) with the help of the Protection Officer and will hear your case within 3 days of filing the application. The Court will help you out by giving temporary orders for protection, financial assistance and support2.
Once the Court is satisfied that your case is one of domestic violence, your lawyer can ask the Court for the following3:
- Protection from your harasser against violence. This is known as a protection order.
- Monetary Support for yourself and your child. This is known as a maintenance order.
An order to stay in your house. This is known as a residence order.
- Section 18, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
- Section 12 and 13, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
- Sangita Saha v. Abhijit Saha and Others. (2019) SCC OnLine SC 559.