[Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on domestic violence which some readers may find disturbing.]
If you have been subjected to domestic violence, it is your right to receive medical assistance. You can approach the Protection Officer of your district or any service provider working within the ambit of women’s rights, and they will help you, as well as any child, obtain medical assistance. The medical report will be forwarded to the relevant police station and Court.
Role of a Medical Facility:
- Providing medical assistance to a victim of domestic violence. No medical facility can deny service to such a person.
- File a DIR and forward it to the relevant Protection Officer, if one has not been filed already.
- Supply the victim with a free copy of the medical report.
Shelter homes are homes set up by the State Government to provide a safe space for women to stay in. Any woman who has suffered from any kind of violence including rape, sexual crimes, domestic violence, etc. can stay in a shelter home1. If you are unable to go back to your house because the harasser(s) who harmed you is/are still living there, then the Protection Officer or service provider may ask you to go to a shelter home. If you want to find a shelter home, you can approach a Protection Officer who would maintain records of the shelter home in his or her district2.
Even if you have not filed a DIR, with the help of a Protection Officer, you can ask for accommodation in a Government-run shelter home, and the shelter home cannot refuse shelter to you merely because you have not lodged a DIR. If you desire, the shelter home will not disclose your identity to the harasser3.
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.
- Section 6, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
- Section 11(3) and 11(4), The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
- Section 16(1),(2),(3), The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.