Who can You Complain against for Domestic Violence?

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

You can complain against both men and women for domestic violence. You can complain against the following:

  • Your family: You can complain about your family, if they are subjecting you to domestic violence, in the following circumstances:
    • If you are related to the harasser by blood, you can file a case against them. For example, your father, brother, etc.
    • If you are related to your harasser by marriage, you can file a case against them, such as your in-laws, husband, etc.
    • If you are related to your harasser by virtue of living together as a joint family, you can file a case against them. For example, your grandmother, uncle, adopted brother, etc. However, you can complain only against those who were complicit in the violence.1 For example, if you live in a joint family with ten people, and only your mother-in-law and husband subjected you to violence, you can complain only against them.
  • Your live-in partner: If your live-in partner hurts or abuses you, you can file a complaint against him.
  • Minors: You can complain against a minor who is subjecting you to domestic violence.2 For example, if a 16 year old boy in your family is physically hurting you, then you can file a complaint for domestic violence.

While going to Court, keep in mind that you must have been subjected to domestic violence by someone with whom you have shared not only a domestic relationship but also shared a household.

Some states provide handbooks for ASHA workers where you can find more information on forms on violence 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.

  1. Ashish Dixit v. State of UP & Anr. (2013) 4 SCC 176.[]
  2. Hiral P. Harsora v. Kusum Narottamdas Harsora (2016) 10 SCC 165.[]

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