Domestic violence again women is on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir. Even the educated and the economically independent women are at the receiving end, according to anecdotal evidence contained in police data.
Vandana, 25, a lecturer with a doctorate, has been thrown out of her house just because her in-laws suspected that an over-qualified person would dominate their son.
“My higher qualification above that of my spouse became the biggest drawback as my in-laws suspected me of dominating their son and turned me out of their house,” lamented Vandana, 25, a PhD holder working as a lecturer.
There are several instances like this across the state.
Police figures show an increase in domestic violence cases, mostly relating to matrimonial disputes and family squabbles. Harassment for dowry too is one of the most common complaints lodged with the police, data shows.
In 2008, 772 complaints were received. Out of which 62 were registered, 121 reached the trial stage and 381 were settled by mutual agreement and 108 are still pending.
In 2009, the number of cases nearly doubled with 1272, and in 2010 in just three months 191 complaints were recorded.
“Women’s boldness is most often mistaken for arrogance and this according to many is justifiable in her getting beaten up by their spouses. While some find the courage to speak up or walk out, there are others still bound by family pressures and keep the matter within the four walls of the house,” said SHO women cell Jammu Shakti Sharma.