The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 comes into effect Thursday in India.

According to estimates, about 70% of women in India were victims of domestic abuse in some form

Under this law, domestic violence offenders can be jailed for a maximum of one year or fined up to Rs 20,000, or both.

The new law provides an all-encompassing definition of domestic violence  including not only physical violence by the husband, such as beating or physically hurting his wife, or sexual violence like forced intercourse, but also verbal or emotional violence such as insulting the wife or preventing her from taking up a job, and even economic violence such as not allowing the wife to use her salary.

While I commend the government’s intentions with both this law and the law to prevent child labor, I wonder about how the government is going to make it work?. Does the government have the necessary power and will to implement and maintain these laws ? Or is this just lip-service to be made effective and then forgotten or wilfully disobeyed like most other laws in India?

Only time will tell……

For more details, read the articles in Times of India and The Hindu