Legal Article

Familial relationships

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article | Family Law

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Published on: 27 Jan, 2023

Familial relationships are some of the most important and intimate relationships that a person can have. They provide a sense of belonging, security, and support, and can be a source of great joy and happiness. However, familial relationships can also be a source of conflict, stress, and even abuse.

Dynamics of familial relationship

One of the key dynamics in familial relationships is the power imbalance that can exist between family members. This power imbalance can manifest in many different ways, such as age, gender, or financial status. For example, an older family member may have more power and control over younger family members, while a male family member may have more power and control over female family members. This power imbalance can be a key factor in the abuse that can occur within familial relationships.

Abuses in familial relationship

One of the most common forms of abuse in familial relationships is emotional abuse, which can include verbal abuse, manipulation, and control. For example, a family member may use verbal abuse to belittle and demean the victim, or they may use manipulation and control to force the victim to comply with their wishes.

Another common form of abuse in familial relationships is physical abuse. This can include acts of violence, such as hitting, pushing, or choking, as well as more subtle forms of abuse, such as grabbing or shaking. Physical abuse can have serious and long-lasting effects on the victim, including physical injuries and emotional trauma.

A third form of abuse that can occur in familial relationships is sexual abuse. This can include any form of unwanted sexual contact, such as rape, molestation, or sexual harassment. Sexual abuse can have severe and long-lasting effects on the victim, including emotional trauma, physical injuries, and even PTSD.

Act of domestic violence in familial relationship

It’s also important to note that in India, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 criminalizes physical and sexual abuse in any domestic relationship, including familial relationships.

It is important for individuals who are experiencing abuse in a familial relationship to seek help. This can include reaching out to a therapist or counselor for support, as well as seeking help from a support group or helpline that specializes in dealing with abuse. It is also important for the victim to have a safety plan in place, including a plan for leaving the relationship if necessary.

Society should curb the abuses in familial relationship

It is also important for society to acknowledge and understand the dynamics of abuse in familial relationships, and to take steps to support victims and hold abusers accountable. This can include educating individuals about the signs of abuse and providing resources for victims to access support and legal assistance.

Furthermore, societal norms plays a crucial role in familial relationships. In many cultures, there is a strong emphasis on “family honor” which can lead to victims being reluctant to speak out against abuse. It is important for society to shift this mentality and encourage open and honest communication within families.

In addition to preventing and addressing abuse, it is important to also focus on building healthy and positive familial relationships. This can include taking steps to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and build trust within the family.

It is also important for families to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the abuse, such as substance abuse or mental health issues. By addressing these underlying issues, families can work towards healing and building stronger, healthier relationships.

In conclusion, familial relationships play a crucial role in shaping the well-being of individuals. It is important to acknowledge and address any forms of abuse that may occur within familial relationships, and to take steps to build positive and healthy relationships. Society has a responsibility to support victims and hold abusers accountable, as well as to shift societal norms that may contribute to abuse.