Legal Article

Sexual violence in domestic violence act 2005

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow

Article | Domestic Violence

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Published on: 28 Jan, 2023

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 (PWDVA) is a law in India that provides for the protection of women from domestic violence. This law defines domestic violence as any act, omission, or commission or conduct that harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb, or well-being, whether mental or physical, of a woman or tends to do so.

Under the PWDVA, sexual violence is considered to be a form of domestic violence. The act defines sexual violence as any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of a woman. It includes acts such as forced sexual intercourse, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and any other acts of a sexual nature.

The PWDVA provides for a range of remedies and protections for survivors of domestic violence, including sexual violence. These include the right to reside in a shared household, the right to protection orders, the right to maintenance, and the right to seek compensation. The act also provides for the appointment of protection officers to assist survivors in obtaining these remedies and protections, and for the establishment of protection homes and service providers to provide shelter and other services to survivors.

In addition to the PWDVA, sexual violence is also punishable under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, such as Section 354 (Outraging the modesty of a woman), Section 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), Section 375 (Rape) and Section 376 (Punishment for Rape) and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

It is important to note that the PWDVA is a civil law, it provides for civil remedies such as maintenance, protection order and residence order and also provides for the appointment of Protection Officers, Service providers and shelters for the protection and rehabilitation of the survivors of domestic violence. While, the criminal law (IPC) provides for the criminal remedies and punishment for the offenders.


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