The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to give women protection from domestic violence. It was brought into force on 26 October 2006 by the Indian government and the Ministry of Women and Child Development. For the first time in Indian law, the Act provides a broad definition of “domestic violence” which includes not only physical violence but also other forms of violence such as emotional and psychological abuse. It is a civil law meant primarily for protection orders, rather than criminal enforcement.

The act defines an aggrieved person as,

“any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to domestic violence by the respondent.”

Any action will be determined as domestic violence if a person:

  1. injures or harms or endangers safety. health, life, limb, or well-being, regardless of the mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse, and economic abuse; or
  2. harms harass, injures, or endangers the aggrieved person to coerce her or any other person related to her to fulfill any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or
  3. has the impact of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or
  4. otherwise causes harm or injuries, whether mental or physical, to the aggrieved person.

The Law on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 was enacted to provide more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution. Women are victims of violence of any kind that occurs within the family and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.