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Subject Psychology

Submitted to:Prof. Purnima Agarwal Faculty, RMLNLU

Submitted by: Neelesh Gautam Roll no.162

INTRODUCTION Victimization is the process of being victimised, to victimize is to make someone a victim or sacrifice , punish someone unjustly, or swindle or defraud someone. Our knowledge of womens victimization in India has vastly increased over the past few decades. This has, for the most part, been as a direct result of feminist activism. Since the 1970s feminist work has actively campaigned to transform the issue of violence against women from a private trouble into a public issue. Although we focus our attention on domestic violence in this chapter women experience various forms of victimization. The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 defines violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life The definition has allowed for a broad-based interpretation of gender-based violence, including: domestic violence (murder, rape and battery by husbands or other male partners); forced pregnancy; forced abortion; gender-based violence by police and security forces, including torture of detained women; gender-based violence against women during armed conflict; gender-based violence against women refugees; violence associated with prostitution and pornography and violence in the workplace, including sexual harassment . In recent years the definition has been expanded to include more structural forms of gender-based violence.

Certain cultural practices, like son preference, dowry customs and virginity tests, for example, are highlighted as denigrating or objectifying women.


(a) Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Victimization Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a worldwide public health problem that significantly impacts women mental and physical well-being. A woman living with a violent intimate partner is usually exposed to repetitive acute episodes of physical, psychological and/or sexual violence. In addition, IPV is characterized by constant risk and lack of control, even when there is no actual traumatic event occurring. It has a high prevalence and incidence among the female population of virtually all world countries, regardless of race, education, religion or economic status. During the last three decades, the number of studies on the effects of intimate partner violence has increased tremendously. Most of these studies indicate that short and long term effects on women physical and mental health can be extremely serious. Consequences of intimate partner violence on women mental health Psychological sequelae of traumatic experiences within intimate relationships can be described within three categories: (a) Psychological symptoms, including those referred to as PTSD, as well as other indicators of psychological distress and dysfunction; (b) Cognitive changes, including attributions and attitudes; and

(c) Disturbances in relationship skills beyond those used within an abusive relationship.

Lifetime history of victimization (victimization variables) (a) Child abuse. Women were asked about the incidence, duration, frequency and use of coercive instruments to perpetuate physical, sexual or psychological abuse during their childhood (prior to 14 age). Physical abuse was defined as above (see Section 3). Sexual abuse included one or more of the following acts: forced sex, forced to touch a males sexual organs or being touched, forced exposure to the display of sexual organs, and threats of forced sex. Psychological abuse was defined as above, but threats regarding custody of children and impeding decision making were not considered.

(b) Adulthood victimization. Women were asked about their experience of violence, i.e. incidence, duration, Frequency and use of coercive instruments during adulthood (after age 14),

independently of their being Battered by the intimate partner. Physical, sexual and psychological violence were defined as described above for childhood abuse.

Violence perpetrated by an intimate male partner (IPV variables). A questionnaire was constructed to obtain detailed information about the different types of violence (physical, sexual and psychological) perpetrated by the batterer. Each type of violence consisted of one or more of the acts described below. Women were asked to answer yes or no to the incidence of each act. When the woman answered positively, she was asked about duration, frequency and use of coercive instruments in every type of violence, in order to obtain a severity marker of the violence experienced. (a) Physical violence, including punches, kicks, slaps pushes, bites, and strangling. (b) Sexual violence, including: i. Forced sex (vaginal or anal penetration, oral sex from her to him or from him to her objects inserted in vagina or anus), ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. forced to have homosexual sex, forced sex with animals, Forced to prostitute herself, Forced to have sex in public, Physical violence during sexual intercourse (bites, kicks, blows and slaps), Threats to hit the woman or children if rejecting sex,

viii. ix. x.

Threats with knives, guns or other weapons in order to have sex, Involvement of children in forced sex or witnessing sexual attacks and Forced use of pornographic films and photos.

(c) Psychological violence, including: verbal attacks (insults, humiliations), control and power (isolation from family and friends, impeding decision-making, economic abandonment), pursuit and harassment, verbal threats (woman and familys life threatened, threats regarding the custody of children, intimidating phone calls) and blackmail (economic or emotional). The endorsement of any of the acts of physical violence was used as criterion to assign subjects to the abused women group. On the contrary, women were excluded from this group if they answered negatively to all of the acts of physical abuse, even though they received other types of violence (psychological or sexual). In this group of respondents, Cronbachs alpha for internal consistency was 0.88. In order to evaluate the influence of recent IPV, they were also asked if they had been physically, psychologically or sexually abused during the last year. The maintenance of the cohabitation with the partner at the time of the interviews was also considered. Items about sexual and psychological abuse (perpetrated by the partner towards the woman) that involved use of children were not omitted in the case of women without children (7% of IPV group), but scored as 0. Control women were asked the same questions in order to ensure that they had had no experience of violence in any intimate partner relationship. Those subjects who answered positively to any question relative to physical, psychological and sexual violence were excluded from the control group.

Victimization Measures (Questions Asked by Victims)

The current analysis included three dependent variables: property, personal, and sexual assault victimization. To capture property victimization, respondents were presented with five questions describing common forms of property victimization that included larceny, burglary, vandalism, motor vehicle theft, and theft, then asked to affirm their victimization experiences during the previous two years. Personal victimization was defined as face-to-face crime, including violent offenses but excluding sexual assault. Personal victimization was captured by presenting respondents with three questions that provided behavioral descriptions of robbery, assault, and aggravated assault (with a weapon). Subjects were asked to affirm experiences that occurred during the previous two years. To capture sexual assault victimization, respondents were asked if, during the previous two years, anyone has ever forced or coerced you to do sexual things (e.g., oral, vaginal, anal, etc.) even though you did not want to do those things? all such questions determined as to how long and in what quality they were victims of others act done on them.


In India, cyber crime against women is relatively a new concept. It can be noted that when India started her journey in the field of Information Technology, the immediate need that was felt is to protect the electronic commerce and related communications and not cyber socializing communications. The drafters of the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, created it on the influence of the Model Law on Electronic Commerce, which was adopted by the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1997. The Act turned out to be a half baked law as the operating area of the law stretched beyond electronic commerce to cover cyber attacks of non-commercial nature on individuals as well. While commercial crimes and economic crimes were moderately managed by this Act, it miserably failed to prevent the growth of cyber crime against individuals, including women. However, it took nearly eight years for the Indian parliament to create a modified all exclusive information technology law which tries to regulate illegal cyber activities with prime focus towards protection of electronic commerce. During this gap of eight years of the chaotic lawless situation, India witnessed growth of cyber crimes and watched helplessly the perpetration of cyber crime against women in particular. Often the laws that were used to combat such crimes set a wrong example and confusion; women victims were hugely discouraged to report the crimes by peers; immediate media attention and the attitude of confused government reporting agencies made women victims more traumatized than their cyber crime victimization.

Risk Factors Associated with Womens Victimization Understanding the etiology of victimization is one of several main goals in the study of criminology. That said, the general criminological victimization literature has developed at a relatively slow pace since the introduction of routine activity and lifestyles theories in the late 1970s. Additionally, it was not until 1995 that scholars began to investigate the impact of routine activity theory on violence against women. Although research on these dimensions of victimization has generally lagged behind the rest of the field, scholars have made many noteworthy contributions in the last 15 years. During this time period, routine activity theory has arguably been the dominant paradigm for applying traditional criminological theories to issues of victimization. While victimization research has taken several directions in terms of recent expansion, one notable area of success in applying theory has been the systematic investigation of individual antecedents to victimization, and in particular, the role of low selfcontrol. Specifically, it was proposed that claims regarding the impact of self-control on offending behavior could be effectively applied to crime victims. He suggested that, like offenders, victims engage in high-risk behaviors that often take place in close proximity to perpetrators, which enhances their property and personal vulnerability, highlighting their attractiveness as targets for crime. Empirical evaluations have yielded support for these propositions. Of these studies, the most recent analyses have included crimes traditionally targeting female victims, such as sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking. These results indicate that self-control increases the likelihood of experiencing victimization outcomes. Feminist theory suggests that there is something fundamentally unique about the victimization experiences that predominantly affect women. Specifically, structural issues of male power and inequality influence the perpetration of interpersonal crimes. In a similar

vein it was argued that fundamental gender relations and inequality in power relations between men and women in society are both necessary for understanding rape and intimate partner violence, but are ignored by some psychologists in their account of the causes of crime (e.g., individual self-control). According to few psychologists the differences in the status of women in society vis--vis men are vital for any theory that attempts to explain violence against women Feminist theorists are correct to point out the need to account for the role of patriarchy; general victimization theory has nevertheless demonstrated utility in explaining female victimization by highlighting the effect of individual-level and situational correlates of crime. As a result, the impact of general victimization measures has remained a useful avenue of inquiry for researchers. Studies investigating the relationship between routine activity theory and sexual assault have amassed since the mid-1990 and the research on self-control and female-specific forms of victimization has seen recent but limited attention. Collectively, these literatures are less developed than empirical evaluations of general victimization, and as a consequence, require further investigation.

(b) Partition and Woman Victimization:

Following the partition, during 1947-1948 people traveled back and forth between the two areas extensively. People activity that crossed the border areas can be said as the longest migration history. Muslim people went to Pakistan and Hindu went to India. Since the partition, trains, and huge convoys full of refugees have traveled in both directions. During the trip,

many people were killed, especially men, meanwhile women and girls were kidnapped and raped, especially in border areas between the two new countries such as Punjab, Sind, and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). The number of women who became victims throughout the partition of India-Pakistan were about 50,000 Muslim women in India and 33,000 non-Muslim women in Pakistan, most of them between 12 years old and 35 years old.

Ironically, women became the victims of the violence within their society while their neighbors became their enemy. Prior to the partition, the three communities, Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs had lived together peacefully; they had the same goal and intention to achieve independence of India against the British. In contrast, during partition they came to fight one another, became rude and cruel especially to their women. As described in the Earth movie (that was we watched in the class on Wednesday February 8, 2006), the nanny of the Parsee family was a woman who took care Lenny, a daughter of this family. She was Hindu and one of the workers who worked for this Zoroastrian family too. Some men worked there too a gardener and a butcher. They came from different ethnic, backgrounds and religions, but worked for the same family and together as coworkers.

However, the partition rendered Ice-Candy-Man, one of the workers in Parsee family betrayed the nanny and treat her violently. This Hindu woman became the victim of her circumstances.

Other sordid tales about victimization of women can be seen in Cracking India. A novel written by Sidhwa, bout what happened during the partition. One part of this novel, page 159, described the Ice-Candy-Man reports to his friend that a train from Gudaspur has arrived in Lahore filled with murdered Muslim. Ice-Candy-Man shouts, Everyone is dead. Butchered. They are all Muslim. There are no young women among the dead! Only two gunny-bags full of womens breast!.

Another form of ill-treatment toward women during the partition can be seen from Miridulla Sarabhais story, a woman who worked as a chief social worker for recovering women, she recounts one Sikh man, Dr.Virsa Singh who was known in Amritsar for murdering many women during the partition in order to preserve their honor. Versa Singh claimed he had shot 50 women personally. First, he shot his own wife because the Muslim came to get them. Once he had done this, all the women in the neighborhood gathered around saying, Viran, pehle mannu maar, pehle mannu maar, (brother, kill me first).

The examples above clearly portray that the difference of ethnicities and religions after the partition have turned many women into victimis. Unbelievably, women became the real victims, subjugated by the riot situation.

Gender based victimization:

The Bias and Women Victimization in India. Begins even before life begins. Starting from the stage of birth, women are discriminated in areas like access to nutrition, childcare, education and work etc. Share of women in total population is declining: In spite of specific laws and rules by the government brought into force to stop discrimination against women, but under the complex cultural beliefs and practices associated with patriarchal monopolistic behavior, the efficiency of such isolated efforts remained doubtful. In Maharashtra, for instance, there are only 922 females per 1000 males (2009Censes) as against about 950 that should have been under the natural fertility behavior of women. Any shortage of number of women per 1000 men is a clear indication of direct interference with the natural fertility regime by way of prenatal sex determination test, which prompts parents to remove female fetus in mothers womb due to preference for son over

daughter. The elements of son preference, though has its roots in the past, but it is gaining more importance in the recent years mainly due to bad practices like dowry system, prevailing laws of inheritance and succession as all these favor men. The shrinking numbers of women as compared to men in recent year in clear from lower sex ratio of population in age six year and below which is only 913 in Maharashtra during 2009 Census. This means, during last six years, the number of girls per 1000 boys is less than the number of girls per 1000 boys in the past.

Psychological effects of woman victimization:

Posttraumatic stress disorder may occur as a result of traumatic events that have either natural or human origin. Characteristic features of PTSD include re experiencing the traumatic event, emotional numbness or avoidance, and increased arousal. PTSD is one of the most frequent mental health consequences of IPV, with a mean prevalence of 64% in abused women . A number of studies on abused women finding that the rate of PTSD ranged from 31 to 84%, with modal rates ranging between 45 and 60% Other studies examining posttraumatic stress disorder in battered women have identified a strong, positive correlation between severity of abuse and intensity of PTSD symptomatology Moreover, among abused women PTSD symptoms can last long after the end of the abusive relationship .Several studies confirm the widespread idea that

psychological abuse frequently coexists with physical 182 M.A. Pico-Alfonso Neuroscience and Bio behavioral Reviews abuse by the intimate partner Psychological abuse often includes threats to physical and psychological health, isolation of the victim and attempts to induce humiliation. Such studies also underline that psychological abuse has a unique and sometimes even greater impact than physical abuse on womens psychological functioning, particularly within the areas of depression and PTSD Subjective reports by women involved in violent relationships also suggest that women perceive psychological abuse as having a greater adverse effect than physical abuse Indeed, psychological abuse seems to have its independent effect on the development of PTSD .After statistical removal of the contribution of physical violence, increased levels of psychological abuse have been positively related with increased traumatic stress and psychological symptoms Psychological and physical abuse are

frequently accompanied by sexual abuse in violent relationships. It has been estimated that sexual abuse occurs in approximately 40% of all cases of battering .Women that are both physically and sexually abused have a higher incidence of mental disturbances than those that are only physically abused .IPV-related sexual assault has been associated with PTSD and it has been reported that sexual violence severity explains a significant proportion of the variance of PTSD symptoms, beyond what was already accounted for by physical violence intensity .

Recommendations of Commissions and Committees on Justice to Victims in India:

1) A person shall be considered a victim regardless of whether the perpetrator of the violation is identified, apprehended, prosecuted, or convicted and regardless of the familial relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. 2) Victims should be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity and human rights, and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure their safety, physical and psychological well-being and privacy, as well as those of their families. The State should ensure that its domestic laws, to the extent possible, provide that a victim who has suffered violence or trauma should benefit from special consideration and care to avoid his or her re-traumatization in the course of legal and administrative procedures designed to provide justice and reparation. Guidelines given by UN General Assembly on Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims: 1. Victims right to remedies
(a)Equal and effective access to justice;

(b) Adequate, effective and prompt reparation for harm suffered;

(c) Access to relevant information concerning violations and reparation mechanisms

(d)Provide proper assistance to victims seeking access to justice

(e) Make available all appropriate legal, diplomatic and consular means to ensure that victims can exercise their rights to remedy.

(f) In addition to individual access to justice, States should endeavor to develop procedures to allow groups of victims to present claims for reparation and to receive reparation, as appropriate.

Reparation for harm suffered:

a) Adequate, effective and prompt reparation is intended to promote justice by redressing gross violations of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law. Reparation should be proportional to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered. In accordance with its domestic laws and international legal obligations, a State shall provide reparation to victims for acts or omissions which can be attributed to the State and constitute gross violations of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law. In cases where a person, a legal person, or other entity is found liable for reparation to a victim, such party should provide reparation to the victim or compensate the State if the State has already provided reparation to the victim. b) States should endeavour to establish national programmes for reparation and other assistance to victims in the event that the parties liable for the harm suffered are unable or unwilling to meet their obligations.


The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, Plans and programmes have aimed at womens advancement in different spheres. India has also ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights of women. Key among them is the ratification of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993.


The Constitution of India not only grants equality to women but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women for neutralizing the cumulative socio economic, education and political disadvantages faced by them. Fundamental Rights, among others, ensure equality before the law and equal protection of law; prohibits discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and guarantee equality of opportunity to all citizens in matters relating to employment. Articles 14, 15, 15(3), 16, 39(a), 39(b), 39(c) and 42 of the Constitution are of specific importance in this regard.

National Commission for Women

In January 1992, the Government set-up this statutory body with a specific mandate to study and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal safeguards provided for women, review the existing legislation to suggest amendments wherever necessary, etc.

So far till date only one legislation that is domestic violence act ,2005 has been passed by the parliament but the act only focuses about the substantive part it nowhere deals about the rehabilitation or resettlement of women who are victim of violence. Indian laws are still insufficient to provide a good treatment to victims even though UN has already given many guidelines and directions over this issue.Victimization of women is a very serious issue we must look into as to how these victims are not dealt by legal system properly which is a matter of their right which they are not given of. Indian Criminal Justice is not the appropriate system to deal with a conflict so complex like this one, because it does not listen to the victim and it, in fact, intensifies the problem.

-The victim is attended by unprofessional people, whose actions or inaction, punish her to a secondary victimization.

-Statistics show the violence increases, which proves the methods of the penal system used to eliminate violence does not work.

-Punishment is not what the victims of violence ask for.

-There are some alternatives to deal with the conflict that gender violence generates, starting with respecting victims decisions.

-There is so much to do from the perspective of the victim and for the respect of the women rights, and cultural change is not impossible.

So this should be an alarming session for the philosophers, legal drafters to at least think about this issue seriously and come out with suggestions to be given to the government.