ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Speaking of Abuse

The Pyramid of Reporting Domestic Violence in India

Suraj Jacob (suraj.jacob@apu.edu.in) is a political economist at Vidya Bhawan, Udaipur. Sreeparna Chattopadhyay (sreeparna.chattopadhyay@phfi.org) is a researcher at the Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health, Public Health Foundation of India, Bengaluru.

In India, most women who experience domestic violence do not share their experience with anybody or seek help. Among those who do, a “pyramid of reporting” exists. Informal sources (natal family and friends) are favoured; very few report violence via institutional routes (non-governmental organisations and police). The conditions under which incidents of domestic violence are reported, and/or help is sought through different routes—along with the reasons why such conditions often do not occur—are highlighted using large-scale secondary survey data and primary ethnographic data. The findings have implications for mitigating domestic violence through institutional routes.

The authors are grateful to comments from panellists and discussants at the March 2016 annual meeting of the International Studies Association in Atlanta, US, where a previous version of the article was presented.

Updated On : 7th Jan, 2019

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