Supurna Banerjee et al., "The Violent Domestic Law: Its Practice and Strategies of Survival" (Zubaan Academic, 2022)


In 2005, after considerable campaigning by women’s groups, the Indian government brought in an important new law, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA). A civil law, the PWDVA was meant to combat violence against women in familial and intimate spaces. 

In The Violent Domestic Law: Its Practice and Strategies of Survival (Zubaan Academic, 2022), the authors ask: how effective has this law been? Have there been any changes in institutional regimes and their politics as a result of this legislation? They look at seven districts of West Bengal and interrogate, through the testimonies of survivors, whether the law reshapes the domestic, or whether the embeddedness of violence in the domestic is so complete that change through law must necessarily be partial and imperfect. Importantly, the questions the authors ask go beyond the heteronormative approach that centres only the married woman in the discourse around domestic violence. They include the voices of lesbian and transgender women, as well as women with physical and psycho-social disabilities. Given these unique insights, The Violent Domestic will be a welcome addition to legal and gender studies. 

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Deidre Tyler

Deidre Tyler, PhD - Sociologist, Instructional Technologist.
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