This article will help you to know all about the law relating to domestic violence in Nepal.
Domestic violence is any form of physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse where there is a close relationship between the victim and the offender usually in co-habilitation. There is usually a power gap between them. The victim is dependent on the offender.
United Nations defines domestic violence as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone.
In the context of Nepal, domestic violence is one of the most reported crimes among other gender-based crimes. So we can say that law relating to domestic violence in Nepal plays a vital role in controlling it. Although a person of any gender, caste, age, the economic and educational background can be a victim of domestic violence women hold the majority place as the victim.
According to the report of Nepal Police (2077/78) women of age 26-35 who have received basic education are the victims of the majority of domestic violence cases registered.
Along with many international instruments, Nepal has enforced the law relating to domestic violence in Nepal such as the Domestic Violence (Offence and Punishment) Act, 2066, and the Domestic Violence (Offence and Punishment) Rules, 2067.
Law Relating to Domestic Violence in Nepal
Domestic Violence (Offence and Punishment) Act, 2066
It is an essential law relating to domestic violence in Nepal. Section 2 (a) of the Act defines domestic violence as any form of physical, mental, sexual, and economic harm perpetrated by a person to a person with whom he/she has a family relationship and this word also includes any acts of reprimand or emotional harm.
An act of committing or causing bodily harm or injury holding as a captive, inflicting physical pain, or any other activity connected therewith and incidental thereto except the act of breaking the limbs of the body.
Any act of threatening the Victim with physical torture, showing terror, reprimanding him/her, accusing him/her of false blame, forcefully evicting him/her from the house, or otherwise causing injury or harm to the Victim emotionally and this expression also includes any discrimination carried out on the basis of thought, religion or culture and customs and traditions.
Sexual misbehavior, humiliation, discouragement, or harm to the self-respect of any person; or any other act that hampers safe sexual health.
Deprivation from using jointly or privately owned property or deprivation of or access to employment opportunities, economic resources, or means.
Section 13 of the same act provides for the punishment to the offender of domestic violence as:
- A fine of three thousand rupees up to twenty-five thousand rupees or six months of imprisonment or both to anyone who commits the offense.
- Half of the punishment is that of the offender to anyone who attempts to commit domestic violence or abets the crime or incites others to commit the crime.
- Double punishment upon every repetition of the offense to the person who has been punished once for the offense of domestic violence.
- An additional ten percent of the punishment is to the person who commits the offense of domestic violence while holding a public post.
Relevant Questions and Answers
Who can file a complaint about domestic violence in Nepal?
Any person who has knowledge of an act of domestic violence that has been committed or is being committed, or is likely to be committed may file a complaint against the offender to the concerned authority. In the case of domestic violence, locus standi is not relevant and hence anyone including the victim may file a complaint.
Where can you file a complaint about domestic violence in Nepal?
Anyone may file a written or oral complaint to the Police Station, National Women’s Commission, or Local Body. One may file a complaint by using the various helpline numbers such as:
-100 Nepal Police for reporting any offenses
-1145 “Khabar Garau” helpline of National Women Commission in case of gender-based violence or violence against women
-1098 Child helpline number for reporting child abuse including child domestic abuse.
Who can be the victim of domestic violence in Nepal?
Although the majority of the cases reported are of domestic violence against women, anyone of any gender, age, race, or caste may be a victim of domestic violence by their spouse, parents, siblings, relatives, or intimate partners.
How is domestic violence different from other forms of physical, sexual, or economic abuse in Nepal?
Domestic violence is a more sensitive offense than other physical, sexual, or economic abuse as usually both the victim and the offender are living under a safe roof and the victim is dependent economically, emotionally, or socially on the offender.
Domestic violence is more prevalent in our society than we like to think. The law relating to domestic violence in Nepal is not as effective in addressing this issue as it should be because the victims of this type of offense are dependent on their offender and taking any legal actions against them only worsens their living situation.
The concerned authority along with various organizations may be able to address this issue by helping the victims and offenders by providing them with proper rehabilitation. This can be done by proper research about the cause of the said crime and its effect on the victims and their offenders.