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Unsafe In My Own Home: A Sociolegal Study of Violence against Women in India's Private Sphere

Ebenezer, Hazel Lincy (2023) Unsafe In My Own Home: A Sociolegal Study of Violence against Women in India's Private Sphere. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100393) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:100393)

Language: English

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Given the influence of the social and legal public-private divide on the Indian legal framework, this research seeks to understand how current legal structures maintain and reinforce forms of violence against women in India's private sphere. In tackling this question, the research argument begins by observing that the Indian legal system does not sufficiently address acts of violence committed in the private social sphere. The manifestations and consequences of this insufficiency is studied in two different scenarios: marital rape, as a form of violence where no law exists, and dowry death, as a form of violence where the existing laws prove inadequate. Through a postcolonial feminist lens, the research argues that the legal insufficiency for both marital rape and dowry death can be explained, at least in part, by understanding the patriarchal and colonial power dynamics that create and maintain social scripts and perceptions surrounding gender roles, marriage, and violence in the private sphere. In turn, these private sphere narratives influence the creation, implementation, and reform of law in the public sphere as well. These dynamics are showcased in detail through the examination of marital rape and dowry death in India, and the social scripts and perceptions surrounding these forms of violence. The argument concludes by commenting on the consequences of social narratives in the private sphere on legal structures in the public which, in turn, continues to both maintain and reinforce marital rape, dowry death, and other private forms of violence against women. This argument allows the research to create an understanding of the patriarchal and colonial influence of the legal and social public-private divide, as an important first step towards a structural transformation of the Indian legal framework surrounding violence against women in India's private sphere.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Arai, Yutaka
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100393
Uncontrolled keywords: Violence against Women, Law, Sociolegal, Postcolonial Feminism, Critical Legal Theory, Postcolonial, India, Marital Rape, Dowry Death, Women's Rights
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2023 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2023 08:46 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Ebenezer, Hazel Lincy.

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