The core committee of the Cultural Academy of Peace decided to convene, within existing resources, as part of the extended activities connected with the observance of the Prevention against Domestic Violence Day on 26th November, 2018. A high level panel discussion was held in collaboration with the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KeLSA) on the 20th of December, 2018 at the honourable High Court of Kerala. The workshop was conducted keeping in mind the following objectives:

  1. To discuss how to create more awareness and understanding among women about the existing legislations touching upon domestic violence, and the statutory remedies available to them.
  2. To reinforce the responsibility of the various stakeholders and to urge them to fine-tune their roles to increase the efficacy or effectiveness of the existing legislations holding the field.
  3. To explore the feasibility of suggesting amendments to the existing statutes like the ‘Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005’, so as to bridge the loopholes and lacunae in those enactments.
  4. To discuss at length the modalities of a ‘marital property law’ for spouses in a marriage, hoping this would decide the ratio of devolution of property or assets in case of divorce or abandonment of women in a marital relationship. This will be done by examining the marital property laws of various jurisdictions or countries, which will serve as a guideline for framing a draft proposal.

A total number of approximately 55 participants including government officials, legal advocates, protection officers from various districts, the police department and members from various service providing centres (SPC) participated in this workshop. A domestic violence survivor also participated in order to share her experience with the various stakeholders related to this Act.

The workshop ended on a positive note where nearly everyone gathered, was convinced that this should be taken up as a serious problem and an immediate action should be taken up to deal with the above mentioned challenges. We see this as a starting spark which we aim to take up and proceed in order to kindle the fire protecting the women from domestic violence.