Feminist counselling and domestic violence in India

Neha Kagal

Abstract

Very rarely does one get to review a book that’s a first of its kind! By bringing together the themes of domestic violence and feminist counselling, this book has filled a vacuum in the Indian literature on feminist interventions, in particular, feminist counselling practices. It emphasises the need for a feminist praxis in counselling for domestic violence within the Indian context. The ease and simplicity with which the book flows is delightful, as is the evident link between theory and the lived experiences of women. The passage of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005, which was a result of the concerted efforts of women’s movements for a comprehensive law to prevent domestic violence, is an important milestone as far as challenging domestic violence is concerned. The book, however, drives home the point that laws alone cannot ensure that women will stand up to violence effectively. It is just as important to encourage them to recognise unjust power structures, assist them in challenging this oppression and stand by them through their difficult journey; and this is the goal of feminist counselling. The book stresses the fact that patriarchy cannot be ignored while dealing with the issue of violence.

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