Violence Against Women in Live-In Relationships and the Legal Safeguards

10 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2023 Last revised: 14 Apr 2023

Date Written: December 29, 2022


Recently several cases are sensationalized by the media where in women in live-in relationships have been subjected to gruesome violence and are brutally murdered. The mainstream media and politics pushed a toxic communal narrative and blamed women for marrying by choice and having an inter-caste or inter-religious relationship while evoking the unreasonable patriarchal notions of `love jihad’ or `honor killings’. What is overlooked in this rhetoric is that women have been facing violence even in the `arranged marriage’ system too as evident by the increasing cases reported under Section 498A IPC (domestic violence law), Section 304B IPC (Dowry law), and under Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act of 2005. Also, in the debate regarding law and morality, it is the women who are continuously infantilized, denied agency, burdened with the obligations to follow the codes of honor while bearing violence, whereas men continued to enjoy authority, power and privileges while escaping accountability in the relationships. Moreover, in the cases pertaining to the live-in relationships, the courts in several cases have expanded the rights of women, yet confusion persists. Considering the existing situation, this work suggests for a clear-cut law on live-in relationships while strengthening the provisions available under the domestic violence law. The need is to challenge the structural discrimination that exists within the family and society while altering the culture of violence with impunity.

Keywords: Live-in relationship, India law, rights, violence, domestic violence courts

Suggested Citation

Nigam, Shalu, Violence Against Women in Live-In Relationships and the Legal Safeguards (December 29, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Shalu Nigam (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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