How to Complain against Domestic Violence?


Women have struggled against atrocities committed against them since forever. Domestic violence is one such brutality which is prevalent in every class of society –  from poorest to the richest. You may be be a victim yourself facing physical or mental abuse.  Or you may have been privy to screams of a woman in the neighbourhood pleading her husband to stop slapping and kicking her.

It has become commonplace for women to end up with severe bruises and broken bones after such encounters in their domestic life. Its not just husbands who could behave like ‘Rakshas’ (Demon), but it could be your brother or father too!

Women need to remember that knowledge is power. Domestic Violence Complaint can be filed by any aggrieved woman who has faced violence by the members in the shared household. A wife can file it against her husband and in-laws, a mother can complaint against her son, a girl can complaint against an abusive father or brother. Also, a woman can also complaint against her live in partner.  

Violence does not need to be just physical, it has other forms too, namely Economic, Emotional and Sexual. For example – ILL treatment of your children by the father can also constitute as domestic violence.

(Please visit this page on Mightylaws in order to know what qualifies as Domestic Violence under Indian laws.)

In the time of crises, please remember the following avenues where you can file a complaint against domestic violence and seek help.

Nearest Police Station

Head to the nearest police station to file an FIR (First Information Report). If you don’t know the location then ask people around you (Autoriksha drivers, security guards and Google search are generally helpful in finding out location of the police station).

Request the police on duty to register an FIR. They are duty bound to do so and cannot refuse.

TIP: If you are told by the police that the incident does not fall under their jurisdiction then ask them to register a ‘ZERO FIR’ (it is an FIR without number and can be later transferred to the relevant Police Station.)

Police will write down the description of the incident and ask you to sign it. DOUBLE CHECK the FIR before signing it. DO NOT SIGN the FIR blindly. It will be even better if you take some time before approaching the police and write down all details on a piece of paper describing the incident and then hand it over to the police. This way, there is less chance of discrepancy.

If you are uncomfortable talking about the abuse to a male policeman, then request the police to be directed to a women’s cell which has female police officers to assist the victims.  

Online FIR

Some States in India have the facility of filing an FIR online. If you happen to be a resident of any of such states, then filing an FIR online can be a great alternative to visiting an actual police station and pouring your heart out to a stern looking police personnel!

For more info on the list of states in India offering online FIR facility, please visit

Phone Helplines for Domestic Violence Victims

There are Helplines in India which help women at the time the crises. They may assist the victim and guide her through legal procedures. Mightylaws brings you the compiled list of helplines which can be called at the time of crises. The list also includes the name of organisations which provide women free legal aid in order to assist them to fight court case against the abuser.  

Central Social Welfare Board -Police Helpline1091/ 1291 (011) 23317004
Shakti Shalini10920
Shakti Shalini – women’s shelter(011) 24373736/ 24373737
SAARTHAK(011) 26853846/ 26524061
All India Women’s Conference10921/ (011) 23389680
JAGORI(011) 26692700
Joint Women’s Programme (also has branches in Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai)(011) 24619821
Sakshi – violence intervention center(0124) 2562336/ 5018873
Saheli – a womens organization(011) 24616485 (Saturdays)
Nirmal Niketan(011) 27859158
Nari Raksha Samiti(011) 23973949
RAHI Recovering and Healing from Incest. A support centre for women survivors of child sexual abuse(011) 26238466/ 26224042 26227647
Legal Aid Helplines
Human Rights Law Network runs Madhyam Helpline and provide Legal Services(011) 24316922/ 24324503
Lawyers Collective Womens Rights Initiative (LC WRI runs a pro-bono legal aid cell for domestic violence cases)(011) 24373993/ 24372923
MARG (Multiple Action Research Group)(011) 26497483 / 26496925
Delhi Police HELPLINE1091
Delhi Commission for Women(011) 23379181/ 23370597
Women’s Cell, Delhi Police(011) 24673366 / 4156 / 7699
National Human Rights Commission(011) 23385368/9810298900
Pratidhi(011) 22527259

Rashtriya Mahila Ayog/NCW

National Commission for Women (NCW) is empowered to address complaints relating to issues faced by women. The Complaints and Counseling Cell of the commission processes all the complaints whether received orally, written or suo-motu under Section 10 of the NCW Act. The complaints received relate to domestic violence, harassment, dowry, torture, desertion, bigamy, rape, refusal to register FIR, cruelty by husband, deprivation, gender discrimination and sexual harassment at work place.

You can simply file a complaint with the National Commission for Women through their website which can be accessed at

Please fill the required details in the form and submit it. After submission of the form, you will be issued a receipt number. If the complaint falls within the mandate of the NCW, then by using your receipt number you will be to obtain your file number, user id and password within 10 days of filing of complaint.

If you end up losing the receipt number then please call the Computer department of the NCW on the following phone number to recover your receipt number  –  011-23234916, 011-23234918 or drop an e-mail to ncw[at]nic[dot]in with subject as “Forgotten receipt number”.

I hope that this article serves as practical source of information and helps women who are in need of being protected from domestic abuse. Please like our Facebook page in order to stay connected with Mightylaws and receive regular updates on various laws.

Always remember – Knowledge is more powerful than physical strength!

Nikita Anand

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