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Posted at: Nov 27, 2017, 1:54 AM; last updated: Nov 27, 2017, 3:45 PM (IST)

Anti-dowry law in Australian province soon

Anti-dowry law in Australian province soon
File photo for representational purpose only.

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26

After four years of rallies and online petitions by victims and social organisations, Australia’s Victoria province is all set to bring in a law against dowry, making it a criminal offence. The draft Bill is ready and will be tabled in the legislature soon. 

Marie Segrave, Associate Professor in Criminology, Monash University, Melbourne, played a key role, blaming dowry for the 300 domestic violence cases that she studied. 

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 “When an Indian woman complained she was being harassed by her husband for dowry, the police and judiciary had no idea how to deal with the issue. It took us four years to make the government aware about the social evil,” explains Dr Manjula O’Connor, a psychiatrist residing in Victoria and one of those who spearheaded the campaign. She claims she receives at least 50 dowry cases every year.

Figures with the National Crime Record Bureau (2015) reveal a dowry case is registered in India every hour.

“The Australians don’t understand the custom of dowry, insisting a gift is a gift. Hence, they are unable to empathise with a woman seeking their help to get back gifts and jewellery (streedan) from her husband who has deserted her,” says Dr Manjula.

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