Intimate partner domestic violence hinders the well-being and development of women and transfers its ill effects intergenerationally. It is widely reported that economic fallback options help women escape intimate partner violence (IPV), enhance their ability to recuperate, and enable economic opportunity and independence. This study attempts to understand and re-examine the link between intimate partner domestic violence and the ownership of property among women in 14 districts of the Southern Indian state, Kerala. The Women Protection Officers of Kerala (WPO) served as resourceful informants. These officers are the first action force to facilitate domestic violence complaints under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 India. Primary data has been collected through interviews with WPOs. Six practising advocates shared information on the cases where they restored ownership of assets and facilitated locating the women for the twelve case studies. The findings reveal how women get dispossessed of their assets and are further subjected to domestic violence for want of assets. Women who managed to hold on to their assets were found to overcome and recuperate from domestic violence, and autonomous ownership of these assets boosted their self-esteem and recovery. The paper highlights the need for revisiting policy decisions regarding the property rights of women.

Author Biography

Yamini Virginia John holds a bachelor’s degree in History Hons from St Stephen's College, Delhi. After a Masters's in Women's Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, she is currently pursuing her Ph.D. on Property Rights of Women in Kerala at the University of Calicut. Her areas of interest include gender and ownership rights, women's health, livelihood concerns, and migration. yaminivirginiajohn@gmail.com.

Dr. Moly Kuruvilla is a Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Calicut, Kerala, India. She is the co-editor of the Handbook of Research on New Dimensions of Gender Mainstreaming and Women Empowerment published by IGI Global, California, in June 2020; and Gendered Experiences of COVID-19 in India published by the Palgrave Macmillan in November 2021. She is an advisor to the Asian African Association for Women, Gender, and Sexuality. molykuruvilla14@gmail.com.