The paper takes stock of present day conditions involving violence against Dalit women. It strives to unpack the many normative systems shaping Dalit women’s social positionalities and their lived realities of justice. The analysis is focused on gaining an understanding of the ordinary every-day context within which systemic violence and its normative frames of reference are inscribed. By positioning the field of investigation at the intersection between questions of gender, caste and class entangled within locally contextual dynamics of power, the paper aims to illustrate how the understanding of violence and justice changes if it is viewed from Dalit women perspectives and how this view alters our assessment of the potentials and constraints facing democratic institutions and the rule of law in contemporary India. This also represents a methodological choice which seeks to highlight how a seemingly liminal analytical perspective becomes central in illuminating some of the pivotal junctures that help to explain the workings of a system as a whole.