Domestic Violence and Other Atrocities on Women

By Sarika Tainwala

Behind closed doors of homes, women are constantly being tortured in rural areas, towns, cities and in metros every day. Yet we are unaware of it because women are inherently good at covering up all the time.

The instances of increasing crimes against women is shocking with violent attacks i.e. foeticide, infanticide, medical neglect, child marriages, bride burning, sexual abuse of the girl child, forced marriages and sexual harassment at home as well as workplaces. Our mothers, sisters, wives, friends, colleagues, and neighbors… question is “What are you doing about it? “What am I doing about it”, “What’s the government doing about it?”

Let’s see the various forms of abuse women go through in India –

  • Physical abuse by in-laws and husband at home is one of the biggest forms of abuse. It’s ingrained in women from the beginning that they have to ‘adjust’ because marriage is a must, marriage is for life, that your husband is akin to a god to you, and that without him you’re nothing
  • Failing at one’s domestic duties, like not cooking food properly, neglecting one’s household and children and disrespecting one’s in-laws are some reasons
  • Emotional abuse in the form of harassment, threats, verbal abuse such as name-calling, degradation, blaming, stalking and isolation, which leads to suicidal thoughts and attempts
  • Newly married brides that haven’t got dowry with them, suffer from physical by in laws and the husband
  • Forced and child marriage, wherein marriages at young ages, suffering from a double vulnerability both for being a child and for being female

So why do women in India suffer silently?

“Women are considered good women or bad women according to how well they fulfill their expected duties and responsibilities,” says Nayreen Daruwalla, a Mumbai-based counselor, and social worker. “A good wife is one who cooks food doesn’t confront the husband and his family, never speaks up, lets her husband take all important decisions, and allows him to have sex with her whenever he likes.”

But in reality, it’s equally prevalent among the financially well-off, educated class.

Urban women face both verbal and physical abuse for years without anyone knowing about it and prefer to maintain the false pretense of a ‘perfect marriage’. One of the most common reasons quoted by many women is stability and the kids’ future. Many women feel that their kids are well taken care of by their well-off fathers and will have a more stable future.

Now not all is morbid for us, if a woman is genuinely happy in her marriage and is content with the family its fine. I am not anti-men, am addressing the women that are unhappy about things, whatever it may be & need help.

How can you help a friend who is being abused?

  • Set up a time to talk
  • Let her know you’re concerned about her safety
  • Offer specific help
  • Don’t place shame, blame, or guilt on her
  • Help her make a safety plan
  • Encourage her to talk to someone who can help
  • If she decides to stay, continue to be supportive
  • Encourage her to do things outside of the relationship
  • If she decides to leave, continue to offer help
  • Let her know that you will always be there no matter way-out can also help end violence against women… Here’s how…
  • Learn about bystander intervention
  • Be alert to signs in a friend or a family member whose suffering silently
  • Volunteer
  • Teach your children early on that they are the ones who decide who gets to touch them & where
  • Raise children to respect others
  • Lead by example

You can approach plenty of NGO’s in India for support in case you have no family to help. The most important point here to remember is that you are not helpless, there is help available. Two NGO’s to approach are –

Ashraya Women’s Centre

Vimochana

On summing up my blog I want to say that women out there, who think they are helpless, need to remember the following points to ensure they do not face these situations –

  • You should make decisions, by your own choice
  • They should have social respect and equal rights in society
  • You need to be given equal education opportunities
  • Be clear not to tolerate discrimination between woman and man while seeking jobs and employment
  • You should be given a safe and secured Working location with proper privacy

But having said all of the above, if a woman is happy in her marriage and is intrinsically in love with her spouse its ok. The issue arises when she is not comfortable with certain things in her relationship and needs freedom or feels stifled with her man. That’s when I suggest to find ways to resolve matters. I am all for women getting their space & freedom to function normally in a relationship.

About the Author:

Sarika is a corporate marketing professional with 6+ years of work experience in Client Servicing, Business Development, and content writing with Imagic Creatives Pvt Ltd, Think IMC, Aegis BPO, and Air Deccan airlines among others. Academically she’s studied – Executive General Management Program (EGMP), IIM, B, Six months of Management Development Program-(YPP) from IIM, K, PGDMM, St. Joseph College of Administration, Bangalore,B.Com- Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She’s also a voice-over artist and loves to gym and watches movies.  She’s a management professional turned into a writer and loves reading the romance genre and Indian authors. She aspires to release her own novel someday.

One Comment

  1. Christina Joseph says:

    informative and Good one.

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