When to Call it Quits

by the editor: Siddharth Sehgal

What the brutal murder of Shraddha Walker tells us is a deep-rooted problem in our society of domestic violence and abuse that sometimes materializes in the ugliest of ways. Rather than attempting to address the problem, the attempt is made to politicize and give this murder a religious color.

Rather than painting every interfaith relationship with terms such as Love Jihad, people forget that grown-ups can make their own life decisions and any relationship can go bad. Where many young people lack knowledge or experience is to know when to step outside of a toxic relationship and where to seek intervention. Physical assault should be that red line where the victim should seriously think of intervention. When physical violence goes unchallenged it is usually a turning point in an abusive relationship and for the worst for the victim on the receiving end.

In this case, it was reported that the guy, Aftab, had a history of domestic violence and abusive behavior toward this young lady. Her equation with her family also didn’t help where she could have asked for help. I think talking to friends and seeking counseling or some sort of intervention could have made a difference, though it’s just speculation. It’s best to step away from an abusive relationship and to know when it’s time to quit. During Covid, there were many instances of domestic violence recorded, and financial strain because of the pandemic also fuelled the fire but it’s never okay to physically assault your partner be it a man or woman.

Even at a general level, we do not see discussions on such matters more often, what we hear is atrocities and crimes against women. Here and there we see a helpline number popping up for women but that’s about it, it is usually considered taboo in our society to ask for help when relationships turn sour. Even divorce and separation are frowned upon and are considered an unhealthy western influence but what we don’t realize is that by blaming external factors we are escaping responsibility.

As a society, we should make effort to make our homes, and workplaces safe for women. It’s not wrong to seek help. In this case, the accused Aftab should be punished with the harshest sentence for cruelty against an innocent woman.

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