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Women Need to Realise That Tolerating Domestic Violence Wouldn’t ‘Save’ Their Family!

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By Vishakha Dahiya:

We all come across gruesome stories of harassment of women through newspapers/magazines or social media. What we read is only a small fragment of the reality. When a child is made to study “the right to equality”, far away there is a girl watching her brother go to school while she does the household chores. Why the constitutional laws are only confined to books/courts? Why is that when a woman is harassed by her husband, she takes all the torture to herself without uttering a word? Here, I am focusing on the strata of our society where a female is considered to be a “liability” than a “responsibility”. Is the violence against women self-created? This blunt question cropped up in my mind when I came across a very disheartening incident which happened a few days back. An incident that left me feel helpless.

domestic violence

My housemaid is a refugee from Bangladesh. She came to India along with her husband in search of work immediately after her marriage. She is a work hardworking and honest lady. As the days passed by, we started noticing irregularities in her work. Once she didn’t come to our house for a week straight. When we inquired about her, we came across this horrifying truth which left us dumbstruck. She was admitted in a local hospital after suffering severe injuries on her head. Her drunkard husband had physically beaten her with a wooden log. After she recovered from the injuries, we got a hold of her and asked her to narrate the whole story. It was so inhumane of her husband to beat her every single night. We tried to extend a helping hand and asked her that we would like to lodge a complaint in a local police station. But she shunned us saying “Mera parivar bikhar jayega (“My family will be ruined”)”.

How are we supposed to react in such a scenarios? This is just one of the ugly truths. I wonder how many women are harassed every day by their male counterparts. To save their family and for the normal upbringing of their children, they tend to accept it all as a part of their “destiny” and learn to live with it. In a country where we worship goddesses, a female is beaten to death every now and then. This is a harsh truth which is slowly deteriorating our faith in the country’s law and order situation.

We need stringent action for the betterment of women in rural parts of the country. We need to educate them and provide them with a suitable job so that they don’t have to be dependent on any man who treats her no less than an animal. I hope for a better tomorrow where every female is treated with the respect that she rightly deserves.

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  1. Bharat Patel

    Dear Vishakha Dahiya:- I agree with you 100%. I also hope for a better tomorrow where every female is treated with the respect that she rightly deserves. You right about that, this is a harsh truth which is slowly deteriorating our faith in the country’s law and order situation.I like to add one more thing that our some religious sampradays also need to change their thoughts and action…like Swaminarayan Samprday…their, so called Bhagawan shree Pramukhswami and all Saints do not see,touch or speak to women (but they eat prasad-food cooked by women…!!!) and their behavior creates more distance-hate- between women & men….it looks like to me that this is a big problem in our society,in our country.Looks like we worship stones not Goddesses….!!! May God help us and may create equality in men-women and slowly but surely make them more respectful in the world..after all they are our Mom. Jay Shree Ram….I do see some zansi ki Ranis/MaJagdambas.. stepping up and started making noises to live the equal life….may God bless us all.

  2. M.C.Aggarwal

    There should be SHG type social women groups at every block level to tackle such problems
    of women victims and help .You will see that Mahila Ayog is in papers ,there is nothing

  3. Priyanka Adhikary

    I have a point. Domestic Violence does not only occur within rural families.Middle class and high class families and much more educated people are often the main victims. In rural families, the victims often protest, or rather stay, fight , beat etc. But in middle class and high class families, the victims often get traumatized and suffer depression and therefore tend to be the victims of psychological violence. I feel Psychological violence is far more effective than physical violence. People often can tolerate the pain of the injuries and it gets healed in time but the way in which the perpetrators make their victims suffer mentally is far more stressful and traumatized. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence.There are lots of reasons why a victim of domestic violence can’t leave her own house. People often say, ‘why don’t you leave the house or leave him/just get out of the house’ etc. But its the barriers that keep them from going out. The reasons can be fear, economic instability, lack of independence, dependency, to protect their children and many more.

    I feel, the patriarchal society is responsible for this situation. There are already numerous NGOs, women shelter homes, and other legal organisations and human rights commissions in India. What the Indian society fails to understand is that Domestic violence is a gross human rights violation and it is not to be left as a family or private matter.

    These are my recommendations-:

    • Women should speak up more often if they face violence inside the house. This needs motivation, encouragement and support from other family members and other non-governmental organizations if approached.
    • The existence of the patriarchal society should not be given more importance.
    • Women should and need to understand their own human rights. This needs proper education and awareness.
    • The media should promote ads and particular programs to make the viewers more aware about ways of preventing violence within the family.
    • Non-governmental organizations should make an attempt towards proper surveys in households in the society both in urban and rural areas to get proper data about the existence of violence within the family which remain mostly hidden and actualize towards proper actions accordingly.
    • Actions should be taken to prevent gender discrimination in the society. This too needs the attention of the state and government.
    • A girl child should not be taught from childhood that she is delicate and has to be dependent on someone for whatever she does.
    • The status of women in our society should be improved. There should be more recruitment of women police officers and participation of women in every field should be encouraged.
    • Very strict and effective law to punish the abusers and protect the victims
    • In order to prevent violence within the family, it is required to understand that women are not bound to be victims within the family and in order to understand that self-realization about one’s self is mostly required. This too needs the support of family members. And if there is no one to support, one should learn to protest and go against her own family if required and should speak up even if her voice shakes.

  4. reena mumbai

    I sincerely hope that, upon reflection, you came to the answer to your question of “Is the violence self-inflicted”. And I hope the answer you came to was a resounding “NO”. A dis-empowered woman without rights or law to back her up can never be blamed upon allowing a cycle to continue. Society should be blamed, and should take action.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Read more about her campaign.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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