This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sonal Jamuar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

‘But He Loves Me’ Is No justification For Violence, Marriage Isn’t A License To Abuse Your Partner

More from Sonal Jamuar

By Sonal Jamuar:

A man is not worth your tears, if the tears are a result of your his behaviour towards you. I am not talking about a lover’s quarrel or a marital tiff. I am referring to instances where the same man beats you, abuses you or assaults you. Do not wait for a wake up call to take action; today it is you, tomorrow it could be your daughter. Hailing from North India, male dominant households were a common characteristic in the society. I have no problem with a family system where men earn the bread. Roles are mutually defined and established where there is love and respect between husband and wife – division of the household chores and taking care of the day to day work.

dometic violence

At the age of six, I used to wonder why an aunt from my neighborhood often had a black eye. When I asked my mother about this, she dismissed the question and asked me to go and play. At the age of sixteen, I could hear loud voices from her house, by that time I had stopped asking. I had understood the reason behind aunty’s black eyes and sobbing. My mother used to pacify her and things went back to ‘normal‘. Neither of them discussed it later. On festivals, they visited us as a happy family. Aunty would still flaunt her gold jewellery and kanjeevaram sarees.

This was some two decades back. After getting my engineering degree, I started working in a multinational company. The executive assistant at work became a really good friend of mine. She had a cute three year old son and a great husband. They had a love marriage and were blissfully together for the last several years. She raved about her husband who loved her so much. I used to tell her how I wished I were as lucky as her. However, one of the days, I saw her avoiding me. I could not figure out the reason. So, I decided to confront her and went straight to her cubicle. I could not speak to her, I was shocked. The same black eye, puffed as if she were crying all night, and red marks down one of her eyes. She looked at me but did not speak, neither did I. I couldn’t say anything. It was an eye opener. Yes, I had wished for a wedding like theirs, but now I regretted wishing something like that. No, never!

Curiosity was killing me, but I waited for her to share what had happened. I did not want to pry on her. As a friend, I respected her need for privacy and gave her all the space. She later confided in me about the true state of her happily married life, and her usual stint with domestic violence at her home. The husband who loved her so much was the reason for the bruises, the black eye and her tears. But she emphasized that it was just because he got angry. ‘Men will be men’, she justified, and well, after all, he loved her so much.

Indian women have all sorts of excuses to stay in an abusive marriage. Be it their husband’s volatile temper, mood swings, work pressure, or alcohol influence. ‘But he loves me‘, ‘He apologized the next day’, ‘He even brought me new jewellery’, ‘Now we are back to being a couple in love’, ‘Perhaps our second child will soften his temper’, and many other illusory self affirmations.

Kudos to the women of India. They make us proud indeed. A man might hit you, abuse you, but if he loves you, his sin is forgiven. In fact, it is not even considered a mistake. It is a matter of shame for those who tolerate domestic violence, and even a greater shame for the society, which is a silent witness.

Where are we heading to? Love or arranged, marriage is a sacred bond. It is not meant to provide a license to abuse your partner. When will we understand that the basis of love or any relationship is respect? It is a pre-requisite to any relationship. The sad state of affairs is such where Indians worship goddesses, and beat their own partners. Domestic violence in India is an ever growing menace. As I Google for more, I stumble upon some shocking facts.

“Around 70% of women in India are victims of domestic violence”, according to Renuka Chowdhury, junior minister for women and child development. National Crime Records Bureau reveals that a crime against a woman is committed every three minutes, a woman is raped every 29 minutes, a dowry death occurs every 77 minutes, and one case of cruelty committed by either the husband or relative of the husband occurs every nine minutes!

You must be to comment.
  1. Babar

    Men do not report domestic violence because it is considered unmanly. Even then, according to the Indian Penal Code, there is more violence committed against men. Furthermore, women are more abusive than men, as along with perpetrating violence against their husbands, they also torture their daughters-in-law and beat their domestic help.

    If you dare talk about women’s violence you risk death threats from feminists.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Pizzey

    Furthermore, people sympathize with women’s causes, so there is all the hype about domestic violence against women, as though violence against men does not exist, which is evident in this article that selectively chooses to talk about domestic violence as being a woman’s issue.

    Of course, since juries and courts are biased in favour of women, and police are also more likely to believe women, they also abuse the judicial system to their advantage.

    According to the Canadian statistics on gender equality:

    Women receive physical custody of 92% of all children of separation, and men only 4%, women are acquitted of spousal murder at a rate 9 times that of men, men are sentenced 2.8 times longer than women for spousal murder. Furthermore, men commit suicide at 4 times the rate of women, live an average of 7 years less than women, account for more than 95% of all workplace fatalities, and are murdered at a rate 5 times that of women

    The draconian Indian laws have led to an increase in the suicide rate among men, where a woman simply has to accuse a man of abusing her, physically or sexually, with little evidence, if any, and land him behind bars. Compared to women, twice as many men in India commit suicide.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-saw-135445-suicides-last-year/article4849710.ece

    Horrifying incidents taken place with men daily, which no one talks about. Let me take the Nigerian case, for example. On Feb 25, 2014, 59 Nigerian school boys were killed by Boko Haram; some were shot, others had their throats slit, while the remaining were burnt alive, but there was so little international coverage it was almost as though the incident did not take place. Three months later, when Nigerian girls were kidnapped, the Obama administration, media, and feminists suddenly woke up, and there was an uproar and campaigns and what not. Violence against boys is the same as violence against girls, but those 59 innocent boys were not a subject of discussion because they were boys. Now imagine if the same has happened to 59 Nigerian girls – would we have been so silent? This is the same story with countless incidents in India and abroad.

  2. Babar

    On a blog where women claim that they are fighting for equality for both the sexes, I am surprised that this article selectively chooses to represent the problem faced by one gender.

    ‘But she loves me’ does not justify the suffering of men in silence.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=domestic+violence+against+men

  3. maria pons

    Yes, I know all this, BUT I still have no solution that we the victims will ever be taken seriously…

More from Sonal Jamuar

Similar Posts

By Javed Jaffri

By Samim Mollah

By Nalini Bhattar

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

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.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

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.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

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.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

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.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below