The show “Unbelievable” streaming on Netflix lives up to the rave reviews it received. The tale of sexual abuse victims is so beautifully dramatized with some stellar performances. You get to watch the tardiness of investigating officers due to lack of empathy and patience. What did not garner enough attention is the reference to the correlation between violence against women and sexual abuse. In the course of the investigation, the leading detectives suspect that the perpetrator could be a police officer. Recorded data on police officers who sexually abuse women reveal that most of them have historically perpetrated domestic violence against their spouses.
It is not merely the physical violence that many women suffer. Women who are not given the choice of voting out of sterilization methods because they are assumed to take on that sacrifice for their husbands, girls who do not have access to proper healthcare or have to discontinue education, women who cannot return to the family they are born into when they suffer violence at their husband’s or in-laws’ hands, a female fetus being aborted, solely based on gender, or women who suffer inappropriate comments and advances from colleagues, are all live examples of violence against women.
Though not shocking, violence against women is not talked about enough. Quite often, these topics are limited to round table conferences, conducted in urban areas. Even so, our sexual harassment policies or training do not cover gender-based discrimination or gender sensitivity. Making a bunch of men apologize for the historical violence against women is not a solution.
One-stop crisis centres, women helplines or women commissions set up by the government are positive initiatives that have been set up aiming to reach women in suburban areas, towns and rural areas. Many educational institutions conduct sessions on sexual abuse and gender discrimination. There is more to be discussed and much more to be done yet.