TW: Domestic violence, abuse.
A few months ago, I watched Anubhav Sinha’s ‘Thappad’ and recommended it to a friend who was struggling to come out of a mentally abusive relationship. She watched the movie and asked me “Would you have left your husband if you were in Amrita’s place? Because I wouldn’t have.” My answer was a straight YES, but she said that she would have chosen love (?) over respect.
That made me realize that “It’s not men vs women, it’s all of us vs patriarchy.”
WHO says that there is a 60% rise in calls by women subjected to violence in Europe. In India, even though most of the domestic abuse cases seldom get reported especially in high-class families, the National Commission For Women (NCW) says that they are seeing a steep rise in domestic violence cases. Amidst this uncertain lockdown, many women are locked inside with their abusers. And due to this unprecedented pandemic, not much help is being provided.
NCW has launched a helpline number and is rescuing women with the help of police. But the lockdown has added many difficulties in various aspects like in reporting the case. Even the police are busy enforcing the lockdown. Often they are in constant surveillance of abusers and the recently added problem is liquor sale. Allowing liquor sales is going to worsen the situation. Liquor consumption will increase all sorts of crimes against women.
Yesterday, one of my friends sent me pictures of her injuries. She is being mentally and physically tortured by her brother and her parents are also being mentally tortured for a long time. Instead of remaining silent, she decided to register a case against her brother. She, somehow went to the police station twice to register the case. But due to this lockdown, everything has slowed down.
She dared to speak up, but most women don’t because we are doing something terribly wrong all the while. We are feeding our girls from childhood the myth that it’s their duty to keep family, society, and basically everything before their self-respect. And in the same way, we are feeding our boys that it’s okay to not respect a girl by neutralizing all their wrongdoings in a line – “Boys will be boys“- which is absolutely absurd.
This is a deeply-rooted problem created by schools, parents, and society, and all of them give the same excuse. And this can only be treated by the combined efforts of these three. I hope one day rather than lecturing our girls over their uncovered skin we will teach them to never cover their respect and voices. And instead, we will teach our boys how to be a man: by respecting women.