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Does ‘Violence Against Women’ In India Even Exist?

More from Akash Soni

TW: Domestic violence, abuse, rape.

First of all, I would like to thank YKA for providing me with the platform and opportunity to write on a topic that I feel very strongly, which is the rise in violence against women during the pandemic. But wait, is it really rising? Or is it just another ‘conspiracy theory’ that the elite feminists of our society have hyped up to suppress men!?

Are women really getting beaten up? How is having intercourse with your wife labelled as rape? She didn’t get enough dowry to pay off all your investments into your son’s education, you should definitely beat her up! She is a junior working under you? That’s a free pass right there bro. Why ask for consent? Why wait for validation? She is a commodity and you have every right to control her because she has none, right?

The above statements are just a scrape off the pile of reasons society uses to validate injustice and harassment against our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends.

Representational image.

Yes! domestic violence does exist and women get harassed every day but just because it doesn’t affect mainstream media we choose to ignore it. To figure out how to solve the problem we must first figure out what the problem is, or should I say who? The debate has been going on for ages to find out if men should be controlled or women should be educated, and we have a history of using such divisive topics which rather opens up the debate to other insignificant questions instead of solving the one at hand.

I live in a household where women are treated with more respect than men because they give that much more, hence, I don’t have any personal reasons to write this, neither do I know anyone who has been abused in my family or friends. Upon pondering over this, the only reason I could think of is that I respect women a lot because that is what I’ve been taught.

I’ve noticed my dad and other men in my family doing the same and practised it all my life but is my so-called “Sanskaar” the only reason? And if it is, then do other parents not give proper sanskaar? This article is motivated towards finding that answer and hopefully finding a solution to the entire issue because I want these strong pillars of our society to deserve the best just like they give their best for making their homes, for running businesses, and also supporting men like me to become something.

Violence against women and girls knows no race, no colour, no class background, no religion. It may be the husband or the fiancé, the grandfather or the father, the boyfriend or the lover, the son or the nephew, the neighbour or the co-worker anyone around a girl is a potential harasser yet we men feel no shame when writing #notallmen on our social media posts. Is this what our world has come to?

So, let’s stop asking questions and finding answers instead.

Men who harass resort to violence due to a number of reasons but a few that I think are major reasons are, they consider themselves superior because that is what’s been depicted to them and what they observe around them. When we come across a woman who is strong and independent, some can’t digest it and feel their manhood is threatened so they try to gain control by asserting dominance in whatever way possible.

Another reason might be that women have always been represented as a commodity that has to belong to a man, either the father or husband or a lover, or anyone who wishes to own her someday, sorry! ‘marry’ her someday. We talk as if we own them, we call them “maal“, “meri wali“,” and think that only we can decide what they would do or could do and when things don’t go their way, they harass them.

I think the problem and solution, in this case, is the same, “Women”. Women decide to hide such incidents because that what they’ve been said to do, that marriage is a holy bond and they shouldn’t break it and the person giving them such advice are either their mothers, sisters, friends or relatives who are all WOMEN!

There are a lot of men who want to support and help such people but only 20% of cases are reported and only 7% to proper officials. There are a lot more men who are good than the ones with such a sick mentality but we can extend help only when we know if it’s needed because #notallmen are the same but the majority are blamed for the actions of the other side.

So please start speaking up, if you’re being harassed then the fault isn’t with you but the harasser only. So stop blaming yourself. Stop taking unhelpful advice and contact proper authorities. Get help so that others going through the same can be inspired to seek help too. Hence, with this, I would like to conclude by saying that gender violence is an illness that is eating away uncountable beautiful souls that deserve better so stop blaming your situation and take control of your life. Seek help and motivate others to do the same because Ekta Mein Akhandata Hai (In Unity Lies Strength).

Thank you for reading my article and I hope it inspires you to observe your surroundings more vigilantly and extend help to those who need it.

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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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Find out more about her campaign here.

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