A girl being raped or molested is no more news to us, in a country where rape issues are handled as casually as the release of new Bollywood movies. Recently Johnny Depp, the famous actor from Pirates Of The Caribbean was accused by his now estranged wife of domestic violence. Not long after this, there followed the sad incident of Pakistani celebrity Qandeel Baloch murdered by her own brother, under the pretext of preserving family honour! Qandeel’s father said that she was more than a son to their family since she was the one earning and also supported her brother! Two out of three women in India would confess, if taken into confidence, to have been abused in some manner.
If we look at statistics for our country, more than 1 lakh crimes are reported just for domestic violence! The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) recently conducted a three year research programme in which they reported that one out of four women had experienced slapping, kicking, hitting, beating, threats or even use of a weapon and forcible sex. Women said that violence has become a routine part in their daily life.
Why is this so normal?
The greed for dowry, desire of a male child in narrow-minded families and alcoholism of husbands are only few of the reasons to which domestic violence is attributed. Another reason, especially in cities, is the frustration arising out of the woman of the family earning more than the man, which strikes at the male ego. Staying out till late in the night or speaking up in disagreement with the in-laws is another pretext for wife-beating. In families where there are cases of molestation and rape attempts by the family members themselves, the crime is not reported, to preserve the “honour” of the family.
Consequences, which are not so normal!
Children who are brought up in an environment of domestic violence have a higher risk of suffering from increased fear, anxiety and mental disorders. Children who witness their mothers assaulted, exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Not only have the victims of domestic violence always suffered from arthritis, chronic pain, pelvic pain but also migraines. They even suffer from miscarriages during their pregnancies and it affects a woman’s mental and physical state in all stages of life. Repeated incidents eventually lead to low esteem, stress, anxiety, fear and panic disorders.
Thus it is not only one generation that bears the brunt of this act!
Silence cannot be the key to tackling domestic violence. Women need to accept marital rape as violence and speak out against their husbands. Family members should be sensitised against this evil and should come out in support of the victim. One should not fear financial crises or future outcomes. Women should always remember that a woman is unstoppable, when she realizes she deserves better!
Title image: huffp