I was in gloomy mood that morning as my maid was not there since two days without any information. I thought to myself she must be unwell, so tried calling her but phone was switched off. Late afternoon she was there at my home,Her pale face, the bruises in her forehead and the scar in her neck explained everything what must have happened. Her husband again got drunk and hit her (which happens frequently), this time I pleaded her to go to police and complain but again of no use, I tried my best to explain but she was adamant. She was of the view “Ghar ki baat ghar pe hi rehna chahiye”. She worked tirelessly from 8 am till 7 pm and after reaching home she gets beaten up by her drunken husband. The money she earns working entire day is spent in her husband’s liquor.
A girl of only 18 years was forced to marry a person double her age and her life was full of miseries, she had no knowledge how to fight that, She was scared of society and she knew no one would be there from her family to support her if she raises any complaints against her husband. Lack of awareness is one of the reasons for these ladies not to raise their voice.
I always thought Domestic Violence was because of Illiteracy and exists only in uneducated families. I was so wrong. I never had good knowledge about Domestic Violence. Now days I keep reading about it and its short and long term effect on Children. Status messages about Domestic Violence in Social Networking sites keep popping in my wall to share among friends.
One late evening like any nagging neighbor I had to knock my friend’s door for some Tomatoes, as she opened the door I could she her swelled up eyes and she was breathless. I forgot everything and asked her what has happened? She burst out into tears and whispered to me please take me along with you. As she went inside to take her daughter I could hear a loud voice “Stay outside both of you and never come back”. Never faced this kind of situation in my life I was completely lost. I entered their house and shamelessly sat in the couch, As she came out with her daughter , I tried to calm her down but the little girl was crying and saying “Papa, Please don’t scold Mamma”. Then the Hero came out with a wide grin greeted me so well as if nothing has happened.
“I am sorry for disturbing you guys at this time “I apologized to her husband and I continued “I am really worried for Gayatri, though it’s your personal problem and I should not interfere still am requesting you Don’t scream on her” The man started laughing and said “Oh Mam, it seems you and your husband never have an argument. I said definitely we do but it’s not like he asks me to leave the house with my children”. Meanwhile Gayatri was pleading me to stop talking with him as he was drunk. I had to leave their place in sometime without taking the tomatoes though. I had a bad night and could not sleep peacefully. I was wondering why Gayatri never opened up about this part of her life, she shared so many worries except this.
The next day I was waiting anxiously as I wanted to meet Gayatri, After returning from office she came to me, she sat calm and quiet. I asked her “Even if it is your Personal life I cannot help asking you if your husband behaves like that frequently. She answered yes, but he loves me. He sent me a large Bouquet of flowers at work”. I was astonished. IS that all?? Can a bouquet of flowers hide that scar in your face? She said she is helpless and cannot do anything because of her daughter. Her daughter needs both her parents to grow up. I asked her but what will her daughter learn from her Father? What will the kid learn from an abusive family? Gayatri said her husband threatened her that he will kill himself if she leaves him. She was not allowed to go to her parent’s home even. Her life was in total control and it didn’t happen all of a sudden. Things slowly changed for Gayatri.It all started with a slap when their baby was only 15 days old, Disagreements were growing , Gayatri thought things would turn better but it was getting worse. Her husband got addicted to alcohol.
Like any other mother Gayatri too wanted to give her daughter a good life or admission in a good school, So she didn’t want to leave her abusive Partner. But what about the little girl who is exposed to this environment, Wont it have any impact on her?? Children who are exposed to Domestic Violence have psychological and behavioural problems. They are usually loners and feel isolated. Children often suffer Depression and Anxiety in the long run. A descent life is what matters the most, I tried to explain Gayatri to live a life of self respect and a free life. But she was caged up and could not gather enough courage to stand for herself or her daughter.
Generally Women feel that behaviour of their partner will change so they give them more time than required and are taken for granted. They also feel scared about the court sessions that need to be handled, emotionally they become weak thinking they are the cause of bad relationship and start mending things which would never work, Thoughts about handling children alone, financial insecurities stop women from taking a big Step to move away from an Abusive Relationship.
Domestic Violence does not mean beating up black and blue or broken bones or forced sex, it includes verbal abuses, controlling ones behaviour, controlling finances too. Women, in general, from any strata of society find it difficult to leave their partner for many factors; But Domestic Violence should not be tolerated at any cost. Though staying with such person or moving out of a bad relationship is definitely a personal choice. But suffering in silence is again not a solution to this Problem. Let’s overcome the fear, stand for those who are in need for support, spread awareness, educate us and others too.