There are two sides to every coin, on one side you find a happy relationship where the married couples are happy as they are able to spend time together.
As we are in the lockdown phase, many women are stuck to their houses, everyone doesn’t seem to have a simple and happy life. Some do survive in this toxic environment, where they are abused by family members and as everyone has not much now, some become victim and a few love to create problems.
While people are avoiding the virus, they are also facing challenges by staying at home. Children are giving a hard time as they need a lot of attention and care, they love to play and get some time with friends. The lockdown has forced the kids to stay at home. They either watch television the whole day, fight with siblings, play at home or other problems.
During office con calls, I hear the voices of my seniors whole time asking their kids to be silent.
The kids don’t understand why their parents are unable to give them time when they are at home.
Women are in a greater risk of becoming a victim and similar incidents have been reported from different countries.
Based on my learnings from different articles shared by News18, The New York times, psychiatrists, views of my lawyer friends, opinions of some other friends and family members of mine, I thought of writing and sharing some useful tips:
But before I share the tips let’s first understand what are the different forms of abuse:
Abuse is not just about power and control, people do it out of the purpose to create troubles in other’s lives as well. A few families member can take advantage of this situation to create troubles in several ways, let’s see how:
Not providing shelter, driving them away from their house. Say Corona or no corona effect, we have witnessed such events where family members forced their daughter-in-law to leave the house which led her to live a miserable life.
Emotional and verbal abusing: Now as there is not much work, people have time, and instead of building and maintaining a healthy relationship a few choose to abuse others.
Family politics has increased, people have more time to call each other, gossip and play with other’s emotions leading to domestic terrorism or intimate terrorism.
I was taken aback when I read that a few are not providing masks to the women, allow them to wash hands or use sanitizer. They send the women out to buy groceries thinking that she might get infected by the virus and die.
Can you believe that? These Covidiots, don’t understand that if she contracts the same, all in her contact will also gets the same.
Many counties across the world like the UK, Brazil, Spain, China, the US, Italy, France, Australia etc are reporting a panicking rise.
As the burden of work for women has increased, rather than raising the hand to help, the perpetrators are loving to enjoy the time relaxing.
According to a sociologist who studies abusive relationships, domestic violence goes up whenever families spend more time together, such as the Christmas and summer vacations, she said.
As entire India is in a lockdown state, Neha found herself all the time in the kitchen working all the time and trying to resolve the problems or fighting with her husband.
In another house, Fatima is holding her 3 years and 11 years old child, her husband began to beat her and locked her along with the children in a room. The kids and mother are starving for three days.
Somewhere in Delhi, Twinkle’s husband got frustrated as he is unable to meet his friends, drink alcohol and enjoy outside food and releases his frustration on his wife, the poor girl was bleeding and marks were all over her body. As his husband chocked her, her neck was in pain.
According to a Beijing-based NGO dedicated to combating violence against women says that there are cases reported of insecure husbands, who are keeping their wives under surveillance.
I feel the cases are rising in countries like America, China and the UK as the women are brave enough to take a stand. In India, whenever a woman wants to make a decision, she first thinks about society, parents and children. Calling the police will be the last option.
According to The Guardian, in Hubei province, domestic violence has tripled down.
If you are reading this, please imagine:
Staying in fear with a person yet limited options to move away
Getting body-shamed and fat-shamed
Deliberate poking by family members to create trouble.
Abusing and criticising
Controlling by every means
A home which is the safest place to many but a few are trapped inside with an abuser.
As News18 shared contact numbers, hereby I have just copied and pasted here.
Here are some phone numbers that can help you:
Help Age India: 1800-180-1253
Dignity Foundation: 080 2654 2229
If you suspect that a child might be facing or witnessing abuse at home, call the police at 100 or Childline at 1098.
In this cruel society, one can always be a victim, the society wants the girl to understand and keep their mouth shut to show regards when the in-laws fat-shame, pass brutal comments about features and looks, above all they won’t even spare the parents of the girl.
They love to criticize the girl in front of her husband and family members despite rectifying their own shortcomings.
Alia and Ranbir married each other, both started a new and happy life but Ranbir’s mother always kept on body-shaming Alia and used to curse both of them.
Alia is a beautiful and chubby girl, she is very fair with flawless skin but she is on the heavier side despite being so beautiful, one demerit of her life gives her in-laws a chance to despise her.
Alia often gets upset and this is nothing new, even before her marriage her mother-in-law made fun of her:
She kept on asking her son “What did you see in her”?
Ranbir always listened to his silently because whenever he tried to support his wife, it made things more difficult and the discussion turned into an argument.
Their behaviour was very irritating and it was difficult for Alia to accept this criticism. She got frustrated and started to get depressed.
She wanted to say to her mother-in-law that in-spite of hurting others she should invest time for her family’s betterment.
The society wants the girl to let go of all this criticism, teasing, mental harassment, demeaning statements but it’s actually not as easy:
It shakes the confidence
One gets demotivated
This leads to depression and it can be dangerous.
People don’t forget criticism or this kind of comments easily. According to experts, it takes years to let go of such comments.
Alia’s in-laws are a real example that Indian society can never come out of it. Though many families have learnt to respect and treat their daughter-in-law as their own daughters, the majority love to humiliate and offend.
Many girls and women commit suicide because of being body shamed and criticised by society, family and friends.
Every day her in-laws criticised her, by talking about her attributes, body, commenting on her parents.
Alia tried to forgive and forget as society demands from an ideal Indian wife and daughter-in-law. They kept on taunting her on everything possible. Even if Ranbir makes any mistake or fights with any family member they eventually blamed Alia.
Even after three years of marriage, nothing’s changed. During a festival, the entire family gathered to stay together where the mother & daughter kept taunting Alia, on the second day while they were commenting on her, she ultimately lost her temper and protested. Seeing her hitting back her in-laws were taken aback and they upped their vitriol. This let to a major verbal escalation and the entire family got dragged into it. Seeing her wife being flanked, Ranbir started supporting her wife. This led to a situation of Pandora’s box being opened up and every other issue started churning.
The end of this fight was not in sight. Ranbir, seeing this is never gonna end turned to his wife and parents to stop this. To this, Alia expressed her deep displeasure that she has been tolerating this pain for a long while now and again a fight ensued between Ranbir and Alia. Seeing the tides changing his mother and sister started taking Ranbir’s side, giving him the sense that this is going a different trajectory. Now, he was literally irritated and wanted this to stop at once, and in that heat slapped his wife.
Alia ran towards her room weeping profusely. She locked her room and kept on weeping. The agony, the pain, the disdain, the contempt, was overwhelming for her. She couldn’t take this anymore and thoughts started coming into her mind. It’s like all of those incidents were taking a rewind, converting her anger into revenge.
As usual, her alarm bell rang sharply at 6 a.m. waking her up from her thoughts, long before any family member does. She started her daily household chores and in the afternoon she went to the market to buy groceries as usual, the thought of revenge not yet faded.
She went straight to a store to buy insecticides tucked it deeply in her pants safely and went straight towards home.
She came back, her throat dry, she took a glass of water, her hands were shaking, went back to her room, looking constantly at the packet of insecticide.