By Vinita Bagul
Statistics show that 1 in every 3 women has suffered domestic violence from her partner at some given point in time. Domestic violence can range from hitting, shoving and pushing to more severe forms like strangling or burning. 1 in every 9 men have also been abused by a domestic partner.
Laws to protect women against domestic violence in India were last amended in 2005, however, it still is a growing issue. One of the major concerns regarding domestic violence is the low rate of reporting such issues. These issues are considered personal and intimate and more often attempts are made to resolve the issue at home either by emotionally manipulating the abused or by using force or power to buy their silence. Such matters if disclosed to an outsider can lead to “shame” in society. Domestic violence doesn’t just stop after it is reported, but is a much more layered and sensitive topic.
When I hear these incidents around me it makes me wonder, what is it that is forcing her bear all this domestic torture, is it being scared of the judgements from society or not being financially independent enough to leave without being a burden on anyone? Moreover if the abused is a female who happens to have children it is likely that she will put the needs and happiness of her children before those of her own. It gets me thinking, is that fair? But in the end this is life and life may not always be fair.
I recently read a quite popular book that was based on domestic violence. The protagonist grew up watching her mother suffer from domestic abuse and resented her mother for not taking any action. Years later she finds herself in a similar situation, being abused by her partner. At first, she thinks it was an accident and spends days in denial, debating if a second chance is the way to go. It’s hard putting yourself in their shoes, isn’t it? When it comes to your partner, someone who you truly feel for, someone who you thought would be the last person on earth to ever hurt you, ends up proving you wrong. Your entire world collapses around you. Your perspective of that individual can change completely in microseconds. That doesn’t mean you stop feeling for them, it just teaches you to love yourself more. In the end, if we don’t love ourselves who will, right?
But why is this so common? Why do we try to justify the actions of our loved ones just to keep them in our lives? Why is the love we have for ourselves not prioritized? Why is it so easy to spot these issues with others but when it comes to us we act so naïve and blind to what is actually going on?
Is it because love makes us look at life through rose-colored glasses or because we are so used to kisses with fists?