Thursday, April 25, 2013

Veto Domestic Violence

Sometime back I had met an ex-maid of mine and was shocked to see her swollen and almost disfigured face. She had worked for me for a very brief period before quitting citing reasons of husband’s failing health. I remembered her cringing when she saw me and when I enquired about the bruises she brushed it off saying that she had fallen somewhere. Not to be undone, I persisted and finally she revealed the abusing habit of her hubby. She was quick to add that he only beat her when he was drunk. And he drank almost everyday------

Domestic Violence is something we see/hear about almost every day – in small doses or something really huge. Either way it leaves the women in question totally shattered. And it is never an isolated incident. The first time a man hits a woman and sees no retaliation, it sets of an avalanche of many similar incidents. The woman becomes his pet yo-yo of sorts which he can play around.

Domestic violence can take any form of abuse - physical, emotional, financial, sexual. And whatever be the form of abuse, the main purpose is to gain control over the victims. To prove his dominance over her; to set a reign of terror and subjugation. The amusing part is that it is not the illiterate women alone who go through this humiliation and/or aggression. Even well educated women for fear of toppling the apple cart or for fear of being shamed and shunned by the society refuse to stop the audacities happening to them.

Statistics say that 1 in every 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in some form and on more than one occasion. There is no need to be in fear of the person we love; if there is, then it means that therein lies some form of abuse. There is domestic violence if the person

  • is of very low self esteem
  • spends more time in private rather that boldly/happily face the world
  • is withdrawn
  • has visible physical bruises
  • is anxious and depressed
{Image Source : Google}

We all talk about domestic violence, so what concrete steps can be actually taken/done to put an end to this menace :-
  • First and foremost, teach the children at home about gender equality. Both the boy and the girl need to be drilled in that there is no thing such as gender superiority and both the sexes are equally capable of achieving anything.
  • Instill a sense of self appreciation among the children and especially the girls.
  • Say NO the very first time the abuse happens and every time; refuse to be cowed down.
  • Accept the grimness of the situation and seek help.
  • Recognize the abuse the first time it happens and muster courage and support to deal with the same.
  • Abuse in many cases are more psychological and emotional; though the physical pain may not be there, the mental stress will be the maximum. It is wrong too  - so get help
  • Speak up – ask if the person is in trouble; do they need support and offer help.
  • Move to a safer place if the abuse persists.
  • Enlist the support of friends and family.
These are not only true for the ladies in the world but also true for all the gents, though in most cases involving the men folk it dosen't come out due to the fact that they are viewed as Macho.

For my part, I managed to convince the ex-maid after a lot of persuasion to report this and seek help to take a stand. To my delight there was a visible change when I next met her.



  1. Priya, you so rightly said that this occurs across all socio-economic and literacy levels. It's not an easy one to detect if there are no physical marks. A very thoughtfully written post.

  2. I'm so glad that you convinced her, Priya! That's so wonderful!

  3. A very relevant post, Priya. It is so important for the victim to recognize the abuse. Most of the times, they justify the abuse... they believe that the husband is having problems in managing anger or is stressed or depressed. And the abuse continues which not only affects the victim (mentally, physically) but scars the kids for life too!

  4. and whats worse is that not only is it rampant but the persons involved especially the victim chhoses to live with it fearing the societal repurcussions


  5. I have too come across a few women who are victims of abuse. But they just don't speak out or is not ready to come out of those situations. Creating awareness is one thing that can be done.

    Very relevant post!

  6. If only all women/men who go through violence could be convinced like your ex-maid. A lot of people still suffer at the hands of their 'loved ones' both physically and emotionally. How sad.

  7. The abuse is not just physical
    Brings morale down ., lowers self esteem and much more
    Good that u took a stand !!

  8. Very good post, I have experiences of meeting the victims, when they wanted to file the DVA act,(Domestic Violence Act) and i found not just the maids, its also well educated earning women who are subject to violence, it is really sad, and i also found that the women who take violence are the one's who get the most.

    Women need to be assertive and empowered to stop violence at the earliest stage in life, glad you spoke about this topic !

  9. It takes a lot of courage even to persuade some one to go to the police and you did a very good job. It takes a lots of guts to speak up. Good post.

  10. This is such a sad reality, Priya. It's terrible when you hear the neighbour's wife screaming and hear some thuds - such a horrible feeling to us - so can imagine what the wife and children go through. This happened several years ago - and after a couple of incidents - I rang the bell. They moved house - so I'm guessing same torture, different house. :(

  11. So true Priya. Domestic abuse is SO RAMPANT that we've become immune to it. I have had many maids who've refused to move on. Their choice. I have even had a cousin divorce her husband because of abuse, so educated he was, from such a good family... who would've thought? Good post ma.