DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN INDIA Anisha Dutta
All sorts of abuses whether verbal or physical assault, conspiracy, cheating, betrayal, mental and physical torture running within family is termed Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence in Indian society commonly includes beating or assaulting wife or daughter, torture of daughter-in-law by husband and mother-in-law regarding dowry or any issue leading to murder or compelling the victim to commit suicide, killing female fetus or discrimination in raising up son and daughter or accusing wife to bear daughter etc.
In India there are two important TV channels Sony and Star Bharat telecasting police cases against crimes. Statistics reveal 70% crimes are committed regarding Violence against Women. Firstly, a girl child is vulnerable. I am ashamed to say the shocking fact that 30% girl children experience minor or major sexual abuse by cousin or elders or family friends.
In this context I must narrate a crime -case telecast in Sabdhaan India of Star Bharat Channel. Sanjeev (fictitious name), an elderly man raped a girl in his house taking advantage of absence of his family. The girl was the best friend of his own daughter. Eventually Sanjeev was the boss of the mother of the victim. When the event was brought in light by the crying girl, the shattered parents approached and accused Sanjeev in in his house in presence of his wife and daughter. But they were driven out as Sanjeev denied and his family didn’t believe. Father of the victim wanted to lodge police -complaint. But the mother prevented as she was scared that her daughter will be defamed, and complications will arise to get her daughter married. This is our society. The rapist is neither ashamed nor scared but the victim is defamed and scared to raise voice.
The mother of the victim resigned from job and the victim was in trauma. But that is not the end of the story. The father of the girl just picked the daughter of Sanjeev from road forcefully and brought her in his home to meet her daughter. The victim narrated the shameful event to her friend. Obviously, she didn’t believe. Then victim called Sanjeev uncle on mobile (with speaker on) and apologized fake, on part of her parents and wished to meet him alone. Sanjeev instantly rejoiced giving consent and was eager to meet. At the spot he discovered his own daughter waiting. The daughter accompanied her friend to lodge complain against her father. That should be the temperament of a dignified woman. Sanjeev got imprisonment for ten years. But that legal punishment is trivial compared to his defamation of rapist exposed to his wife and daughter.
Another true tale was telecast in the same channel: The couple had two children, son and daughter. Father is strong male chauvinist always dominating and ill-treating wife and daughter. He deliberately was discriminating always between son and daughter Her wife was running a shop of clothing very well. Husband was dead against that wife should earn and spend for her own or for her daughter. He repeatedly declared his verdict that women and girl are born to serve Men being confined in household chores. Off and on beating and assault both on wife and daughter was continuing. Wife was strong and adamant and continuing her business. One day at night when she was about to close the shop, her husband called on mobile and asked to wait for him. He was coming shortly. He didn’t come. But all on a sudden a man with mask entered the shop and closed the shutter. He put plaster on her lips and tied. Then he raped her brutally and left the shop. Being shattered she was back home. Husband opened the door and inquired that her physical condition is revealing that she has been raped. Wife wanted to go to police station to lodge a FIR. Husband behaved firm showing reluctance. He told how she will identify the rapist on mask. Unnecessary the event will bring defamation on her. In our society, A rapist is not to be blamed but the victim is defamed. The family will be looked upon by the society. No need to lodge any complain. He is kind and compassionate enough and won’t mind living with her, though she had been raped. But as she is not capable to protect herself, she must close the shop and will run only household chores and train her daughter to be a home maker when she will be grown up. The Rapist was the Husband himself. It was a Marital Rape.
Even economic freedom can’t give a tortured woman confidence to revolt, if she herself feels no inner strength. I know a modern schoolteacher who is also a daughter-in-law of a family. For the day, the father-in-law has appointed a cook paid by the daughter-in-law. The daughter-in-law returns home by eight at night, after taking her son from tuition. Returning home, she is bound to cook for the family, as the in-laws and the husband won’t take “stale” food from the fridge, neither will they allow appointing a cook at night. Their argument is “Being a woman, can she deny the duty of a daughter-in law to cook? If the in-laws and the husband wish to eat food hot from oven at midnight (their usual dinner time), she will have to serve on instant cooking. After whole day’s exertion and late- night cooking followed by cleaning up the kitchen, her bedtime is half past one. Then even in extreme fatigue, she is compelled to surrender to the sexual demands of her husband. This is also a Marital Rape.
If a self -dependent educated working lady allows herself to be exploited in such a manner, it raises vital questions on our claim in Indian social progress of women.
Now -a days, kids are not totally safe in school or school bus or car pull etc. Where is the remedy? Adolescence period is most threatening. Physically the girls are grown up and mentally innocent. I think in India sense of morality lacks in male chauvinism. That is the root cause for assaulting innocent girls. To what extent parents can guard their daughters? Budding girls must be acquainted to outer world. It’s the responsibility of outlook of the society and administration to provide security for them.
Tormentors are not getting punishment. Police departments are not at all active or prompt to stand by the victim. Police always tries to avoid FIR when a woman/girl is victim. If a girl be not back from school in due time, parents cannot lodge a missing complaint. Police will not accept a missing complaint unless twenty- four hours are passed. Within a day, the damage will be done. Again, when Police himself becomes abuser or rapist, then it’s almost impossible to tackle. Such cases are also not rare.
Court procedures are unending under mercy of corrupt lawyers causing harassment, lot of expenses and mental torture of victim. A rapist or tormentor easily gets bail and the victim is condemned and threatened or blackmailed by the tormentor.
Sex-ratio in India is not normal, 930 females per 1000 males. The ratio is dropped because of random killing of female fetus thirty years back. But that is not the prime cause of rate of increase in rape. Most rapists are family men not sexually starved. So! Lack of Morality. They hold the idea that they have the right to rape a woman/ girl at any opportune opponent. Wicked instinct enjoys in torturing weaker sex.
Statistics unfold the fact that in Indian society, forty percent of housewives are rudely treated and half of them are beaten for not preparing food up to the satisfaction of their husbands. Domestic violence will include also:
(a) when discrimination runs in raising up son and daughter in providing nutritious food or education or even being biased to buy gifts or allowing entertainments.
(b) to force a working woman to quit her job imposing sole responsibility of household chores on her or compelling to do so without any assistance by husband or other family members
(c) appointing child domestic help or ill -treating whole time domestic help.
To conclude I must say, girls should have self- confidence that they are no less than boys.
Boys should be trained to respect girls. They are physically strong. Their primary duties are to protect girls and stand by them when girls face trouble. Boys are not superior to girls. Being physically strong they should neither dominate nor overpower the weaker sex but will always be ready to lend helping hand.
A decent advertisement regarding Charms Cream comes up recent as telecast where a little boy is telling ‘Mom has told that good boys never hit a girl. ’This is the prime moral lesson for a kid.’