I couldn’t find the right words to start this post. Just some time ago, a friend shared an incident he was a witness to while at the hospital. A women had come in for dressing and her husband was asking about the medicines from the nurse that his wife needed. Nothing wrong here. Looks absolutely normal. But when the time comes to leave, his wife is reluctant to go. Scared, with tears in her eyes, might also have been shivering. She eyes him, with something in her stare that many would not have noticed or taken the time to notice. At first glance, everything looks normal, but is it?
No. Because when my friend enquired from the nurse, she said something that would make any normal person’s blood boil! The women had confided in the nurse that she had had a fight with her husband and in his rage, he had taken up the scissors and attacked her, consequently injuring her ear! And after that, he had the audacity to brush it off by saying that she had fallen down.
Of course, she went back home with him. But she was scared, I know she was. Every moment that she spends with him, she is going to be in fear. Afraid of what he would do the next time she tried to say anything not in tune with his thoughts.
This is not a lone incident of abuse or domestic violence. We’ve all seen or heard about such things in our day to day life. It happens everywhere, to everyone, irrespective of race, caste, creed or colour. Some of the incidents are not even reported. Also, it’s not something that happens only with women. Yes, many men are also victims of violence, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too.
Being in a relationship, living with someone we decide to share our life with, how can we be so easy going about hurting the other person to such an extent that instills fear in them? Why is it so easy for people to channel their anger or resentment towards someone by being violent? How is this ever justified? And why are we, as a society, not ready to take steps to eradicate such cases of violence? I wonder why the nurse didn’t inform somebody or call the police when the women told her what had happened. Okay, the women might have gone back on her word. But there could have been other ways too for her to show the man that this wasn’t acceptable. I am also not going to sympathize with the women. Because what’s the point? Anything that happens with her next will be because she allowed herself be taken back, showing him that no matter what, she’ll be there with him, in the same house, the very same room and he can go on treating her like a thing to use, the way he wants. The fact that many women who are victims of domestic violence almost always return back to the perpetrator of the violence is something very disturbing. How do you help someone who’s not ready to make an effort to help themselves?
But here’s the twist: It’s never easy getting out of an abusive relationship.
Usually when we see someone who’s stuck with an abuser, the first question that comes to our mind is “why did she stay?”. The answer to this question can be easily understood through this talk titled “Why domestic violence victims don’t leave” by Leslie Morgan At TEDx. It can be seen on the following link:
Morgan shares her own story of abuse and violence. She explains how it’s never easy for a victim to get out of an abusive relationship, how the hope of things getting better, or the old memories or even love and affection of the past can hold you down. The abuser might even create such situations where the victim might not even feel or realise that what they’re facing is abuse.
The fact is, it’s important to recognise the pattern of abuse. It’s important to understand that if your partner hits you once, he might hit you again. No matter how much he apologies, no matter how much trust and faith you might have on them, it’s necessary that you put your foot down the first time such a thing happens and make it clear that violence or abuse is absolutely not acceptable. When in a relationship, one is not inferior or superior to the other. Being together is about realising the fact that you’re both equal, and if one of you is considerate and compassionate towards the other, the same has to be reciprocated.
Along with this, it’s equally important to never remain silent when you or someone else around you faces abuse. Being silent, you provide the perpetrator leverage to continue doing what they’re best at: muting voices behind closed doors!