If it hurts it is not love #Violence Against Women Awareness Month #October


She was 23 when she married for “love”. As a girl she felt the lack of  “warmth” even though she wasn’t stereotyped for being born a girl. Caged and distraught by the environment she wanted an escape . Unfortunately that escape to freedom chained her for good, emotional and mental abuse, marital rape, seclusion from social life to an extent, discontent due to financial dependence, emotional blackmail, continuous verbal and emotional onslaught by in-laws and no support from her husband became a way of life with her. For years she “ADJUSTED ” and tried to ” mend the relationships” that actually had lost meaning. It weighed heavily on her mind and reflected in her deteriorating health until one day  she decided to break the shackles and face the consequences .

She knew that however life may treat her it wont be as bad as before. It was time to change, the path she carved for herself was rough but her spirit could not endure more indignity. This is the true story of Tara (name changed). One can ask hundreds of questions about WHY it took her so many years to take that much-needed step especially when she was aware of her rights and educated ( not just literate) . I guess sometimes there are no answers.

One may say , what crap, it is just a question of how badly you want your freedom and dignified life .  Sometimes it is easier said than done. Sometimes it takes more than just courage and will to do what is “right” .

Emotional abuse starts from the time you sense the first sign of contempt, rejection.It starts as birth and continues at every step where ever a girl is restricted, curbed, violated in any form, undermined, ridiculed or is wrapped in the blanket of ( “social sanctions/ moral norms/ duties/codes).

It starts when she is assigned to play roles that of a daughter, sister, wife , mother DIL and much more.

It starts when her own identity is pushed way back and get buried under the “socially accepted” way of life.When Her voice is muted.

In many cases of DV centuries of conditioning, controlling, traumatizes and intimidates the victim and the lack of support system forces her to either isolate herself into acceptance or drives her to take her life.

The deep-rooted sense of “guilt” of being born as a girl, of being “a burden” weighs heavily on her psyche and is continuously nurtured by the society saturated by Misogyny. Violated for “being born ” starts the emotional abuse.

October is VAWAmonth and let me share the  #VAWMonth and #VAWAM you can aslo add your voice HERE  and Here 

Emotional Abuse and marital rape are often not discussed and are pushed under the carpet.Despite the unwillingness to recognise marital rape as a crime, the fact remains that it is prevalent throughout society. Women’s bodies are outraged, regardless of their educational qualifications, class or status.  Even after the outcry and awareness of laws women seldom shed the inhibition and lodge a complaint or simply walk out of such abusive relationship. This is because cultures worldwide discourage their women from openly discussing sexual matters, let alone within marriage. Most women don’t even think of rape by their husbands as marital rape. Sex is considered obligatory and taboo. The bitter medicine called ” being a good wife ” is pushed down the throat of women, the code of conduct set by society;  to serve and never to “wash dirty linen” in public ; forces them to endure the pain, mental/emotional trauma,  sexual dysfunction, physical injuries and much more. { LINK }

It is a myth that only uneducated or rural women are the victims of abuse. I agree that many women are raising a voice against DV and talking that bold and much-needed step to walk out of such abusive marriages but still a lot more is needed to be done. I feel that forcing a girl to marry someone against her wishes or under the pretext of ” we know what’s good for our daughter ”  is also a form of abuse and should be stopped.

What has changed for Indian woman as she enters the second decade of the 21st century ? Violence against women is still widespread and is increasing day by day.

Do women lose human rights after marriage ?

If rape is a crime then why marital rape is still not considered as crime under IPC?

Is it not discriminatory to call an act “an offence”  merely because of the difference in person committing the act?

What is the justification of differentiating between women who are wives and other women as far as the offense of rape and violence goes ?

The 172nd Law Commission report had made the following recommendations for substantial change in the law with regard to rape.

  1. ‘Rape’ should be replaced by the term ‘sexual assault’.
  2. ‘Sexual intercourse as contained in section 375 of IPC should include all forms of penetration such as penile/vaginal, penile/oral, finger/vaginal, finger/anal and object/vaginal.
  3. In the light of Sakshi v. Union of India and Others [2004 (5) SCC 518], ‘sexual assault on any part of the body should be construed as rape.
  4. Rape laws should be made gender neutral as custodial rape of young boys has been neglected by law.
  5. A new offence, namely section 376E with the title ‘unlawful sexual conduct’ should be created.
  6. Section 509 of the IPC was also sought to be amended, providing higher punishment where the offence set out in the said section is committed with sexual intent.
  7. Marital rape: explanation (2) of section 375 of IPC should be deleted. Forced sexual intercourse by a husband with his wife should be treated equally as an offence just as any physical violence by a husband against the wife is treated as an offence. On the same reasoning, section 376 A was to be deleted.
  8. Under the Indian Evidence Act (IEA), when alleged that a victim consented to the sexual act and it is denied, the court shall presume it to be so.
We are still waiting for the change.
I often read this reports and wonder that in a country like ours where minds are governed by skewed traditions, orthodox norms etc, does having a legal provision really help?
The refusal to acknowledge of the extent of violence women suffer within their homes, or the insurmountable hurdles they face when they try to use laws that contradict each other, their implementation and their inefficiency  is something on needs to think about .
There are trillions of reports, articles, cases that one can quote but  an average Indian woman’s story of abuse (Physical/metal/ emotional) continues and those who step out (with exception of few ) find themselves hanging in an abyss due to lack of proper support system.
Tara took some bold steps.
She refused to have any physical relationship with her husband without HER consent.
She refused to be treated like a slave or a property though it stirred a hornets nest in her marital home and created further discord.
She made it clear that she would not be party to any forced ” duty/ order that she is “expected to do / obey” as a DIL / Wife .
She realized that she had not only lost her voice but also her self-esteem and confidence in self. Born in an open-minded, educated family she had never heard or seen such stone age behavior and after giving her best to them and shedding her skin to “Adopt” their ways , she could not bend any further. The man she married in the name of ” love ” gave her wounds which scaled her soul. Being tied to the Apron strings of his mom He could never stand up for her. The  time had come to decided whether to break or to stand up straight and walk out with what ever was remaining. She decided to do the second.
The first reaction she got was ” why after so many years ? It took you more than 20 years to realize that you were being reduced to dust  and you can’t take it ? Well, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE.
After earnest attempts to ” make things work” ( a Utopian dream) , She decided to Give Up and Not Give in . She left.
She is termed as deserter having no respect for “social moral values”. Mental and Emotional violence can extend beyond the  abused when abusers accuse family of girl of”ruining her marriage n keeping her “against” social norms. Her family is labelled as ” conspirators to her foolishness” and looked down upon by in-laws for ” supporting her when her ideal place is in her husband’s home “no matter what” .  Her husband feels she has abandoned her children for some vague notion of ” dignity” fueled by feminists and friends.
The in-laws  feel that if “her wings were chopped timely” she would not have “dared to do” such an outrageous thing but for the sake of society and their heartbroken son  they would shut their mouth and abide by her wishes IF she returns “Home” . Husband agrees.
They feel her it is improper and shameful to act in this fashion. A woman needs to learn to keep everything inside her and “adjust” no questions asked.
She should serve her husband and look after “HIS parents ( not hers of course ) for it is her duty to do so.
Social seclusion is essential because too much mingling with ” advanced women/men”  poisons the mind as in her case.
To keep a woman from going ” astray ‘  she needs to be broken financially so No Job and No Friends esp Males.
Rules, traditions, customs , sanctions , code of conduct , religion , rituals are to be followed without a word.
Mother in law IS  Law .
She has no other identity than her husband so she should be  gracious and be condescending.
All this and more applies because this is not America , this is India and this is in our culture so abide by it.
  TARA Disagreed. 
She was fortunate to have a supporting family and friends who were ready to help But how many women have this considerate,caring system to help them fight the injustice ?
Many women are not living their dreams because they are living their fears.
Isolation, restriction, guilt, humiliation, denial, continuous controlling and criticism, lack of empathy, love, companionship, shattering of a dream of ” a life long relationship based on mutual respect” breaks the victim. Emotional, mental tortured is hard to explain due to lack of  ” solid evidence” .
Emotional Abuse comes silently most of d times camouflaged as “love,betterment,moral duty,guilt,emo.blackmail,marital rape. Silence helps it breed and dig its claws deeper.
In our country ‘thinking’ for oneself is not encouraged. It’s always conformity&herd mentality. The  moment a woman begins to voice her thoughts she is condemned, ridiculed & told to shut up. If she rebels , her condition is even worse.
Does that mean we keep suffering ?
NO, trust me it is better to raise your voice and make your life worthy than suffer and reinforce the fact that women can be used as objects and treated like an old newspaper.
This is not an essay on Domestic violence it is cry of a muted heart which has found its voice .
Related posts : 

Last Call : Mom I fear for my life


Doctor murders wife in Delhi, drives 1000km to dump body in Ganga 

This is the Times of India Headline today.

Another headline says

Last call : I fear for my life 

This is not the first time a woman is brutally murdered by an abusive husband.

This is not the first time that parents of the girl have refrained from prompt action and saved their daughter from the clutches of death.

This is not the first time that a literate woman has stayed in an abusive marriage and paid the price with her life.

The question is WHY? 

Why is it that parents wash their hands off once their daughter is married? Supriya Tussar was literate ( a BTech from Hyderabad and an MBA) she had an offer of a lucrative high paying job which would make her financially independent.Dr. Sahu was not in favor of it. Financial independence means strength to the woman and that would have taken the “control” from his hands. Her parents were literate too.(father was a retired superintending engineer of Jharkhand PWD).  Her husband , a senior surgeon was batch topper in master’s course.  Clearly it shows that education doesn’t really change the mindset of people. Dr. Sahu (31) showed no remorse for strangling his wife and told police that he was “physically and mentally incompatible” with his wife.

I use the word Literate because there is a huge difference between being ” educated” and ” literate” and most of these cases happen because of lack of education. Degrees have nothing to do with education I believe.

He had a history of violence in his ten month old marriage, the local police station was aware of the constant fights between the couple (Tussar had lodged a complaint there)  but no one bothered to take any action. The parents of the girl continued to seek reconciliation between the young couple even after their daughter was thrown out of the house.  She was their Only child and though they educated her for a secure future they never could muster enough courage to save her from an abusive marriage which ultimately took her life. If only she wasn’t raised to be a secure bride and taught to live with dignity irrespective of anything then today she would have been alive.

I fail to understand why the parents always think that “things would get better” ?  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Never-thought-her-body-will-be-carried-in-the-car-chosen-by-her-Mom/articleshow/10147405.cms

Why there is so much social pressure to let the daughter rot in marriage which is clearly heading for disaster?

Supriya was “forced ” to get admitted in Hospital tally challenged by her husband.

My question is

Why do girls, especially educated girls, tolerate such abuse?

She was denied food, pocket-money, he was beaten up, abused verbally even then she continued to live with him for she knew she could not go back to her parental home. This is true of many such Supriyas who are forced to live in abusive marriages for the lack of support system, counselling and fear of social stigma and being left out.

Why was Supriya’s humiliation, mental, emotional and physical pain, her indignity not enough for her parents to support her and get her out of the violent marriage?

Do these parents choose a dead daughter over their so-called izzat (honor) in the society? Why can’t they stand up for their child and help her get back to a dignified life she deserves?

They actually “dispose off” their daughter in the hands of a monster just to abide by some sick social norms. What is the point of crying and all this drama later on when they couldn’t do anything for the daughter when she was alive ?

I want to ask Supriya’s parents what marriage means to them ?

Is it being tied to a man whatever the conditions and at whatever cost ?

What was the point of all this education when it could not enlighten them to break away from the customs that kill ?

I see no logic which justifies why parents would allow their daughter to be tortured thus. And if you can’t stand up for your own child, who can you stand up for?

This whole so-called traditional value system makes my blood boil. It has weakened our fiber and turned it into shreds and this is the reason girls like Supriya don’t have confidence to walk out of the marriage with or without the help of their “social status hungry” parents. Since day one, daughters are taught that subservience is the key to happiness, endure whatever comes your way-for if you don’t, you damage our(parents) reputation, society will condone us.

Most of the time girls have no faith in the support and love of their parents and in Supriya’s case she had seen that her repeated attempts in voicing her fear for life had not evoked any strong reaction. A battered, weak woman with lack of support and confidence often tries to “make adjustments/ compromises) thinking things will change for good which  of course never happens. With a broken spirit and constant reminder that “all will be well” most of these women end up dead either they commit suicide or are murdered.

I have no sympathy for parents who let their daughters to death by putting the blinkers on. I feel they are as much a part in her murder as the husband.

It is tragic that these girls, however educated, often succumb to social pressures instead of thinking about other alternatives. It is the result of  constant drilling by their parents that they should “learn to adjust and stay in the marriage” what ever happens. Most of the time it is the girl ( daughter or DIL) who is lectured but hardly anyone blames the parents for this rotten mindset.

I have always failed to understand What is so special about this so-called “sacred” marriage  that makes people tolerates some insecure, misogynistic bastard beating up their daughter, just to preserve this institution?

Till the time marriage is viewed as a “holy grail” and a “commitment till the end of life ” I don’t think many women will be able to walk out of abusive marriages.

I wonder how many more Supriyas will be murdered at the altar of marriage before this society wakes up from slumber and corrects itself.

When will we see a news headline where parents of a girl report an abusive marriage and help the daughter to put the culprit behind bars?

When will the women take their lives in own hands against all odds and be rid of guilt and pressures to walk out and say NO to domestic violence?

When will families start raising their daughters as individuals and not as prospective brides meant to please and be grateful to everyone, parents, brothers, husband, in laws and the rest of the world?

We have laws against Domestic  Violence  but they are effective only when there is a change within. What is the point of having stringent laws when time after time women are abused sexually, mentally ,verbally, physically in so-called “sacred” marriage. It make the headlines, accused are punished but in a few days another monster appears and kills. The  idea of the “sacrosanct” institution of marriage is dished out by the mainstream Indian cinema and daily soaps on TV is a myth and contrary to the reality. Our society is sick to be honest. It is heart wrenching to see that even after knowing their rights, even after being literate enough to support an independent living women prefer to stay in abusive marriages.

Even those who dare to take that first step and move out with or with out parental support life doesn’t come easy But I feel that it is better to step out and struggle and not give in and die. Ultimately it is your life.

I know this looks more like a rant or a rambling of an angry mind and so be it .Enough essays have been written , enough protests, enough campaigns have taken place. If that hasn’t shaken up the society what else will ? How many daughters need to be sacrificed to bring the change ? 😦

The post was shared on the Bell Bajao Site . An Honor. 

No More A Trophy Wife


Sharp as mustard

his words stung and left

a trail of poison in my veins

the marks that you see on my face

are the scarred gashes of my  heart

parts of my body hurt

even with  friction of the clothes

I’m used to the metallic taste

of the human blood

“Perform” he used to say

his sandpaper lips

corroded my skin

rapacious, savage, fire-breathing monster

with tongue whipping in and out like a snake

his fangs exposed and dripping

large paws groping, trusting , tearing

mauling and ripping my soul

confused, deranged, wet and slimy

I lugged my pain streaked carrion

meticulously concealed

nothing but  a battered rag doll

with a wound between the legs

who says “time is a healer”

it torments, prolongs

I mulled memory wine for long

filled glasses, raised toasts

got drunk

and then one day

sprawled on the cold floor

I packed my dreams

gathered my hopes

threw you in the trash

crumpled ball of ink smudged paper

No more a sacrificial lamb

or a tasty morsel

a part of your feast

No more a nauch girl

a marionette

a trophy wife

to flaunt

and

keep encased

behind concrete walls

when not in use

I would rather

live on the streets

under the open sky

but will not be used, abused

humiliated, I won’t

become your trophy wife

I won’t succumb, I’ll fight

I will give  up

but won’t give in

my soul is hardened

I am a rock

Diary Of A Woman Interrupted (DWI) : Introduction


I recognized her even after a gap of 25 years. She was the only friend I had and one day she just vanished. Frankly I also did not try to find her. I was going though my own problems and she just slipped into some remote corner of my mind.

The restroom of a swanky mall was not the kind of place to meet an old pal but what the heck I was ecstatic to see her.

I waited for her to finish. I remembered some common friend mentioning about her unsuccessful marriage but I never knew the sordid details which I was about to discover about her life.

Our eyes met in the sparkling mirrors and obviously she did not recognize me. 25 years is a long time. She felt uneasy of my stare.

” You aren’t doing a good job in concealing Sonya ” I remarked.

She turned crimson.

“Sorry? How do you know my name and what do you mean not a bad job in concealing ?”

The only other thing that had not changed in all those years apart from the mole on her chin was the spark in her eyes though it seemed to have dimmed over the time.

“There is always another rainbow my dear ” , Reminds you of someone ? ” I smiled again.

“Tikuuu , Oh my Gawd girl” and we hugged. We were filled with emotions so strong that they held us together for a long time.

“I need to go sweetheart but we will catch up this weekend .I am in Delhi these days.” There was an urgency in her voice or was it some fear I wanted to fill the gaps but held my curiosity.

We exchanged numbers and she left after giving a quick tight parting hug.

I kept looking at her slim figure scurrying past the mall mongers until it vanished from the eye.

I knew something was not right.

She didn’t call.

I was itching to dial the number she had given but couldn’t muster up the courage. I had seen her failed attempt to hide the marks on her face. Was she going through domestic violence or was it something else. The thought came like bile in my throat. Why is it that some of us go through a lot of hurt and disillusionment in life and yet can’t find the door to freedom. Is it that we search too hard and miss the opening. Maybe we look for doors and miss the window or the fire escape. We grope in darkness and feel the walls and still don’t see the faint light streaming through that one escape route.

why?

With brimming eyes and heavy heart I made my way down the accelerator and made a brave attempt to look good in front of kids. We collected the stuff and came home. They filled with happy thoughts and I with a whirlpool of emotions and questions to which even I had no answers.

Last month , after a gap of two months, I got a courier. A diary. Sonya’s diary with a note which said –

” Hey tiku,

You were right about me not being good in concealing. Even the practice of so many years has not made a pro. I had to rush to meet a client. I am at the threshold of a life changing decision and had no time to explain it to you and I know you wouldn’t have been satisfied with short answers. So sorry buddy, hope you understand. I am sending you my diary and by the time you get it I will be gone to another town.

I know about what you are going through ;). Surprised ?

well ! I read your blog and discovered an old pal who poured out all the details about you.

To tell you the truth you yourself are no good at concealing.

😦 Be brave.

Wish I could do something for you. I think it is time for you too to look closely at your life and move on.

Maybe reading my story will help you heal. Share it if you wish. Maybe some other woman will get courage to live her dream by reading it.

I know you write about issues about women even though you were never a feminist.

I wanted so much to sit down over a drink and catch up with you but I knew it would have been a traumatic experience for both of us. Also I had no time.

Will get back to you when I find a foothold in my new life.

Lots of love sweets. You are in my heart always .Terribly missed. Keep writing .

S*

I stared at the crisp white sheet till the blue letters became a blur. Neatly I folded the letter and ran my fingers on the smooth leather surface of the diary wondering what lay inside the hard covers.

I will be sharing some pages from Sonya’s diary with a hope that it will maybe light up some heart somewhere and maybe just maybe some woman will find courage to break the chains and fly free.

All names, places have been changed to respect the identity of people involved.

By the Way Sonya was a name she used while writing poems as a girl. ;).

I will try to bring it all to you as she shared with me. I will report incidents which I think are relevant to share.

I know she will be reading it too.

So here is to all the caterpillars and the butterflies within them.

Diary of a woman interrupted

I will name the posts with DWI page 1 – 2-3 or something like that to keep it connected.

Trust me It has been hard for me to do this. Very hard.

Looking within always is difficult and this has been a kaleidoscope of memories, dreams, hopes and much more.

Avant Garde Awards,A Post on DV male victims, Votes and Tuesday Thoughts


This seems to be the longest blog post title I must have come up with. 🙂

It is a hot sunny day here in Delhi and over the cup of coffee , with an engrossing football match going on between Liverpool and Manchester United, I am trying to work. Don’t know why but I am in a reflective mood today.

Reason?

A lot of inner chatter.

Questions that seek answers but hang in the air unexplained.

I had got mixed response when I wrote this post about male victims of domestic violence . Not everyone feels comfortable to talk about an issue which needs a lot of understanding and support.

I have yet to come across people who can boldly come out and raise their voices, share their experiences and discuss openly about this issue. That is more true of Indian men, here and abroad.

Something holds them back. Is it because the law is more sympathetic to women across the globe? Or , Is it that the image created by the society comes  like a barbed wire between their hurt and justice.

Read on here In Silence I suffer, the hidden hurt

Although the story line and the names are changed, this is a true story of a friend. He  suffers terrible mental and physical abuse at the hands of his wife… Both of them are educated… He is the sole bread earner and on top in his area of expertise… Yet once home, he gets brow beaten and even physically beaten up by his wife although  stronger than her, he just accepts what she deals out without any attempt to defend himself. The severity of her abuse has increased over the years… He seems to accept this as his lot and does nothing to come out of this dead-end situation… What makes him accept this kind of treatment when  he has so many options before him? A question I am unable to answer.

Over the time that I have known him I see a very fatigued, hurt, pained man searching for love and dignity he so much deserves and  trying to make the best of what life has given him. It is very easy for us to comment and advise but to go through this hell every day and manage it all takes courage and strength.

Especially with Indian men rooted in family bonds, traditions, age-old dogmas and the rules and regulations forced on them by the society, it becomes a tough task to simply move away. Not many can muster u[p the courage to  take on the so-called social stigma of  “abused husband”, the jeers and taunts and the shame attached to it.  Man is seen always as a opressor and never as a victim.

Sad but true.

I am glad the post was picked up by the judges of Avant Grande Bloggies Awards  and reached the final voting.

Do vote for me Here

if you think the issue need attention.


Ssomehow all of this has come at a time when I am myself trying to figure out about relationships, love, marriage and has the institution of marriage has failed completely. Yes, It has I feel. I write about DV ( both men and women suffer from it) , and many forms of it and yet I am unable to take control of my situation. Does it make me more sensitive to those who stay in a relationship for one reason or another and can never break and cross that invisible chain that sets their boundary. Married now for 19 years i am still searching for the answer.

This an issue just like marital rape which always get pushed under the carpet. I hope these men who suffer in silence will come out and start afresh  and find a life full of love, peace and dignity which they deserve.

May be it’s time to  think WHY?

May be it’s time to look within.

Ones again.

Do leave your views and pass the link to friends if you find this worth sharing .

In silence I suffer :Hidden Hurt of DV male victims


In silence I suffer

Selected for Avant grande Bloggies Awards Please  vote for it here

This is an indivine post vote for it here

The neighbor’s house was silent.. curtains were drawn.. no loud screaming noises, no crashing of things aimed and thrown around, no plates and vases hurling out of the door, no abuses and insults. It was not normal.

I watched in horror the deafening silence that prevailed in the house right in front of my bedroom balcony. Something was not right. I felt strange to think like that, It is normal to have a quite, peaceful home so why was I not happy to see the blissful silence?

I scanned the entire house for some activity. The twilight of a long weekend was soon going to turn into a night of terror. I was sure of that. With my heartbeats audible from a mile I decided to venture out and checkout if the house was locked.

But then I spotted him. His shadow more visible than his battered frame against the backdrop of the terrace wall.

He stood leaning against the railing, nursing wounds that bled deep somewhere in his soul. His mind, body and spirit abused and battered by the woman whom he had given everything possible. His wife and so called companion for life.

A lump rose in my throat and I locked the door, ran down the stairs, crossed the dark lane and landed breathlessly at his terrace door. I knew it was going to be lethal if She found out but the communication channels were closed and I was concerned.

Slowly I approached him from behind. Suddenly he turned as if half expecting a blow.His well built body very vulnerable and shattered at that time.

His eyes welled up as a maelstrom of emotions rose within him, a fear of unknown gripped him as he scanned his surroundings for the presence of his tormentor but all was quite.

He winched as his touched his arm. It was dark and I knew the severity of beating must have crossed it’s limits this time. Raging from with in I drew him close. In silence a thousand tales of sorrow, pain, shame and hurt flooded down his cheeks.

I wondered why he suffered in silence and why I never stood up against the injustice and reported the domestic violence that rocked their home daily.

Maybe we both knew the answer.

Slowly the story emerged. He had come half an hour late from office. tired, drained and tensed about his job and the recession which had affected many people around him. A volley of accusations, abuses and a cordless telephone hit him before he could realize what was happening. What followed was a frenzy which left him completely worn out and isolated.

I asked him where she was and found that she had picked up their car and gone some where drunk with rage and jealousy.

We went home and there I saw the extent of damage. It was a sight that cut through my heart and soul like a double edged knife. I could have killed that woman at the first opportunity. How could anyone be so cruel and heartless. I made a drink and did some first aid as he watched me with eyes that made me reach out to him.Never in my life I felt so helpless. He knew he had a listening ear and a comfort zone in me but that was not enough to change the situation. Something had to be done ..soon. It was pointless at that moment to suggest any options, we had gone through it all before. So I just let me pour out all that was welling up in his heart.

The hurt was too much to bear and I wondered how much more time before he snaps. He suffered in silence, his pain hidden from the world. Taking on all the untrue accusations, abuses and beatings, trying hard to diffuse any potentially violent situations. Blatant discrimination, disbelief, gender bias and the fear of social stigma keeps many male victims of DV suffering in silence even if the abuse is life threatening. Treated by the society as a joke these men who are mostly caring, loving sensitive people face isolation and terrible psychological problems.

The cases are never reported, the law never takes them seriously and the fear of social stigma makes them more vulnerable to further abuse.

They use survival tactics in vain to hoping to stop the abuse but it gets worse with time.

I watched the man sleeping peacefully on the bed. An exceptionally talented person with a good job and a heart of gold he had the dark side of him which was hidden from the world. A side which need to be brought to light and justice. Seeing the couple walk down the street or talking to them could never reveal the horror that lay behind.
Behind the closed doors and curtained windows of their home there was an abyss full of uncertainty, pain, humiliation mixed with rage, and violence.

The society is reluctant to acknowledge that females could be perpetrators and males could be victims. It is a hard thing for the victims to come forward due to the feeling of powerlessness and other aspects.

I wonder if our society really is a male dominated one.. ??? Are creating a silent class of male victims in our pursuit to protect women’ rights?

With a law that favors women are we not doing a grave injustice to men by blindly labeling them as tormentors and glorifying women as eternal victims of abuse.

Does the stereotype image of a “man” come between justice and the silent sufferer?

I searched for answers as I watched him with tear filled eyes. When will it all end. Is there any hope?

What was in store for this man who tried really hard to live peacefully some moments of his life?

I wish I could do something more than just being a shoulder to cry on, though it’s something many victims don’t have all through their life unless they brave the onslaught of society and speak out.

Some things in life make you wonder what you have achieved as a human being and have you really done something to justify your existence on this earth.

All I would say is please do not suffer in silence.. It is one life that you have ..live it on your terms. Chase your dreams and catch them before it’s too late. Keep the faith and believe in the fact that you are unique and deserve your share of happiness in all forms.

Marital Rape :Intimate betrayal ….The untold trauma


I had wanted to take up the issue of Marital rape for a long time now .The movie DAMAN by Kalpana Lajmi where Raveena Tondon plays the role of a marital rape victim, made me write about this heinous crime against women.

Violence against women within the family has become a major issue in our society.

Marriage is perceived as ‘socially sanctioned sex’. A legal right to a woman’s mind, body and soul.

I often see men commenting that they “allow “their wives to work, go out and engage in hobbies she likes or do certain other things and wonder who gave them the right to give permission? Do we lose our right as a human being to decide things for ourselves, the moment we get married, and become a slave to the man we choose as a partner for life and do only those things he ‘chooses” to “”allow” us to do.

Centuries of conditioning of male minds makes them believe that they have a right over women. Under the broad term of patriarchy women are treated as second class citizens at home, at work and as citizens in the society.

Domestic violence is itself a small part of the larger subjugation of women by men in society.

A woman is given to understand that her desires and dreams must henceforth be subject to those of her husband. Once married a woman feels guilty of denying her husband his conjugal rights. Under such conditions, many women find it difficult to talk about the physical violence that takes place under the guise of conjugal relations in the marriage. Any mention of rape or sex fills them with shame.

All over the world, steps have been taken to ensure that marital rape is regarded as an offence. In India, however, we do not even admit that marital rape is a reality, let alone a crime. Marital rape is an issue that has long been swept under the carpet. It is something no one wants to talk about.

Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, says, “Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, not being under 15 years of age is not rape.” Marital rape doesn’t even fall under domestic violence.

Quoting section 375

375. Rape.

A man is said to commit “rape” who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions: –

First: – Against her will.

Secondly: -without her consent.

Thirdly: – With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.

Fourthly: -With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.

Fifthly: – With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.

Sixthly: – With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.

Explanation: – Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offense of rape.

Exception: -Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.

Our laws do not consider marital rape as a crime and only in cases of excessive physical abuse; a woman can file a case for cruelty. Domestic violence is prevalent in many forms in the society and for most of them there is a legal remedy except Marital rape.

There are so many loopholes in the law, about gender, age, caste and so on.

Rape with in marriage is not just the violation of sex; it’s related to a woman’s consent. Her autonomy and bodily integrity are at stake all the time. It’s the violation of self-determination and breach of trust. Marital rape betrays the fundamental basis of marital relationship.

It is an issue of denial of the human rights of women.

I feel that having sex with a person at one time does not “imply” consent to any future sexual acts but in our society a woman is subjected to all kind of sexual atrocities against her will. Not only are wives commonly viewed as the property of their husbands, but more specifically, they are seen as the sexual property of their husbands. Illicit sex, sex on demand, forced sex and sometimes brutal, humiliating sex is experienced by innumerable woman in a marriage.

Unfortunately not many women are aware of the fact that there is a thing called marital rape as they are discouraged to talk openly about sexual issues even within marriage.

And those who are aware do not show enough courage to stand up for their rights for various reasons, social or personal

Many of the marital rape victims end up with HIV and STD’s, unwanted pregnancies and abortions, physical mutations or wounds physical as well as psychological because they lack necessary courage to deny sex without contraception.

The impact of sexual assault lasts a lifetime and the victim suffers from Rape Trauma Syndrome. Feelings of betrayal, anger, guilt, humiliation, fear of intimacy, acute fear of being assaulted again and denial are some of the repercussions of marital rape.

In India, a societal change is needed as much as a legal one. Along with strict laws women need to be courageous enough to come out and report the crime against them, and then only the law can be enforced.

Women go through the most unimagined forms of abuse under the name of marriage. Once we accept this reality we may be able to take the first step towards protecting women.

Until then women will continue to be abused and raped by the one person they trusted most.

Also- Economic empowerment of women is a must because that will break their dependence on men at home.

There are many questions that need to be answered

Is the law a suitable and sufficient remedy for marital rape?

Will women want to have police people intervening?

Will the police give protection to a woman against her husband?

Can a woman walk into a police station and file a complaint against the man she’s married to?

Will at least the women police officers come to her help?

Is the society ready to tackle such an issue?

While a law will help as a deterrent and also in extreme cases, it is equally necessary to raise the consciousness of people, especially men, regarding the status of women.

We need to be aware of our rights; it’s not just the man’s prerogative to enjoy a physical relation. A woman too needs to be a willing participant and not just a provider; she should be able to state when the lines are crossed. Women themselves must break free of societal shackles and fight for justice.

I hope all the men who read this post will take that first step needed to give women the respect and dignity they deserve.

All the women will show courage to come out and fight for their self respect and take the first step of saying “NO”.

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