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Wife Beating – men batter women for trivial reasons

September 18, 2006

burning-rose-2_1_1.jpgVandana, a middle class house wife is a little late in coming home from the market. An enraged husband beats her up, giving her a black eye. Like all wife beaters, he needs only a flimsy excuse to physically abuse his wife. It could be because she has not cooked the vegetables properly, or has misplaced something in the house. When he is dissatisfied with her behaviour, he simply uses his fist to ‘discipline’ her! What is frightening is that many victims of wife battering have sustained serious injuries, sometimes even resulting in their death.

This is what we hear about in the documentary film Char Diwari ( Behind closed doors), directed by Gulshan Kripalani and Rinki Bhattacharya which was screened at Max Mueller Bhavan in Calcutta. It explodes several myths about wife battering.

Myths such as:

  • Wife battering exists only in poverty stricken homes
  • Wife batterers are usually drunkards or are mentally deranged in some way.
  • Something is seriously wrong with the wife’s behavior and the husband is driven to beating her.

The film is exposes how wives in middle class and affluent homes are beaten up by educated men from liberal backgrounds. It also explores the isolation and terror of women trapped in violent marriages and the social response to domestic violence. Most important, the film tells us the story of four courageous women who decided to put a stop to the violence and start life afresh.

Yet, the question that haunts the viewer is: why didn’t the women fight back earlier? Why did they wait for so many years to leave their husbands?
prison_1_1.jpgAs Luku Sanyal, news reader and daughter of a well known Bengali film actor, talks about her experience, the sense of shame and bewilderment is overpowering. ‘I was so utterly unprepared for what happened,’ she says about her violent marriage.

The shock and fear that battered women go through makes it difficult for them to leave. Also, they are emotionally and financially dependent on their husbands, which prevents them from seeking outside help.

Society often implies that the woman is not trying hard enough to make the marriage work, or that she is doing something wrong, that she deserves a beating.

Flavia Agnes, another battered woman and a mother of two children, explains how her husband used to dictate to her what to do…what to wear, what to eat, when to go out. He also demanded an account of every penny she spent, and tried to prevent her from making any outside contacts. Women like Flavia, in their lonely battle of nursing their grief, often become isolated from neighbours and friends.
graph-women-beaters.jpg

There are thousands of women who go through what these women did and this mental and physical cruelty is on the rise. However, only few cases are reported, and those that are reported are just the tip of the ice berg. Women avoid going to the police as they want to protect their husbands.

Lata, a domestic featured in the film, says, ‘He is my husband and I thought, why should I be the one to bring trouble to him?’ She also hoped against hope that tone day the beatings would stop. They never did. Ultimately it was the concern for her child that made her leave. Even then, it was only after making contact with a woman’s organization that she could pluck up enough courage to make a clean break. Today Lata is settled and happy. She and her daughter live with a kind employer. To her joy, her child now attends school, something that he husband was against.

Flavia’s story is even more amazing. Her husband did not give her any money and she decided to earn a little from tuitions. Even this was disapproved off, and she was often beaten in front of her students. Defying her husband, she went to the university and got herself a lawyer’s degree. Today, she is a lawyer and lives independently and helps battered women fight for their rights.

Finally, it is the economic independence which can give a woman the self confidence to fight back. Rinki Bhattacharya, daughter of the legendary film maker Bimal Roy and one of the co – directors of the film, is herself the victim of wife battering. She admits that the most difficult problem after her divorce was an economic one. Rinki recalls:

I had to sell all my jewellery and work day and night to support myself and the children.

She did it, but for most battered women the economic problems can be insurmountable. For them, a woman’s welfare organization can be the only ray of hope. It’s a place not only to get some economic help, but also learn a vocation. Rinki runs an organization called ‘Help’ in Mumbai which provides counseling and aid to victims of domestic violence.

All the women featured in the documentary Char Diwari are those who have been aided by “Help”.

Though there are films like Char Diwari, they do not receive sufficient publicity. For instance, Char Diwari was aired only twice on DD 2, and that too at an odd time.
Such films not only increase our awareness of this problem but also because these stories of hope reach out to victims and help them cope with their anguish and give them strength to fight back.

(The article re-produced above was written by me and has appeared in The Telegraph, Calcutta. The graph however is sourced from the Times Of India and the statistics are current, 2006.)

(The following is a letter written by me which was published in the Times of India, Bangalore)

Sexist Views:

Sir – in her middle “ a Woman of Style”, Ms Nergis Dalal has quoted Ms Vijaylakshmi Pandit as saying ‘cooking, looking after the children, running the house, that is nothing…’ I was shocked to say the least. My respect for the ex–ambassador has touched rock bottom. I am surprised that a reputed paper like yours publishes such sexist views.

I need hardly add that being a mother and housekeeper is a full time job, demanding more energy, initiative and organising skills than any office job. Besides, caring for and nurturing the family is an essential need in any society and one wishes that people would give this occupation the respect it deserves.

Research:
Two reputed organisations have carried out studies on this subject.
1. The WHO global study called The Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women study is based on interviews with more than 24,000 women in 10 countries – Brazil, Japan, Ethiopia, Peru, Samoa, Bangladesh, Namibia, Tanzania, Serbia and Montenegro.
It says:

  • One in six women worldwide suffers domestic violence.
  • Women suffer broken bones, bruises, burns, cracked skulls, dislocated jaws, rape and ofcourse – terror.
  • Domestic violence remains largely hidden as many women suffer silently.
  • Physically or sexually-abused women were more likely to suffer longer-term health problems, including depression.
  • Often, the woman herself believes that the man is justified in beating her.

2. The second study by Oxfam (an UK based charity) says that the problem is South Asia is much worse. As many as one in every two women faces domestic violence.
Oxfam has also drawn up a profile of the wife-beater:

  • All wife beaters believe in male domination. These men have certain rules and regulations that women should follow, and if the women don’t follow them, they are subjected to violence and/or verbal abuse.
  • Another type of man hits out in a fit of anger or in an alcoholic stupor when he doesn’t get what he wants from the woman, or because she does not give him ‘respect’. These type of men often repent temporarily.
  • There is an even more dangerous kind of wife-beater. He does not believe in any moral or social conventions. He believes that the woman is his property and that he can do anything he likes with her. He will gratify any of his perverted, violent and sexual desires without any regard for the woman’s safety.

Related Reading: India’s pathetic sex-ratio
Why Indians want sons
How the media portrays women
Do women really fast for the men?
Cooking is not considered an activity that is respected
Women-priests-of-india
Single mothers face an uphill task
Is India far better than the United States when it comes to political empowerment of women?

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74 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2006 10:30 am

    From what I remember of the movie, it came across as raw, very clearly not the work of an experienced director. I don’t know whether it was the subject that made me ignore these aspects because I remember I came out of that special screening (for reporters) quite emotionally affected.
    Frankly the idea that men should ‘discipline’ women makes me quite sick. After all, who is to discipline men if they are late because they stopped to chat with a colleague, forgot their wallet at home, or simply locked the car with the keys inside? And in the office does the boss start hitting the employee if he forgets to bring a file or keeps his desk untidy or does not have a requisite paper with him? But men hit and/or verbally abuse women for similar things. Maybe because a certain ingredient is not present in the house, or the menu is not planned properly.
    At times women encourage men to behave this way. For example, a mother-in-law will suggest to her son that his wife is not keeping the house properly and should be chided.
    Men are lucky that way, they can get away with their little mistakes. Whether they are in the kitchen or at work. It’s amazing isn’t it, that men can’t even take nagging? There was some stupid Hindi movie recently where a man was driven so crazy by his wife’s nagging (admittedly, extreme) that he actually killed her!

  2. Maneesha permalink
    November 8, 2006 9:44 am

    It is horrible to even read about wife beating. wonder what the women undergo while actually enduring it.
    Nita, what is sad is that though the women finally get the courage to walk out of this abusive relationship, do the men change ? Do they even stop to think how much they have destroyed. They may get married again ( in our country it’s simple for a man to get married again and again ) and continue to batter their wives. They should be given severe punishment, so that they dont dare raise their hands on women again.

  3. Sofia permalink
    November 19, 2006 2:06 am

    Hi, Im a 14 yr old girl who has an aunt that is being abused by her husband and my three little cousins witness it everytime he is home and I really would like to know if there is anything I could do b/c my aunt believes she has to stay with this man b/c he is the father her children and I cant stand seeing her have bruises all over her body and Im afraid that one day he will take the kids and leave and I just want to know if ther is anything i could do

  4. November 19, 2006 7:08 am

    The best thing you could do Sofia is to talk to a professional. There are people (womens organisations or counsellors or even a sympathetic adult who has access to a professional) who always know what is the best course of action. Action taken depends a lot on the individual who is being victimised. That person has to be talked to and shown a better way of life. Remember one thing though – people who are not professionals will tell you not to intefere, so be careful whom you talk to.

  5. November 20, 2006 8:30 pm

    I’m a 17 year old girl. My parents have been divorced this time since I was 15. My mom re-married & at first I liked the man. But then I started noticin changes in mom. So I started askin people that knew this man real well to tell me a little bit about him. Well the guy I was seein at the time aunt and me were really close and I talked to her about everything. She asked me his name cause she said the behavor reminded her of a man that as she said was a “jackass that liked to beat the hell out of his woman” I told her his name and she said that it was him. I asked her to tell me a little more. And so I began watchin. And mom was havin bumps and bruises in places she really shouldn’t have. She was losin weight really, really bad. She was startin to get really bad health issues. She had to ask him before she could come see me or take me somewhere. And one day while we were out gettin the things we needed before he got home so she could obey to his every beckon call she let it slip to me that he beat her. And I just said mom please leave him. And left it to that cause I don’t think at the time she realized what she did. Well it started gettin worse cause she ran off to my cousins house to talk to her and I knew right then it was gettin bad. Well my mamaw just moved in with mom, step-dad, his son and I’m movin in soon cause I’m havin problems with dad. Well today he punched mom in the mouth and nose because when he told her she never did a damn thing.. she answered with I do everything you tell me to.. I take your son to school all the time I am constantly helpin you fix things when I’m not supposed to be. Well my great uncles funeral is today. And mom’s tore up because I come from a redneck family and they are going to go off big time and she don’t want to cause more problems. And she’s running to my cousins house that is over an hour away so he can come get his stuff and not touch her. What if he hunts her down? How can I help. I hate seein mom like this. We all used to be so happie and now everything has been fallin apart so bad since papaw [her dad] died. I want to help so bad cause I hate seein my own mom like this. A lot of the girls in my family have a bad problem with lettin men hittin them and makin excuses for them. I’m the only one that put my foot down and got my uncle that is a cop to help me. I know I ain’t the easiest person in the world to deal with and I can say some rude things sometimes not meanin for them to be so rude but they come out rude.. But I know I deserve to be treated better from a man. I shouldn’t have to be hit on because I made him mad. And I know that and mom knows that but now she’s scared he’s not going to let her have a life. How can I make sure me and my mom and mamaw are safe. Please help. Thanks bunches I greatly apreciate this.

  6. November 20, 2006 9:08 pm

    Kiki, from your message I gather you come from the US or Western Europe. If that is the case there are many good helplines that you have over there. And you said a close relative is cop. People in authority are the best people to help you.
    Also, you are absolutely right. No one has a right to hit you because you say something they think is rude. There is absolutely no excuse for beating. I am glad that you do not want to go the way other women in your family have gone. Choose a good man and be happy. Don’t make the same mistake your mom made. And the best way to avoid a mistake is wait until you are older before making a committment. Get a good education and a good job. Thats more important.

  7. Mala permalink
    November 28, 2006 9:37 pm

    hi,
    is the movie Char Diwari available on DVD? I volunteer for an organization that helps women in situations facing DV and would like to show the movie as a way to spread the word about DV in the community.
    Thanks
    Mala Datta

  8. November 28, 2006 9:49 pm

    Mala, the movie isn’t available in the market as it is not a commercial film. However, if you contact Rinki she could well give you a copy. You could also try to contact Flavia Agnes. Both of these women are in Mumbai. Unfortunately I do not have their contact numbers, but they are both very well known and if know anyone in the media they will guide you.

  9. spring permalink
    January 29, 2007 10:00 am

    I am myself udnergoing this torture very often. I get beaten up whenever i dont agree to any view of my husband. Even to wear clothes of my chioce is a problem here! we both are employed and independent. Many times think i need to get out of this relationship but not able to or am i fooling myself that things would change for me? May be i need more strength to move out of this!!
    Somebody mentioned, men take women for granted no matter what is it. very true..And when she wants to do something of her own choice, she is beaten up. I live in hongkong, Does anyone know of any organaizations or helplines (Free) which can do a counselling and dig into the root of this problem i am facing. Please Help..

  10. January 29, 2007 10:33 am

    My dearest Spring, if you are getting beaten up on a regular basis, statistics show that this behavior on the part of the abuser does not change unless there is counseling. If ever it changes. I am far away from where you are, and therefore it is difficult for me to say which organisation can help you best. But it is clear that you need to talk to experts. Only they can decided the severity of your case, whether your husband is repentent and wants to change…please look on the internet and you will find some help. Or you can ask for help from any organisation in the United States or UK (they are very aware of womens rights there) and they will direct you to the right person in Hong Kong.

  11. spring permalink
    January 31, 2007 6:38 pm

    Hi nita, Thanks for the advice. But what we had a mutual counselling a year back and I was promised that he will not be interfering in my basic chioces atleast . But things are not the same anymore. Everytime I am ready to leave him, he stops me. I know i am emotionlly attached to him and for same reason fear to leave. Though back home everyone is very supportive. Previously my parents were very broken hearing my problem, i am worried and do not want to disturb them this time. I am at a point where in i am unable to take any decision. I can assure you, my husband would hit me 2 days later if i dont listen to him.
    Nita tell me what should i do.

  12. January 31, 2007 8:01 pm

    If you have support back home, I think you need to get away for a while. The reason why you are finding it difficult to make any decision is because you are there in that situation. Please do take a break and then things will become clear. This ‘emotional attachment’ as far as I can see is destructive. It is making you lose self-esteem. If your husband is refusing to let you leave then don’t tell him that you are thinking of leaving him. You know him well enough now…I am sure you can convince him that you need to get away for a while. Once out of the situation, you will be able to examine your options.

  13. madhu permalink
    February 8, 2007 11:30 am

    Hi Nita,

    Well I have been married for the past three years. I had a very happy married life until the first year of marriage. Since the second year onwards, he started raising his hands on me whenever we had a fight. He would get furious if i would talk to him disrespectfully. I would lose my temper very badly and use disrespectful words only when he starts lifting hands on me. He is a very very nice person otherwise and no one would believe me if I would say that he hits me. I get more furious and call out bad words on him and he would beat me more and I too would react back. I get irritated and shout at him when he does not listen to me or delays in any kind of household chore whether it is going outside or inside the house. I have to really explain the importance of doing the work, otherwise he would not move at all. I did not complain about this to any of my family members as they would lose heart as they love this guy a lot. Otherwise in other ways my husband is a really very understanding person and he too loves me a lot. The only thing that bothers is his new way of fighting with me and I am afraid that once i have my child it would affect my child also very badly. He says that i need to control my tongue and so then he would stop hitting me, but his behavior makes me irritated and i just cannot control myself, otherwise i too adjust in may ways. Please advise me in what way i can stop him from beating me further.

  14. February 8, 2007 11:58 am

    My dear Madhu, It does seem as if your husband loves you and you love him. But surely he needs to understand that hitting is wrong? And by the way, verbal abuse is wrong too. You have to stop immediately! Verbal abuse can scar a person. Whether verbal or physical it is wrong. You two are civilised people aren’t you? So behave that way! I have written an article in this same forum about verbal abuse, do read it. It is possible that you were a victim in childhood or have seen it in your family. You can’t do this to your husband if he loves you as you say.
    Ofcourse physical abuse is more scary and worse as things can go out of hand. It can lead to horrible consequences. Your words may scar him but he can always walk out of the room, leave the house etc. And plus he is a man so I guess being the earning member he harbours no financial fears of walking out of the marraige. You are in a more vulnerable position, surely you understand that? Don’t take your marraige for granted.
    There is NO EXCUSE however for your husband to beat you. I know a case where a wife was verbally abusing her husband. He never retaliated. He simply left her. She regretted it but it was too late, he could not forget her harsh words.
    Your husband needs to see a counselor immediately. He needs to understand that physical abuse is the WORST thing he can do to his wife, and it is likely that he would have raised his hand on you IN ANY CASE. These things are born in childhood. So do not blame yourself too much. If he is hitting, SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH HIM NOT YOU.
    Please try to make him understand this…it can only be done by experts.

  15. madhu permalink
    February 8, 2007 1:19 pm

    Hi Nita,

    Thank you very much for the earliest reply. I just spoke to him about going to a counsellor and he does not seem to be very serious about it. In fact, I want to solve this problem with a mutual understanding. I try very hard not to verbally abuse him, but he just makes me more irritated. In fact, he does have a history of physical abuse by his parents and I am very sure that it is reflecting on him. I thought this would stop initially but now for every fight he raises his hand. Hope he understands soon otherwise I would have no other go other than walking off his life. This is the first time in my married life that i have not spoken to him for a week. I just cant forget the way he physically abused me last week even though he is ready to forget it, but if this goes on no educated woman can tolerate for a long time and then i would have to put a word to my parents soon, please do advise me again on this. I would be highly obliged as i do not want an end to my married life and he too would not.

  16. February 8, 2007 6:20 pm

    You have to persuade him to see a counseler. It will take time but I see it as the only way out. A third party, a professional will be best able to help you. Take it slowly, he will be persuaded to see one. Be patient. Make patience your virtue. If you want to save your marraige, this I see as the only way. I think if you tell him that both of you need a counselor he will be more willing to see one.

  17. Spring permalink
    February 13, 2007 7:39 pm

    Hi Nita, Just went thru madhus post, I really can relate my problem with her. Infact I know a couple of more married women who undergo this torture. Just a thought, as a freelance reporter is it possible for you to publish such articles in Newpapers such as TOI etc which can reach many audience and possible solution for it (I know it is increasingly common issue but only 5% comes out). I have seen in some cases couselling helps for a while but its really impossible to change a person’s attitude.
    Nita, I also feel you can be a better counseller. If you agree may be you can tell us the ways to reach you. Thanks.

  18. February 13, 2007 9:42 pm

    Spring, I have sent you an email.

  19. nivedita permalink
    March 2, 2007 4:30 pm

    Hello Nita,

    I am married for last two years and has a baby of nine months. I am an working woman and was earning more than him till I delivered my baby. Now we are at the same pay scale in the same organisation. Ours was an intercaste love marriage to which initially parents disagreed. Moreover I belong to an affluent urban liberal family and my husband belongs to a conservative family from a very remote village. From the beginning itself we had difference in opinion on most of family matters e.g, treating guests(especially his friends and family), work at home(he feels working at home is woman’s duty even though she is earning outside and doing hundred other things), taking care of the baby(I must say he is very reluctant about caring the baby) and mainly money matters. Earlier when he used to earn less most months I spent more on households and if sometimes I would spend less he will ask for money. He even demanded once to control my money which I disagreed. Now the money problem has got worse and he indirectly refuses to pay anything for me and also for the baby and says he does not have money.The first time he raised his hands was on the night of our reception when I frankly mentioned to him that I am unable to relate to his family members as culturaly, educationally all women their had nothing to talk about excepting ‘what do you know about cooking’. That time he did not hit me and said sorry. Next we had some heated arguements and I threw some flowers and he slapped me number of times and pulled me with my hair and banged my head on the floor. That time I was 1.5 month pregnant. Need to mention here he always has habit of throwing and breaking things which includes throwing chair almost towards me once. Again when I was 4 months pregnant we had heated agguement on money matters and he pushed me and tried to choke me at a prominent railway station so that even police came and warned him. This later I pacified him and said I want to move out. He first threatened me that before I could move out he will hit me even badly but later said he want me to stay with him. After this emotional and physical stress I started having problem in pregnancy. His hitting reduced. He went abroad for 1 month and everything seemed fine. To mention here whenever he gets angry and I tries to pacify him he just pushes me away. After I gave birth to my baby we again fought over money 2 times but I was at my parents place so no violence occured. I have not ever mentioned anything about all this to anybody. 2 months back when my baby’s governess was there at home he slapped me in another room on refusing to pay him money to go to his village. Later on Jan 16th after he came back from his night duty we had some arguement. He came and pulled me by my hair. I got angry and demanded justification of hitting me. He then slapped me a number of times saying that he will hit me and will not give any justification. I abused him with bad words and with each word of mine he hitted me with a big bottle of water. I got all the more irritated and told him he can only show his power and can do nothing. He twisted my right arm. It got a swelling. He then pushed at one wall and twisted my LEFT ARM TILL IT IS BROKEN INTO TWO PICES A LITTLE ABOVE THE ELBOW. I started writhing in pain and called him. He did everything hospitalisation etc what was needed but never came to me and said that he is sorry for what has happened. I GOT OPERATED AND GOT A BIG PLATE WITH 7 SCREWS TO BE FIXED AGAINST MY BONE. When I was released from hospital and tried talking to him at night he said he never wanted to break my arm but rest of hitting is justified and with similar behaviour of mine he is going to repeat the same 101%. I told this to one of my friends and he is ok with her interfering to settle things. I went home for 1 month after all this and over phone also he argued for money so badly that he was not willing to escort me and my baby if I did not pay flight fare bus fare etc. I came with my mom then. Till then I am not talking to him even though we are under the same roof. He is eating on his own and not even bothered to buy vegetables for us. I thought of going to police but then could not gather enough courage. I also want to save our marriage but why the effort should be only from my side. He told me that whatever I want to do he is OK. Even if I want to walk out he is ok and he himself is not going to walk out. Please help.

  20. March 2, 2007 4:52 pm

    Nivedita, from what I have read of your story, it is indeed the most horrifying. I frankly see no point in saving the marraige because I think your husband far too violent to change. He also seems to think of you as his property. I am surprised that you married him inspite of know the vast difference in your thinking and upbringing. Also I advise you to please stop defying and provoking him. Please leave. Now. You are a working woman and young and you will be able to recreate your life.
    This is my advise to you. Please don’t let your poor baby be witness to the violence.

  21. nivedita permalink
    March 5, 2007 8:56 am

    Do you suggest me file a police complaint before I leave. One or two friends to whom I have disclosedd says see for few more days for a last chance. Please suggest.

  22. March 5, 2007 10:58 am

    I gave you my advise.
    However if you feel that your husband will change then you can give him the chance. Perhaps you can try and talk to him. If he promises not to beat you then you can give him the chance. But if he says that he will beat you again, whats the point? Are you sure that you will be able to adhere to all his ‘rules’ in the future? These kind of ‘rules’ will become more and more stringent as you go along. That is my opinion. Even when in such cases men promise not to hit again, they do it. So what kind of life can you expect with a man who feels that there is nothing wrong in beating his wife? Is that the kind of life you want? Soon you will lose all your sense of self worth and esteem.
    About the police complaint, you should have done it the day he broke your arm. Now it will be difficult to prove.

  23. Nivedita permalink
    March 7, 2007 3:43 pm

    I have told one of my friends to talk to him and reciprocate that I dont want to discuss about how to resolve the arguements because that itself means that he is justified in his violence. What I want is to have an watch on him from 6 months to 1 year time with this arguements what ever both os us still continuing. If during this time he puts up his violence thats end of it. Because even if somebody solves the arguements now there is no suruty that violence will not happen for argue that we will have in future. So priority is he stopping the violence and nothing else. Now during this period how he controls his anger whether goes for anger management class or psychotherapy thats his choice. If he feels he is not ok with all this I will better leave.

  24. Mike permalink
    March 20, 2007 7:56 am

    Nivedita,

    What you’re going through is horrible. What’s really scary is the failure of the batterer to see how wrong their action is. If there’s no genuine admission of wrongdoing, then the behavior will repeat itself. If you do decide to leave, know that you will find great strength to do so when you need it the most.

    Someone close to me left a
    and is happier naw than she’s been in years.

  25. March 22, 2007 3:41 pm

    Hi

    I was actually serching for a blog or reference to Indian Mafia and I stumbled on your blog. .wanted to share some things that most women will agree with ,, I represent the urban educated Middle class in Indias economic district and I shudder to think what the lesser deprived classes go thorugh !!!
    I have a family of aunts,, we are each others support systems in a way ! However my observation is that in this world.. let alone in India or among certain communities or cities, there is a great amount of disparity .. my mother, and I know this for a fact WEPT when i was born,,I was raised as an only child of a cultured independent forward thinking family and I was furious when i knew that she did so,, and couldn t understand it . But now, aged 27 and having seen a fair share of situations I understand,, this is not anti female when I say that I dont think i ll weep if i have a daughter,, but i will be happier if it is a boy.. i get the psyche … its happening all over,, in anyform in any house in one way or the other .
    It may not be physical abuse., mental abuse and constantly so is just as bad and in the cases ive seen even worse.. I have one SO CALLED HARVARD educated uncle who emotionally abuses all the women he knows.. wife and mother in law especially .. i have another aunt whose husband- and this guy is also – an ex IITian.. stays away from his wife and kids and openly dates other women, where his parents support him .. i have another case ,,my mothers in fact where the husband walked out on his young daughter and terminally ill wife,. in other cases i have witnessed some form of verbal abuse and the women have just kept on listening and enduring.
    Recently i am myself dating a very short tempered person who is also a verbal abuser at times,,,,, see how i protect him .. at times !!! (coming from families like mine he looks like a saint)

    who is to blame ? i think its us women who support the men,, who cannot do a think and who are helpless.. helpless because of social constraints, helpless because of what the elders will say, helpless for the sake of their kids,, helpless because they have lost their dignity and forgotten it somewhere down the road.

  26. March 22, 2007 4:19 pm

    Runa, if you are dating a man who is verbally abusing you, remember that after marraige it can and will get worse.
    There are good men around Runa. One has to look hard and one can find them. Often we get trapped in a vicious cycle. Because we have seen men abusing women, we feel that it is possible to tolerate it. So we overlook this point and look at the other good qualities of the man. It is better to compromise on other qualities, but never ever compromise on the kind of man you marry. Marry a gentle man Runa. A man who respects women. Yes, there are such men around.

  27. March 22, 2007 6:22 pm

    Hi, there.

    I just came across your site and find it very fascinating. I had to leave a comment about male violence against their partners and the wall of silence in the Asian communities. My partner, who happens to be Tamilian, was in a previous relationship where she was abused physically and emotionally. In spite of her wanting to leave, her family advised her to stay for the greater good. Suffice to say she has now left him.

  28. Phantom permalink
    March 27, 2007 12:39 pm

    To all you ladies out there who undergo domestic violence – I have this message. If your husband or partner raises his hand at you he is NOT A MAN. He is a coward who chooses to use his physical might to bully his woman, knowing fully well (consciously or subconsciously) that the woman is often too emotionally vulnerable to do anything.

    I have a girlfriend, and I know how easy, how ridiculously easy, it is for a man to emotionally blackmail a woman who cares for him. Pls do not suffer under the fallacy that you owe it to yourself or to him to carry on in a relationship where the man resorts to frequent or periodic physical abuse. it is cowardice of the highest order and SHOULD NOT BE CONDONED. Hate to say it, but if you stay back and dont do a thing, you’re partly to blame…in that your lack of action is only fuelling his negative energies and violent tendencies. A man who resorts to physical abuse is not fit to look after his woman and children…he has a problem and as such needs to be helped. But you cannot help anyone unless you help yourself first. You child does not deserve to grow up in a house where he/she has to subject to the mental trauma of watching one of his family get physically abused, it will taint the childs perception of how grown up men and women are mean to behave with each other. And today the man is hitting the wife….tomorrow he could also hit the children.

    No, I firmly believe in giving relationships a firm chance…..everyone deserves sympathy and a second chance. But once the limt has been crossed (arguable what the limt is…but i’d say that hif he’s resorting to physical violence for no apparent reason, and has doen it more than 3 times, its reached the limit). Once the limit’s been crossed, you deserve to get out of that relationship. It is infinitely better to be a single woman/mum than to live in a loveless relationship where you face more fear than affection with ur partner.

    My advise – seek professional help. Talk to someone who can just listen to you. Keep positive and pls do not believe that you deserve this…you DON’T….and also pls dont believe that every man out there is like that, cos they’re NOT. And don’t feel that by leaving the relatinship ur doing somethign wrong…..staying in it wud be the wrong thing…for u, ur child and for the man as well (cos unless he’s made to understand that women will not tolerate his abusive behaviour he will not remedy himself or get the help he deserves). You deserve to have a rewarding, happy and enriching life and partner…..it isn;t a crime to expect this.

  29. Ameeta Shah permalink
    March 28, 2007 12:11 am

    Nita
    You have brought out the issues extremely well with the added research on the issue. I am a psychotherapist and have assisted people trapped in difficult abusive marriages.
    Love and commitment should never be at the cost of mistreatment to yourself especially beyond a point. This should be taught to girls early on. Often we are brought up in a culture of being good, honest, sharing and giving that we forget that giving can’t be without some reciprocation and respect and it is a good idea not to give when you are not respected.
    We all need to be aware that more than even our physical health, abusive relationships create definite damage to our mental health even to the most confident person – it is daily brain washing and will slowly change your belief s about yourself making you feel like you cannot manage and you are no good, getting isolated and covered in layers of fear, shame and guilt. A woman needs to realize that she has not failed in her marriage nor is she the one betraying the man or the family if she takes help outside. The man is the one breaking the family or the reputation, and failing the relationship. Staying in such a relationship prevents you from being able to leave it. Mostly one gets into the struggle that ‘He will change’ as I keep being gentler, nicer and more obedient. The problem is this only programs this type of man to take the woman more and more for granted and feel more and more righteous about his abuse.
    Sometimes women decide to get assertive but they actually get provocative with a very unsafe person and getinto a power struggle where as it is just better to let go or deal with the issue more strategically. Get some things happening privately, keep plans quiet till one is prepared and not announce them coz he then is able to sabotage them. Such a man cannot handle any threat to his ego or sense of power, his stress tolerance is low and ofetn he has been a victim of abuse himself or he has been a pampered spoilt male child of the family. Often a woman gets too understanding of this past and feels too protective, but sympathy can’t come at cost of no sympathy for yourself. Empowerment counselling to get back one’s sense of self, confidence and assertiveness are necessary. One needs to stay grounded in the reality that this man has serious limitations, get more into thinking how to protect oneself, rather than try to change the man. It is often better for a woman to start learning to create a private life, focus on counseling for herself or empowerment courses for herself in any hobby/ skill area than to involve him in the counselling. Most of the men want the status quo so they attend few sessions without much commitment and then prevent the wife from seeking counselling. When a woman is in an abusive relationship counselling to strengthen herself is the most important, improving the man or the relaitonship comes later. Nita’s idea of go away for a while and get some space is great if possible.
    Here in India It works to register an NC at any police station after an episode of abuse as this proof of abuse counts in the court in future. NC is where an offence is registered but no action is taken immediately. A woman who is being abused should keep copies or originals of important documents(passport, marriage certificates, property documents etc) in a safe or with friends so that at a short notice she can get out if a situation arises. Keeping a letter of the abuse and suffereing with some organizations and people can help as one can let the man know that he is listed with organizations as abuser who will act if he does anything. Police visits to the home help One thing an abusive man becomes wary of is once a lot of people with wuthority or power know – the building society committee members etc One has to go public not indiscrimantely but to an extent.
    Some organizations in Mumbai for this are
    MAVA -Men Against Violence and Abuse – 24360631
    Sakhya (a College of Social Work Project) 28727523
    Majlis – Flavia Agnes – 26661252/ 26662394
    Build -26555789/ 26433933
    India center for Human Rights & Law – Women & Law Unit 23759657, 23716690
    All Telephone Direcotries in their first set of pages have listings of Welfare Organizations. Contact info of Institutes of MentalHealth, Colleges of social Work, Special Cells for Women can be obtained through any directory enquiry or info line number and such places will give further resource information. Psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists and psychotherapists can also share such resource numbers.
    Any counselling related query you can write to me at ameeta_shah (at)hotmail.com

  30. Nivedita permalink
    April 5, 2007 8:56 am

    Hello Ameeta,

    Can you please let me know about NC. like what is it? and how can i lodge complaint with it. Since, my case happened on Jan16 can I go for it now?

    Regards,
    Nivedita

  31. April 5, 2007 9:33 am

    Nivedita, you will have to write to Ameeta at the email id she has given.

  32. nivedita ray permalink
    October 22, 2007 10:25 pm

    can anybody suggest me a good matrimonial lawyer who can fight a case of domestic violence for me?

    Nivedita, it’s best to ask people in your own city. Also you cannot go by the recommendation of strangers…always ask people whom you know. Or it’s better if you go through the yellow pages, better than asking strangers. – Nita.

  33. Anonymous_husband permalink
    December 7, 2007 7:21 pm

    Hello all….

    I read most of the posts on this page. I can identify with Madhu’s post (written on 8th Feb) for the situation me and my wife were into, (yes for a change you have a man posting his views :-)

    I am a happy man now…. life turned around after me and my wife together went to a counsellor.

    My wife used to get irritated very often, she used to “taunt” me and my family. Her anger against my family and insecurity relating to “me trusting them more than her” wld crop up atleast 3-4 times every week. Her irritations also came out of our low frequency of love making. Her taunts usually led to quarrles betn us. This is similar to what Nita calls “Verbal Abus”. It wld scar me and anger me…

    I too contributed to her angers as I was more reserved and I cautioned her from spending money, I defended my mother, I did not adhere to time, I came late from office, I was slow at everything I do…. this drew her crazy….

    Some of the quarrles led to fights at a frequency of ones in 2 months, in which I wld raise my hand and at times manhandle her. She too wld retaliate in anger and said worse things…. it was a bad show of power…. this was more so during first 6 months of our marriage. These quarrel pattenrs were repetitive. I am sure most of you also have repetitive (similar kind of) quarells all the time….

    I am studying an interesting theory for self development called Transactional Analysis. My wife also was exposed to it. Both of us are very well educated. We decided to seek help and that was the most important decision I have ever taken in my life…..

    SEEK HELP TOGETHER…. we knew it takes 2 to a tango…. both of us needed improvements. We started visiting a very good counsellor since last 6 weeks and we are working on ourselves… we are also helping each other change… we are not perfect yet, but we are happy… we slip into our previous pattenrs very often but that is where the other partner lovingly makes one aware of it (as against the irritation in the past)…

    We have moved, I make conscious attempts to share more things with her, to adhere to time, to come back soon from office, to spend more money etc…

    And she controls her bad thoughts, her anger, she taunts me less, she brings things to my notice gently, she has started taking more interest in understanding finance etc…. she slips back into irritations, and I into mismanaging time but we try to be gentle to each other.

    Our love has grown…. we wish to continue to grow and raise a family….

    Me and my wife wish you all a very happy life. We have just one message for all… SEEK HELP TOGETHER. If that is not possible then take firm decision for your happiness. Pls do not suffer….

    My love and wishes to all of you…

  34. December 7, 2007 7:29 pm

    @Anonymous_husband:

    Your message is one of hope and happiness and love. Thank you for sharing your experience with all the readers. Many will come here and read what you have written and it will give them hope. Thanks again.

  35. Sanjay permalink
    December 7, 2007 9:05 pm

    Hi,
    This is Sanjay Pandey, a journalism student at Manorama School of Communication. I am planning to do an investigative report on domestic violence. Could give me some more information on this subject. It would a great favour for me if you could suggest me the name of some surveys conducted recently. I am in Kerala, now , which ranks second in domestic violence irrespective of its high literacy and human development indicators.

    The only information I have is on this blog. I have no idea about any surveys conducted recently but I suggest you do some research on the internet. – Nita.

  36. December 8, 2007 1:03 pm

    Why are all blogs, anayses, surveys etc conducted on DV always female centric? Why are there no male centric or sexually neutral statistics? Why is it assumed, that if DV exists, it is atrocities on women?

    The fact that no one ponders the existence of the other face of the coin shows that these are as sexist as the committers of the above said crimes.

    As for the nay sayers, there are loads of resources on the net, usually from mens right activists, that attempt (though with hardly a fraction of the exposure) to bring about some sort of equilibrium.

  37. December 8, 2007 1:12 pm

    @The Depressed Doormat:

    The other side of the coin does exist I am sure, but surely you ahve to admit that women are physically weaker and do not usually bash up guys? :) the cases where women beat up their husbands would be far less than say men beating up women don’t you agree?

    p.s. It’s usually when things become a sort of trend that it’s written about.

  38. December 9, 2007 8:54 am

    I will neither agree nor disagree with you. The reason for that being, if I agree with you, it is on the basis of notions engrained inside us by virtue of the society we live in, where it is unimaginable for a man to be beaten by his wife. If I disagree, it will be because of a bigoted stance, as again, there is no evidence in favor of my argument.

    But in places that have started conducting such surveys (although at preliminary stages), the shocking finding has been that men were a)abused to a greater extent b) a greater percentage of women felt it was alright for women to beat up men than the other way around.

    Until domestic violence is treated sexually neutral, the facts are not going to surface, and so there is no way I could prove you wrong or you prove me wrong. It is a stalemate. And I guess that is what the “feminists” want.

    On a side note, though not unrelated, if after thorough analysis and statistics, (and dispelling of social dogma… i.e. a society that thinks less of a man if beaten/harassed by his wife or girlfriend) it is proven that men are by far a fraction, does that make sectional laws okay? Even if only 1 man for every 100 women suffers, does it make it okay to marginalize what that 1 man goes through?

    The legal cliché applies that justice delayed is justice denied. What about Justice denied to start with, especially since the law just needs to be rephrased to make it neutral?

    I am not sure if I managed to get my point across, but I am more than willing to make another attempt if you so wish!

  39. December 9, 2007 9:02 am

    I forgot to mention that the preliminary surveys were conducted in the west. Some have been conducted in progressive areas within the US and some in Europe. I have come across one on a blog, from UK as well. India is far from carrying out even sample surveys, leave alone extensive surveys or legislative processes.

    And the reason I said we need to dispel the social dogma, is that even if a man does go to the cops to report abuse, he will at best, be laughed at. And this has happened in India… more than once! I can’t find the link right now, but about 6 months back, I had come across a news article, where a man was beaten by cops when he reported DV. But I am sure it never appeared on even one national channel.

    If people decide that isolated cases are okay, my question would be, would it be acceptable if instead of 18000 rapes a year, the number were 1800?

  40. December 9, 2007 9:06 am

    @The Depressed Doormat:

    I understand what you are saying, although I can’t say I agree with you! However I shall certainly think on this further before I argue with you! Maybe I’ll do a post on this…but need to get research before I can write.
    Please don’t call me a feminist though as I consider myself as someone who has sympathy for the underdog, all of the underpriviliged – whether it’s women, children, the poor, prostitutes, gays, certain castes, minorities etc. and please don’t call me a socialist either because I believe in capitalism.
    The problem is DD that labels never help. Your argument I feel is looking at things from two opposite points of view…you needn’t do that. There can be a mid path.
    Also, don’t look at it from the point of view of women or men…look at it from the point of view of a large section of a certain group which suffers…
    and no one says that individuals in those groups who suffer less should not get justice.

  41. December 9, 2007 11:01 pm

    Nita,
    a) I did not call you a feminist. When I call someone a feminist, I mean it as a throughbred insult.

    b) This isnt about socialism and capitalism. This is about equality of law.

    c) I am not looking at it from an “extreme”. In fact, if anything, I am more along a mid-path than the “feminists”. I did not say no laws, or aid for women who suffer. All I did say was, the same should be extended to men who suffer. I don’t see how that is extreme or radical.

    d) Your last statement: ” no one says that individuals in those groups who suffer less should not get justice.”

    That isn’t what the indian judicial system, and majority of the people think! Why else would there be laws that only seek to aid battered women?

  42. December 10, 2007 7:07 am

    @The Depressed Doormat:

    Laws are there to help each and every single person and you know that. There are general laws for everyone and special laws for the weak groups. To say that there should be laws even for groups where the majority does not suffer seems a waste to me as there are general laws for them.
    I also see being called a feminist an insult! :)
    If our police are insensitive to battered men, I can say they are insensitive to battered women too. Out of 100 women who are beaten by hteir husbands, the majority are turned away by the police as they think it’s an internal matter. This is not the case abroad.
    In any case, I am thinkig of writing a post on this in the coming weeks…

  43. December 11, 2007 10:16 am

    Nita: What you are saying isnt necessarily true. If a man charges his wife/gf for abuse, it will be battery/assault. That does not come with the same priviliges as the DV law for women.

    Also, you seem to forget that Dowry (part of what goes into 498a and DV acts) is a widely “acceptable” system in India, especially in middle class society. In fact, in the south, I have noticed it is probably a more zealous practise amongst the bride’s family with the excuse of securing their daughter’s “comfort”. But then what happens when the two hit rock bottom? You get another statistic in the dowry column of our crime stats. Again, I am not sure if I have managed to convey my point effectively enough… just got out of three 2-hour long exams and am a little mentally drained

    Will look forward to your article, since Im not so good with legal jargon.

  44. March 27, 2008 11:37 pm

    Nita, i know this is an old post, but i was looking for it in order to give you – and your readers – some fresh stats on the home violence IN AUSTRIA (Europe).

    In the small countrly like Austira (8. Mio. population) there were 6.347 reportet cases of home violence – daily 17 cases (!) – and this is in a so called well-off civilised country. I dont want to know how many are beaten withouth reporting it to the police…
    The good thing is the Ministery of Women has started some social advertizing on this subject (big posters with a couple where the woman is wearing bullet prove jackets)…

    Thanks for this information Axinia. I know the problem of wife-beating is present all over the world. I think social advertising is a good idea, to show men that attacking a weaker person is cowardice. – Nita.

  45. Surabhi Segal permalink
    June 11, 2008 12:01 pm

    I have been a victim of mental and physical abuse. I was married for a year.At the end of that one year i couldnot take it anymore and I left.My view is that you have to value yourself and not let anyone tell you or make u feel worthless.Your personal happiness matters the most.My ex husband was a dipsomaniac.

    I have now restarted life.I’M 23yrs old and I’ll be going back to college to do an MBA.Admitting failure of a relationship is tough.Admitting that no matter what you do there is no way out but leaving is very difficult to accept.The only thing I can say after reading this blog VALUE YOURSELF ABOVE ALL ELSE.

    My parents were also very saddened and disappointed but they supported me. I went back and got all my clothes,jewelery before I finally left him. What was mine was mine I took it back.

    Being female doesnot mean your any less that any male.Never let any man tell you that your worth is less compared to him.Nobody has the right to take away anything from you be it money property jewellry etc and most of all your sense of self.

    Good to hear that you left Surabhi. I always feel that one has to be courageous and learn to stand on one’s own feet if one is an adult. – Nita.

    • aarthi permalink
      February 22, 2010 6:54 pm

      Hi,

      I know this is a really old post… but is there ANY way I can get in touch with Surabhi?

      I was wondering if she would be willing to share her story with the website of a popular indian woman’s magazine. Her courage and advice are truly inspirational. Am especially interested because she’s so young!

      Nita, please help me with her email!

  46. nivedita ray permalink
    October 15, 2008 12:30 pm

    Hi Nita,

    I had written on this site sometime back regarding how my husband physically tortured and mentally abused me. It seems he has come to know that I have written in this site and verbally abused me for that. – Nivedita

    sorry to hear this nivedita. next time use a nickname. – nita.

  47. December 9, 2008 2:09 am

    Hi Nita,

    I am glad that you give advice to women who are abused by their husband.

    Yes, women should protect themselves than being in a marriage where you live in fear, its essential to move on in life. Otherwise you end up being a victim all your life or endanger your life & your kids get mentally disturbed growing up in such environment which is very unhealthy for the women & her children.

    Could you give more information about the legal aspects which would help women. Some kind of help lines?thanks.

    Regards
    Simi

  48. Bhanu permalink
    January 13, 2009 3:17 am

    I have been married for the past three years. Our fights initially were limited to both of us accusing each other and shouting at each other. He would get furious if i would talk to him disrespectfully. I would lose my temper very badly and shout at him and then he started raising his hands on me whenever we had a fight. And he beats the hell out of me; it is like as if he will stop only if he kills me. He does not like me talking very frequently to my parents or sister, in fact most of the times, talks disrespectfully about them also. I get more furious and call out bad words on him and he would beat me more and ultimately I give up after being beaten badly. And we don’t speak for weeks, Heights is he expects me to say sorry that I gave him a reason to beat me. He does not think he did something wrong by beating me.
    I do not know if I should complain about this to any of my family members as mine was a love marriage and parents were not that keen about it and I don’t have the courage to see their faces when they know I have spoiled my life myself. When we are not fighting, he is nice person and probably loves me. But the way he beats me I can’t help but think that if things are not done his way, he is not at all happy and that leads to fighting.
    He says that i need to control my tongue and so then he would stop hitting me, but his behavior makes me irritated and i just cannot control myself, otherwise i too adjust in many ways. I have tried keeping mum a number of times but he crosses his limits and I can’t help.

    I am not sure if I will be able to spend whole of my life with this guy or not. Please advice.

    If you think he can change, he won’t. The very fact that he feels that you “deserve” to be beaten itself shows that he is not going to. Please do not imagine he loves you. This is not love. Just think what will happen when you have children. Do you want to beaten in front of them? Also, please do not imagine that the bad words you use justify his beating. He can always abuse you back, but you cannot beat him back. This itself makes him a coward and this is what makes this abuse. I do hope you have a job. Also I think you need to talk to some close family member like your sister or parents about this or a counselor. – Nita

    • Pooja Kumar permalink
      April 25, 2010 6:25 pm

      As you explained yourself, you do not have control on your tongue, I feel this is the real problem you should work on. Emotional abuse is bigger sin than physical abuse. Do not try to make everyone feel that your husband is wrong. I am sure there must be reason behind his disliking with your talking to your mother and sister. Do not just tell one side of the story. By changing yourself, everything will be resolved. Best of luck.

  49. Bhanu permalink
    January 13, 2009 7:34 pm

    Thanks for your response Nita.
    I do have a job and i seriously dont think i can stand him any more now. He says he will not give me divorce, he will call my parents and will insult me and them in front of every body. i get scared for them, why do they suffer because of what i have done.
    i really feel stuck, i am not in my home country also, i am in US and i think Law here might help me, but i m not sure if i want to involve police and all. I dont think i want police to take him. I am confused, what should i do?

    Bhanu, the worst thing to do is to start the process and back out which I fear you might do. If you do that, the situation will get worse. Look, I don’t see why you think others deserve to be happy, but you don’t. If that is what you think, then it will be a never ending cycle. I really think you should see a counselor, which are in plenty in the US. – Nita.

  50. Bhanu permalink
    January 13, 2009 11:22 pm

    Thanks again,What do you mean by counselor? First of all , i dont think i can go and see without my husband knowing it and second going alone will it help?
    He will not go to a counselor, he thinks he does everything right so he does not need anybody telling him what he should do and what not.
    I just want to get rid of him, i also think he is not going to change. If he agrees to leave me without creating an issue and big deal about it. i think i will be happy.`

    If he was such a gentleman, who would let you go without making a fuss, then I doubt whether you would want to leave him! And by counsellor, I did not mean a marriage counselor, I meant a counsellor for you, or rather someone like a woman’s group as we have in India. Someone who would advise you to take the right step, after knowing the details of your life. Because these things are always best told in person and handled that way and that too by experts who work with abused women, particularly those activists who deal with domestic violence. You just have to do this secretly. There is no other way. – Nita.

  51. Bhanu permalink
    January 16, 2009 2:32 am

    Thanks for your help. I am comsidering the option.

  52. Nozi permalink
    March 19, 2009 5:22 pm

    I have a problem of beating my girlfriend and really feel bad afterwards, she refused me sex for no apparent reason and i feel bad about it. What happens when someone is pregnant, sexual drive drops or what!!! Help me i don’t to beat here again!!!

    • vasudev permalink
      March 19, 2009 8:18 pm

      any drive would drop if you abuse. give the lady a chance. and pregnant women do not expect to be beaten. they expect you, the villian of their misery, to at least support part of the psychological load (lucky for you god ordained that you don’t suffer the physical one!).
      so, all in all, the lady does not expect you to make extra-strange demands of her. she expects you to provide her succour and happiness. give that.

    • September 14, 2011 10:25 pm

      Go to a Psychiatrist for your own mental well being

  53. vasudev permalink
    March 19, 2009 8:23 pm

    the statistical borders of wife beaten india are islamic…

  54. Don't know permalink
    March 22, 2009 10:19 pm

    wel if any women made mistake like to make relationships with others at that time what are the options available for man if he loved her wife very much and she brokes her image in her husband’s eyes. can you tell me the ways for handeling this type of situations

  55. Milind Kher permalink
    March 23, 2009 9:22 am

    There is absolutely no excuse for wife beating. It is barbaric and unthinkable. Violence against women erodes the very base of our society’s culture.

    Women need to come out strongly against this, and have no qualms in lodging complaints.

  56. Nivedita permalink
    August 18, 2009 12:01 am

    Hi Nita,
    I was thinking about writing on this for a long time. I had wriiten a post here before about the batterring I faced by my husband and ended up having a left hand with a steel plate till my shoulder. After this incident I went to one of the NGOs in Pune for help. Today I want to share the kind of traumatic experience I had with these people. That was the time when I was almost near to break down emotionally and was under sheer trauma. These people agrresively told me that for the betterment of my relation with my husband I should keep staying with him. They had even threatened me to go to police and turn the whole case against me. They told me that I should not provoke him for beating. They had told him that his behaviour was normal and any guy would have done the same thing. To tell you I am a working women and have a daughter of 3+ years now. They had told me that if my husband would have married any other girl he would not have beaten her. I attended 3 sessions with them and rather than doing something for arranging some financial aids for the treatment of my hand from my husband, they used to call me and my parents to scold and threaten us. God’s grace with the support of my friends and family I managed to come out of the city. I studied through net and other sources and found that nowhere the abuser’s action is justifiable. And, it was breaking of a limb which is still not become normal. Sometimes I feel that it is this kind of organisation who in the name of helping and aiding women, causes threat to them. All these incidents had changed my whole personality and I used to fear everything in life. After a long 2.5 years I now is better. Rather than taking a stand against the batterer these people used to talk and laugh infront me with him in local language knowing that I am an outsider and do not understand anything what they say. Nevertheless these people traumatised me the most because I went for support to them. Long time I was thinking of typing this down to your site, Nita. Hope this comes helpful to some people to identify all these fake women help centres and NGOs.

    • August 18, 2009 7:56 am

      Thanks Nivedita. It is sad to hear that these organisations feel that physical violence is justified under some circumstances. I wonder under which circumstances they think violence against men is justified? When he drinks? When he doesn’t earn enough? When he comes home late if he is chatting with his colleagues? Well, I am glad to hear that you are out of this marriage. And remember one thing. Your batterer husband will beat his next wife too. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. It is good that you are rid of him, and great to hear that your family and friends supported you.

    • Vinod permalink
      August 18, 2009 8:48 am

      This is heart breaking. No wonder NGOs have a bad reputation in India. Many are just fakes and utterly unprincipled.

  57. sasank permalink
    March 31, 2010 11:38 pm

    the situation for women in india looks grave. we have a maid who was beaten by her husband at home . I felt very bad .I am physically challenged . She comes to our house and I seh is almost a mother for me. She always talks her husband is a drunkard .He was moving with another woman . She asked why ? he immediately bet her.I ornaments were broken. She was crying relentlessly.I was deeply saddened by it on being informed about this . I really cried . she is trying to get a divorce .Let us all wish her a very ALL THE BEST for her future.

  58. Shashie permalink
    October 8, 2010 7:09 pm

    Hi i have been married twice, both times to doctors in the armed forces and both times been attacked physically and been emotionally abused. I walked out of the first marriage within an year but did not speak out against him to his seniors (simply cos I didn’t know I could and SHOULD). This man soon married again and battered his next wife so badly she was hospitalised. This we learnt from a letter her mother wrote my mother asking for help to penalise him. My mom hid this letter from me because she wanted me to put this behind me, and I saw this letter many many years after it was written. That lady divorced him too and he has since left the forces.

    12 years later like an idiot I grabbed my courage in both my hands and decided to settle again. I went through the matrimonial sites and found my present spouse. He is a doctor and a serving officer and I have had to file complaints against him with the senior-most personnel almost wherever we have been posted. I have walked out, been shouted at and threatened endlessly called awful names. He he has hit me thrice in my 10 year marriage and has subsequently been forced to apologise in front of his senior officers following my complaint to them about his violence and is now scared to raise a hand because I have warned him my next stop will be the police. I have also enrolled with a women’s organisation and reported incidents to them. I also INSISTED big-time that his behaviour was absolutely abnormal and finally got him to take a psychiatric assessment. He has Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). They wanted to do more tests but he refused. He refuses therapy, but is doing very well at work. His home life is a bloody shambles. I am away for now and focusing on getting my economics in order. Money is vital. Please, where are all the kind, nice men? Twice in a lifetime.

    I would like to start an online group for women, specially serving officers wives, who have been thru this or are going thru this silently. I knew of at least three other families in the set up where my husband was last posted. He is head honcho right now at his present posting and needs me to come and do my bit (very imp in the services). Well i would love to but, its ridiculous, be the senior-most lady outside and mostly be treated worse than a non-human at home.

    At 46 I get to be lucky enough to try to restart my life. I learnt a lot from the sorry way I went about things last time (lots of crying and feeling bad) and this time the salvage operation is already well underway. There are no tears, just a focus on work and keeping myself as cheerful and constructive as I can be.

    I’ve got roughly 30-odd years left, and I’ve got to start thinking about how to fill em.

  59. Anupama Sharma permalink
    March 21, 2011 6:39 pm

    Hi I,m 40 .So many yrs Iworked.but unfortunately Idont have any money .I’ve a 3 yrs old daughter. from last 4yrs iwasnt working iinorder 2 look 4 my baby. but now hubby misbehaves , beats,abuse and so on………………..cant explain what the hell I go thru everyday .cant go 2 moms place she might die becoz of grief .Need Help ! can u .PLzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzmail me.

  60. Shashie permalink
    March 22, 2011 10:35 pm

    Dear Anupama,
    1. Please see if you can contact any women’s group in your city to file a complaint. This record will help you always and you will no longer be alone in dealing with the abnormality in your home.

    2. Secondly, if you have a safe place that you can withdraw to, such as your own family home, or if that is out then some friend or relative’s home, then that should be a priority If Your Safety is at Stake.

    3. I have learnt that men and women change ONLY if they feel they need to; it is their decision. He is not being traumatised, beaten or financially being troubled, so I am wondering whether he would even see the need for any change in him. I focused on strengthening my own hands [ie back to earning money].

    4. Please see if you can start work again, maybe leave your baby with your mum during the day if that is possible. Money empowers us. In any case, start networking with former colleagues for new work.

    5. Take every step for your secure and happy future; though you are a wife you are entitled to be happy and safe.

    6. In my critical situation I find that matters became better when I DECIDED and TOOK the reins of my life firmly in my own hands. Practically speaking I find my work is my greatest support because I earn money to pay for my needs and more.

    God bless

  61. rachael permalink
    May 22, 2011 3:23 am

    i kno this old blog,hope someone reads ut & can offer me advice,a bengali,muslim man farhad hussain,came to my country australia,very quick to declare love,as soon as i moved into his home i have to give up studies,part time work,friends,he waited til i was pregnant to start emotional abuse,tells me i am ugly,motherfucker,mental,stupid,our daughter is 5 & has seen me choked,hit,kicked,i’ve tried to study he takes my books away,he waits til i’m sleeping then holds my nose closed,so i will give him oral sex,when our daughter was sick,he forced anal sex on me.bad thing is he goes many months where i can’t complain he is so good,but i never know where or when he’s gonna explode. now we are having rough period,i found he has a wife & daughter,(salma his wife-maryam-sultana-fima his daughter) he also has a girlfriend(jasmine) in his country & many girlfriends here,faria,meta,jane & a couple australian women too,yet he accuses me of being a slut.he tells me constantly i am lucky to have him,without him i am nothing,when he found my bible he went psycho he leaves threatening messages on my phone,is rude to my friends,now he & meta broke up cos i begged him to stay with her,i tell him i’d rather be alone & at peace than with someone who weakens me physically,mentally,socially.i think because i don’t have family he believes i won’t do anything

    • Shashie permalink
      May 23, 2011 10:48 pm

      Rachel GET OUT and GET POLICE PROTECTION. REBUILD, REBUILD, REBUILD — that’s the only option with these loonys

  62. Tarannum permalink
    July 5, 2011 6:41 pm

    Hi all,
    I am Tarannum, my sister is suffering alot from her husbands beathing:( He really torturing her from all the way. Some times he throw her out of house during mid night and during day he locks the door and takes her cell too… Please suggest me how to help her.
    I tried to stop him by telling i will give police complaint he replied “do what ever you want”.
    Please let me know how will i approach the police and how will i help my sister?

    • September 14, 2011 10:20 pm

      Tarannum ,

      I have also been thru this , but 6 slaps in 7 yrs of marriage,. I think if it is too much she should leave that place immediately.

      You have to just call the police.

  63. Shashie Reyna permalink
    July 7, 2011 6:31 am

    Tarannum you can approach the police with the evidence you have and they can book him under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence, Act 2005.

    If you can, contact a women’s organisation in your city and they can also help you and guide you in this regard.

    In case you need to identify a women’s organization in your town or city, you can search Google on the net, or let me know the name of your city/town and I can help you find one.

    Also, though your sister is suffering a lot, is she prepared to leave? Will she cooperate with the efforts you are making? You need to be sure about this.

    If you need additional online resources, you and all others are welcome to join a group I have started on Facebook called ‘Women against domestic violence.’

    Her journey back to a normal life will be emotionally tough, but she is very lucky to have a loving and supportive sister like .

    Wishing you all the very best.

  64. September 14, 2011 10:18 pm

    I am a educated female and very progressive, I have also been thru wife battering , well Now showed my Husband what it means and gave him lessons of his life.Thats just for the child I had put my efforts to make him a “Human” and so that my child doesnt suffer , but that too with a disclaimer , if nonsense happens again , I will sue him till his clothes are also sold

  65. October 29, 2012 7:56 pm

    It’s curel, babaric and shameless. Men should stop it!

  66. Abigail permalink
    November 12, 2012 1:21 am

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is
    added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Thanks!

    Usually, there should be a link in the email itself which can unsubscribe you. – Nita.

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