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23 Jan 2018

Any act that threatens the well-being of an individual is termed as abuse, while domestic violence is the systematic method in which one partner gains power and control by instilling fear and forcing subservience. Violence is not only physical abuse, but emotional, economic, verbal, and sexual. The social stigma of public dishonor is the greatest cause for a woman to become trapped in this atrocious environment, and another important reason is economic dependence on her perpetrator.

Many times a woman feels that the abuse she goes through is her fault, that she has made a mistake. This deduction is false; abusing is the abuser’s fault not the victim’s. In the beginning of this horrifying journey the victim may feel the reasons for being abused are justified, as time goes on and she keeps changing herself for the abuser, she then realizes that there is no escaping from his wrath, he will be violent for any reason and no reason at all. An abuser feels entitled over the victim’s body and her mind, she is not allowed to have individuality, for the abuser she is his commodity.
Many women believe that staying with her husband and tolerating this abuse would be in the best interest of her children, as the family is kept together. But a study conducted by psychologists saw those infants that were victims of extreme abuse, had also become abusive towards other children and lacked the ability to express empathy. Abuse becomes a learned behavior, and a vicious cycle. Studies have shown it is in the best interest of the child for the parents to separate if they cannot maintain a healthy relationship. A mother is doing a disservice to her child by continuing with her toxic relationship, and a greater disservice to herself.
There are severe effects of domestic violence on the victim. She slowly becomes dependent on the male as her freedom is snatched from her and she is cut off from family and friends, she is made to feel incompetent and doesn’t have the confidence to leave him. If a daughter sees her father abusing her mother, and is a victim of that abuse herself, subconsciously she is more than likely to choose a partner who will show the same traits. When she will go through the same experiences as her mother, it brings a feeling of normalcy and a greater acceptance of this indiscriminate act, as her mother suffered in silence for years so will she.

The famous ‘Bell Bajao’ campaign encouraged residents to stop domestic violence by ringing the doorbell whenever violence was suspected. The problem is that even though we are aware of a neighbor whose shouts are heard due to pain, we tend to mind my own business and walk away. It’s not that we don’t feel bad; it’s that the ‘bystander effect’, a concept of social psychology comes into play. We believe that someone else will help that individual, someone braver, stronger, and more experienced in handling this situation.

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