Living in the 21st century, we see so many women leading an independent lifestyle. Where they are not answerable to anyone as for where they are and what are they doing. Like every other division in the society of privileged and underprivileged, women too are subject to this categorization. The women we see taking charge today, living on their own and following their ambitions, all of this primarily comes from the surroundings they grew up in. How the family involves a female member in the discussions and the minor details of the decision-making of the household.
In the case of the underprivileged, women who aren’t educated because of the social narrative, women who aren’t allowed to leave their homes, who aren’t allowed to wear whatever they want to, women who aren’t even allowed to breathe without the man’s permission are the ones who suffer.
India has the majority of its population in poverty. Since the beginning of their lives, kids born in these families know they do not have enough money and the bread earner of the family often becomes the head of the family. If it’s a woman, she can’t be the head of the family because of our society’s gender divided roles. With man being head, they have control over everyone in the family because that’s how society has taught them to behave. But all of this controlling only leads to women becoming the silent sufferers who can’t leave if she wants to because what would people say?
When the entire world had stopped, and people were locked up within the boundaries of their own homes, during the pandemic, but the women were once again buried in silence because the only escape that they had of leaving their homes for a few hours was taken away too, and the frustration of the man of the house was all over his wife. This pandemic had put a hold on all kinds of drugs and alcohol too. This addiction also gives rise to the number of domestic violence cases, but was the pandemic and the lockdown the only time they faced domestic violence? Or did the pandemic help us realize how big of a problem it already is?
Domestic violence is something that women are subjected to since the dawn of time. With the rise in other gender-related issues and the way how society looks at a woman, it is often said women invite this upon themselves. Unfortunately, the rise in numbers also does not give us the exact picture because the majority of women don’t report it. Often because she is afraid of how society will react. Other times she chooses to remain silent because her fellow women tell her it’s alright and that the men have a right to do this to you. The fact remains the same every woman is a victim and has to fight for her rights.
Sadly, addiction isn’t the only reason why women suffer., I have seen a woman suffering from domestic violence, even though she is financially independent and even when the family is aware of it, but all that she ever shows is how much her husband loves her. This is why we need to understand the root cause of this problem. An independent woman who has everything of her own can still be a victim of violence because society never allows her to put her needs above anyone else’s. It is mainly because of the deep-rooted patriarchal values taught to them. Husbands are to be praised as Gods, even if he does the deed of the Devil. The Women in India are taught to adjust because they are bought up with the idea that her childhood home isn’t her own, she needs to leave as soon as she gets married and look after her husbands' family.
Indian women need to learn how to get away from these toxic relations, even if it means getting a divorce, but divorces too are seen as a stigma to a woman’s character only leads the women to suffer more in silence because the only escape route that is divorce will do her more harm than good.
Albeit, the real problem lies in what we teach our children, and how the young generation sees their mothers and sisters being treated in their homes because that is where young men and women learn the most about how to live and treat fellow human beings. It enables one to turn into a better individual, so we must choose to be a responsible one.
It is also about telling our daughters and sisters not to suffer at the hands of anyone. To teach them wrong is wrong, no matter if the person doing that to you is “trying to protect you”. Abusive behavior of any kind should never be accepted or tolerated. She should be taught to stand up for herself because she is the one who’s suffering.
No one can help you if you do not want to be helped. Also, no one loves to get hurt, emotionally or physically, and she may also ask for help initially, but after a few times, they accept it as their destiny. They become afraid to raise their voice against the violence and injustice, resulting in her problems never seeing the light of the day.
Also, another thing to remember is that an abusive household will always remain abusive unless they themselves suffer or know the pain. The cycle of abuse is never-ending. A woman being a victim of violence gives birth to her child in the same environment. The child ages with the narrative of abusiveness being correct, which only leads to the roots of domestic violence and patriarchy in our society deepening.
So choose your voice, and stand up for yourself!