Shweta Tiwari’s Daughter Palak Speaks Of The (Usually Ignored & Hidden) Verbal Abuse By Stepdad

Posted: August 14, 2019

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Domestic abuse is not always physical or sexual, it is also psychological and verbal. Palak Tiwari’s Instagram post goes on to show that. 

It was recently reported that actress Shweta Tiwari (of Kasautii Zindagii Kay fame) filed a case of domestic violence against her husband Abhinav Kohli. He has since been arrested.

According to the report, Shweta alleged that he often beat her and her daughter Palak, and that he was frequently inebriated.

However, in an Instagram post, Palak clarified that it was not Shweta who was being abused, but that she herself was a victim of domestic abuse on multiple occasions, and her mother stood up for her in the complaint made.

Stating that the media, “does not have the facts and they never will,” she wrote, “Abhinav Kohli has never physically molested me, or touched me inappropriately… However, he did persistently make inappropriate and disturbing remarks the impact of which is only known to my mother and I, and if any woman from any walk of life were to hear them she would be greatly embarrassed and provoked too. Words which would question the standing dignity of any woman, which you wouldn’t expect to hear from any man, especially not your “father.” She also took the opportunity to stand up for her mother.

Is abuse only physical?

Whenever we think of domestic abuse, we picture a bruised and battered woman. However, as Palak’s post points out, abuse is not always physical. Emotional/psychological abuse or verbal abuse are also forms of domestic violence. Usually emotional abuse is a precursor to physical violence, and often occurs in conjunction to physical abuse.

Emotional and mental abuse can be very subtle at times, and often not at all visible to others. It includes controlling behaviour (making all decisions; monitoring calls/ texts/ visitors/ exerting financial control etc.); shaming or humiliating, lying, giving the silent treatment, gaslighting, blaming, isolating and the like. This post provides a good list of all the behaviours that fall under emotional/mental abuse.

Since most of us are not taught to identify these behaviours as abusive, it is possible that many victims of such abuse may not even identify themselves as ‘abused women’. And thus, might not seek the help they need.

In the court of law, such abuse is harder to prove, and thus, harder to escape. Victims might even have trouble describing the abuse, as outsiders are unable to ‘see’ the abuse or understand the extent to which it is affects the victims.

Studies have shown that emotional abuse can be as damaging as, if not more than physical abuse and in the long term, it may cause the victim to develop depression, anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia. Which is why it is important that victims of domestic violence get access to adequate mental health services.

Recently, both Scotland and Ireland passed laws that make psychological domestic abuse a crime.

What can be done to curb this abuse?

However, irrespective of the number of laws out there or the ability of the justice system to enforce these, as this article points out, it only “manages the problem.” The article also says that the solutions to these problems need to start much earlier and should include targeted interventions.

The article further says that education during childhood and early adulthood would help in breaking down taboos and will challenge the normalisation of domestic abuse- both in terms of the nature and prevalence. It is important to educate the young generation about the nature of healthy relationships and mutual respect. Just as it is vital to talk to them about the links between violent homes, unstable relationships and the ensuing health issues.

Younger generations need to be taught that domestic abuse is a crime is not a part of ordinary family life.

Picture credits: YouTube

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Vijayalakshmi Harish is a book blogger and writer. To paraphrase her librarian, she is a

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