In A Country Where Adultery Is No Longer A Criminal Offence, Divorce Is Still A Taboo

Even after numerous empowerment movements, women still contemplate before standing up.

We live in a country where hundreds of cases on violence are being reported. When it comes to the acts of violence against women, a few of them are reported and a fewer of them are covered by media. The primal instinct of human beings is to act at the face of an adversity. When does one suppress that human quality?

As we say it, human being is a social animal. We form a society. It’s unfortunate that the unwritten norms in the society are silencing the subjugated. The silence turns toxic if the subjugation or the assault is from the family. Lately, I’ve come across one such unwritten story of a woman who is dangling between the two poles of worldly existence.

She’s this ordinary Indian woman. Hailing from a middle class family, she’s a graduate but not employed, owing to the eventful love marriage. Like putting two and two together, both the families kept up the distaste at their elopement and marriage. The husband was in the army  and hence he took her with him. Everyone who knew them envied of their life, such was their love. A decade and a couple of years later, she’s a mother of two children; a homemaker. He retired from army and gradually both their families accepted their marriage. The sky became cloudy and soon there was a mysterious rift between them. He became abusive and distant.

The verbal abuse culminated to physical assault when she found him cheating on her. She was devastated and had no idea what to do. She had the two children; a teenager daughter and a younger son to look after. The rift was evident. The husband shifted to the first floor of their house and asked her and the children to remain at the ground floor. He refused to provide finance and hence she started working in a shop as a sales woman. But soon, she had to quit the job as the husband began weaving derogatory stories regarding her character. Working as a sales woman, it requires interacting with customers and she didn’t want to lend him the knife to wound her.

Once she quit her job, he offered to look after her and the children’s expenses. It was not that simple. He had certain conditions. It was such that she would have no rights to question him or answer back and has to literally ask his permission to even move from one room to the other. Basically he wanted her as a slave. On top of that, he even kept a gun and threatened her.

The family and friends supported her and tried to persuade him but it was futile. Unable to withstand the turmoil, she moved to her sister’s place along with the children. When I last heard, she’s taking tuition classes for children for a living. If it’s her moral consciousness to voice out such a crisis or the lack of right kind of support, a wife beater is still roaming free. It is worth a brainstorm if the people in his and her circle are simply ignorant to such an act of criminal offence or careful enough not to get into any legal mishmash.

As adultery is not a criminal offence now, at least gathering evidence of domestic violence was a feasible option. The facilities of recording and live streaming in mobile phones are common  in today’s world. Even the popular culture endorses such scheming. The question is, “why do women hesitate to take a stand for themselves?” Before placing her self-respect in the priority list, she has to think about her children. She has to make sure that her quest for justice and liberation doesn’t end up character assassinating her. She has to think about the future of her children. In a country where adultery is no longer a criminal offence, divorce is still a taboo.

This not the life story of just a woman. There are many women out there in our country who go through similar circumstances. Either the women accept the circumstance as the phase of their life or hesitate to report the abuses to the concerned authorities. As long as such criminal acts of domestic violence are not reported, no exemplary actions would be taken and hence it will continue at every nook and corner of the country like a slow poison.

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The power dynamics shift when two people enter into a relationship. Yes, but as long as they remain as just another family matter, their miseries remain unsolved and the government or any other commissions of public welfare won’t have a say in it. Domestic violence is a serious issue. Even after numerous empowerment movements, women still contemplate before standing up. What is lacking? What can be the excellent form of liberation other than standing up for oneself?

Image credits JESSICA TICOZZELLI via Pexels

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About the Author

Meera J R

Meera finds solace in writing. Everything she writes has a degree of truth in it and comes from her personal experiences. Often, she shares her writings on her Instagram account @meera_jr. read more...

5 Posts | 5,539 Views

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