Do You Have A Safe House To Go To If You Feel Unsafe In Your Own Home?

The arranged marriage system that sends our daughters to homes of almost strangers means that they are always vulnerable to unknown dangers.

Trigger Warning: This deals with domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors.

A few years ago, I received a call from a close friend at 11 pm, asking if she could come over to spend the night. Naturally I said yes, especially since my instinct told me that she was possibly in an unsafe environment.

Her husband had thrown her out of their home unceremoniously that fateful night. She went on to stay for a week while figuring out her situation.

The arranged marriage system that sends our daughters to homes of strangers

How many women in abusive relationships find themselves in a situation of imminent emotional or physical danger with nowhere to go, even if for a night? Too many. How many spaces/places are available for them in an emergency? Not enough.

I know of parents who proudly declare that if their daughter came home after a marital spat, they wouldn’t take her in. Imagine being alienated from your own family, being refused entry into your own house when you are at your most vulnerable.

We literally send our women into homes with people that we know nothing about. We send them to cities where there is no one except the marital family.

Where is her safe house?

What happens if one night, an argument breaks out within the family, and the woman finds herself in a place of potential danger to her body, mind and heart? Almost every woman I know has found herself in a situation where she needed to run away, if even for a night, even if just to get her head sorted.

Does she have a safe house that she can go to? A place that is warm, non judgemental and accepting – where she knows she can rest her weary body and mind for a bit. Where she can recover from the overwhelming world and the demands on her. A safe house in her city, which she can reach as soon as she needs to.

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

Friends who are non-judgemental and support you are emotional safe houses

Today, because of social media, women are finding their tribe, their emotional safe houses. Friends and allies they can lean on in times of distress because friends, many times are better allies than family – allies who have each others’ backs, who ask no questions and extend unconditional support and help.

I found a similar tribe online and I know without a doubt, that my life is easier because of it. Find yours.

Find a safehouse either online or in your city, and hope and pray that you never need to use it. But know also that it will be open to you whenever you need it.

Image source: youtube

Liked this post?

Join the 100000 women at Women's Web who get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!


About the Author

Poornima Kulathu

I am a banker, author, poet and an intersectional feminist. Speaking up on social issues, mentoring and coaching and cooking up a storm for friends and a certain strapping 21 year old boy are what read more...

19 Posts | 46,435 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories