Hyderabad: Qayyum Qureshi, who was arrested from Jalpally (Old city), for cutting the wrist of his son for allegedly watching porn, told police in his confession statement that the act was a ‘gharelu’ (household) fight.
Reality is that there are grievous physical attacks that take place in a majority of families, mostly between married couples. But it only surfaces when someone raises their voice. It is the women who are mostly subjected to such atrocities at home which get suppressed under ‘gharelu’ affairs and in fear of losing reputation.
While women hide physical wounds and scars, the unhealable psychological damage gets buried under a helpless, brave smile.
While the world celebrates Women’s Day on March 8, there is a large group of women who are still considered best for domestic activities only and have no say in decision-making.
Vanitha (name changed) from Bengaluru, lost her parents early. Her two elder brothers got her married at a young age to a man 14-years elder to her who was then working for the AP - Road Transport authority. Since the man had a government job and the girl’s life would be secured, the family rushed the wedding soon after she completed her intermediate.
Vanitha soon gave birth to a son and later a daughter. However, the marriage went haywire as the husband grew insecure and suspected Vanitha since she was a young mother.
“He takes sick leave and sits at home to keep an eye on me. He drinks on most days and pesters me. He burnt me with cigarettes and even forced me to drink with him. He would pull my hair and kick me in front of my children. My children are afraid of him. My in-laws don’t support us due to property disputes. There are days, he will address me with filthy language that even our neighbours are fed up and then the next day, he would do his best as a husband,” Vanitha said.
In another case, Marie (name changed), a graduate from a convent college, was married to an intermediate drop out since the families knew each other.
The husband remained jealous and authoritative throughout the 12 years of the marriage.
“I was slapped several times and kept locked in the bedroom. I used to cover my injuries with concealer, while my parents believed that I led a happy marriage. I was not allowed to work despite being a B.Com graduate and kept confined to the kitchen and to nurse my children,” she said. The women are equally to be blamed as much as the man for tolerating all this.
Dr Purnima Nagaraja, a mental health professional, said that the fear of losing family and economic support stops women from raising their voice.
“We still live in a society where daughters are asked not to leave their husbands’ house till death.”
“According to this, a man controls the women. Such cultural practices and economic boundaries bond the women. This also has a reverse impact on the children. In most cases, the sons grow up copying the father, especially in highly conservative families. If a women gives her opinion, the family, including the mother-in-law questions the husband about why he cannot control his wife.
Patriarchy comes from the women’s side as well as they ask the bride to submit themselves to the man, suppress her anger by saying ‘husbands come first,’ which is not entirely wrong, but priority should be given if the man takes good care of the women. The root and rout come from the upbringing,” she said.