All of us have come across this word several times, ‘Domestic Violence’. But we seldom think about it. Domestic violence is one of the several sensitive issues of our society which requires the attention of the educated strata of the nation. The term “Domestic violence” refers to the ill-treatment of people given to them by their own family members. Domestic violence is a term which is used collectively to denote several forms of ill-treatment. Most of us assume this as a case of harassment only towards women in the family. But it is not the only case in our modern society. There have been several cases reported where parents are ill-treated by their own children in their old age. Recently, the Delhi police rescued a 72 year old man who was kept as a slave in his own home by his only daughter-in-law. The man was given a place on the terrace of their home and was usually kept bonded in chains. He was given leftover n stale food to eat and was even beaten up at times. The neighbours felt pity on seeing the old man’s plight. When they tried to interfere by talking to the old man’s son, they got a simple answer, “This is our domestic matter. Who are you to interfere?” The neighbours were left without any option other than to lodge a complaint with the local police. Soon the police investigated and arrested the couple and rescued the poor soul. When asked for the reason of their ill-deed, the woman said that the old man was mentally retarded, so it was the only “option” they had. Now what is one supposed to say or do in such a situation? The neighbours did what was best for the old man. They spoke up and gave him freedom. There are several other cases like this. But in many cases, people choose to stay silent and when the question of justice comes, “family dignity” becomes more important than “justice”. Every other day, people come across articles and new headlines where women are harassed by their in-laws for dowry and other such reasons. Some women have no option left with them, other than suicide. They choose to punish themselves other than their parents or in-laws. In today’s world, there are several forms of “Raavan” and “Duryodhan” and women come across them at every step. But the situation becomes worst for a woman when she finds these characters in her own husband. If there is any other man who is causing troubles to a woman, she can complain to her father, brother or husband. But when they themselves behave ruthlessly, where is a woman supposed to go?
There are also several cases where women face harassment from male members of their own family. In such situations, the issue is often buried up by the family in order to maintain “dignity”. It leads to shattering of a woman’s self-respect to the core. These are all various forms of “Domestic Violence” prevalent in our Indian society. As rightful citizens, it is the duty of the onlookers to stop such ill-treatment. If anybody notices any form of such incidents occurring in their surroundings, they must try to make the concerned people understand about the sensitivity of the issue as well as the injustice being done to the victims. If situation demands, help must be sought from the police as in the case of the old man from Delhi. As educated and sophisticated members of the society, it is our duty to make our society peril free. In any case of Domestic Violence, it is our moral duty to speak up and to save the innocent lives of the victims. So in the future, “Are you going to speak up or maintain silence?”
About the Author: This article is contributed by Neha Thakur, our Intern.