Cradling her three- month daughter in her arms, she sat down on the carpet and related the story of her most recent beating by her husband.
“I know he loves me, he’s not a bad person…it’s just that his parents incite him to do such stuff,” Samina explained as her five year old daughter and a three year old son hovered around us.
I motioned her to quieten up and redirect her children towards the other room- safe from our conversation.
“Why would you mention this in front of them? Do your children know about this?”
“Of course- he had hit me in front of them! They were screaming when I was crying .They know.”
She looked away, resting one hand on the carpet.
My friend, a qualified PhD doctor, who had the bubbliest child-like giggle in the whole batch- now could barely manage a smile. She was still in confusion … bearing three children in five years of marriage. Had her education lightened her burden? Her husband is, also a PhD doctor, from a reputable institute in the country and an accomplished wife beater.
What compels the men in our society to raise their hands on their better halves? They must have witnessed their mothers being beaten to a pulp by their fathers. Children learn from example and the parents actions are emulated by the children unwittingly and subconsciously.
I tried counselling her why doesn’t she leave her husband? Take hold of her situation and stop the vicious spiral of making her son a future “Wife Beating” adult or her daughters, meek and submissive punching bag to their spouses. The myriad of violence and witnessing of harassment has to stop.
It is particularly painful how our women support the frequent beatings by not raising their voices to the domestic violence. Even if they do take a stance- they succumb to the “eastern morals” – forgiving their husbands in hope of a better and secure future for their children.
This is not just an isolated incidence.
A neighbour’s daughter has the same story. Her children had witnessed their mother’s bleeding lip after their father had severely beaten her and abandoned them on the streets. A case was filed that had nearly resulted in a divorce. “Nearly”. The father had asked forgiveness in the court and my neighbour, the mother, had forgiven her husband. They are reconciled. One wonders if this is eastern innocence or plain hopelessness.
We have become a population of numb creatures. Not a society of persons. Just creatures. Yes, we might form an enraged mob in most circumstances taking revenge from persons who are victim to their own circumstances. Yes, we might take the law into our own hands and perpetrate justice at our own accord over petty issues. We are the ones teaching our children that it is okay to take matters into your own hands.
Our women remain to be mere domestic servants to take care of our needs and venting out our frustrations: wife, daughter , sister or mother.