Friday, January 23, 2009

And, again...

With so many posts on Domestic Violence, the surname-change issue and of course, the cherry on top - Manyata's remarks... One would feel the whole topic has been done to death...
We watch the Serial 'Ballika Vadhu" on TV with mounting indignation...
We also try to calm ourselves with a false sense of hope, saying this doesn't happen HERE... How wrong we are!
It happens here, in the educated world... the person sitting next to you could be a perpetrator of crime.
My team mate says that the "Control" of his wife is in his hands and his parents.
He says that she should toe the line to what they say...
He says very nonchalantly that he will "give her one slap" if she doesn't listen! That should bring her to her tracks...

My close friend (another friend) is in an abusive marriage. She is pregnant and scared out of her wits...
Her mind is so screwed up that she though that having a baby around will make him stop hitting her!
Her parents are the sort who say that - What are you doing that is displeasing you husband? Can't you behave properly? They got her married off to man they know nothing about.
His only credentials were - he is pretty decent looking and he is in the USA.

I told her to get out of the marriage. I repeated the words of so many bloggers.
She is coming to India in March, I told her not to go back... Divorce the B&&^#$%
But, how much is she willing to live differently?
She says that she doesn't want to deprive her child of a father's love.
She says he is a good man who has anger issues. The man beats her if she has a difference in opinion!
If she cries or is sick or doesn't do house work - she gets beaten!
Do you see how fucked up the entire situation is?

She is scared, knows what's happening is wrong... she wants to come out to this, but is very very scared to do so, because she has NO support system outside.
The only support would be friends... but, how much can WE do?
My sister, rightly pointed out - what will you do, if she doesn't want to do anything?
Why is she still there? Why hasn't she done something by now?

What will happens if she accuses me of ruining her life?
People who are unwilling to take stock of their lives, its difficult to help them...

From all the reading and research I've been doing these days, it's difficult to come out of such a relationship. We women are taboo... divorce and legal procedure are lengthy processes and most families "don't want to live with such a shamed daughter"
It's a deadlock situation I feel...
I have told my friend that I will help her, but the decision is hers...
I hope she realises what a horrible life she is leading and takes the bold step of getting out of this..
Else like my ma said - you can pray everyday that he doesn't kill her.

I slept in tears last night... knowing that I'm so safe in my extremely patient husband's arms and she has none of that...
I didn't think it would move me so much.. because as I pause to think of her, I get goosebumps and I get scared...
I want to help her, but the important question is - how?
I am talking to her, have made her realise that we are there for her as moral support...
convincing her that her decision to leave him is the right one...
But, is that enough? how else can I help?
Or better still, how can I help her realise that her life is just going to get messier... I mean, a man who doesn't hesitate to hit his pregnant wife will not stop from hitting her after the baby is born!
And, we all know how vulnerable we are at that time... both emotionally and physically we will be much more vulnerable.

The real world sucks sometimes and again to quote my ma - we live life on the fringe, even a toe inside the circle will
show us how scary reality is... *sigh*


Edited to add:
Sorry folks... I have deleted the chat transcript and I will pretend this episode never happened...
it's nice to blog of women empowerment, to talk and argue about bring about change.. the optimism is so false really...
but, the truth, there are not enough people actually bringing about the change...

As predicted and as feared, she is giving her marriage another chance since he is a "good guy" who just didn't want to "understand" her...
he apparently found out she is trying to get help from outside and came home and promised her not to hit abuse her anymore.... and she wants to give him another chance...


9 comments:

Galadriel said...

I have told you what can be done. And yes, she is as much party to this as he, but I guess this isn't the time to spend on sermons and try to find out whose fault this is. She needs to be helped first and preached to later. Hope she finds peace.

Just a grail said...

Anytime we, as humans, are in a bad situation we know it. Preaching is not the answer, yes the choice is hers to make but it is a scary thing to do when you have no where to go, no way to support yourself and no sense of worth.
You are helping her by listening and telling her that she deserves better, too many times domestic violence victims are treated as the guilty party as well and learn to just stop talking about it. Allowing her to talk about it will help her to finally accept that this is not OK. Is she in the States? You can mail me and I can send you some resources for her.

The most important thing is to let her be the one that makes the decision. Over the 10 years I have been volunteering as a DV advocate that much is clear, these women are told what to do from the time they get up until they go to bed, they have a voice and they can use it, and when they are ready they will. What they need is support, and acceptance and knowledge of the services available to them.

It is also a fact that upon leaving the abuser becomes even more abusive, that is often when the most violence, including murder occurs. So it is not as simple as packing a bag and hurling a "fuck you" over your shoulder as you go, it is a matter of making a plan, and a backup plan and being careful.

you are a good friend pixie girl!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

You friend needs help immediately. Its a pity she has not understood how grave the situation is. Her husband beats her even she is pregnant ??? What kind of person is he?
If her reasoning is that the child needs Father's love .. well then, a wife needs husband's love as much as well, if not more. What is she waiting for? What are the chances the man will not beat the child? When he could beat her when pregnant, I don't see any change in attitude after childbirth. What will be the affect on the child, who sees his / her mother beaten by dad.
She needs to accept that she has a failed marriage and move on. I think the most difficult part is to accept and make peace with self on the fact that it is a failed marriage. We women try to reason out the odd and hate to accept this.
Is you friend educated enough to secure a decent job in India? If so, she must do so ... I say India, only because she atleast has friends like you for support. She may have nobody in the US.
Also advice her to get divorced in US.. since the process is quicker and she is entitled for compensation. She better start looking for a good lawyer. Also, ask her to be careful.
I wanted to email you in detail ... but since I didn't find your id typing here.

writerzblock said...

I do hope your friend summons up the courage to get out of this shitty relationship and bring her child into a peaceful home, albeit an incomplete place. God bless the world.

Renu said...

I feel so sorry for the gir, she is in a really physially abusive marriage, and she needs to come out of it. Is she professional and can get a job? main problem is finances, and that is the amin thing which stops everybody in the marriage.if she can fina a job, she willcertainly able to live separately and fina a better normal life.

Pixie said...

Thanks everyone for the awesome support...
It's been hard for her and yes, she has planned on doing something about the whole issue...
Right now, she wants to first come back to India and then decide what to do...
CA - I am not sure how far she would go - whether she will get a divorce or not... she is right now trying to just get out of the US without getting hurt again.. to come home, have her baby and maybe then she will decide...
The support has been overwhelming I am grateful to all of you for your help...

Surbhi said...

Even though I'm sorry about what's happening to your friend, I'm amazed at her loser parents! What the f*** do they mean by 'displeasing him' and 'cant you behave'? She's your daughter, morons! And you just dumped her without finding out where you're dumping her?
I hope she gets out of the marriage soon and reestablishes herself. Could someone help her find a job in India?
All the very best to your friend. And may the b*****d who did this to her rot forever - on Earth, that is, not in Hell!

rayshma said...

i wouldn't blame her completely.
it's something that most women grow up with. we are mostly told that we have to "adjust"... to what extent is not clarified.
and someone with low self esteem can clearly mistake compromising for adjusting.

she needs to know that she doesn't deserve it. and her life will not end if she leaves him.

i can only hope her parents support her thru this.
i think it's best that she goes back to india and doesn't return.
if u can, pls explain to her while she's there that a "divorce" is no longer considered the end of life. putting urself down, however - may be. for her AND her baby.

Swati said...

Cannot believe it happens ..just cannot..I think she should not keep quiet.

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