Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Victim of domestic violence once, now what?

While hearing stories in the television or reading from magazines, my heart breaks every time for those women who suffered from domestic violence and the pressure from society to stay married to their husband or in-laws. But when I hear similar stories from close relatives or friends whom I thought to be happily married, it turns out to be an eye opener. On giving some thought to the issue, I came up with this post which might probably my way of dealing with it.

I love this quote from the movie "300" and now is the right time to remember it-
King Leonidas: Then what must a king do to save his world when the very laws he has sworn to protect force him to do nothing?
Queen Gorgo: It is not a question of what a Spartan citizen should do, nor a husband, nor a king. Instead, ask yourself, my dearest love, what should a free man do?
Economic independence is the first most important thing for a woman in such a situation. At any cost, you should not feel that you won't survive if you leave your husband and if there is fear that your family might not support you. This will give you freedom to think if you really want to stay for love and not for food and shelter.
Secondly, a back-up plan is always important. If there was a second time, how would you want to handle. It is said to be safe to leave when the abusers are not around. Degree certificates, passport and other important documents need to be kept handy at all times.
Keep the emergency contact numbers and embassy details if outside the country handy.
It is a misconception that not leaving the abuser is good for the children. But it just sets a bad example for the kids i.e., your daughter will think that it is normal to be in an abusive relationship and your son might end up being abusive or vice-versa. Ending the relationship will teach them the right lesson that relationship cannot survive if it is abusive.

Having said that, it is also important to make a call if one more chance needs to be given. I have also heard of someone who is happily married for more than 18 years which was only possible because one such chance was given. If the abuser accepts the mistake instead of blaming you again for why it happened then it is worthy to give a shot. But it is important that the abuser is really ashamed for what happened (and accepts the same) and assures that it won't happen again. But be cautious and read up about the cycle of violence.



  1. Question is - how do you determine the abuser in a domestic relationship. When in a domestic relation, a simple discussion many a times turn to heated debate and quarrel, and name calling or demeaning the other person in any manner becomes domestic violence only when it is done against the women, but it is not a domestic violence when done against men. When our definition of crime itself is biased then actually who is giving whom a chance is the biggest question.

  2. Agree that it is a gender neutral problem. Quarreling in a relationship is normal but not to the extent of making it a physical abuse, when you can call it a domestic violence. Though there is yet another topic of emotional abuse which I did not cover here. And this post was written as a guide to my friend who happens to be a woman. Although I don't see why this guide won't be applicable to men experiencing similar pain.