Many women choose to stay in an abusive marriage and suffer in silence. All because our society teaches women to suffer in silence rather than move out of a marriage. Thus, it is not surprising at all that our country has such a massive problem of domestic violence.
Every third woman, since the age of 15, has faced domestic violence of various forms in our country, reported the National Family Health Survey. But what is even more heartbreaking is the fact that – after suffering eye injuries, burns, deep wounds, broken bones, and broken teeth, only a very small segment of heroic women raise their voice against domestic violence.
One such woman is this brave mother who raised her voice against domestic violence so that her daughter doesn’t become the victim of her husband’s abuse. While sharing her story with HoB, she mentioned:
“The first time I experienced his temper was during our honeymoon. We were having dinner at a restaurant–out of nowhere, he started yelling at me. I was shocked. My instinct was to think, ‘it’s my fault, I must have said something wrong.’
I never spoke about that episode, I just let it go. But as the days passed, he’d lose his temper more–once my brother sent his friend’s car to pick me up. When my husband found out, he yelled, ‘You think I’m a beggar?’ His parents were no different–they forbade me from talking to my family.
But I visited my parents when my husband was out of town. When he found out, he screamed at me for leaving without permission. He yelled at my parents–‘How dare you invite her without asking me?’
Even when I was pregnant, I had to face his wrath. We were on our way to the train station when I asked him to slow down, but he shouted–‘You just want sympathy.’ I told him I was feeling giddy, he still didn’t stop. I broke down. He said–‘I’ll throw you out of the train if you don’t stop crying.’
It didn’t stop even after I delivered. When our daughter was a few months old, we had an argument–I wanted to continue working, but he wanted me to quit. He pressed my neck against the wall and shouted, ‘You won’t go anywhere unless I allow you to.’ That was it–the verbal abuse had become physical; I had to stop it. I pushed him away and said, ‘Stay away from me and my daughter.’
He didn’t even spare our daughter–she was 5 and had spilled paint on the floor. He yelled at her so badly. She used to fear him so much that she hardly spoke to him. He didn’t care.
I don’t know why I continued living with him for 15 years–deep down in my heart, I knew that there was no way this marriage could work. Finally one day, I don’t know what got into me–I decided to leave with my daughter. I couldn’t let her go through what I did.
His last words to me were, ‘Leave your house keys and go.’ We left at midnight with just the clothes on our back. I felt relief, but the uncertain ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ consumed me.
Initially, mom tried to patch things between us, but there was no way I was going to waste even a minute of my life there; I’d already wasted 15 years. I slipped into depression; Papa was my rock solid support. I started taking therapy; eventually, even Mom understood.
I wanted to get better for my daughter; that helped me heal. During those times, music gave me solace. So, along with my 9-5 job, I started learning classical music on the side.
And after 5 years of practice, I got a chance to sing for 2 films! I started writing, filming and recording my songs. Still, being a single mom isn’t easy–people taunt you and try to take advantage. Once after my recording, the manager started taking off his clothes when we were alone. I stormed out.
But now it’s just us two and we’re happy. My music career has also just begun; at 47 I have something new to look forward to everyday. I’ve finally built my life on love and gratitude so beautifully, I’ll be damned if I ever let any negativity weigh me down again.”
At IFORHER, we are proud of this brave woman who refuses to accept domestic abuse as her destiny. Her story is an inspiration to many as she rebuilt her life without any family support or education. She left her abusive husband to give a bright future to her daughter.
It is saddening to see how even educated and independent women accept to struggle in silence in an abusive marriage because of fear of ‘log kya kahengey’ or sometimes for the sake of their kids. We hope this story will give them the courage to overcome fear and move away from abuse. We want to let every domestic abuse victim looking for strength know: You may feel weak, but within you is the strength to overcome fears and achieve your dreams.