I have been on a reading spree, of late; just finished reading my second book from among the trio I bought last Sunday - 'I let you go', by Clare Mackintosh. A psychological thriller, it was the kind of unputdownable books I prefer to read. I finished it in about two days; it could have taken me even less time had there not been any other work needing my attention!
The book begins with a hit and run case, but gradually emerges to be the tragic story of the heroine fleeing her miserable life as a victim of domestic violence. The writing is bold, in that the scenes depicting the violence inflicted by the husband are graphic. It does need a lot of strength and willpower to read about the acts of violence endured by the poor woman at the hands of her beastly husband. I shuddered as I read those scenes. The kind of psychological control men can have over their women is ghastly, terrifying. One only needs to imagine with a sense of horror the kind of physical abuse the women must be experiencing.
There are a countless women in our midst who are victims of domestic violence. Not many among those will ever speak about it in their entire lives. Dying a hundred deaths everyday, they put up a smile to ensure their appalling truths never get exposed for fear of incurring the wrath of their demonic husbands. Concealing their wounds - both, physical and psychological - they go about their lives, mechanically, putting up a charade of normalcy for their families who dote upon them. Living in a perpetual state of fear of their husbands - the evil incarnates - they live a life of servitude.
It's human nature to pass judgements on people we come across in our day to day lives without pausing to reflect upon the lives they must lead. That woman from our apartment complex who hardly mingles with others; the colleague who appears perennially terrified; the friend who gives excuses galore for not attending our parties - do we ever wonder what the reason behind their behaviour might be? All we do is label them 'reserved', 'cold', 'snooty', even, without pondering over the kind of lives they must lead behind closed doors.
There are organisations that help such victims, but rarely do the victims have the resources or the courage to file a complaint against their abusers. They not only fear the repercussions of their actions, but also find it difficult to trust the law. They know it's a man's world out there, akin to the one within the four walls of their homes. It's hell they pay for speaking one word against their men; they can very well imagine the outcome of filing a formal complaint against their tormentors.
My heart goes out to these women, for the atrocities they face all their lives. And, yet, I feel helpless, for nothing I say, or, nothing we say, will ever give them the motivation, the strength to step out of the hell they live in. Bogged down by worries about where do they go?/ how do they support themselves?/ will their parents stand by their side? they suffer in silence. And, even if they do muster the strength to move out of the hell hole, they have that nagging fear - will the men they leave behind ever allow them to live in peace? They never know what kind of revenge would await them!
If any of you are acquainted with such a victim of domestic violence, do extend your hand for support. It will take a lot of energy to fight for their cause, but it will be a fight worth it. Freedom, as we say, is our birthright, therefore, no one, not a single soul has any right to take it away from us. It's we women who ought to stand by each other, for it could have been our close ones suffering what those others are going through!
Do think over it.