HOME OR PRISON? SHAME, SILENCE, AND SECLUSION

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We live in a society, where we do not tend to openly talk about issues related to women. There are very less instances which talk about women facing domestic violence and what they have to go through as a consequence. A woman has to go through a lot of physical, emotional and psychological trauma. Every third married woman has experienced physical or sexual violence, and only 1.5% of them have come forward to report it. One of the most debated issues is that of marital rape; Marital rape is an issue too sensitive and visibly prevalent to be taken lightly. A society that still has not accepted the fact that any sexual activity committed forcefully after marriage is nothing less than rape, it is high time we come together to fight this issue, which has prevailed in our society for years. Instead of discussing and fighting over the extent of punishment of rapists, how about, we fix the problem at the root level?


Images blur before my eyes, Touching against my will
Odd shapes and colors converge I struggle to see
I shiver senselessly, in my own confusion
It grinds me into the ground deeper and deeper The pain
It hurts too much
Too many
I’ve seen too many
Too much of the same before
Too much to care for.


Through this poem, a domestic abuse survivor pens down her feelings of trauma and grief. This is just not limited to one section of women. Women of the marginalised sections of the society, namely the Dalits and Adivasis are more vulnerable to abuse and violence and also have to face a lot of discrimination. The horror that a domestically abused and rape survivor go through is beyond imagination and reach of anyone to practically empathise. Incidents like these tear them apart emotionally, physically and psychologically. Women are judged for things they are not even responsible for and this makes them feel secluded from the society and they have to face judgements not only from others but their own families on a daily basis.


Indian Cinemas have always tried to highlight such issues related to violence and discrimination of women so as to educate the audience. Through these movies, the filmmakers hope to educate people and make them aware of such issues. Adding a cherry on top is the current crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, which has worsened the situation; studies show that cases of Domestic Violence has increased significantly during the lockdown.Women are trapped inside their own homes and hence are cut off from their close and trusted ones who act as support groups. There seems to be no way to seek help as husbands facing financial problems and the unavailability of alcohol, mainly in rural areas, vent all their anger on their wives and children.


However, despite the atrocities happening around the world on women, there are several examples of women who fought against all odds to set example for those who feel disempowered and trapped. All we can do is come forward to empower and make each other’s voices heard. Summarising the situation, it is high time that we start respecting the women of our country and rather start believing in them. Most importantly, the women of our country have made us so proud of their achievements, and now, it’s our turn to come together to make a change! Let us build each other and make a safe space to discuss and stand for one another.

Courtesy : Vanshika Dhameja

Edited by : Debangana Baruah

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