Domestic violence is the reality of many women in Pakistan. Every other day, there is news about a woman being mistreated by her husband.
The problem begins when domestic violence is justified by those surrounding the abuser and it becomes a routine
The abuser does not double think his actions and the easiest way to vent out becomes through hitting someone – someone he calls his wife and thinks he has the right to hit.
Let’s go over a story and see how common it is in the society
A husband beats his wife almost every other day. Initially, it began with him hitting her once in a while and that was justified by saying that he must have been frustrated because of work and she must have provoked him. At that time, this was also reinforced that he cares about her because of course, she is his wife. But over time the beatings became more regular and more violent until that was all left in the “marriage”. There was no regard for the children that they had together and he would beat her in front of them as well. There are regular visits to the hospital as well because sometimes the body refuses to heal on its own and the scars take days to go away. The classic excuse is that she fell down the stairs. And this is their life. She is constantly sent back to him by her parents because that is her home now and at the end of the day, he is her husband. That’s all that she is in life now – his wife.
Here is another story very similar to the one above
These people are helpless because of the “norms” and “traditions” the society pledges to uphold. It teaches them that when they marry off their daughter, she no more belongs to her own house and whatever happens between her husband and her is their personal matter. This means that no help is offered in cases of manipulation, overburdening with chores, and domestic violence. daughters are encouraged to be good and patient wives because that ultimately “warms” the heart of the man and he somehow changes.
In this case, the ER doctors did manage to convince the family to file a case and the police were involved
However, that happens were rarely. Most of the cases go unreported and many daughters are sent back to their husbands with an apology that highlights that she must have committed a mistake because whoever is taking her in is doing the family and her a huge favor.
One of the reasons why many in Pakistan prefer women who have not studied much and who do not plan to have a career is because they feel that these women will not have the right exposure and will be easy to manipulate and fit into the mold that they prefer.
Pakistan is the third most dangerous country for women because every second woman is a victim of domestic violence
Why are we letting people get away with this? The Women Protection Bill which was introduced to prevent these cases of abuse was portrayed as anti-religion by the Council of Islamic Interests (CII). They claim that women can be hit by their husbands in certain cases, as long as that does not leave a mark on her body. At the same time, many also hold the belief that when a woman will complain her husband will automatically divorce her. Since that is worse than her getting hit, the bill is not a feasible solution. The band that the man will have to wear for some time to monitor his activities after a complaint has been lodged is being portrayed as embarrassing for the man because having to wear a ring in your wrist after someone complains of domestic violence is more embarrassing than actually hitting someone.
The problem is that women due to lack of education have not been exposed to the idea of defending themselves
If women are granted the right to educate themselves, they will be in a better position to deal with such circumstances. In these scenarios, women are mostly helpless because they have children with the man and cannot go back to their home because no one wants to take in a daughter and take care of her for their entire life. If she has an education, she might just actually escape the setting without having to be a “burden” on anyone.
cover image via Pinterest