Together We Bond

You are not alone We are there and therefore Together we Bond

Hey is your phone ringing?? March 12, 2007

Filed under: Dowry Menace,Fraudulent NRI Marriages,Legal Issues,Matrimonial Conflicts — togetherwebond @ 10:10 am

Being a frequent visitor of moia and ncw sites, recently I came across something interesting that is damn good news for Indian women deserted by NRI men. Point to be noted…more applicable to the notorious class of NRI men on H1 visa who are famously infamous for the huge racket called Fraudulent NRI marriages. NRI fraudulent marriages.

This bit of superb news is something that will hit them so hard that all doors will be closed on them now. They have been cornered already by the red alert notices and more now with the following:

Go on and read here for all the details :

Welfare of Indian Women Married to NRIs/PIOs

38.10: The Committee was told by large sections of the Diaspora about the need to prevent abuse of Indian women married to NRIs/PIOs. We strongly recommend that a special cell should be created in the proposed new organization to handle Diaspora issues with the mandate to assist in the provision of free legal counseling for the families of girls contemplating marriage to NRIs/PIOs. Such families should be advised to check the voter or alien registration card of such NRIs/PIOs, their social security number and tax returns for the preceding three years. The bridegroom should be asked to given them an affidavit stating his current marital status. That document should be attached to the application for marriage registration. This should be mandatory prerequisite to the issuance of a marriage registration certificate. This procedure would considerably bring down cases of misinformation and fraudulent marriages. The Committee has drawn strength from the Supreme Court decision in the case of Smt. Neeraja Saraph vs. Shri Jayant Saraph, where the court had suggested the need to consider legislation safeguarding the interests of women. It has suggested three specific provisions namely,

1) No marriage between an NRI and an Indian Woman, which has taken place in India, may be annulled by a foreign court

2) Provision may be made for adequate alimony to the wife in the property of the husband both in India and abroad

3) The decree granted by Indian courts may be made executable in foreign courts both on the principle of comity and by entering into reciprocal agreements like section 4A of the Civil Procedure Code which makes a foreign decree executable as it would have been a decree passed by the court.

If the above comes through and is implemented, then any scope or fancy desire to remarry subsequent to unceremoniously dumping the Indian wife and that also after gulping a big fat dowry, will now only be a desire that will cease to exist.

Because India is NOT going to accept divorces that are granted in foreign land. With that the NRI man can forget about the alternative to remarry in this lifetime.

If this was not enough, go on and read here — SCHEME FOR THE WELFARE OF WOMEN DESERTED BY THEIR OVERSEAS INDIAN SPOUSES

The objective of the scheme is to provide some financial assistance to needy women in distress who have been deserted by their overseas Indian spouses for obtaining counseling and legal services. The term “Overseas Indian” would include NRIs and foreign citizens of Indian origin.

The NRIs on H1s and their heinous crimes are being uncovered everyday, and more aid is coming for the Indian woman harassed/tortured in foreign land.

The holiday marriage syndrome that came with a fat dowry is nearing its painful death. I can visualize the H1 dowry-seeking culprits now calling their wives and pleading her to return. Ever since the red alert notices have been declared, the pleadings have increased. Needless to say with this scheme, it is going to happen twice as more. As it is no ADCD woman gives the time of her day to even glance at the H1 man who dips his tortilla chips twice in salsa (yikes). And why will any other sane intelligent woman marry a guy who is not legally divorced and ask for trouble!!

With no option of remarriage in India, the only option left for the NRI man and his cult is to call back the wife, seek forgiveness and beg her to come back.

My estranged half is calling me non-stop and trying to strike a deal with me since the past couple of months.

Hey….is your phone ringing?? Check it out 🙂

By Kiran

 

Indian Marriage Stamp–is YOUR passport stamped? February 2, 2007

Filed under: Dowry Menace,Fraudulent NRI Marriages,Legal Issues,Matrimonial Conflicts — togetherwebond @ 12:13 pm

It is getting better and better for us and tougher and tougher for all the NRI men who have all these years been sadistically enjoying the “holiday syndrome”, its benefits, its perks and the free fat dowry that comes with it. The process of marrying a desi naïve girl, grab the dowry, and dumping her will soon be a thing of the past. It is time to face the law of the land. HOW? The lady that he marries needs to have passport her stamped with the details such as date and place of marriage and most important WHO she has married which will provide her legal sanctity in the foreign country where she can prove (if the need arises) that she is the legally wedded wife and not visiting for tourism purposes.

All those sly NRI men who claim that they want to marry a desi girl to retain the culture…crap crap crap and once they marry, receive the fat dowry—what they actually seek, then in no time desert and dump their wives viciously. Numerous such NRI men who have committed these heinous acts are now absconding, in fact several of them have gone into hiding ever since the red alert notices were issued. Several of them have legal trails waiting for them in India but refuse to come to face them, and ironically still claim to be innocent!!!

Newly wedded brides from India must insist on having their passports stamped and also check the background of the boy, research his family background from his neighborhood. The WCD suggests once the marriage has taken place, the bride and her family members must be adamant on registering the marriage.

The suggestion has been received with some resistance from NRI men. WHY? What is there to be afraid of? Why are they nervous? Are their intentions not clear? Are their thoughts not honest? Do they have surreptitious cunning motives? What are those? Marry and dump? Seek fat dowry? Dump? Marry again? Again seek dowry?

Well well….. time to get the passport stamped where you can boast of being part of sacred pact called – Marriage!!!…..Ahhh…..Indian Marriage 🙂

Details are as follows……….

NEW DELHI: Indian women who marry NRIs will now get legal proof of their wedlock if the government has its way.

The ministries of women and child development (WCD) and overseas Indian affairs are pushing for a mandatory certification of marriage on the wife’s passport.

A substantial number of Indian marriages are not registered and therefore do not have legal sanctity.

This makes it easy for NRIs to desert or abandon their wives or withhold alimony on the pretext that the marriage is not legal.

Under the proposal, the WCD ministry wants a stamp on the woman’s passport certifying that she is married and not merely leaving the country for tourism purposes.

The proposal was discussed at a recent meeting between WCD minister Renuka Chowdhury and overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi.

The WCD ministry had suggested last year that registration of marriages be made compulsory but it met stiff resistance from the law ministry.

“We are still demanding that marriage registration be made mandatory for all religions, at least in states where NRI marriages are incre-asing. But till such a legislation comes through, we are also looking for other options,”a source said.

The ministry is also planning amendments in Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code which details mental and physical cruelty against a wife and reasons for desertion. “We want to strengthen the Act,”the source said.

The government will also work on pacts with other countries to get husbands who have abandoned their wives in India deported.

The ministries are keen to harmonise legislation with countries like US and UK – that have a substantial Indian diaspora – so that Indians would be tried under Indian laws.

The impact could be far-reaching – the Indian diaspora includes over 16 lakh people in the US and around 12 lakh in the UK.

Officials said an increasing number of complaints were received from states like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala of girls being abandoned or cheated by their NRI husbands.

The complaints from residents of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi deal with abandonment, abuse, unmet dowry demands and lack of awareness while women from south Indian states like Andhra and Kerala are taken to the Gulf on the excuse of marriage only to be pushed into prostitution or forced to work as housemaids in pathetic conditions.

By Vidhya M.S

 

Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2007 January 10, 2007

Filed under: Dowry Menace,Fraudulent NRI Marriages,Legal Issues — togetherwebond @ 11:19 am

The Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2007, which was held in Delhi from Jan 7th to Jan 9th has brought some additional respite for the Indian wives who have been ill-treated by their NRI husbands, beaten, tortured and abused in foreign lands.

Women are held enslaved by their NRI husbands in his house, cut off from the world outside or even thrown out in the middle of the cold night with no money or financial aid by their NRI husbands in foreign lands. All of these are some sadistic ways to torture his wife.

The reasons are several… either non-fulfillment of dowry demands, or when the woman questions her husband when she discovers that her husband already had a previous wife, or the husband is a divorcee and hid this fact from her, or he married her only for money and dowry, or the wife realizes the bitter truth that she was lied to that she could work abroad legally. All this creates disputes and the consequences are severe that she is tormented easily because she has no family of hers in the foreign land and is totally at the mercy of her husband.

On Oct 20th 2006, Interpol had issued a record 300 red alert notices to trace NRI husband who were wanted by the Indian government for harassing their wives. This created ripples of fear amongst Indian NRI husbands and sent up a shiver up their spines.

And now the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2007 has already kicked off the New Year with a great victorious commencement for Indian women all thanks to the efforts of Renuka Chaudhury and her infinite supporters. Once again the unity of woman has yielded results. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas aims at bringing the expertise and knowledge of the Indian overseas community to India and integrating it into India’s development process.

On Jan 8th the following session was held at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, Delhi:

Working Session 17 – WOMEN
The Gender Development Index of UNDP places India at 98 with an index of 0.586 (2003). In India, the Gender ratio is 97/100. For 0-6 age group it is 927/1000.

In rural India, on an average, per day, a male casual labourer earns Rs 56.53, and a female Rs 36.15. In urban India, males earn Rs 75.51 per day and women Rs 44.28.

Maternal mortality rate per 100000 live births is 407 in 2001, down from 437 in 1991.
These are figures, which put in sharp relief the need to put quality of life of women as a priority in the development agenda of the country.
This session outlines the priority areas of intervention for improving the plight of women in India, with special emphasis on areas, where the Indian Diaspora can play a part.
Moderator : Anu Aga, Director, Thermax Ltd, and Chairperson, CII’s Women’s Empowerment Committee
Chief Guest: Renuka Choudhury, Minister of State of Women and Child Development
Guest of Honour : Girija Vyas, Chairperson, NCW
Panel :
Sushmita Ghosh, President, Emeritus, Ashoka, USA
Prema Cariappa, Member of Parliament
Brinda Karat, Member of Parliament
Rajani Patil, Chairperson, Central Social Welfare Board *
Renuka Chaudhury is in talks with US and UK officials for changing the existing treaties in order to ensure that Indian laws apply to people no matter where they reside. So that if Indian citizens ill-treat their wives or violate the law, they can be recalled to India. This has sent shock waves amongst all the guilty absconding NRI husbands who are wanted in NRI fraudulent marriages scams.

Marry-and-dump NRIs may face Indian law:

NEW DELHI: For NRIs tempted by the ‘holiday wife’ syndrome, this could be a reality check. Indians living abroad who ill-treat or desert their wives may now have to face Indian laws. The government is in parleys with the US and UK to bring about changes in the legal framework to enable speedy prosecution of such grooms in this country.

Speaking at a session on women’s issues at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2007, minister for women and child development Renuka Chowdhury said, “I am in talks with US and UK officials for changing the existing treaties between us to ensure that Indian laws apply to people no matter where they reside. So that if Indian citizens ill-treat their wives or violate the law, they can be recalled to India.”

The impact could be far-reaching — the Indian diaspora includes over 16 lakh people in the US and about 12 lakh in the UK.

Chowdhury said an increasing number of complaints have been received from states like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala of girls being abandoned or cheated by their NRI husbands. “They (NRIs) can’t just marry and not accept responsibility for their families,” she added.

The overseas Indian affairs ministry has received complaints from about 30,000 women who have either been deserted after marriage or been cheated by the groom’s families.

CPM politburo member Brinda Karat said the number of deserted women in the Doaba region of Punjab alone was about 15,000. She suggested close networking with women’s organisations and community participation as a solution. A formal network would provide background checks on the grooms and a legal framework will help women outside the shores of India. Karat also recommended that officials in Indian missions abroad should be sensitised to these problems.

The year sure has kicked off with an enormous triumphant start already. Hopefully more red alert notices will be issued against these absconding criminals and their sadistic games will come to end soon. They can run and hide like cowards but they will be hunted down. They have to come to India to face music and trial!

The unity of women now will show the world its results.

By Ash

 

Aid by Indian Govt for NRI wives January 5, 2007

Filed under: Dowry Menace,Fraudulent NRI Marriages,Legal Issues,Matrimonial Conflicts — togetherwebond @ 11:40 am

The Indian government is finally comprehending the pathetic plight of NRI wives who have been conned by their conniving husbands in foreign land. The government is taking concrete measures to curb this and bring some justice and legal aid to these women who have been displaced and abused as one of the immediate welfare measures.

The best part is that the assistance will be provided to NRI women as well as foreign citizens of Indian origin. Hence the women of have taken to US citizenship will also benefit with this aid. Which I think is absolutely awesome.

Govt to help women left in lurch abroad

NEW DELHI 30th Dec 2006: In its bid to assist Indian women who have either been deserted or divorced by their husbands overseas within a year of marriage, the government has finalised a scheme to provide them free legal and counselling services.

The ministry of overseas Indian affairs (MOIA) proposes to introduce this scheme in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and the Gulf. The assistance will be provided to NRI women as well as foreign citizens of Indian origin.

The ministry will involve credible women’s organisations and NGOs working in these countries and give them financial assistance to the tune of $1,000 for every woman they assist. The organisations will be expected to provide documentation and initial work for legal proceedings and counselling for the deserted woman.

“The objective of the scheme is to provide free advisory and legal services to women of Indian origin in distress as a welfare measure. Legal services would be provided by a panel of community advocates through credible Indian associations and women’s organisations,” an official said.

The scheme, firmed up at a high-level meeting in the ministry, will cover women deserted in India or overseas within one year of their marriage or divorce proceedings initiated by the husband within one year of marriage. Legal aid will also be provided if there is an ex-parte decree of divorce or annulment of the marriage is obtained by the husband and a case of maintenance or alimony is required to be filed.

Ministry officials said the proposal would be circulated among Indian community associations by the missions concerned for information and publicity and sent to women’s groups and NGOs inviting them to apply for impanelment under the scheme. The applications received from women seeking assistance will be examined by a committee in the ministry. Based on the scrutiny and approval of the ministry, the cases will be recommended to the missions for giving assistance to women in distress.

The government’s decision to put in place the assistance mechanism comes in the wake of increasing number of complaints of Indian women who opt for NRI marriages but are abandoned or ill-treated by their husbands.

This is a wonderful initiative taken by our government who has realized that all is not hunky dory in the foreign land. All that glitters is definitely not gold. I am sure several abused women will benefit from this assistance.

By Purple A

 

Justice for Jessica Lall December 22, 2006

Filed under: Legal Issues — togetherwebond @ 5:06 am

This was one case that was so crystal clear when it hit the news years back and for once I felt that ya….a politician’s son will be behind bars. Rich politician’s son involved in a murder, in a big city, in a crowded elite social club where everyone knew each other, and numerous eyewitnesses were there to testify. A politician’s son with powerful backing, loads of money and what’s the judgment 7 years later?? He and his hands in glove pals were acquitted earlier this February because of lack of evidence. But weren’t there numerous eyewitnesses?? There were, but they all turned hostile and that’s the most devastating part of the proceedings.

Did money buy their silence thus making them hostile, or was it the fear of the rich and powerful that were out on bail?
While the rich and famous are out on bail immediately and then work on to eliminate any evidence against them so that they get off scot-free with no harm done

A women gets killed by a maniac man only because she refuses to serve him a drink???

But perhaps the intriguing aspect of this was the role of the society and media that came together as one and raised strong objection, objection to the injustice and disagreed with the judgment. The general public uproar, anger and mass outrage, candlelit vigils were enough that the Delhi High Court sought an explanation from the Delhi Police.

And now here is some bit of good news:

“NEW DELHI: Two days after he was convicted for murdering model Jessica Lall, Manu Sharma, son of a senior Congress leader, was on Wednesday given life sentence by the Delhi High Court.

Sharma, who surrendered after his conviction on Monday, was present in the jam-packed courtroom when a Bench comprising Justice R S Sodhi and Justice P K Bhasin pronounced life imprisonment for him.

Her sister Sabrina’s reaction to this verdict who has struggled for seven long years:

“My father died waiting to hear this verdict,” said Jessica’s sister Sabrina Lall. “His soul will now be able to rest in peace.” Sabrina also thanked the media: “I thank you guys who started the campaign for justice for Jessica.”

‘Justice for Jessica’, as our readers will recall, was a TOI campaign. She also sought life sentence for Manu, not death. The outrage over Jessica also brought the spotlight on two other sensational murders – that of Priyadarshini Mattoo and Nitish Katara.

This woman’s story at least made news because she was a famous socialite and model Jessica Lal. What about those ordinary people who are victims of that domestic violence and abuse at its worst?

But this piece of good news has restored some faith in the Indian Judicial system. That is no one with power, fame, money or politicians’ son can get away scot free or escape the law.

The Indian people are watching and will not take any nonsense now.

By PurpleA

 

‘International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women’ November 25, 2006

Filed under: Dowry Menace,Gender Prejudice,Legal Issues,Matrimonial Conflicts — togetherwebond @ 11:11 am

The following article(by Vasundhara Sanger,TOI) says it all with thorough analysis, facts and specifics in place, that even urban, educated and financially independent women also endure domestic violence.

Why do they hide it? Though some of us already know why, others may like to know the rationale behind women refusing to acknowledge that they are victims of domestic violence too.

Today November 25th is the ‘International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women.’ Lets come together and pledge that we will not endure violence anymore, nor will let anyone else endure it and will spread the word and awareness of DV Act to everyone. Lets eradicate domestic violence and thrive to bring about harmony in marriages!!!

Independent women too are victims of domestic violence (by Vasundhara Sanger,TOI)

MUMBAI: The recent expose by a local newspaper in Mumbai on the alleged beating of Shweta Mahajan, a pilot married to Rahul Mahajan, has opened a fresh debate on the issues of domestic violence. It also reinforces the view that violence do exist in the upper strata of society. The couple, however, has denied any ripple in their marriage.

About a decade ago, a documentary film Char Diwari by Rinki Bhattacharya, a victim of domestic violence herself, showed how educated and financially independent women suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of their husbands. Some of them did not have the courage to either separate from them or seek divorce.

It exposed the myth that violence exist only in the lower strata of society. Rinki Bhattacharya is the daughter of the legendary filmmaker Bimal Roy of Do Beegha Zameen and Devdas fame.

The film exposed how wives in affluent homes were beaten up by educated men from liberal backgrounds. It also explored the isolation and terror of women trapped in violent marriages and the social response to domestic violence. The film chronicled the saga of four gutsy women, who resolved to put an end to the violence and reinvented to start a new life.

Women’s organisations all over the world observe November 25 as the ‘International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women.’ This year, in India women’s groups have reasons to celebrate because Parliament has enacted a law to protect women against domestic violence, which also include live-in relationships.

According to activists, the recent Act to protect women against domestic violence will make people aware that there is a law. And that itself will serve as deterrent. Besides, women will begin to assert more. However, Gandhian and social worker Dr G.G Parikh of Yusuf Meherally Centre in Mumbai thinks that a law alone cannot act as a deterrent. “Violence is part of human nature and a law alone cannot change human nature. It’s the cultural thinking and education that is necessary for transformation,” he said.

Consulting physiotherapist and Counsellor Dr Minnu Bhonsle says whether the law will be a deterrent depends on if a battered woman files an FIR and pursue the case. In most domestic violence cases, women consciously cloak it.
Dr. Parikh says, “Violence in high society was always there, but it was rarely noticed, partly because of our pro-high society prejudice and partly because the upper strata hide it. In the lower strata, we expect them to behave in that manner. Women, however, remain vulnerable in our society.”

The corrective measure will be to work on the male right from the time when he is a child, to bring about an attitudinal change. “We take it for granted that men are like that. It is only Mahatma Gandhi who had urged to bring about a change both, in the victim and the oppressor; only then the change will be sustainable. This lesson, which we learnt during the freedom movement, has been forgotten,” laments the 82-year old doctor.

It may be recalled that Rahul was booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and acts relating to destruction of evidence after taking an overdose of drugs in June this year.

However, Dr Parikh says though it could be one of the reasons, by and large he had not noticed that only drug abusers are more violent.

Harish Sadani of the Men against Violence and Abuse (MAVA) feels that gender issues are seen as women’s issues. “If men are part of a problem, empowering women to fight violence and injustice is not enough. When it comes to decision-making, a woman still looks to her husband for support. It is crucial to involve men in gender issues.”

Reasons for domestic violence

Violence against women is one of the most widespread violations of women’s human rights around the world. If studies conducted by various organisations are to be believed, it’s assuming epidemic proportions.

“Youngsters today are grappling with so many issues. Identity is one of them. Due to the male dominated attitude (masculinity and aggressiveness) and growth of nuclear families, peer pressure, job growth and competition, they are unable to deal with anger. The younger generation is at the crossroads and is facing dilemma,” says Sadani, who recently organised an anger management workshop for men in Pune.

Lawyer Ketki Jayakar, who practices at the Bandra family court said, “The reason for such high incidence of violence against women is the dearth of role models.” However, she admits that there has been a change in attitude. “Media is aggressively reporting on the issue of violence against women. There has been a gradual shift.” She also feels that the joint family systems did the work of shock absorbers, and elders in the family managed to drill sense into the warring couples. With the nuclear family prevalent in modern India that vestige of hope to save marriage and prevent abuse is no more.

There are multiple reasons for high incidents of domestic violence. One could be that the man has seen violent behaviour in his own family. “Especially, in a love marriage, a woman does not want to be viewed in retrospect as someone who made a mistake. The man must have seen his mom’s submissive behaviour and imbibed the fact that women are doormats,” explains Dr Bhonsle.

It could also be that the person actually has pathological disorder and has been the only child, who got away with tantrums and didn’t learn the functional ways of expressing anger. “Pathological disorders need medication and only counselling won’t help. They go through maniac phases. Sometimes the man is very violent and at times he will repent and apologise for his behaviour (bi-polar disorder). The woman also goes through these swings, along with him. When he is violent she wants to leave him; when apologetic, she forgives him. When there is drinking, the chances of engaging in violent behaviour increases,” says Bhonsle.

If there’s a child, he suffers because of the long drawn custody battle. If the man feels remorse, he suffers due to guilt. For a woman, fighting a divorce suit is expensive. At the end she breaks down, as court cases take time. In the beginning people support her, but slowly that supports wanes. The trauma takes a toll on her body,” says Ketki.

Why women protect violent husbands?

“A wedding in affluent families takes place with great fanfare. If the marriage does not work, the woman feels she would be seen as a failure. So she decides to cloak the abuse. Besides, people will make her ask herself if she was instrumental in breaking the marriage.”

Another reason could be the clout that the husband’s family may wield. According to media reports, Shweta Mahajan has been grounded and there is an enquiry for a lapse she had made in landing the aircraft last week.

Many highly educated and financially independent women have an issue with their own image. They want to be viewed as a “very together” in a relationship (Madhur Bhandarkar’s film Page 3 showed such instances). Also, at one point of time, some of them may have counselled a friend on a bad marriage. Now, they feel humiliated at being in the same boat, says Dr Bhonsle.

“Couples from high society have approached us for counselling, but the woman sits with a straight face, as if she did not want to walk out of the marriage. It is very demeaning for her to seek help. They do not even like if we empathise with them. So, she emotionally distances herself. This is because such people have cultivated a distorted belief that they are resolved persons,” Dr Bhonsle added.

Ketki thinks to save a marriage and prevent domestic abuse a woman is her own master. “Build your self esteem and be physically fit. Physical fitness is a must, so eat well, “says the seasoned lawyer.

To prevent a marriage from breaking, Bhonsle says they have made breakthrough. “We help them identify ‘areas of conflict’ and have some kind of emotional and geographical lines within the four walls of the house. They learn to co-exist. Technically, such a marriage is saved, but the emotional intimacy ends. The love is lost. In her opinion, the crucial factors in a healthy marriage are the three Cs- care, commitment, and communication. She also advises to remove what she terms ‘contaminants’. These are personality traits, which pollute the relationship.

Reverence for life

What pains Ketki is the fact that there is no reverence for life. “We do not respect life of people involved in domestic issues. We do not respect lives of couple’s old parents. In their twilight years, the parents get dragged into the turmoil of their children’s marriage. There is a need to be humane and to empathise with them,” she says.

What the studies on women say

A WHO report called ‘The Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women’ says one in six women worldwide suffers domestic violence. Women suffer broken bones, bruises, burns, cracked skulls, dislocated jaws, rape and of course terror. Domestic violence remains largely hidden as many women suffer silently. Physically or sexually abused women were more likely to suffer longer term health problems, including depression. Often the woman herself believes that the man is justified in beating her.

The second study by Oxfam (UK based charity) says that the problem is much worse in South Asia, where as many as one in every two women face domestic violence.

All wife beaters believe in male domination. These men have certain rules and regulations that women should follow, and if the women don’t follow them, they are subjected to violence or verbal abuse.

Another type of man hits out in a fit of anger or in an alcoholic stupor when he doesn’t get what he wants from the woman, or because she does not give him ‘respect’. These types of men often repent temporarily.

There is an even more dangerous kind of wife-beater. He does not believe in any moral or social conventions. He believes that the woman is his property and that he can do anything he likes with her. He will gratify any of his perverted, violent and sexual desires without any regard for the woman’s safety.

Some worldwide facts

Japan: 796 women surveyed in 1993 – 59% are reported to be physically abused by their partner
India: 6902 men surveyed – 45% of married men acknowledged physically abusing their wives
Uganda: Representative samples of women – 41% women admitted that their partners have beaten them or physically harmed them.

(The findings are from a survey conducted by the UNICEF)

By Vidhya M.S.

 

My anecdote November 22, 2006

That fateful month (at that time I thought it was the best time of my life), when an alliance came for me. My parents were then only to keen to marry me and see me settled in life. They did some research on the boys family through common friends and were satisfied with the results. By then I had completed my masters and was open to meeting with this person, to check out if we clicked. Well he came down from USA(ahh…yes the US of A) for 2 weeks. We met, dated a few times and I can plainly say that our thoughts matched. He was educated and so was I and I didn’t have any other expectations or fancies. We got engaged and next year married again within those famous 14 days. My parents arranged everything with no qualms. (today when I look back I wonder why my parents so voluntarily arranged everything. Okay, they were being generous but did not the boys side have any onus to take some responsibility too after all was he not their child just the way I was my parents child? Oh yes…how can I forget, we are girls side !!!

I reached USA and was taken to our apartment. The first few months passed by peacefully and we very much enjoying our honeymooning phase. Shall I call this the silence before the storm? Then came the expectations. He wanted $25000 from my parents that too to be transferred to his account immediately. Initially I did not comprehend why? I was worried that something was wrong, that he was some of serious trouble and therefore he was in dire need of finances. He did not say anything. He wanted the money and asked me to bring it. Obviously my parents did not have $25000 to give away and neither was I going to request my parents. I coaxed him further to get to the bottom of this. It was worrying him no end. Though my husband refused to tell me why he needed the money, I then suggested to him that he use his savings. He had a comfortable 6 digit salary and enough savings from his years of work experience in USA. That was when I received my first slap for this suggestion. And more slaps complete with abuses followed.

My world came to a stand still.

I went into mourning for several weeks. Loathed to get up in the morning because to me sleep was a get away from the reality. Went early to bed to avoid him. He kept demanding it aggressively now and I kept refusing it until I would get a valid explanation from him. He would slap me, punch me and assault me. I had nowhere to go. But one question still haunted me “why did he need $25000?” I had no one to talk to either. Our landline was disconnected and so was my internet connection. Obviously I had no money now and was completely at his mercy. In his absence I use to agonize, think to no end and ask whys. The word ‘dowry’ striked me once and I denied the thought. A guy who has 6 digit salary, what would he do with a mere $25000. It did not make sense to me. But that was the only answer that kept coming back to me.

I took a bus once to go to the Indian market, sold a pair of gold bangles that my parents had gifted me to get some money for myself. The following week I found out I was pregnant and informed him the same. He was absolutely unhappy. I requested him to take me to the doctor and he said he had no money to spend on an unwanted child. He convinced and threatened me that if I don’t have an abortion done he would tell my parents the truth about our marriage. I thought the news of the child would mellow him but it only got worst. He got more violent and cohesive with his demands. With the stress, the tensions, his sadistic behavior, his violence, his threats, his aggressiveness, his abuse I had no choice.

One night when I was asleep, excruciating pain in my left ear awakened me. I put my hand over it to and felt something wet. I saw my husband next to me, staring at me. I hurried to the bathroom to see what was going on with my ear and as I faced the mirror I saw my ear bleeding and blood pouring down my neck. For the first few seconds everything went blank before my eyes. I felt nothing. I was jolted to my senses ruthlessly when my husband was pulling my hair and almost ready to bang into the door. He kept asking for the $25000, threatening me and abusing me. Most part of the night I was thrown from one corner to another corner. I begged him to stop, for the sake of humanity to stop. He asked me point blank for the money. To safe myself, I offered to call my parents so that I could make the request to them. He happily obliged and I made the call. My parents knew something was wrong but I did not care now. Sooner or later they would know and they would be glad to have their daughter back alive (atleast).

After the call, he went of to sleep as if nothing had happened. Once again I felt the excruciating pain on my ear and I realized that it he who had pulled the earrings off my ear while I was asleep—and that lead to the bleeding.

The man that I had married, the promises we exchanged to spend a lifetime, to protect each other, would attack me viciously when I would be asleep!! I mean what kind of a human being thinks of this or does this? Till date I cannot fathom what was he thinking when he attacked me this way or how such a thought can cross any human beings mind.

I waited for the sun to rise. It was the longest wait of my life. He went to work as if nothing had happened. That was the last I saw of my educated civilized husband who worked in an IT company in USA.

I packed some of my basic things, called for a cab( oh yes little did I ever know that my mother would come to my timely rescue—her gifted bangles to me) and once gain back to the Indian market, sold some more jewelry of my parents, enough to buy me a ticket back home. To the airport and waited for the flight.

Once in India, I directly went to my parents’ house and told them all, just the way it was, the whole thing. My father was the strongest. We consulted a lawyer and filed the appropriate cases on him. . His parents were livid with rage when they had to appear in court. They had no remorse or any guilt at their sons doing or actions. To me it felt that they were rather unhappy that they did not get their $25000.

He still has not retuned back to India. It has been years. Initially he called me with his usual threats that he will take me to task for daring to file the case on him. The criminal cases are still in court and will remain there and I will see to it they remain there. Today I have my own life, happy, I work, I earn and I am free. I can travel to any country. Unlike him—that irritates him know no end that his freedom is restricted. I pay my lawyers regularly, thinking that they are my kids on whom I spend my money on(if I had one I would have spent on him/her right?) who by the way reluctantly accept any, and have clearly expressed my intentions to them. He needs to got to jail the minute he lands here. The fear of this will never make him return to his home country–which is fine by me too. If he is innocent then he is welcome to come and fight for it. I want justice. I WILL get justice

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Currently he is a member of a disreputable immoral mens group that exists here and Usa too, who claim to be on a rampage to save the Indian marriage and culture. Their rantings and sadistic intentions are well known to everyone. Obviously this is only a farce, a charade by them and the actual motto of this group is to abolish dowry laws and domestic violence laws that hinders their freedom of speech, plans, action and materialistic demands.

I and many others who have been through this trauma and ordeal we will get justice in this lifetime. Recently the DV act came into existence. Surely it will give many woman solace and some respite. Spread the word, as most rural women do not even know about it.

A survivor – A woman