Violence. Domestic Violence.
There is a video circulating online where a man smacks his wife on head. Hard. There are in a public bus. She’s wearing an abaya, while holding on to a yellow bag for comfort, perseverance and sanity. The man has a shalwar kurta and taqiya on, with a long beard and chauvinism on his face. 4 seconds into the video, he smacks the woman hard on the back of her head, and brushes off his namaz ki topi in disgust. The woman quickly looks around to see who else has witnessed her mistreatment, while fixing her disheveled head cover.
I am shocked. Angry. Disgusted. Clenching my teeth until they hurt.
1) Keep an eye out for signs of abuse in your orbit. From your recently married friend who’s last seen on WhatsApp dates back to 17 days to your house help, who has a bruise and an unconvincing explanation about how it got there.2) Instead of offering money, try to empower a victim with a life skill. Vocational training.
3) Don’t force them to leave their abusive relationship if they aren’t ready. Remember, you are just there to help. It’s their journey and decisions. After spending a few hours with you, they have to go back to the same place and people where they were abused.
4) Be aware of legitimate women’s shelters around you. I know of very few, like Panah, White Ribbon, Aurat Foundation, etc. Let the victim know of his/her options and possibilities, so they can make an informed decision.
5) If there are children involved, be extra vigilant. There is a fine line between abuse and discipline; when a child sees and experiences abuse, it is likely that s/he will either inflict it when in power or cower in the face of it when weak.
It breaks my heart every time I see something like this, and wish there was something more that I could do. If my blog or I can be of any assistance to such an organisation and cause, please reach out to me. I pledge my complete cooperation. I am with you in the struggle. All the way.