Nobody goes to cops as it is a ‘personal matter’ and they think that their male can show their masculinity on them.
Domestic violence is a part of the life of women in M Thumbaraguddi village in Sandur taluk of Ballari district. They are beaten up by their husbands but do not complain as it is “very normal for them,” Mohd Hamsar, who helped The Observer speak to the victims, said.
“Every night my husband beats me after returning home. This is very common in our village. Therefore, it’s OK. After it, we have a conversation and… the beating comes to a halt for 2-3 days and then starts again,” a woman said.
The victim’s husband said: “I work at the mines as a lorry driver. I work day and night and drink a lot. After I return home, if my wife makes a mistake, my anger explodes and I beat her. It is our personal matter.”
M Thumbaraguddi is one of the most backward villages of Sandur taluk in infrastructure and literacy. The Observer learnt that most villagers drink liquor and take drugs. Harassment of women is common, Hamsar said.
Another woman said she has faced physical harassment since her childhood. After marriage, she has been harassed mentally. “I work in the field and my husband stays home. If I don’t give him money to drink, he beats and abuses me. He becomes normal after he gets what he wants.”
Sandur taluk sub-Inspector Basha said he does not receive many FIRs regarding harassment of women because the villagers consider it their personal matter. They do not want to discuss it.
Assistant commissioner of police, Ashoknagar, N. Prathap Reddy informed The Observer that it is the responsibility of courts to resolve such matters. If a man is arrested under Section 498 of IPC, the victim gets temporary maintenance. The court takes care of the woman or her family for 20-30 days.
Deepthi Ayathan, a lawyer at a civil court, said: “When a victim seeks judicial procedure…, it should be conducted on a fast-track basis and given special importance.”
Manjula Jain, head counsellor of Vanitha Sahaya Vani, an organization for the protection of women, said most complaints they get are from women belonging to educationally or economically backward families.
“Males think of their wives as objects. We receive cases about physical, mental and sexual harassment. We also get cases that revolve around harassment due to dowry. We handle cases depending on how women want to resolve them. We talk it out between the two parties, but if women want their husbands to go behind bars, we work according to the court procedures,” Jain added.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, defines domestic violence. It recognizes not only physical violence, but also other forms of violence such as emotional, verbal and sexual, and economic abuse.