Despite all the crap and all the atrocities, there is still hope. We wish we can spread the good word, spread awareness, open some eyes and at the least make a few people understand the damage being caused by abuse and violence.
An app that helps victims to seek help, discreetly and quickly.
Some tips and tricks in self-defense.
Graphic language alert!
My mother had bruises since the day I could remember. Of course I didn’t know they were bruises. I didn’t know my father was raping her, I didn’t know my father was beating her black and blue. All I knew back then was that she always had purple blotches; around her eyes, her arms, her waist. She had bite marks and burn marks. She was in pain. She never said a word.
It’s my wedding day and I am sitting here thinking about my mother’s bruises. I had just found out the reason behind her wounds. She had just told me. I never hated anybody as much as I hate my father now. But my mother told me not to worry. She said Raghu was a nice boy. He liked me. He couldn’t wait for us to be married, isn’t that why I had to discontinue my studies? I dropped out of school so Raghu and I could be together.
I vowed to myself. I would never let Raghu hurt me. I will be the epitome of a wife. I will not give him a reason to hurt me. My mom told me it had been her fault father treated her that way. I won’t give Raghu a reason to be my father.
Ah! My wedding day, seems like so long ago. It’s been, what a year now? I am so happy. Raghu has not once laid hands on me. He doesn’t come home some nights, I know he goes to the brothel but he doesn’t hit me. There are times when he comes home and demands I sleep with him but he is my husband, not like father, he doesn’t hit me if I refuse. But if I refuse, he goes to the brothel so I don’t. My husband’s the best. He sees to it that I am well fed, I have good clothes, he doesn’t beat me.
My husband is the best. I am happy… I mean, I am not in pain, not physical pain. He does cheat on me but hey he doesn’t get drunk and burn his cigarettes on my skin. That’s good, isn’t it? What more can a girl ask for, right? Mother told me I was lucky I didn’t have to bandage my wounds every night. She told me if I give Raghu a son, he will stop cheating on me. I am happy, I have everything I would ever need, but then why does it feel all so wrong?
It wasn’t a big deal. She had been dating him for just over 7 weeks. She wasn’t attached to him when they broke up. This wasn’t about him. It was about her. Why would no one ever stick around? Why did everyone have to leave? She was pretty sure she was self sabotaging her relationships. She looked at her reflection. She tried to repress those memories that were forcing their way to the surface. It had taken her a long time to suppress them but they were coming back. Why now? Why tonight? Couldn’t her mind just let her get over her break up in peace? This was cruel, she was bringing back painful memories and talk about self sabotage! Why does every break up bring back the same cursed memories?
She was at the movies, her father was holding her hand. Another man was holding her chest. She tried to tell her dad but he was busy talking to her mother. The man wouldn’t let go. He rubbed against her and held her chest tighter, she yelped in pain and then he was gone. Her parents reprimanded her for yelling without a reason. They wouldn’t let her explain. She was twelve, How could she make them listen?
She looked at her reflection again. She tried to chant a prayer. She tried to remind her she was in her bathroom and she wasn’t twelve anymore. She tried to bury the next one but it was too late.
It was five in the evening again, time for the mean nurse to come and stick the IV in her arm. The evening nurse could never get it right, she would poke and prod until her hand was the size of a balloon. The tubelights were on. The one outside her room flickering slightly, just as it had been for the past week. She had been at the children’s hospital for a week now. Her jaundice had gotten worse. She was worried. She was fifteen, she was worried the nurse wasn’t going to find a vein again, she was worried about her upcoming finals. She was worried for her parents. She could see the fear in their eyes. They weren’t sure she would be able to take her finals and graduate from tenth grade. She was too weak. And that evening she lay on her bed staring at her mom, waiting for the mean nurse. But today, it wasn’t the mean nurse. It was a new doctor. He wasn’t that old, probably 28-30.
She had to stop. She couldn’t bear to remember his face. She had to pull herself back from that evening. She washed her face. Looked at herself again. Hating every cell in her body. She tried to stop the memories again. In vain. She was thrown back. Clearer than ever before.
He told her mom he had to perform some routine tests. He said it was for her own good. He grabbed her left boob in front her mother, and her mother didn’t say a word. He requested her mom to leave the room and she did. He started caressing her left breast and then her right. He squeezed it and it hurt. He said it was a test for cancer. He said it was necessary. He said it had saved a lot of lives. She was uncomfortable and in pain. She felt violated. She felt how wrong it was. She wanted to yell for her mother. But he was a doctor. She trusted him. Maybe it was just an exam. She let it happen. Ten minutes later, he took his hands off her chest and left.
How she wished it had ended there. She could have convinced herself it was a routine exam. But he came back, the next day and the day after that and the day after that. Four days. She let her breasts be violated, hurt, all while her mother stood outside. All while her mother knew what was going on. She felt betrayed. She didn’t want to blame her mother but she was fifteen.
She was twenty four now. And she had’t gotten over it. He was a doctor, he violated her innocence. Her mother should have protected her. She was scarred for life. She knew she would never feel safe. She knew then that she detached herself from any man who made her feel safe, she sabotaged any relationship that seemed to protect her. Because it was all a lie. No one could protect her. She was broken. She was dirty. She wanted freedom, she wanted out. She needed to stop hurting herself with the memories and the mind games. She looked at her tear filled eyes. She shattered the mirror to match her shattered soul.
Something that I feel deeply about— Abuse that women go through.. Physical, emotional or sexual. We need to stop being in denial and accept that women are being mistreated. And we need to take control.
There is nothing wrong in accepting that one has been a victim of abuse. But there is everything wrong in not doing anything about it. The poem below is a shout out for all the women who believe in themselves and the endless power they can have once they have confidence in themselves.
See not the blues of yesterday,
Fear not the hues of today.
There shall be a path, leading
From here to where you are heading.
Seek the truth, within yourself.
No blame upon him, none upon yourself.
Actions cause problems, yet
They cause solutions, you bet.
Look at your eye, beaten black and blue,
No shimmer left, no fresh dew.
Just bitter stains of misery and pain
You have endured, time and again.
The words have stung, your heart and soul,
Clutching at your life, carving an endless hole.
Scraping the shards of decency and shame,
You bow your head, fearing a black name.
Fear not the ghosts of today
See not the unreal monster, far away,
You are your charioteer, you are your reins,
You will triumph, till justice runs in your veins.