During recent times, there has been a sudden hike in the rate of crimes against women. Story after story goes by, depicting a tale of suffering, torture and discrimination. Despite several shelters and NGOs working for the welfare of women, justice and safety are nowhere to be found. Credit to social media because of which several cases have come to the forefront now.

Just recently we all came across a video on different social media platforms, where a woman was apparently being bashed by a police officer. The court took notice, and to put an exemplary end to this tale, he is now held by the police on various charges related to the incident.

My question here is: what becomes of those victims who’ve been suffering silently at the hands of their loved ones, within the four walls of their homes? What becomes of them, when there is no one to film their tortures and sufferings?

Are they waiting for a Messiah? Well the answer is No! They choose to suffer till it outpours their threshold, and they become immune to these sufferings. Can they actually do something about it? Ah, well not really.

Marital rape is one such form of torture, which is yet to be recognized by the law. After all who believes in the fact that your own partner/husband can rape you? You’ve been married off to him by your family or at rare instances you chose to sail in that boat. However, where a rape crime requires four witnesses for proof, as per the Hudood ordinance, and a DNA test is excluded altogether by the Council of Islamic Ideology, marital rape is just another alien term for us.

Still, whatever the situation is, should one endure the suffering? Will raising one’s voice make a difference?

The society we live in is quintessentially conservative. Here some of the men choose to treat women with respect as human beings, while others take them for granted. As daughters, generally, we are always fed notions that our ultimate home is with our husband. All mediums reiterate this notion/value every now and then. No matter what your social status is, as a woman you are expected to get married at the right age, bear children at the right time and get beaten up or as they say ‘straightened up’ by your husband as and when required. It is quite appalling to note that women as daughters aren’t even safe in the warmth of their homes.

Honor killings, child abuse and discrimination which develop deteriorating inferiority complexes are a few tormenting experiences that a daughter is destined to. Be it the recent case of a 12-year-old who died after being beaten by her stepmother and father, the young girl who was put to death by her father and brother, or the death of a young 5-year-old girl due to physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her father in Saudi Arabia: all put forward a gut-wrenching reality.

We always condemn violence against women and young girls in India, but the question is: are we any better? They abort them before they are born, and we make our daughters, wives, sisters, friends die with soul scarring tortures.

Domestic violence happens, and the only people who are aware of it are the elders of the family. On very rare instances, cases of this nature are reported to the police or jirga. We all have witnessed several cases in the past, where some influential lad gets infuriated and guns down another individual. After a series of court hearings the outcome is either forgiveness by the victim’s family (due to threats) or they seek refuge in a place where no human eye can see them.

Hence, deduced, in a society where a crime against women is thriving, the victims should choose to remain silent. Family pressures, false ideologies/expectations, financial constraints or children are usually the binding cause for a woman.

Children feed on what we serve them. If your son sees his mother beaten up by his father, the odds are that years later he would be implementing what he saw. Your daughter, on the other hand, walking in your footsteps, would resort to suffering silently.

Humans are models of conditional learning. We do what we are ‘conditioned’ to do. I was doing a project on marital rape once, and to my amazement there was hardly any woman who even anonymously wanted to speak about it. The doctor who treated patients at this hospital briefed that no one would ever speak about it. At times when patients drop by, they themselves are hardly aware of the torture they’ve been bearing.

The conclusion here is: even if you choose to stay mum, remember not to condition your children with the same approach towards suffering and torture. It is time that you set limits around you, and determine if a marriage or a relation is worth the pain. Divorces, separations are options that should be utilized when the situation gets so wrecked that it cannot be reworked.

I’ve conversely come across some of the sanest, liberal and chivalrous men out there. They understand the importance of a woman, and as a matter of fact they also know how to treat a woman. The sad part is that these are just ‘some’ men out there.

Every religion, teaches you to respect a woman in the best way possible. She is the one who bears a generation, and despite the pain that she goes through during the nine months, she forgets it all as soon as she is handed her newborn tot. A woman plays several significant roles, which are designated by the society, and whose fulfillment is expected of her. In return of all, she expects love, appreciation and warmth. Is that too much to ask for?