Domestic abuse: A threat to Womens’ dignity and life

By: Zainab Bashir Ahmed

Domestic violence in Pakistan is one controversial issue, it is a sensitive area for the society we live in. Domestic violence in Pakistan is an endemic social and public health problem. An estimated 5000 women are killed per year from domestic violence, with thousands of others maimed or disabled. Women have reported attacks ranging from physical to psychological and sexual abuse from intimate partners. This form of abuse is the kind of aggressive behavior that one partner (male) shows by physical harm to their partner (female), a dominant force, or violent abuse towards the spouse. “Tracking Numbers: the State Of Violence Against Women and Children in Pakistan” was launched on the occasion of International Women Day 2020 by the Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO). The report presented a critical situation of the country about how it failed to protect its women, children, and transgenders from domestic abuse, the increasing members of domestic abuse have had no control since the last many years which is an open threat to the dignity of women in the community we live in. The research report has a record from the government also from the media houses between the duration from January 1 to December 31, 2020. There are some cases that came forward based on true stories, how they suffered domestic abuse and violent behavior by their partners. For example, Dania endured violent beatings during her pregnancy, she had spent four and a half years at her mother’s house although she was married for six years. The victim also mentioned that she suffered abusive behavior right after she got married. “Her getting divorced would be worse than her dying” was the statement given by the victim’s brother.  

Another example of domestic abuse is Akifa who was a well-educated young woman, she secured a masters degree as well and she was married to a rich and self-made man according to her statement but she mentioned that her husband was an abuser behind the perfect marriage she faced physical torture from her partner, she faced an emotional abuse, mental torture, abusive language, and dirty taunt, the husband never cared about the environment where he uses to use abuse language the place, not even the gathering.

Various factors are associated with home violence in Pakistan. Poverty, illiteracy, and social and monetary taboos are taken into consideration as the primary motives for domestic violence in the country. A Lack of knowledge about women’s rights and a lack of help from the government are the alternative two reasons. Every other element given for the increase in domestic violence has been because of the Increase in urbanization. As people circulate from villages and an increasing number stay other than a prolonged circle of relatives, assaults are much less likely to be prevented via the intervention of family members. Who in past instances frequently intervened in domestic conflicts. Yet some other motive given to the abuses is patriarchalism in Pakistani society, which marginalizes women’s role. In a few conventional societies, a man is taken into consideration to have the right and authority to physically beat his spouse. In 1998 of 1974 reported murders the majority of victims had been killed with the aid of both their own family contributors orin-legal guidelines. Domestic violence is one untouchable topic in the society we live in people around us can not even relate to the stress that victims go through, depression, anxiety attacks, and also sleeping, eating disorders. Women in society should take this violence considerable issues their sake, the increasing number of violence is proof that somewhere in society no matter what race, caste, religion you belong as a woman this issue is rapidly taking place because people don’t bring it to the table with their friends, family, children also. People in Pakistan need to realize that no matter what shape abuse takes it is wrong and against the law, it’s an exploitation of human dignity and a threat to women’s life and safety which even the religion prohibits any form of abuse. Abuse cannot only take place in the form of physical action (physical hurt) but it can also torture an individual through words and actions you take against their mental credibility. Abusers commonly exercise power or force on their intimate partners in private which is prohibited by the law as well in the country. Some people consider marital rape as one form of abuse, beating women also throwing acid on them.

In any relationship, if a man takes a dominant position and becomes controlling over his partner the cycle of abuse starts from there, there can be many reasons, for example, a jealousy factor, competing with your partner in general, calling them while using abusive language.

People specifically parents of both the partners should be confident enough to train their children before marriage to talk about these issues openly, they should create a comfortable space with women especially so that they have an idea to tackle these issues in a better way from the beginning. The Lawmakers in the country should provide possible laws of protection against domestic abuse, the country needs to take major steps to prevent this form of abuse against women. We as a nation represent our women and we as individuals need to provide them safety and also the right to live a safe life.

The writer is a law student and works with ‘The Dayspring’, she writes on taboo issues and has been part of campaigns for women’s rights. She can be reached at [email protected].