India has entered into a new millennium, termed as the development phase but from the dawn of civilization till today but women under the patriarchal society of India continue to be oppressed and ill-treated. A woman is subjugated – dependent, weak, exploited and faces gender discrimination in every sphere of life.
Domestic violence has become a punishable offense in India only a decade back when the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was implemented in 2005. However, deep-seated patriarchal mindset and acceptance of domestic violence against women hampers the law from protecting a woman, who suffers various forms of violence – physical and mental, across social, cultural, economic and regional boundaries. Even as we promote various initiatives like Women empowerment, Beti Bachao yojana, our society continues to treat gender-based violence that threatens the well-being, dignity and rights of women as a norm of life. Statistics show that crimes against women have more than doubled over the past ten years but experts in women movements such as Dr Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research (CSR) point out that the numbers are still understated due to unreported cases, poor maintenance of records, lack of awareness among the public among other factors.
This story of Savita (name changed) adds to the many numbers of unreported cases of Domestic Violence. Savita got married to her partner after a relationship of four years in Gariyaband district of Chhattisgarh. But her life changed completely after marriage. Her husband and in-laws would abuse her under the influence of alcohol, beat her up and harass her. Her troubles got even worse when she discovered she was pregnant. “My husband tried to force me to abort with medicines when I was six months pregnant, but it didn’t work,” she says. Her torment worsened after she delivered a baby girl. Things got ugly during an altercation when Savita’s husband tried strangulating her to death. “I ran from there to save my life and went to my parent’s place. I stay there now with my child,” Savita tells Video Volunteers correspondent Reena.
When Savita went to register a complain under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the police refused to register stating that it was a merely a domestic dispute. “I had repeatedly appraoched police to report the cases of domestic violence against me but everytime I was met with denial to file a report,” says Savita.
In India, every hour 10 women suffer physical, verbal and psychological abuse by their husbands or relatives; and many more such incidents go unreported . The incidents are not only limited to the marginalised community but extend to women from all walks of life . Help Savita win her fight towards prejudice by the police and her in-laws.
Help her and her child get justice. Call the Superintendent of Police of the Gariyaband, Chhattisgarh on +91-7706241991 and build pressure to recognize Savita’s struggle and help her get justice.
Community correspondent Reena Ramteke reports from Chhattisgarh for Video Volunteers.
This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. we could hyperlink to some VV pages, like our take action page.