Uttar Pradesh woman demands justice after her husband domestically abused her for dowry and forced her into prostitution.
“He slapped me so hard that I couldn’t hear for a while,” recollects a victim of domestic violence from Uttar Pradesh. The woman is not only a victim of domestic violence but is also a victim of dowry demands. “My father used to come home drunk and beat my mother every day,” said the child of the victim.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was enacted in 2005 to protect women from domestic violence. Despite this, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) of 2015-16, 33 % of married women have experienced sexual, emotional or physical violence by their spouse. The most common type of violence by the spouse is physical violence amounts to 30%.
“They make me run around and ask me to get dowry from my parents. How much money will I get from my parents? They make baskets and eat one meal a day,” said the victim.While the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 states that any man who demands dowry shall be punishable with imprisonment for not less than five years, in 2016, India recorded 7,621 cases of dowry deaths according to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB.)
Apart from being domestically abused, the victim was forced into prostitution by her husband because she could not afford to pay the demanded dowry. “He gets me drunk and forcefully records videos on the phone. He tells me what to say on camera. I have said all of it but only out of fear,” said the victim. NCRB in 2016 showed that Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes against women with 14.5%. The victim’s husband threatened her by saying, “if you don’t say these things, I will kill you and your child.”
After facing years of abuse, the victim now demands justice, “he should suffer more than I have suffered so that no one else will have to go through this. Be it me or someone else, young or old, dignity belongs to everyone,” she added.
Video by Community Correspondent Shabnam Begum
Article by Kavyasri Srinath, member of VV Editorial team