#SheSays: Swollen Lips Were The Reward For Filing FIR Against My Abusive Husband
- IWB Post
- October 28, 2015
This is the story of a woman who was married off into a conservative, ill-treating family. She is physically and mentally abused by her husband. She wants to get a divorce but her financial circumstances are stopping her from doing so.
JWB’s latest campaign “Censored” features notoriously contentious stories revolving around taboo topics, which are generally suppressed by our society. Censored is a platform where women can open up about their personal issues, reach epiphanies, inspire women all around the world, and seek expert advice. Read on, and realize that you are not alone.
Lodging an FIR against the man with whom I’ve shared a bed for 6 years is a strange feeling.
I am a 34 years old mother, compelled to be married and forced to be unemployed. My father passed away when I was a child, and since then my mother has been constantly working to support us financially. When my elder sister got married, all our savings got wiped away. We were practically on the road, when a proposal for marriage came for me.
The family was a joint, conservative Marwari family, and very well-off. They had a big house, and they claimed to have numerous other properties as well. They appeared to be very strong financially, which we weren’t. On top of everything, they did not want dowry, which pretty much tilted the scales in their favor. My mother made inquiries about the family and the boy, and everything seemed to be quite normal. After all, how much can you really get to know about the other party in an arranged marriage scenario? I did not particularly like my groom, but I said ‘yes’ to the proposal for the sake of my family.
Three months later we got married, and that marked the beginning of a nightmare. My husband would always stay engrossed in his business, and made no effort to get to know me. He just wanted a wife to share his bed with, and he got one. The entire day I would be busy with the never-ending household chores and other responsibilities . I guess my in-laws wanted an in-house maid, and they got one. My in-laws always treated me like an outsider, and my husband was interested in nothing but sex.
Soon, I came to know that the family had only claimed to be rich, but in reality, they too weren’t financially strong. The house and the cars were a facade, and they too were struggling to meet ends. I wanted to have a job, and get a reason to function every day. But, my in-laws were against the concept of a working married woman, and sadly, my husband too possessed this orthodox mentality.
One time when I fell terribly ill, my mother had to come all the way to take care of me for 5 days. When I complained about it to my husband, he erupted like a volcano, and started spewing out abuse like hot lava. I was ashamed and angry. I knew living alone, and feeding myself would have been any day better than that hell-hole. Before I could poach the subject of getting a divorce, two colored lines on a pregnancy test robbed me of my freedom.
It was my mother who took care of me throughout the nine months, and the one who took me to the hospital. My in-laws did not even come to the hospital, nor did they allow me to come home for 2 months after the delivery. It was a family tradition for the girl’s family to handle everything, right from the expenses to the post-natal care. My already poor mother’s savings were fast dwindling.
The fights between me and my husband started becoming more frequent, because I had reached my threshold. I wanted some respect, and a little freedom. I was a dependent mother, with no money and no one to take care of my child. Divorce went out of the picture. After a month or so, my father-in-law died. My mother-in-law named me as the cause of the death, just to get me under her thumb again. My husband started physically and mentally abusing me. I filed an FIR against my husband, but it was of no avail. It only rewarded me with a swollen lip. My sister-in-law even pushed my son off the stairs during one of our family feuds.
Each day, I was getting more and more traumatized. I finally gave up, and asked my husband for a divorce, but he refused.
I do not have the money to fight custody battles and settlement issues in court for a long time. I cannot afford to pay the hefty price of hiring a good lawyer. I could have walked away freely long back if I had simply aborted the child, when I had the chance. I am stuck in this hell, with no way out.
Arranged marriages should come with a “BEWARE” sign.
She is psychologically strong, but financially weak. For women suffering from cases like these, JWB found out a helpline which has proved to be effective as well as extremely supportive. Rajasthan University’s Women association‘s helpline enables women to have a telephonic conversation with women counselors.
Every third Wednesday of every month, in an I.G meeting held at Yaadgar, the association demands an answer for all FIRs which proved to be ineffective, and could not help the woman. In addition to that, every Friday, a legal day is held in the office, where women get legal advice free of cost. All matters relating to a divorce are unique in nature, and need to be handled by the victim herself. The legal counselors find out ways and loop-holes, which can fast track the case, and cut down the overall cost related to divorce settlements, custody battles, and other matters.
All the cases are handled in the presence of a woman convener, and that too anonymously.
Don’t hesitate, and call Rajasthan University’s Women Association’s helpline: 0141-2609757.
They WILL find a way to free you.
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