This is not the first time this topic is being talked about and neither is this the last. Many editors have written about it in the past and there will be many more in the future.
Yet, domestic violence rears its ugly head in the community time and again, and yet we offer the same solutions that fail the victims.
On January 20, last year, Diwesh Sharma beat his wife up, poured petrol over her and set her alight while she was still alive – watched by their four-year-old son – from the passenger seat of the family car parked metres away.
After years of abuse and torture, as court proceedings and interviews with family members reveal, 28-year-old Ranjeeta Sharma met death at the hands of a man who was meant to protect her for life.
“One in three women experience psychological or physical abuse from their partners in their lifetime,” says the Women’s Refuge on its website). The Women’s Refuge fields call from a distressed female every nine minutes (or so they claim). On average, 14 women, six men and 10 children are killed by a member of their family every year.
Police are called to around 200 domestic violence situations a day – that’s one every seven minutes on average.
Police estimate only 18 per cent of domestic violence incidents are reported.
At least 74,785 children and young people aged under 17 were present at domestic violence situations attended by police.
Eighty four per cent of those arrested for domestic violence are men; 16 per cent are women.
The economic cost of domestic violence was estimated at $1.2 to $5.8 billion per year by economist Suzanne Snively in 1962. In today’s figures, that would be up to $8 billion.
In the 2009/10 year there were 3867 domestic violence cases in the Family Court which each involved at least one child.
One significant argument pointed out was the fact that tradition was a binding factor when Ranjeeta said that she found it hard to leave her abusive husband because cultural expectations demanded her to stay with her husband.
Our religious leaders would do well to advise the younger generation that society moves with the times and that that there is no place for thuggery – mental or physical – in our midst.
Have you suffered an abusive relatuionship? Tell us abou it. Email Editor Arvind Kumar at firstname.lastname@example.org