Stories about domestic violence

Facebook vs reality: When unfriend and delete turns into divorce

During a casual social conversation, I stated, “It is always a sad incidence when marital relationships break.” A colleague smiled and said, “I have heard of three in the past month or so.” I have been hearing cases of separation and divorces almost every week now. Most of the couples breaking ties are under the age of 35 and had been married anywhere from 25 days to three years. I find myself totally shocked and frozen at what is happening in our society. This issue seems like a big threat to our family system. I can confidently claim that when I and the likes of me ...

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Why people should NOT get married in Pakistan

Before you wrinkle your eyebrows in a ‘holier-than-thou’ frown and judge my very existence, let me assure you that this blog is not a preaching of what you should or should not do. This blog is based on mere observations of human relationships and a concept that defines our lives in so many ways – shaadi (marriage). I was familiar with this word at a very young age. But it was at the age of six when my brother (eight-years-old then) told me something that freaked me out. In sheer exasperation, that only an older brother can have, he said, “I can’t ...

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Are women responsible for rape?

“You know I’d never wear something like that. It’s so… so inviting.” This was said with an air of such self-righteousness that I wanted to get up and say a prayer for this woman who thought she’s the epitome of piety and all things good. There have been numerous occasions when I have found myself fuming at such women (and men) who have taken it upon themselves to decide what women should and should not do. Often I am compelled to consider whether I am a feminist or not, which leads me to conclude that I possibly cannot be a feminist, for being one entails ...

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Can you see black and blue?

“Must be your fault.” “You must have done something to provoke him.” “You must have not done enough.” “Maybe you could try harder at home, give him more attention?” “Look, this is stuff happens, I knew someone who…” “But what else are you going to do? Except put on a brave face?” The above statements are all examples, and very basic ones, of how we speak to victims of domestic violence. And this is not just Pakistan or India or sub-continental patriarchal cultural biases that propagate such statements/mind-sets. Domestic violence and crimes against women are a global problem. According to a report on women, the United Nations ...

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Reham Khan versus ex-husband: Who is the saint and the sinner?

Over the past couple weeks, countless blogs and articles have been written about Imran Khan’s recent marriage to British journalist Reham Khan, where focus has been placed more on criticising Mr Khan’s choice, rather than the congratulatory aspect of the marriage itself. When it comes to celebrities, prominent public figures and politicians, matters pertaining to marriage are no longer private; everyone wants to get a piece of that hot pie; the bigger the pie, the better. And Imran’s marriage to Reham has indeed been a hot topic of discussion, with much criticism I must add, as of late. Much of that disparagement has especially been directed ...

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“This isn’t Hollywood. Stop trying to save the girl!”

You only caught a glimpse of the girl as she walked down the corridor. She had short hair. You reverted the news back to your friends. “A girl has moved into the room next door.” You live in a shared apartment. Everyone was excited. Your friends had called to congratulate you. “What does she look like?” “She has short hair.” “That’s a good start.” You heard the sounds of cardboard boxes being dragged down the corridor, and you realised that this is the most opportune time to clear your room off the dishes that had been piling up in one corner. You take your glasses off, ...

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Gender roles and the ‘macho male’ complex in India

It is the year 2014 and much has changed in the world. Technology has made monumental strides towards advancement – today we can communicate with another person sitting across the globe with the mere touch of a button or the swipe of a finger. Medical and public health initiatives have worked synergistically to eliminate some of the most virulent diseases plaguing the human race, such as the polio virus in India. One can confidently state that “everything is subject to change” with respect to all arenas governing our lives. But despite these notable achievements, it is disconcerting to observe that our attitudes, ...

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The Why Chromosome

When speaking to a friend of mine on how to treat a lady, I was fairly shocked to find that he hadn’t a clue, really.  There seems to be confusion – a dearth of clear ground rules. When it comes to women, here’s what you should and shouldn’t do.   You should not stare as she walks past, or call her as a cat; Regardless of how she’s dressed, or if she’s thin or fat. Do not undress them with your eyes. Bite your cheap retorts. It’s really no business of yours, if she’s wearing shorts. “She should have worn more modest clothes to avoid catcalls.” Instead, perhaps the men should ...

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12 and married

The small private clinic was echoing with mixed voices – those of ear-piercing shrills and loud excitement. Waiting to see my doctor, I realised the commotion in the maternity section with nurses rushing through a storm of women – aunts and grandmothers waiting on news of a baby child. Passing it on as regular routine at the clinic, I was alarmed when the doctor came out scolding the elderly woman in the group who was wailing, claiming the doctor did not do enough to save the child. The doctor told the waiting family, “The poor girl would have died in labour. She was ...

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Real men do(n’t) cry

He was sharing some of his deepest secrets about his childhood; his fears, his regrets, his loss – of a loved one, of dreams, of time lost that could have been utilised better, of a life that could have been. I witnessed this man break some barriers in those moments as he dared to bare his soul, something men in our society are not taught to do. But most importantly, this man dared to cry, that too in front of a woman. In those moments, I saw bravery. Because he kept saying, “See? I’m crying. I didn’t even know I could cry ...

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