Stories about domestic violence

Men: a different breed

Cruelty knows no bounds and all we humans suffer. The fairer sex is mostly the one who suffers the cruel death that takes the final breath away. Be it Indian Nirbhaya or South African Reeva. Some men, like Nirbhaya’s boyfriend, are perfect examples of tragic Hamlets in our midst, while others like Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee track star, are like Shakespeare’s outright cruel Othello! Whatever the case may be, when we talk of men, we end up defining them as a different breed altogether, a breed if not confusing like the fairer sex, is at times, considered more violent and ...

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Women are not treated as ladies even in developed countries

There is a country where, every six days, a woman is killed by her partner. It is a country where, on any given day, over 3,000 women with their 2,500 children live in emergency shelters to escape domestic violence. It is a country where in just one year, over 0.4 million women over the age of 15 reported that they have been sexually assaulted. Since only 10 per cent of sexual assaults are reported to the police, the actual number is much higher. It is a country where half of all women have experienced at least one incident of ...

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For the sake of women

Last week Shazia Bibi, a resident of Lahore, was taken to the Mayo Hospital with severe burn injuries. According to what her husband told the police, his other wife had thrown boiling water on her. It was not until a day later that she told the police that the culprits were her husband and his brother, after she had refused to ask her parents for Rs100,000 as asked by her in-laws. Unfortunately, Shazia did not survive to fight against this violence, but then how many who survive do? Yesterday was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. No less ...

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A woman must not speak

A culture that respects women is a step towards a society free of violence. But in Pakistan, hardly a daypasses when we do not hear about cases of rape, acid throwing or domestic fights. Educated and financially independent women often meet the same fate of mental and physical torture in our male-dominated society as well — it is just under-reported. Women are not given due importance by their male relatives and there is no law for those who torture women mentally. Whether she is a housewife or a working woman, she is made to feel rejected and useless. If a woman ...

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I love you more than I love myself

Struggling to find the right key to unlock the door, she began giggling at the doorway. Quick as a flash, he retrieved the key that had slipped from her hand and joined in her laughter. She had always had shaky hands, and he, naughty as ever revelled in testing her ability to complete tasks that required steadiness. Finally entering the room, Laila discarded the red shawl she was draped in and began to undress. He admired her slender figure and for the millionth time wondered what he had done right to deserve her. “Pregnancy is suiting Kamil’s wife well,” she remarked ...

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Unruly males

In the not-so-Islamic Republic of Pakistan, one recent sickening case was that of a husband permitting a relative to whom he owed money to sleep with his wife. When the wife disagreed, the situation exacerbated into a rape case. Where does one begin to highlight the multiple tragedies in this story? Yes, the rape. The woman’s husband used his ‘soulmate’, his lifelong ‘companion’, the mother of his potential children to pay back a loan. To the husband and the relative, she was a material object; her rape was used to settle the money that the husband owed. It will be news ...

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Treat her like a lady, not a baby-making machine

Kaneez* has five young children with a small age difference between them. She works full-time as a domestic maid and takes short, rushed breaks in order to nurse her youngest child, a five-month-old infant. If her break becomes longer than the expected five minutes, she is severely rebuked by her employer.  Life is hard for Kaneez. Not only does her husband expect her to make ends meet, but also wants her to keep adding more children to the brood. Her children fight all the time, demand clothes and toys when she takes them grocery shopping and throw tantrums when their ...

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Husbands who beat, women who get beaten

What happens when your savior also becomes your enemy? How do you feel when the father of your child emotionally, psychologically, verbally and physically abuses you instead of giving you the respect you deserve? How do you reclaim your self-esteem when he ridicules you and your family and makes you believe every time that it is your fault, when actually it isn’t? Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and who you think loves you in return, because you’ll always end up ...

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We need domestic violence legislation…now

Pakistan is considered to be the third most dangerous place for women to live in, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation poll 2011. Despite the fact that the majority population in Pakistan is female, it is still a strictly patriarchal society where women are sometimes killed for something as personal as choosing a husband. In the West, women liberation now means fighting for tax payer funded abortion; in Pakistan, we are still advocating the treatment of women as equal beings who deserve the basic rights to life, family, freedom from torture and inhuman treatment. While there is some progress on  the ...

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Bella and Edward are not role models

In the United States, Pakistan, and pretty much all around the world, the Twilight series is a huge hit. In light of the release of Breaking Dawn, it’s important to analyse some detrimental aspects of this ‘love’ story. Isabella Swan, the protagonist, is an awkward and insecure young adult. Even though she embodies characteristics that are in line with pre-adolescents and teenagers, here is my problem – her decisions make her unsuitable as a role model for teenage girls. Edward, her much older vampire love interest, is obsessive. He stalks her and watches her sleep. ...

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