How to deal with a physically abusive partner?

How to deal with a physically abusive partner?

He raped her, physically and mentally. There were nights when he used to threaten her, steal her own control over her body. It pained her, causing tremendous anguish. Her husband, an established politician, was well renowned in her little city. A tall, sturdy man with well-built masculine physique had two sides to his personality. Sadly, the outside world did not know how devilish he was, with his own wife, forcing her for sex, just like as a wild animal.

One year back, she divorced her husband on the context of domestic abuse. This step had caught a lot of attention in the society. She was called ‘characterless’ for leaving her husband who abused her for seven years. She was a ‘divorcee’, a ‘woman who must have been wrong’. It was difficult to get admission for her kids in the city’s famous schools. It was painful to even step outside her rented flat and face the world. People made fun of her, treated her like a ‘pariah’, someone they should be associated with.

But to whom could she go to and tell her story? Sharing her pain made her feel naked, and anyway no one really cared about it, not even her own parents. But she decided to live her life, independently, away from the glaring looks of the society, which made her feel ‘small’, ‘cheap’ and ‘insignificant’.

Her story is not just limited to her life. There are many women in India who face domestic abuse. It does not matter whether they are in a relationship or marriage. Women are always treated as objects by men, with their entire existence subjugated for a man’s whim and fancy.

But abuse of any kind, be it mental of physical, should not be suffered.

There are ways to deal with it.

Talk and Fight it out: The first step should always be an honest conversation. Your husband/partner should know that you feel humiliated and hurt. You need to take a stand. Be vocal about it. Do not get subjugated by it, by hook or by crook. Several times, the husband/partner comes to understand that his wife is going to object and revolt, they might take a step back and at least think about it. Yes, it does become dirty when children are also involved, but it does not mean that you cannot retaliate.

Start getting independent: In this day and age, no woman should be dependent on her partner/husband. It important to have your own life, your own identity and personality. It should not be damaged because of an abusive relationship. At the end of the day, the abuse is happening because you are letting it happen to yourself. The more independent you are, the lesser are the chances of any man treating you like a doormat.

Be polite but firm: It means saying ‘no’. There are women who suffer physical and mental abuse because they are addicted to the gifts, prestige and pampering of their partner. You need to start being dependent on it. No matter with how much pride you show the outside world that your husband/partner does this for you, that for you, you deep inside know how painful it is. Everything is a bargain, it’s give and take. So, stop wearing that artificial mask of being strong when you are shattering from inside. Pick up your piece, be firm and polite. There is no need to over-react, but at the same time, there is absolutely no need to suffer in silence.

Talk about it: Do not wash your dirty laundry in public, they say. And they say it for a reason. If you only knew how very few people, amongst your near and dear ones, actually care about you, it will definitely be an eye-opener. But at the same time, you should not let all the abuse pile on. You need to open up to someone you trust, for the sake of catharsis. Try sharing it with your mother or your best-friend and do ensure that they are on your wavelength. It is very important to be cared for and listened to, during the times of physical abuse.

Walk Out: If it becomes unbearable, you should not be afraid to walk out, to separate, no matter how old the relationship is. Yes, breaking your marriage is a very tough call but you need to understand that if your husband abuses you, tomorrow he is going to abuse your children too. If you have the tendency to over look and suffer personally, you need to understand that its damaging you from inside. A fake marriage or relationship does not stand for long. Yes, your mother would tell you that she too compromises and you should too. But that’s not how it works anymore. You need to take a tough call and move out. Start a new life so that you are able to look at yourself in the mirror and smile.

Complain: Well, in India, the justice  is really marred, especially when it comes to handling cases related to women. But if you need to complain to the police, just because you have been badly thrashed and abused, on and on, it’s time to do so. Even if there is no one at your side. You need to be fearless and fight for your own dignity.

Understand, that no one can abuse you without your consent. 

Somewhere or the other, you are actually causing this pain to yourself. 

But who says that you cannot stop it. Say no to abuse. Say no to a life of humiliation and pain. You deserve a lot better and if you have the guts to stand on your own feet and face the world, no matter who says what, you can really achieve whatever you want. There’s no one stopping you, apart from yourself.

Life is not so long so don’t waste it living someone else’s life, who is a weaker and dependent person. You need to struggle and win it.

Don’t let your inner spark extinguish. Let it remain alive.


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