What could be worse than waking up in the morning from a nightmare, featuring a vampire, which has its head shaped like that of an alien and a face which has a superimposed image of a combination of the faces of two women you hated the most at work?
I realised it could get even worse.
The lady who stays in the building on the other side of the lane, just opposite to my place, suddenly happened to have some issues with her six year old daughter who got dressed up to go to school an hour earlier than she ought to. The lady was screaming on top of her voice, pulling her daughter to the balcony and threatening the poor soul of being thrown down from the second floor, snatching her schoolbag and doing a demo of throwing it down, terrorising the kid that she'll wring her neck and kill her.. What was worse than all this drama were those feeble helpless whines of the kid.. with all her 'Sorry Mummy's and 'Please Mummy's in between those eerie sobs.
A few months back, a similar showdown was happening between the couple who lived next door.. The lady's been through this for a few years before she decided that she's had enough and walked out forever. I'm glad for her.
A few years back, I remember being disgusted by the way the landlady of the building (where I lived then) used to terrorise her husband. i.e, when her toddler son would get a breather from his share of 'treatment' for the day.
Today, what I saw was something which was definitely domestic violence, but something which somehow escapes being classified into it. We generally look at it as parents disciplining their kids, just the way men were supposed to control their womenfolk and pull their harnesses tight when they start displaying signs of having a mind of their own.
What we tend to oversee always is the fact that terrorising is abuse.
And Violence is Violence. Be it physical, verbal or emotional abuse.
It is what cowards do to vent out their frustration or anger on something quite unrelated, in most of the cases.
So, what do we do about it?
Let's raise an alarm... and teach our kids to do the same.. Educate them that it's the most cowardly thing to do. If every parent could teach their kids these lessons along with their ABCDs and 1234s, we'd have a generation of people much more aware about abstaining from abuse and knowing how to deal with it.
Some videos of the bell bajao campaign.. I couldn't stop myself from putting up these links.>>
And here's this testimonial from a family which's lived through such terror for 25 years. The perpetrator was the woman of the family in this case. Proves it could be anyone.. Parents, Siblings, Spouse, In-laws, Relatives in general.. just about anyone who just 'lose control' way too often and in bizarre ways.
PS: Is anyone aware of a helpline like this to counter domestic violence in India?
On a lighter note: While you're busy whistleblowing, just make sure you don't end up in a soup like this bunch of guys did, in one of my fave Malayalam movies.
(opening scene of the movie: In Hairhar Nagar)
[Cross posted here for bellbajao.org]