Dania, Akifa and Fatima – 3 stories of 3 women out of the many untold and how we as a nation have failed them.
“For us, her getting divorced would be much worse than her dying.” – Dania’s brother.
“Where will you go? You have no one.” – Akifa’s Husband.
“He hasn’t killed you yet. You’re alive aren’t you?” – A police officer to Fatima.
Many things made me want to write on this topic. Firstly, the whole internet frenzy on the “husbands can lightly beat their wives” craziness and a Dawn news article on divorce.
90% of women in Pakistan have experienced some form of domestic violence, at the hands of their husbands or families yet only 0.4% of women take their abuse cases to court.
Something about those numbers that bothers you? Me too.
“What a shame!”
“How dare she!”
In most societies just like ours, marrying away your daughter to a great man and seeing her happy in her “real home” is a dream that parents see for their daughters. Because;
“Beta asal ghar to susral ka he hota hai.“
“Ab to wo he tumhara ghar hai, peechay mur ke na dekhna.”
“Susraal mei oonch neech to ho he jati hai. Janay do.“
Let’s cut the Star Plus dialogues. No shade on parents having that dream for their children (except those who willingly spend millions of rupees on their daughters’ jahez [dowry] but compromise on their education because priorities). But what happens if that dream doesn’t come true? Is there no looking back for your daughter?
Kyu ke ab ye uska ghar nahi raha?
Thousands of women are currently in abusive marriages in Pakistan because HUM IZZAT WALAY LOG HAIN.
LOG KYA KAHEIN GAY? If your so-called set morals, values and the respect you think you have in society allows your daughters to be abused in their own homes, be it emotionally, physically or psychologically – be it in forms of beating, verbally swearing or even to the extent of marital rape – then sorry-not-sorry to inform you but you have essentially failed with the one duty you had as a parent. So this is to the brothers, sisters, grand parents, parents, mamas, chachas, puphos, neighbors, acquaintances and everyone in between.
If you were there to enjoy that shadi ki biryani of your favorite little girl and contribute to being there and praying for a blessed married life for her.
KNOW that things don’t always work out. KNOW that talaq is okay. KNOW that you have the responsibility of supporting her at the time of her marriage and in times of her divorce. KNOW that she doesn’t need your sympathy.
And if nothing else, the least you can do is NOT contribute to the derogatory backbiting and gossips and stares and acknowledge and accept that DIVORCE happens.
To the most normal and most pious people; the sole purpose of this post it to let the people know that TALAQ is okay.
It’s high time this no longer stands as a taboo topic. NO PERSON either man or woman should feel sorry for themselves for having to go through it or feel like they’ve failed or are less of a person. NO PERSON deserves to to stay in an abusive relationship despite what the conditions are.
The question: how do we correct this?
Abusers are created. It’s all a cycle. you learn what you observe and you pass it on. Sons see their fathers abusing their mothers and in their head it’s normal. 20 years down the line that’s exactly what he’ll be doing with his wife.
At this point I’d like to add about how I saw a picture on Facebook the other day reading, “If you’re okay with lightly beating your wife then be okay with it regarding your mothers sisters and daughters“.
To which a young lady commented. “People like these are okay with it. Even when I went back to my parents and complained about my husband beating me. My mother said to me, oh so what? Your father used to beat me more than this, and they sent me back to my husband.”
Yeah, let that sink in.
We need discussions. We need acceptance. We need more marriage counselors. We need educated individuals in areas of police, law and social work that will know to help men and women when abuse cases are brought up. We need that 0.4% to rise up to the number it needs to be.
We need to STOP letting abuse happen behind closed doors.
Reading this, if you know anyone going through this, know that YOU have the responsibility and power to change perspectives. Divorce is not a tragedy and it is certainly not the end. All issues are created at home and all solutions come from home.
So take the first step to help yourself, because YOU ARE worth it and you don’t need a L’Oreal commercial to tell you that.