How many times have you heard of drunken men abusing their wives? Too many to count, right? Well, the good news is that the Bombay High Court ruled that consuming alcohol and then abusing and beating one’s wife amounts to cruelty and could drive her to suicide!
In a case, Justice Bhatia directed Ibrahim Nabi Sayyed to surrender to the police and undergo three years rigorous imprisonment, after his second wife Farida immolated herself.
Ibrahim was accused of abusing and beating his wife regularly after the consumption of alcohol. His behaviour was seen as capable of driving his wife to commit suicide and hence, considered an act of cruelty.
Farida was not the first wife to succumb to this behaviour. Allegedly, Ibrahim’s addiction to liquor made him subject his first wife to a similar treatment, and he continued it with his second wife too! While his first wife was rescued by a divorce, Farida had to face a bitter fate. She died of 100% burn injuries on September 1, 1991. The couple had two children.
Farida’s case is a one that has received attention, however, we’re aware that there are innumerable such cases in our country, aren’t we? Many prefer to keep their family matters under wraps but we say enough is enough.
If you are being abused or know someone who’s going through a similar ordeal, here’s what Lawyer Pooja advises you to do.
Address the problem
Sometimes, the mere fact of bringing the case to the police or the court can work as an eye opener for the husband. “When a case is brought to the police or the court, and the husband gets a call regarding his behaviour from these authorities, he himself starts executing the orders. Perhaps he may avoid his wife, or may control himself. It can make the husband more conscious and he may alter his behaviour,” says advocate Pooja.
Take abuse seriously
“From the first slap itself, I think the issue should be addressed,” says Pooja. Stop finding a justification for your husband’s behaviour! The first step towards addressing the issue is to tackle it from the very beginning.
“There can never be a reason or justification for domestic abuse. Many a time even highly-educated women talk about having been a part of an abusive marriage, because they didn’t know it was so. Many women believe that that is what marriage is. But raising one’s hand on your partner is something that must be addressed at its inception,” adds Pooja.
Get help from authorities
Head to a police station or to an NGO that will help you. However, it is unfortunate that various police stations and officers are differently sensitive to such issues. “While some stations may write down your complaint immediately and try to work on it, others may pass it off as a family issue that should be handled within the family. I had a case where a woman with a broken jaw went to the station, and yet the police failed to note down her complaint. I think certain definite guidelines need to be set for such cases.” says Pooja.
However, the primary concern is to make sure you raise a complaint. “If a case is extremely sensitive, women have the right to directly address the court via the Domestic Violence Act. There is no point in keeping quiet” says Pooja.
Keep your children informed
It is important to make your children aware that you are raising a complaint. “If you have a daughter, assure her that she should not bear any such thing in her own married life. Be supportive and tell your daughter that she can come to you if she ever faces such a problem.” she says. Having parents who are concerned gives you the support you need to take the right steps.
Know your rights
Domestic violence is a major concern in our country and that’s why you must know your rights. “You can avail of restraining orders which will prevent your husband from bothering you at your residence or work place or from even contacting you over the phone,” says Pooja. Also, in case you have suffered physical abuse, medical facilities are also provided.
Such rights are available via the court, and you can resort to them till the court reveals its next verdict.
What action do you think should be taken against drunken, abusive husbands? Leave us a comment and let us know!