Violence is an aggressive behaviour or an act of Physical force, the purpose of which is to hurt or harm someone. It is the power misused by anyone in a relationship to control or make dominance on other. Domestic violence is not only limited to physical violence alone rather we can say any behaviour the purpose of which is to grab power and control over a partner or intimate family member. There are multiple forms of violence including physical, verbal, emotional, religious, sexual abuse or harrasment which can range from aggressive and oppressive forms to martial rape, violent physical abuse or even death. The most victims of domestic violence are extensively or profusely women. Women have been the worst sufferers of domestic abuse and the cases are accelerating amid Covid -19 lockdown. According to survey reports the cycle of violence in Kashmir valley had taken its toll. Women tend to experience more severe forms of violence from her in-laws or her spouse and In most common intimate relationships there may be constant cycle of abuse during which conflicts and tensions rise and an act of violence is committed. In most cases women have been ruthlessly murdered by her in-laws or spouse. There is a great and prominent significance of women in Islam. Every woman is struggling to live with dignity and respect. Women dignify the stereotype position in society. I am quoting” Allama Iqba” who said.
Wujood-e-zan- se hai tasveer-e-kainaat mai Rang
Iss ke saaz se hai zindgi ka sooz-e-darun
It indicates the present position of woman in the society. She is the lyre than can import pathos and warmth to human heart. Any form of emotional or psychological abuse or any kind of unethical treatment of women is prohibited in Islam. Even Islamic religion strongly disallows any form of oppression or abuse. Prophet Mohammad (SAW) said “the best among you is the best towards his wife” Due to imposition and extension of lockdown domestic violence cases are on hike and the situation is going worst with a number of reasons responsible for growing menace including wrong use of internet, drug abuse, unemployment, stress due to lockdown as youth are addicted to drug abuse and that also become the reason for martial conflicts and finally leads to divorce. In most cases dowry related conflicts are seen between the couples and husband beats their wives within a few months after marriage to fulfill their dowry demands. Dowry related violence is a serious problem in our valley that affects the lives of women and girls. Dowry violence rises when the groom or his family demands payments or luxurious goods and the family is unable or unwilling to pay. Disappointment with amount of dowry may result in abuse of the bride and in extreme cases dowry deaths or murders of the bride by her spouse and his family takes place .it becomes very hard for poor families to marry their daughters and fulfill the dowry demand of their groom.
A number of domestic violence incidents were in our valley during this Covid lockdown. Burning of Brides or dowry deaths are usually reported in other parts of the country but now in our valley also incidents of dowry deaths are also witnessed frequently. A few months ago a 32 year old women ended her life at her in-laws house in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, and in a video recorded before her death the woman had accused her in-laws of assaulting her and setting her blaze. Another incident again happened in Bandipora District when a 27 year old woman was found dead in enigmatic condition. This does not suit a place like Kashmir . Unfortunately our society is morally degrading day by day due to downgrading of ethical values. In this lockdown the perpetrators have got opportunity to harm women. Working women face more domestic violence from their spouses and in laws when they forcibly want to take entire salary from her and if she refuses to do so she is being subjected to physical assaults and tortured by in laws to force her to leave the job .Working women who before lockdown would somehow vent their pain and emotions with their friends or families now found it very hard to spare a moment to speak out as they are under continuous surveillance. Domestic violence victims face physical and psychological health disorders such as depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, heart problems and suicide is consequentially the last resort particularly this time when government is busy with the fight against ongoing fresh strain of Covid -19 pandemic . There is no relief for the survivors of gender based violence,as theere are no domestic violence shelters in Kashmir and restrictions and lockdown hampers the movement of NGO’s and routine physical hearings in courts. Last but not least it is a matter of concern that erudite and civilized people are also involved in this evil. It becomes our moral obligation to teach and guide our children and youngesters about the code of Islamic marriage including the rights of bride and duties of grooms post marriage. It is also obligatory for in laws so that they treat their bride or daughter-in-law as their own daughter and treat her with love and compassion as she is entitled to her house and she is entitled to dignity. Programs must be organized aware youth about healthy relationships as communication, Counseling and problem solving can prevent violence. Steps to be taken for their protection and make them aware about their rights is the foremost responsibility of every conscious citizen .If people do not change their orthodox mindsets it will ruin the relationships and we need to awaken our conscience to stop this tyrant evil of domestic violence in society as otherwise it can spoil our future generations.
( The author is a freelancer. Views are her own)