Tag Archive for 'Domestic violence'

Social media magnification

“Domestic violence and the victimisation of women is not new in our male-directed societies, what is new is the degree to which its magnification through social media can spread solidarity, and potentially trigger policy change.” Kunda Dixit in Nepali Times:

The street demonstrations in Kathmandu against recent rapes and murders of women would probably not have made it to the #2 news on BBC World on Saturday morning if it hadn’t been tagged to the anti-rape protests in Delhi. And that story wouldn’t have been the #1 item if the protests in India hadn’t snowballed due to outraged citizens on social media leading the charge. As the protests grew and continued in India, it fuelled print and TV coverage, and the chain reaction attained critical mass.

In Nepal, protests over the robbery and rape of a 20-year-old woman by immigration and police broke into the public consciousness last month because of the role of journalists and cyber-savvy activists. Left to the traditional media, the story would probably have died quietly like many other rape stories before. It was a tipping point because the crime involved immigration officials who looted the young woman and a policeman who, instead of protecting her, turned predator. Pending murders and disappearances of women in Kathmandu, and the cases of two young women who were burnt alive by family members in Banke and Bara at about the same time, added fuel to the fire. The protests in Kathmandu would possibly have happened anyway, but saturation coverage in the Indian media about the Delhi rape also helped sustain the public’s interest in Nepal.

These were not isolated crimes. Rape has always been endemic in Nepal, it’s just that women press charges more often now and the media reports it. It is also a cross-border phenomenon because we share similar patriarchal value-systems with northern India. At the time this story was breaking in Nepal, a piece by Satrudhan Shah and commissioned by the Centre for Investigative Journalism detailed many cases in the eastern Tarai of victims forced to marry their rapists by the community, police and even gender rights activists. The story was published in Annapurna Post in Nepali, and as ‘Rape for Ransom’ in English in Nepali Times. More:

The short life and painful death of Baby Falak

This is all six chapters of a story that ran in a serialized form on India Real Time. Through dozens of interviews, court documents, police records, medical records and counseling reports, the Wall Street Journal’s Paul Beckett and Krishna Pokharel reconstruct the sad life and death of Baby Falak

NEW DELHI–The story of Baby Falak is a close-up look at the underbelly of Indian society: prostitution, human trafficking, bride selling, and domestic violence.

It also is the story of a small group of ordinary people – a young mother, a rebellious teenager, a taxi driver, a tire repairman, a lonely graduate — trying to escape the tribulations of their daily lives, and of the people who exploited them, the institutions that failed them, and the people who helped them. 

The events that transpired over 10 months, from mid-2011 to early 2012, moved millions, at least briefly, to unprecedented outrage and introspection, as if India were asking itself: “Are we like this only?”

CHAPTER ONE: Escape from Bihar

There is nothing special about Muzaffarpur. The city’s roads have been pummeled then buried under the weight and dust of pedestrians, bicycles, rickshaws, motorbikes, and SUVs. Its low, brick-and-concrete stores are piled high with the brightly-colored flotsam of modern Indian life — flipflops, candy, tobacco packets, plastic water jugs, tarps. In the center of town, the railway station appears as a bastion of permanence: It has a tower, perhaps 50 feet tall, that is painted light pink. more

A collective crime

Domestic violence continues to rage in modern India even amongst educated, articulate women. It rages because society allows it to, treating domestic violence as a private matter between individuals, writes Namita Bhandare in Hindustan Times.

A day before she died, Supriya Sharma called up her mother and said, “I fear for my life.” It was the last time she would ever speak to her. Supriya had been married to Chandra Vibhash Sahu, a surgeon at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for under a year. The families knew each other; the fathers had been colleagues in Jharkhand. It should have been an ideal marriage.

It wasn’t. Within weeks, Sahu began beating his wife. She complained to her parents. He sent her back home to them. The parents sent her back: make up, make it work, they said. The husband said she had mental problems. Then Supriya was offered a job for Rs85,000 a month. Her husband said she couldn’t work. A few days later she was dead.

The portrait of this urban marriage is now another statistic in India’s expanding landscape of domestic violence. Chetan Chauhan reports in this newspaper that domestic violence kills more people than terror strikes – 8,383 domestic violence deaths for 2,231 in terror strikes in 2009. A National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) finds that nearly one in three women in the age group 15-49 have experienced physical, sexual or emotional domestic violence. more

A tale of two Indias

The hope that economic success would somehow transform old mindsets and lead to real change in social behaviour is far from being fulfilled, write Aparna Mathur and Rohan Poojara in The American

President Obama’s visit this week to India focused media attention on India’s successful, forward-looking economy. But Indian social attitudes and behaviors still reflect an earlier era. There are two Indias today: the India we read about on the front pages of newspapers, and the India that hides behind closed doors. Analyzing the data in the India Human Development Survey (IHDS), a nationally representative survey of 41,554 households in 1,503 villages and 971 urban neighborhoods across India, reveals what is behind one of the doors. While domestic violence against women has been deemed a crime since 2006, and laws such as those against taking a dowry, abuse of women in the household, and harassing women in the workplace have been around for decades, the IHDS results suggest that India has a long way to go before it can claim success on this front. more

Burns biggest killer of young Indian women: Lancet study

Geeta Gupta in The Indian Express:

Fire-related incidents are behind maximum deaths among young women in India, says a study to be published in the international medical journal The Lancet.

According to the study, death due to burns is not only behind most deaths among women between 15 and 34 years of age, the number is six times higher than the official national statistics in India, compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The study estimates over 1.63 lakh (163,000) annual fire deaths in India, 2 per cent of all deaths in the country. Of these, 1.06 lakh (106,000) occur among young women; the ratio as compared to young men being 3:1. This age-sex pattern is consistent across multiple local studies.