Anjali is one of the many Indian women in India who have suffered domestic violence. Women are often uneducated and unable to support themselves financially, and therefore and dependent on men who often dominate and abuse them (some surveys have estimated that physical or emotional abuse of women in India is as high as 70%, but it’s hard to say).
Like many women, Anjali was brought up to believe that one should stay with and serve one’s husband for life. She hid her black eyes as best she could. She confided that her husband had broken 6 belts on her. She still does not know why her husband beat her. Then her husband started abusing her 2 year old child also. When I met Anjali she and her child were very thin and had eyes wide with fear. Her mother (a vegetable seller) was kind enough to accept her back in the house. This is not normally the case. Large families often cannot afford to accept back their daughters and divorced women become social lepers in lower and middle class circles. Anjali lives in her mother’s front yard. Her house is a tin roof which is 1.5 metres by 1.5metres between a fence and the front of the house. Her walls are flimsy wood made from packing crates.
We have offered counselling and food to Anjali and sponsored her daughter to go to school.
There are many other women in situations of domestic violence who are too afraid to leave and who need to go into hiding if they do leave. We need to find work, counselling and secret living situations for these women.
* Names and photos may have been changed for privacy and safety reasons.