What are the chances of a woman’s in laws beating her in her native place – in presence or in absence of her parents and family?

Swarup shared a link that made me wonder – what are the chances of an Indian  woman’s in laws visiting her at her parents’ place, finding her alone, having a disagreement with her and beating her?

The woman, mother of a 3-year-old daughter and hailing from Rajahmundry, said that her husband and his family had harassed her for additional dowry. She claimed her parents gave her husband Rs 15 lakh as dowry at the time of her marriage. According to her, he had quit his job because of mounting debts in Visakhapatnam. Though her parents brought the couple to Rajamundry, he ran into debts there as well. When she objected to his bad ways, he beat her, demanded Rs 5 lakh more for clearing the debts and went away to Vizag, she said. … The judge in his order said that beating a woman in her native place in the middle of her friends and relatives by her husband’s family looked improbable and unnatural and quashed the case initiated by the Rajahmundry court.

What do you think? Is it possible for in laws (not just the husband) to beat a daughter in law at her parents’ place (in the parents’ absence/presence)?

Husbands beating their wives in their maika (a married woman’s parents’ home) is not unheard of.

This husband in Haryana beat his wife in a market in her maika, infront of her parents, for wearing jeans.

In one case, the husband (from an educated family) asked the wife to touch his feet and apologise for misplacing a bunch of keys. They were in her parents’ house, she did as she was told.  Her family did not ‘interfere in the couple’s personal matter’.

A maid of mine was beaten by her husband in her native village (in Pune, where they had moved in circumstances similar to those in the link) and when her family attempted to intervene, they were pushed away and threatened with violence too [link].

Another educated family watched their daughter being abused by her husband, in their home; but again they thought it was not a good idea to ‘interfere in a couple’s personal matter’. They believed (or tried to believe) they should support their daughter if she was ‘trying to save her marriage’ [link] This man was abusive towards the wife’s family too.

In another case the husband came to the wife’s maika to take her back with him. The  wife (then 20) had found work and decided never to go back because she had learnt that he had another wife and child. The husband said the other wife was physically disabled and beat the 20 year old in front of her family and extended family. Her family felt that following the wife to her parents’ village and beating her was an indication that he wanted her back, and so she must go back. She was sent back. The family felt that since this was an arranged marriage, she was a ‘respected wife’ even if he had another wife; also it would have been difficult for them to find another husband and to arrange more dowry.

Another husband and his brother (in Karnataka) ‘broke a woman’s head’ (not really broke, but this is how their eldest daughter described it. The woman had to have stitches) because this mother of five children was trying to prevent her husband from marrying again. She had told the family of the prospective second wife, that the man was married and had five children. I am not sure where this violence took place. This man also attempted to burn his family alive and for this he was blamed by the entire village. Probably it was felt that beating was okay, but setting his house on fire while the wife and children slept inside was not.

It seems many Indians hold women’s disobedience, bad upbringing or bad karma responsible for violence and abuse by their husbands or in laws. 

But, what are the chances of a woman’s in laws beating her in her native place – in presence and in absence of her parents and family?

“…beating a woman in her native place in the middle of her friends and relatives by her husband’s family looked improbable and unnatural.”

This post is not about anti-dowry law – only about the likelihood a woman being beaten by her in laws in her maika. Do you find it improbable?

29 thoughts on “What are the chances of a woman’s in laws beating her in her native place – in presence or in absence of her parents and family?

  1. No this isn’t improbable,all of us know of instances where the daughter’s or sister’s husband mistreats his wife in front of her parents/siblings and HER family stays out of it because for some strange convoluted logic she is less of their child/sibling now and more of his wife.
    its like once a thing is sold the seller loses all rights to it and the buyer can do whatever he wants with his “possession”?
    An educated MIL of a friend I know used to often tell her ,”arrey woh(her son/dil’s husband) tum par isliye gussa karta hai kyunki uska haq banta hai,tum uski property ho”
    shocking but true !

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    • One of my parents’ household help in Shimla had a harrowing time when her drunk father and brother (liquor brought by her husband) joined him in beating her because they supported him in suspecting her of adultery.
      Now she has been brave enough to move out of that marriage and live alone with one of her three children(the father has the other two) but her case for divorce and alimony lies in a long legal rut at the women’s commission and courts there and a series of hope and despair.Besides that she lives in the constant fear of her being killed by her brothers or her husband in the name of honor.

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  2. I am truly baffled😯
    The judge in his order said that beating a woman in her native place in the middle of her friends and relatives by her husband’s family looked improbable and unnatural and quashed the case initiated by the Rajahmundry court.

    Now they are also looking at the conditions and circumstances of a man beating a woman? So-and-so is unlikely so it wouldn’t have happened? Case closed?😐

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  3. There is nothing on earth that is totally impossible. As far as probability is concerned, well, given the Indian scenario and the status of women – educated or illiterate – nothing is improbable either. I am talking about what all can be done to a woman. How possible or probable is it that the aggressors are taken to task?????? Now that is a question worth pondering over. I would say it is minuscule.

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  4. Improbable? How is it improbable? Some men think they own their wives so it does not matter to them whether they beat up their wives in the privacy of their homes, or if they do it in broad daylight on the streets. So what is a woman’s ‘maika’ to them? That extends to the husband’s parents as well. After all, their daughter in law is a slave they own, so they think they can beat her up too. It’s probably even more profitable for a man and his parents to beat up his wife in front of her parents so that it is easier to take her back with him (by convincing her parents this way). Eventually the woman will be blamed by her husband, in-laws and even her own parents for neglecting her marital duties and leaving her husband’s home.

    Reading all this is so infuriating. Shows how some men perceive themselves and shows what they think of their wives. And in most cases the woman’s parents are to blame too – how can they just stand there and accept their daughter being beaten up? How can they ask her to go back to an abusive husband? Pathetic. Even when women want to be strong, society is such that it drowns all their hopes. It reduces their lives to nothingness – slavery and so-called ‘respectability’ become a woman’s duty and all a man has to do is to put his stamp on everything and claim it as his own. I don’t think India will come out of the ‘Dark Ages’ any time soon.

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  5. i am beginning to realise that people who talk about such stuff don’t believe in it themselves. But they use these excuses only for selfish reasons, specifically, for monetary gains. People who hold on to the so called “customs and traditions” too do it for personal gains. I cant think of many customs or traditions where money or gifts are not exchanged. Are we allowed to discuss court cases and judgements?

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      • The legal system and people even in the highest seats of the system have also faltered at times making hugely sexist and prejudiced remarks,it is strange that despite so many girls taking up Law for higher studies the number of women at the top in the legal system is also minimal, a lot of sensitisation needed there too.

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        • Indeed unfortunate women never reach the top, do we even have any female supreme court judges? Probably same story of most women being forced to give up careers or taking the slow track after marriage and kids. One doesn’t reach the top with resume gaps, relocating untimely for the husband or taking on primary responsibility for home/kids even if working. Men get to focus exclusively on growing their careers, people sing praises about them. If women do the same, she is labeled selfish and not caring enough for her family.

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  6. Oh how I wish “beating a woman in her native place in the middle of her friends and relatives by her husband’s family ” was “improbable and unnatural”. May be the law does not believe in patriarchy to the extent that it believes that it doesn’t exist.
    But unfortunately, even if I turn blind and deaf to the reports I read and hear every other day about husband beating wife even at her parent’s place, how can I say it is improbable, when I have witnessed it in my own extended family and neighborhood.

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  7. Well, this is like simply trying to make the case go away. We know as well as anybody else that in Indian society, a wife is considered her husband’s property. Anything he does to her (bar murder) is explained away and justified. The blame falls on the woman. She was a bad wife and deserved what happened to her.

    The day women’s families and society at large, begin to disapprove of such medieval attitudes is the day men will begin to respect their wives. Why should a man not beat his wife in her natal home when he knows he is treated as a god, no matter how badly he behaves?

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    • yes the notion of “pati parmeshwar’ along with the notion that a son-in-law has done the family a huge favor by marrying their daughter has to be shaken. “daamad” or “jamai” should not get any special treatment till bahus at large get the same.

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  8. Nothing seems impossible or improbable in India.
    I will now believe anything is possible in this unfortunate country of ours.
    The Delhi gang rape in the bus, the recent child rape and yet another child rape in MP are examples.
    If these shocking crimes are possible what is improbable about beating a wife in front of her family?

    I don’t feel like reading newspapers these days.
    They leave me feeling depressed all day
    Regards
    GV

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    • GV Sir,
      I was telling the same to my friend the other day. I should stop reading news because all it does is make me cry in rage, be depressed, helpless, useless, brood & be all hopeless… And she sent me this.
      http://www.thebetterindia.com/

      Hope you’ll like it. Atleast some negativities from the regular media can be cancelled by reading these kinds of stories…

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      • Thanks Nidaa.
        That was a good tip.
        I had a quick look at the site.
        I have made a note and will visit it often.
        Good to know about positive things about ourselves and our country.
        Regards
        GV

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  9. I am from an educated family and and so is my husband. We were visiting my relatives in US and staying with them for a couple of weeks. One day after having breakfast I was washing my plate and my husband got up from the table assuming I would wash his. I didn’t like being taken for granted and asked him to wash his plate himself. He didn’t like my telling him this because in their culture the Jamai is the king. There was an argument and my grandfather watching tv in the other corner got up and shouted at me. My own grandfather. Without even knowing the whole situation. He told me to shut up else what would I do if I get slapped by my husband. Now this has given my husband so much power that every time we have a fight he threatens to call my grandparents(I don’t have parents). I am sorry to squeeze in my own story but it is everyday possible for man to slap/ beat a woman anywhere…his home, her parent’s place, public place, anywhere. Why can’t the law focus on his beating her. Does the place matter?

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    • I am so sorry for the way both your husband and grandfather acted. Just wanted to say that what you were saying to your husband was right and fair, this ‘jamai’ or ‘husband’ privilege is nonsense. If you can wash your plate, so can he. Tell your grandfather and him that if he attempts to touch you, you will ring the police. He can explain his jamai privilege to them then. At least in the US, I doubt they will buy that excuse. They can’t bully you under threats of violence!

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      • Well said, next time you are in the US, don’t wash a single damn dish plate. Men have working hands and can very well do it themselves. Women are not their slaves, call 911 and have them arrested even if they slap you — yes that is domestic abuse.

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        • I second that advice. Explain to your grandfather that what he is suggesting is physical harm, and you can report that abuse to the police. If in the US, dial 911, and let your grandfather explain to the police why you were being threatened with physical violence.

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  10. I remember a few years ago I was sitting at a train station and there was a married couple fighting. In a few minutes the man grabbed the woman’s hair and dragged her outside the station while everyone stood there and watched. I ran to the cop who was sitting in his cabin and told him that and his response was “Jaane do na madam, ghar ka mamla hai, pati patni ke beech main kyun problem karne ka”.

    This is the attitude people have. How can it ever be ok for a man to hit another woman when they are alone or in public. Imagine that man’s guts he knows no one will do anything when he is hitting her…

    We let our daughters be beaten, raped, burned, tortured and killed and it doesn’t put a dent to our conscience. What will it take to wake us up, I don’t now.

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    • So true, i am just truly disgusted of Indian way of treating women and going on the high horse about “great culture” and other bullshit. Indian culture is an absolute piece of shit if this is how a woman is treated in broad daylight by her own husband and everyone watches it as a normal thing.
      And seriously why don’t we teach our women to hit back? No they are taught and conditioned to suffer in silence as their fate. Go to hell with non-violence crap here, an eye an for an eye is exactly what women need to do. Unfortunately none of this would happen and is my pure fantasy. I personally go for kick boxing classes/lift weights and will have zero hesitation to beat the shit out any future husband/FIL/MIL/Mother/father who ever dare ever raise a hand on me. I can definitely take on most pot bellied average out of shape desi men.

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      • You go girl! I love that attitude. We women need to take responsibility for our well being as well. A good understanding of our human rights, independence, and a flat refusal to take anything less than respect, courtesy and fairness from those around us.
        When a guy sees a woman not cowing down to him and fighting back and raising a stink, there is a good chance he will think twice before abusing her again. Women owe is to themselves to not give an appearance of meekness and vulnerability, because that’s exactly what is exploited by society.

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      • While I understand your intention and applaud your attitude, and agree that we must teach women to fight back, I must emphasize that even the weakest, meekest of us must be assured of an abuse-free life. Yes, EVERYONE must use their common-sense, fight back and protect themselves as they see fit. Kick-boxing and an attitude to match would be nice, but even a physically puny adult/young child/disabled person or elder has the right to be safe. The law must work for all equally – rich/poor, influential or not. If I am a physically frail woman wishing to walk alone on the beach/go to the cinema at midnight, (fear of) the law must protect me in doing so.

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  11. The society tells men that their wives are their property, ‘pati’ means owner. If this man beat his wife away from the hometown and her parents never intervened.. if he yelled at her or threatened her in her maika and her parents never intervened (or indeed they could have even supported him, like anonymous’ case a few comments ago).. then what would stop him from actually beating her in her maika? Do we remember the traditional advice to married women? They want her to leave in a ‘doli’ and only come back on an ‘arthi’. How can we be so sure that a man cannot feel this sense of entitlement?

    This ruling sounds like an attempt to make the case go away. Even if we personally thinks something is improbable, isn’t it our duty to consider all evidence before ‘judging’ the case?

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  12. Since when did our judicial system start talking in terms of probabilities and possibilities rather than concentrating on what actually happened as a fact for that particular case?!
    And yes, husband beating the wife in front of her own parents..that happens and I have seen it myself. So it is very much possible, unfortunately.

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  13. Hi,
    This is preeti, I did love marriage bt it ws done after everyone’s acceptance,but my husband with whom I had 7years of affair, lied to me that he is educated,infact he ws uneducated,he lied to me that he wasn’t ever engaged,bt he was engaged wd a girl and got broken up. He has 4 sisters and they created a lot of problem in my life. My hubby who used to listen to me before marriage got changed so much,that he started hating me,every now and then we had quarrels,he often used to beat me too,I was very much shocked to see his behaviour,whatever problem happened to him with any of the person,all his reactions he showed on to me,so I left his house 5times and then he called me I got into emotional talks and went back again. But last time,when he beat me in front of every1 I just left his house,he nvr called me, n after that within 1 month his mom died,his mom was suffering from throat cancer and due to doctor’s carelessness she died and again he blamed on me that because of me,his mom died. I tried to sought it out,but that was all in vain. Now please help me and tell me what should I do? He is not at all interested to live with me nor ready to leave me.please suggest me,your replies can solve my problem.
    Thank you,
    Regards,
    Preeti.

    Like

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