What advice would you give to a woman whose husband beats her when she does not give him lunch on time?

Or rather: What advice would you give to a woman who fears her husband might beat her if she does not give him lunch on time?

Do you think men who stab or burn their wives are non violent men who are provoked into violence by a delayed meal (or a second baby daughter)? So if the meal was served on time, would the woman have remained safe?

I also wonder if a male child could generally add to a woman’s worth, and hence her confidence, and make her comparatively safer? Do we have statistics that confirm that mothers of male children face less abuse by spouse and his parents?

In most such murders, it seems, the man has a history of violence and the wife has learnt that he is dangerous. But the cultural requirement to ‘Get Married Stay Married or Die Trying’ forces the wife back to continue living with a potential, brutal killer.

It also seems, many women first refuse to go back and then sense that staying away from the husband brings social disapproval for them and their entire families.

Do you think Human Rights for women (and everybody else) should include the Right to opportunities for Self Reliance (emotional and otherwise)? And the Right to be informed about Intimate Partner Abuse in school/via media?

We hear so much about staying safe from ‘eve teasers’ but almost nothing about intimate partner abuse. Maybe because domestic violence is not taken seriously, and it is assumed that a good Indian girl would manage to avoid being beaten.

Most Indians don’t see domestic violence as a crime, or even as wrong. There is almost no information available to the victims and those who care for them. Most parents of women in violent marriages seem to sincerely believe that it’s possible to ‘change’ (by ‘winning his heart’) a violent, manipulative and abusive man.

Do you think these two young lives could have been saved? Manju was 20, Sarla, 26.

Updated to add: These two horrifying, but very ‘everyday news’ links shared by Kavya. 


NOIDA: Enraged with his wife consecutively giving birth to two daughters, an employee of a city-based export house allegedly strangled her and smothered their two girls, 2 years and six months old. Their bodies were found on Monday morning in the family’s house in Bhangel in Phase II. While the man has gone missing, police have arrested his father and two brothers.


“Amit used to physically abuse my daughter ever since they got married three years ago. He got more violent after a daughter was born for the second time,” said Sarla’s father Jagbeer. About two weeks ago, we brought Sarla with us because of the alleged domestic violence she had to face. She however returned to Amit’s house after his family assured her safety, he said.

2. And another,

‘Man stabs wife to death for not serving lunch on time’

Manju (20) was preparing lunch for the family when her husband Gautam (25) came into the kitchen and asked for food. Manju told him to wait until she finished cooking. An angry Gautam abused Manju and started hitting her. When she argued and fought back, he picked up a kitchen knife and stabbed her a few times on the neck and abdomen.

Seeing Manju fall on the ground bleeding, Gautam came to his senses and dragged her body to the first floor balcony. He prepared to throw it down to make it look like a suicide. By this time, neighbours had gathered hearing Manju’s calls for help. They raised an alarm and one of them entered his flat and got hold of him.

Another newspaper reports,

“Neighbours claimed that on Monday night too, they heard screams from the house. The couple always fought on petty issues, they said,” the officer added. A case of murder has been registered at Seemapuri police station. [link]

Screams from a house indicate a couple fighting over petty issues?

Why does violence stop being a crime just because the victim has been ‘married off’  to the assailant?

Related Posts:
If you had to to say something to inspire a victim of domestic violence to walk out, what would you say?
Is child murder their first crime or do they have a history of violence?
India leads in sexual violence, worst on gender equality: Study
“I always wanted my mom to get out of her marriage. I still believe she shud have.”
The father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs: No case registered.
Some problems seem to have no solutions…
When a daughter refuses to go back…
An email: “But my parents, fearing the society and their reputation begged him to take me back.”
Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?
The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…


36 thoughts on “What advice would you give to a woman whose husband beats her when she does not give him lunch on time?

  1. “Amit used to physically abuse my daughter ever since they got married three years ago. He got more violent after a daughter was born for the second time,” said Sarla’s father Jagbeer. About two weeks ago, we brought Sarla with us because of the alleged domestic violence she had to face. She however returned to Amit’s house after his family assured her safety, he said.

    What was this unfortunate woman’s family doing???? How the heck did they let her go back….. “family assured her safety” indeed?!!

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. People will let their daughter get abused, and then they sit and cry when she’s gone because of it. Pathetic.

    Woman need to be empowered to get out of such rotten marriages. That’s where the root of the problem lies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Look at the language used to indicate that the girl was a puppet. “we brought Sarla with us”…as if she’s a doll. Doubtless, “they sent her back” as well. I think it’s amply clear that everyone – the husband, her parents, his parents, “society” etc is treating her as if she’s a passive object to be shifted around here and there. An object to pump out male babies.

    I don’t know if others are getting tired of me saying this over and over, but I feel it needs to be repeated. Everyone needs to start treating women like adults. “Society”, her relatives, the law. In my opinion, we need huge posters and wall hangings telling people that a woman is her own person. Like messages on the back of trucks informing women to not give up their job. Encouraging them to do what they think is comfortable.

    And yes – back it up with laws that treat her as an adult as well, and not some little fragile piece of meat that has to be protected.


    • Her parents too,….emphasised in capital,….need to start to treat her like an adult. Teach her to make decisions,make sure when boyfrnd if at all comes in picture she doesnt change like film heroine to become a good bahu.The sons are mothered beyond and above,…but can we work on the daughters to be independent and treat them as adults?


  3. Independence for women, financial and emotional, parents raising their daughters as normal human beings. women coming out of the binds of ‘log kya kahenge’ and the younger crop of men realizing that women are just like them, different but with the same rights …….. unless we achieve these there is no changing the status quo.
    Some men will expect their wives to serve, some of their wives always will and some of both sets of parents will ensure the custody arrangements stay in place.


        • That is considered assault in some countries ..

          Why not just leave the man and marriage and walk away .. the first time it happened..


        • we call this self defence. afterwards we walk away but not all woman are strong enough and some still love that man, personally I have no experience with this but I have been running a beautysalon for 40 years and my cients confided in me and what I heard was sometimes really shocking and I often thought ; how on earth is this possible in this day and age ! These days most women have an income but when you have small children and no income it is difficult to leave your husband.


        • self defense or whatever .. it is still an assault..

          I dont have experience in this that’s why I try not to give too much advice .. because how can i know what the real picture is ..


  4. Most people will view these incidents as ‘extreme’ and these crimes as being committed by ‘extreme’ people. However behind their violent reactions lie the everyday ordinary un-acceptance of girl babies, the ordinary sad nods at the amount of dowry her father must begin saving, the quiet disapproval of the daughter who left her husband, the unsaid assumption that somehow she is at ‘fault’, that she should’ve tried harder to make it work. You are right IHM is examining and exposing the underlying attitudes that lead to such crimes. In some ways, these crimes are perpetrated not by individuals but indirectly by entire groups of people – the families and neighbors and relatives who provide their silent support to the criminals – who in many ‘ordinary’ situations, (not murder but abuse is tolerated) condone a ‘justifiably angry husband’ and condemn an ‘un-adjusting wife’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Unless based on real statistical evidence, there is little point in covering ourselves in dirt by making sweeping statements that are not true, such as the one given below (made by indianhomemaker, see above):
    “Most Indians don’t see domestic violence as a crime, or even as wrong. There is almost no information available to the victims and those who care for them. Most parents of women in violent marriages seem to sincerely believe that it’s possible to ‘change’ (by ‘winning his heart’) a violent, manipulative and abusive man.”
    I would tend to think that: (a) working out a practical strategy to inculcate mutual respect and humanity in children (both male and female) towards each other (b) raising awareness among men and women against Domestic Violence (or DV) and (c) relentlessly and tirelessly pushing for Society to have Zero Tolerance towards DV would be a far more practical and sensible thing to do than self-flagellation!


    • I disagree that what IHM has stated amounts to self flagellation. What she has stated is indeed a fact – one has to only look at the families of our domestic help to know how true this is. I do however wholeheartedly agree with your statements regarding what needs to be done – most of all, point a.

      I also think that we ought to teach our kids to analyze and question things around them, to not blindly follow things just because some ‘elder’ says so. Yes, they may question things that we know to be good for them, but providing them logical answers to their questions is how they will develop an inquiring and receptive mind. It is how they will refuse to follow archaic ‘traditions’ that have no foundation of humanity and compassion. It is how our they will refuse to be ‘married off’ to someone they do not approve of, it is how our girls will not take any form of abuse lying down, it is how our girls will learn the value of financial independence.


      • It is also how our kids will learn to develop a mind of their own, which is capable of forming logical opinions and making decisions after careful thought, instead of just giving in to what ‘society’ says. This is especially true for girls, because sadly it is they who are more pressured to ‘obey’ and ‘follow rules’. Our girls have to learn to think for themselves. Our education system plays a HUGE role in inculcating this mindset. I look at young kids in western countries and I am amazed at just how perceptive and analytical their minds appear to be. That’s a quality we need to develop in our kids.


        • “I look at young kids in western countries and I am amazed at just how perceptive and analytical their minds appear to be.”

          This is the truth about all children actually, and I think it’s a bit disingenuous to say that it’s something that is only developed in Western countries. All children are much more perceptive and analytical than adults and society likes to give them credit for. The difference lies in how much of a platform is given for that perceptiveness. And having experienced both education systems, from my own personal view, neither system was better in this regard. A child’s ability to be analytical and perceptive is a threat to the establishment which largely regards them as the property of their parents. It’s hard to assert authority over someone who questions that authority constantly.


    • ICRW report:
      This report was compiled at a time when there was much greater stigma attached to women reporting crimes. The types of violence include hitting, kicking, beating, slapping. The ‘reasons’ include ‘not cooking properly’, ‘not taking care of household chores’, and ‘talking to neighbors.

      NFHS report:
      From the above report: “More than half of women (54 percent) and men (51 percent) agree that it is
      justifiable for a husband to beat his wife under some circumstances.
      o Women and men most often agree that wife beating is justified when
      the wife disrespects her in-laws.
      o Neglect of the house or children is the second most commonly agreed
      to justification for wife beating for both women and men”

      A relevant article that quotes NCRB statistics:
      Quote from above article: “The NCRB statistics indicate that an Indian woman is most unsafe in her marital home with 43.6% of all crimes against women being “cruelty” inflicted by her husband and relatives. These numbers do not include incidences of marital rape, as India does not recognize marital rape as an offence.”

      Crime statistics from NCRB :
      (again note the numbers are pretty bad even with under-reporting)


    • There is more than enough statistical evidence for the statement.
      Though it puzzles me as to why anyone who is familiar with India would even need to ask for it,


    • That’s probably so ingraned in us that it is okay to beat someone or talk harshly/abusively to people to show disapproval/ anger. This also happens with people who have more power -they tend to bully the people who are under them- a simple example could be a teacher and a student. Most times the victim will assume that this rude behaviour of the abuser is because of their own fault and not something wrong with the abuser. That is so sad & dangerous, especially in cases such as child abuse or perhaps domestic violence too where the victim does not express their problem to others and get help soon. I have seen few parents beat up their children and punish them badly.It simply stresses them out. They might learn to behave the same way as their parents and inherit those behaviours or they might become depressed overtime losing their self-confidence.


  6. I agree with gwenniesgarden. The sad sad truth is that many indian girls’ parents think it is far more heinous to defy society’s rules than it is to have their daughter beaten or killed. Such girls are alone in this world. So they need to be strong. The lady who was stabbled should just have flung hot water or oil in his face and left him forever.
    The lady who was “returned” to her husband’s family like a pair of ill-fitting jeans (or should I be totally rebellious and say Shorts instead of Jeans?) should have done the same at the very first instance of abuse. Allow it once, and it takes a life of its own and becomes a force of nature. Fight back, and the bastard will back off.


    • Then the woman would have been arrested for physically harming her husband…the law enforcers believe in patriarchy too…didn’t a judge recently rule that forced sex in a marriage is not rape?


        • I agree on this one.
          I simply cant understand why teaching women self defence is not more of a priority in India. Instead we are constantly bombarded with articles on maintaining hour glass figures. Heck the average gym instructor will almost always discourage strength training for women with some crap about building too much muscle.
          (which is again idiotic – women don’t build muscle the same way men do, it takes much longer)
          Getting beaten to a pulp is alright , but heaven forbid that your arms look less lady like.


        • I agree.. I live abroad and I run, kickbox, and do strength training. I certainly do not have muscular arms (infact they are kind of flabby haha).. but I can lift and carry my 68lbs labrador and if it came to it cause some serious damage to an attacker. I think a lot of strength comes from being removed from india and it’s social bull.


  7. Pathetic! You know these culprits will be given nominal punishment after which they will roam outside freely and get married to another woman and the saga continues…

    IHM, even educated women think it is women’s destiny to be abused. I remember a roommate of mine ( when we were studying postgraduation) said very casually that she would be quiet if her husband hit her because as women we cannot raise hands on men. I asked her “why” and she said “that is our culture”….phew!!!!!!!

    A friend of mine was asked by her in laws to perform special prayers so that she could birth to a son. My friend and her husband refused to do so. The in laws were very unhappy when she gave birth to a daughter. Another acquintance was told by her family to pass on a special thali (plate) of certain customary items to a mother who had only sons. So mothers with daughters are inferior and are not entitled to receiving such a thaali.

    Which aspect of our culture are we exactly proud of?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is outrageous that society and the law gives the spouse the license to abuse!! And, the girl’s family knew that she was being abused for 3 years; how could they have let it just go on?!!


  9. There’s something seriously wrong with these men…they are all psychopaths, sociopaths whatever…how can a human being even in a fit of anger murder his wife? And kids? And then even have the presence of mind to try to disguise the crime…I’ve been angry with my husband and daughter plenty of times…it has never even once crossed my mind to even hit them let alone cause them grave bodily harm…do these men grow up to be murderers because of the sense of entitlement that has been instilled in them since birth? These guys are not normal, they are not human beings…


    • Men talk with their hands,…I think more tested one equals to more violence.Since they are unbridled and free in our society ,they tend to raise hands more frequently than fight with their tongues.
      Women when angry fight verbally….they are less likely to raise hands on guys…..I HV seen so many traditional Indian mothers who snap,smack child ldren easily but can’t raise voice and fight with husbands when angry.
      I think women train other women very well,…in India.Mothers are really embarrassed by argumentative daughters.Look around,argumentative daughters are directly blamed on mothers….hence moms most embarrassed.
      Hormones,nurture,laws,and yes mothers and fathers have a big role to play….in India ,mothers are overloaded with child upbringing,….hence easier target for blame as well.


  10. I am speechless. It seems even more hopeless when I see the attitudes of people from so-called economically “developed” asian countries who have similar views.

    What advice would i give? – You don’t need a man or be with one unless you want to.


  11. I firmly believe we need to educate parents of both boys and girls before we start educating kids. 60-70% of the problem lies with the parents ad the way they raised their kids, both boys and girls. I’d say society causes the rest of the problems by butting their nose in.
    Im not talking of parents of the older generation alone ( of course they are in a majority in situations like this) but i’ve even seen youngsters doing idiotic things in the name of culture, respect and tradition.
    Anyone who puts all these above the welfare ,well being and happiness of their kids simple shouldn’t be having kids.


  12. advice???!

    Grow up. Don’t let anyone else make your decisions for you.
    Don’t have more babies with him if he’s abusing you for having the first one. Don’t cook for a guy who hits you cos the food is not ready when he wants to eat it.
    Don’t go to your parents’ house cos they think you should go with them. Don’t go back cos someone wants you to go back.

    You don’t need that in your life!


  13. Pingback: Fortune Mother Exchange : Mother’s cooking for Indian male children. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  14. Pingback: “He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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