Archive | May 2016

How to Prevent Being Re-Victimized

download (24)You are no longer that scared little child who was subjected to the sick machinations of adults who abused you. You are no longer that child who had to shut up and be seen, not heard. You are no longer afraid. You are now a strong person who cannot and will not allow anyone to take advantage of you the way they did when you were a child.

As such, you now have the presence of mind and booming strength to cut off and stay away from monsters, which is anyone who wants to send you back to that time so they can twist you up, twist up what you went through to make you start doubting what happened. You are now strong as the Rock of Gibraltar Adult.

So now that you are now a strong, kick-ass Adult and there are poisonous people trying to do that to you, can you imagine the children who are most vulnerable to the abuse and machinations of adults? Can you imagine what they are going through? Actually, you don’t have to imagine, because you now know what it feels like to have those same adults try to get inside your head to twist up your mind. Sadly and disgustingly, that is what adults do to children to get them to shut up and not bring shame to the family name.

Those children were forced to suffer in silence to protect the family and to protect the abuser because he maybe some prominent official, a religious figure, close friend of the family or he may even be a family member. The abuse is swept under the rug to protect the family name. As an adult you can now fight for those children and even fight for adults who are still suffering.

Take your mental health far away from those adults who are trying to twist up your mind to make you believe that you are lying or that what happened is your perception or imagination. The same is done to children. They are accused of lying just because the adult does not want to believe it about that person, especially if they are married to that person or for the fact that if they acknowledge the child they would have to acknowledge the abuse they had suffered.

Sadly, that may have been how they were manipulated into believing and was programmed to protect others at their own expense and so they suffer in silence and they believe the crap that was spewed at them and now they are trying to get you to believe and swallow that same crap.

And of course with you opening up and talking about what you went through it is forcing them to confront their own pain and they don’t want that. So they will spew out the same crap that was spewed at them to get you to shut up. They will even slyly go to others to spew that same crap so that people who don’t have much strength and understanding and who were taught the same crap, will try to shut you down. Or they go and ask the abuser if he did what you said.

Now you tell me, which abuser will admit to that? What domestic violence perpetrator and or rapist will admit to what they did? All that is doing is raping the victim all over again. Which is sick and disgusting. Only spiteful individuals who are in pain and is living in fear will accuse you of enjoying talking about yourself. Do not let them deter you from your path and your purpose.

Do not let them force you back to being a child who had to sacrifice their innocence to protect the family. No child should ever have to go through all that. No child should be prepped by a family member or a friend of the family to be raped. NONE!! Yes, molestation is rape. It is the rape of a child’s innocence.

You have to be strong and have a rock-solid mind to stand firm against those individuals and not allow them to beat you into submission. You are opening up about what you went through to give a voice to so many who went through the same thing and had to suffer in silence. It is your selflessness, strength and courage that will help others to stand up against the abusers.

It will help adults to start looking out more closely at their own children to protect them and keep them safe. Allow no one to force you to shut up about your life. And yes, you have a deeper knowledge about how abuse affects individuals. You have healed a lot of what you went through and now you are stronger for it and so you can now speak out and infuse that strength into other victims. You know what signs to look out for in children and in adults. Continue being an advocate, continue sharing your life, your healing and your strength and you will be a beacon of light to others.

Domestic Violence – When Charm Tips Quickly Into Control

images (23)“CHARM is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting,” says Proverbs 31:30; “but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

It’s not a woman’s fault that she is seduced by a charmer.

Romance is high on the list of all people entering a romantic relationship. But there is a correlation between charm and control.

The more charming a man is in his romancing his woman, the more potentially controlling he could actually be, when the romance has worn off. Men who have violence issues are often men who lay on excessive charm.

CHARM IS DECEPTIVE

Oh how easy we’re all charmed. But charm is deceptive. It’s a perversion of the truth. And yet there’s authentic charm in the way humour is poised that makes light of a non-truth so long as everyone’s aware it’s a joke.

Charm maybe deceptive, but that doesn’t mean some people aren’t blessed with certain genuine virtue. But when it comes to a person feeling just a little too good – a marvel of charm – we ought to be wisely sceptical.

There’s no substitute for time when it comes to trust. People should earn our trust if we’re going to give them the keys to our heart, especially if we’re going to put them in contact with our loved ones.

BEAUTY IS FLEETING

What looks beautiful initially doesn’t always last.

Isn’t it bizarre that we often make our first and heaviest commitment to a relationship before the romance phase is finished and the power struggle starts?

The initial beauty we saw in a person is likely transformed into disgust before long, before an evening takes place in the relationship (if it survives this transition) and moves into a stage of stability.

BUT A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD…

What praise there is for the woman who sees the charmer for who he actually could be! She is cautiously sceptical.

Charm for her is a toggle into the imagination for the shadow experience: control. Could this man be a control merchant? What’s his shadow side? If he has excessive charm does he also have a need of (excessive) control? How much potential is there that he might be ‘controlling’?

The woman who fears the LORD, who hides her heart under the shelter of the Holy Spirit, in such a way that a male prospect would have to encounter the LORD before finding her open to his advances – she, is to be praised.

But we must reserve every sympathy for the woman who has trusted a man unworthy of that trust. Too often as a society we have excused the man’s violent behaviour, and caused the victim of violence to bear what can never be their responsibility.

We put the woman who fears the LORD up on a pedestal to the shame of other women who’ve made the sorts of mistakes we all make. If there’s one temptation we’re all susceptible to it’s to the charm that makes us feel worthy of a worthiness we may not, deep down, feel we even deserve.

How wonderful it is when a person of the opposite sex sees us worthy of lavishing their love. But let that thinking also be a trigger for what we do not want to see, but are wise to be open to seeing (if it’s there).

A woman who fears the LORD deserves a partner who, too, fears the LORD.

***

Many men who are controlling to the point of being violent with their partners started out as charming men. They still charm people. They charm their partners’ family, so much so that she has perhaps been disbelieved and discredited.

But such charm is fleeting; know them long enough and well enough and their true form will become apparent. Everyone’s fruit matures. Every piece falls from the tree ready to taste. Not all fruit is delightful to our taste!

 

Legal Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence

images (25)Violence against women is a centuries old phenomenon. The violence may be of different forms, like child marriage, witch hunting, honor killing etc. It is due to defiance of the stereotyped role model of daughter, sister, wife and mother and of course daughter-in-law. Domestic Violence has been justified throughout the ages; legal and cultural traditions have granted men permission to beat their wives and even to kill them with intend to subordinate women. Although efforts had been made to electrify the image of women by associating her with Goddess Durga. Yet, it is ironical that India became patriarchal or male- oriented society. Causes of domestic violence may be many like alcohol and drug related, dowry related, frustration due to unemployment and financial constraints. Women also continue in violence relationship due to economic dependence upon men, family and social pressure to keep the family intact and preserve the marriage, lack of parental support absence of faith in the law and fear of losing custody of children.

In the modern age, voices have been raised against these inhuman practices and efforts made to bring about change by creating awareness, by educating people through legal actions. It was Raja Ram Mohan Roy who led the movement for women’s rights. He was responsible to bring social changes like stopping child marriage, sati and legitimization of widow remarriage. Though the term domestic violence was not in vogue in those reforms, their aim was to make women’s lives more humane and protected.

Laws available to women against domestic violence: Till 1983, there were no specific law pertaining to violence. Husbands could be convicted for murder, abetment to suicide, causing hurt and wrongful confinement. In section 304 of IPC, where the death of a woman is caused by burns or bodily injuries or occurs due to reasons other than normal circumstances within 7 years of her marriage and if it is find that the wife is subjected to cruelty by her husband or his relatives, the death is termed as DOWRY DEATH. Section 313-316 IPC. says that forcing a wife to terminate her pregnancy also forms domestic violence. Section 306 is available to punish relatives for abetment of suicide. The Dowry Prohibition Act 1986, also available as putting ban on the practice of dowry. Throwing acid has been made punishable under the amendmets of IPC.

Newly formed Law for protection of women; In 1992, lawyers collectively drafted and circulated a Bill on domestic violence. It was widely circulated among women’s groups including the National Commission for women, but by this time, most of women’s groups wanted a law on domestic violence. Drafted in accordance with the UN framework, this Bill had the great support of the women. Thus, Indian Government introduced a Bill on domestic violence in Lok Sabha titled as ‘The protection of women from Domestic Violence Bill 2001’. Great deliberations were going on and great need was felt to such legislation in effect. The Act was passed by Parliament and assented to by the President. It was named as ‘The Protection Of Women Against Domestic Violence Act 2006″. It was the first significant attempt to recognize domestic abuse as a punishable offence to extend its provisions to those in live in relationships, and to provide for emergency relief for the victim.

Section 2 provides protection against act, conduct, omission and commission that harms or has the potential to harm, will be considered as ‘Domestic Violence’. This legislation has widened the scope of domestic violence and now it can be broadly related to human rights. The definition contains physical, mental, economical and sexual violence suffered by large section of women and entitles them to claim protection from the courts. Section 494 of IPC has been proved insufficient for women protection, hence this Act was enacted for effective protection of rights of women guaranteed by Constitution i. e. Equality. Definition of ‘AGGRIEVED PERSON’ is equally wide which not only covers the legally wedded wife but also woman who is the sexual partner of the male, the daughter, mother, sister, child widow or any women residing in the house of the respondent.

Relationship in the nature of marriage provides remedy to those women whose marriages may be void or invalid in the eyes of law and protection of women who are live- in-relationships. In Aruna Parmod Shah v. UOI long periods of cohabitation between a men and women raise a presumption of marriage.

The concept of shared household means a household where the aggrieved person lives or had lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with respondent and includes a household owned or rented. Granting supremacy to the rights of residence of women, the Delhi High Court held that a woman can never be charged with trespass if she insists on staying with her husband in a house taken or rented by the husband. Supreme Court judgement on SR Batra V. Taruna Batra constitutes rights of a wife to live in husband’s house. This is most important judgement since even today there is lot of misunderstandings about rights of women on their husbands/in-laws property/house. It was held right is available to a woman only against her husband and not against in-laws. Mother-in-laws house does not become shared house. It only meant house owned or rented by husband only.

There are various reliefs that be granted under this ACT. The magistrate if satisfied that the domestic violence has taken place, can pass the protection order in favor of the aggrieved person and prohibit the respondent from committing any violence. Such order would be in operation till the aggrieved person applies for discharge and the order can also be altered, modified and revoked. One of the most important feature of the Act is that women’s right to secure housing. This right is secured by a residence order passed by court. The Act provides that if an abused woman requires, she has to be provided an alternate accommodation and her maintenance has to be paid by her husband or partner.

The right of a divorced woman to residence in the shared house would depend on the terms and conditions of the divorce order as held in B. R. Achala V. S appi Reddy and Ors.

Under section 20, a woman can claim maintenance or monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred. It may include loss of earnings, medical expenses and loss of property. Such relief should be adequate, fair and reasonable and according to the standard of living. She can claim the compensation for the injuries including mental torture and emotional distress caused by violent acts. In Rajsesh kurre V. Safurabhai and Ors. the court is competent to award maintenance to the aggrieved person and child of that person according to section 20. And they do not require to establish the case under section 125 of CRPC. Section 21, provides the magistrate can give the custody of the child /children to the aggrieved person and if necessary make arrangements for visit of such child/children by the respondent.

A woman has the right to the services and assistance of the protection officer and service providers arranged under the provisions of the law. She will have the right to the services of the police, shelter homes and medical establishments. She also has the right to file her complaint under section 494 of IPC along with this Act.

An application under section 12 can be filed before the Magistrate directly. An application can be filed by any aggrieved person and against the adult male against whom the aggrieved has sought relief. There is an exception that an aggrieved wife or female living in relationships in the nature of marriage can file a complaint against a relative of the husband or partner. The Act is controversial on the point whether a female can be made respondent or not. The Supreme Court in Sandhya Manoj Wankade V. Manoj Bhimrao Wankade held that female relative can also be made respondent. An application can be filed in the Court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class or the Metropplitan Magistrate within the local limits of which, the aggrieved person resides or carries on business, the respondent resides or carries on business or the cause of action has arisen. A Domestic Incident Report (DIR) should be made in the prescribed from on the receipt of domestic violence from an aggrieved person. The Magistrate takes into consideration that report while coming to an conclusion. In Ajay kamal V. Alka Sharma High Court of MP held that if the DIR is not made, it cannot quash the proceedings, hence the DIR is not compulsory. The application should be in prescribed form but the application cannot be thrown out if it is not in the prescribed format as in Milan Kumar Singh V. State of U. P.

A notice to the respondent is served after the filing of the application through the Protection Officer. The Magistrate can pass an interim order to prevent further violence by providing the immediate relief to the woman. He can also pass the exparte order if the Magistrate satisfies that domestic violence may be committed. An appeal shall lie to the Court Of Session within 30 days from the date of the order of the Magistrate. He may also at any stage may secure the services of the persons engaged in promoting family welfare for the purpose of assisting him in discharging his functions. The orders under this Act are to be enforced in the same manner as in section 125 of CRPC. The court can direct the Protection Officer to assist in the implementation of the order. A breach of protection order or of an interim order by the respondent shall be an offence. It impose penalty upto one year imprisonment or fine of Rs. 20, 000, or both. This offence is congnizable and non- bailable.

Section 32(2) provides that upon the sole testimony of the aggrieved person, the court may conclude that the offence has been committed. The Act ensures speedy justice as the court has to start the proceedings and have the first hearing within 3 days of the complaint. The Act also provides for the penalty for not discharging duty of protection officer.

Till 2005, remedies available for the victims of domestic violence in the civil court and criminal court were limited. There were no emergency reliefs available to the victims and relationships outside marriage were not recognized.

Critical appraisal of the Act: Though Act widens the concept of Domestic Violence but it does not include ‘forced sex’ or ‘ sex without the wife’s consent’. This Act had been adopted from US Act where there are nuclear families. Woman’s right to demand accommodation only in husband’s house is wrong. There is no provision if a female files a false against the males as females can’t be made respondents according to this act. It is always not the fault of men if there is distressed marriage. No where is mentioned the violence against mother-in-law, they can be the victims of violence in the hands of daughter-in-laws. Further the provision of divorce also not been here. The Act relieved the women to a wide extend but should be improved in various context.

 

He Whose Name Is Respect Will Not Harm Anyone

images (24)HARM is a mode of life that breaches all sorts of safety protocols, sometimes even in the name of progress, often by ways of a lesser evil than would normally take place.

But harm is harm. It’s intolerable to God.

God is love and he made us to love by respect. Love is manifest by respect.

Respect comes by many names: Responsible, and his brother, Empathy. Sensitivity, and his brother, Peaceable. Equitable, and his brother, Consideration. Then, of course, there’s Tender.

But Harm comes by many names, too: Excuse, and his brother, Blame. Malevolence, and his brother, Spite. Fear, and his brother, Pride.

Respect enjoys much esteem. The ladies like him. His friends, too. He knows the work of love he’s put into his character. He cannot harm you.

Yet Harm finds the ladies scarce. Pity the woman who is wooed by his charm.

Respect – and all his brothers – bid all you ladies this prayer: that you find the kin of Respect; that you wed such kin so you’ll be safe and loved like you deserve.

A POEM ABOUT RESPECT AND HARM

I may bid you ‘respect’,
And hope not to harm,
And though it’s not my intent,
Can’t you see my charm?
(No, your charm’s part of the problem)

Sometimes I get angry,
Even though I’m trying to be good,
You know bad things can happen,
Even though they never should.
(Violence should not ‘happen’; not even once)

Abuse is not what I want for you,
I know it’s something wrong,
But can’t you see what this is?
It really won’t last that long.
(No, that’s an excuse)

Can’t you bear me a little longer,
Come on; a second chance,
Can’t you see what this is,
It’s how all couples dance.
(No, violence is not how couples dance)

Sometimes what you do angers me,
Can’t you be more careful, alright!
Sometimes you deserve it,
When with you I pick a fight.
(No, she never deserves it)

I may say some nasty things,
I might pull at your clothes,
But I’m not really that bad,
I’m really not one of your foes.
(No, you are)

I don’t mean all that I say,
I’m just messing with your head,
So why do you worry,
That one day you’ll be dead?
(Violence can be psychological too)

No, I will not allow you,
The sort of freedom you say you need,
Then you say I’m controlling,
But your freedom I will not feed.
(Controlling a partner is violence as well)

But you know I’m not perfect,
We both know that for sure,
So I’m sorry very much,
If your face hits the door.
(No, that’s not an apology; you’re not really sorry)

***

I’m not kidding here,
This affects anyone, you know,
To snub those who harm,
Is the only way they’ll grow.

There’s only one way to put a stop to harm. To nip it at the bud, and to address it once for all, so it cannot happen again.

***

I post this in the sincere wish that it does not bring harm but more awareness to the issues many women face silently and secretly.

As a husband I know how shaming these issues are for men. Occasionally as husbands we fail in being respectful whilst stopping short of violence. But there are those men who see no wrong in what they do. They justify their controlling behaviour. And there are those men too who are genuinely too fearful to reach out for help.

Certainly many women would escape to safety if it were that simple. Tragically, it’s never really that simple. (Imagine the thought of your partner ‘tracking you down’ and never feeling safe, especially when there are kids involved.) Like a pornography addiction, domestic violence is a secret and silent and very shaming evil going on in far too many homes, many of which are Christian homes.

I’m not writing this because I know your secret, because I do not know your secret. I’m not ‘onto you’. But you may read this with that sense of paranoia and it’s not my intention to scare you, but it is my intention to empathise with your situation.

If you need to, seek help. I will pray that you will see God helping you to that end.