When a crime takes place within four walls

When a crime takes place within four walls


When a crime takes place within four walls

Over the last few years, the City has witnessed an increase in the number of domestic violence incidents which at times have even led to murders.

Almost every other day, there are reports of women committing suicide due to dowry harassment or well-educated working women and housewives alike being brutally murdered by their husband for trivial issues like nagging or extramarital affair.

According to the recent report by the National Bureau of Crime Records, after Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, it is Bangalore that reported 32 cases of spousal murders in 2010 – which is an alarming number indeed. Many women in the City feel that it’s the change in lifestyle, mental pressures that come with it which lead to tensions between husband and wife and ultimately end up in violent behaviour.

“As a student of psychology, one of the first things I learnt was that every human is born with a violent streak inside him or her. It’s only how a child is brought up and how he or she channelises those energies in doing other things that help in curbing the violent side,” says Raksha, a marketing executive, and adds, “looking at recent spousal murders in the City, the only conclusion I can draw is that the husbands’ ego was hurt badly for them to take such a step. I am sure there are many other cases but only a few come out in the open.”

Rani, a counsellor in Vanitha Sahaya Vani, a government run NGO for women, says that on an average they receive around 150 cases every month. Many times wives don’t want the matter to go to the police. “Eighty per cent of these cases pertain to domestic violence, which includes verbal and mental abuse, sadistic behaviour, harassment for dowry and wife-beating,” she adds. Psychologist Anuraddha says that violence in a relationship is all about power, dominance and control.

“The purpose of domestic violence is not primarily to hurt or harm the victim. Rather, it is to gain or maintain power and control over the victim. But when the man does not get what he wants he can go to any extent to get it,” she says.

Women activists feel that the violence against women is not like any other crime and the complex character of the offences is making it impossible to bring about a reduction in their number. Says Krithika, who works for an NGO, “These cases take place within the four walls of the house. Thus, most of the time such cases aren’t even reported. Women are  emotionally attached to their husband and feel that he will change. They don’t go to the police or even tell anybody. That makes it all the more difficult to try and reduce such cases.”