Just like the routine of scrolling through news and counts of cases and deaths that kept on engulfing us, I came across stories that couldn't have been heard during the 'Pre-covid' days. She entered the house wearing the same mask of a cheerful and hardworking human, who was only filled with love. I have known her for years, coming into my house like she was the beauty within herself, she was beaming and glowing with happiness, it was good to see her after so long. As the greetings were exchanged and chatting continued, I saw her face, her body. She wasn't what she was, I could see traces of bruises and marks and struggles and pain written all over her body, very casually she had put in words all the pain she was enduring "ghuttan hoti hai ghar mei, woh marta hai" (It's suffocating in my house (what I would call a home), he hits me), she got back to her work, However It made me wonder and think and contemplate about my life. I was the richest person at the moment, I was rich because I had a family who loved me and had saved me from all the hardship.
I read the news and reports, it was stated in very simple words that - during the lockdown the cases of domestic abuse and crime against women had increased by a remarkable number, I went in deeper to find more, a voice that was muffled between the walls of house, the house that was supposed to be the protection and a bubble filled with love, it was supposed to be a home- our safest place. But during the days of struggle it had turned into a place worse then hell for the people who were lashed, slapped and tortured, where their screams were muffled within the walls, where hope had died and suffering had continued, where struggle was between to life and death, where family had become the source of death. While many fought covid and had put their lives to save mankind there was a group which had not got hope, they had been fighting the virus of hatred and authority that was planted within a person, they were fighting alone with no help arriving, some died, some lived and some lost their will and fell into the darkness of mental trauma and depression.
As the news spread that we've got the cure, everyone beemed with happiness, with a future that was again normal and exposing us to the outside world.
But what happened to them, who were affected by violence in the form of physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, sexual abuse- what was their cure?. The bruises had left marks or had faded with time, but no one had been questioned about the blackness that it had left within, it had killed a soul, a beaming life, which had struggled a lot but had lost a fight, nowhere else but within their own house. Their fall had not only made them dead despite being alive, but also left a scar on the fighter and the people that had seen their fight, no one discussed nor got to hear about the stories and struggles of people being dead and yet alive.
While some were daring and courageous to fight, some others were still struggling in silence. When I think more and more, I realize they were fighting for their body, soul, love, life, family ,children, society and the abuser, the criminal itself. It was a long and tiring life for them to get up only to encounter a battle each day. No matter who they were and in what role was their fight- a mother, a daughter, a wife, a son or an elderly person; my deepest respect for all the survivors who managed to stay put, who are still fighting and the ones who defeated the abuser and opened up a way for their bright future. But their story too doesn't end here, the path to achieve true happiness and struggling with trauma itself is a long process and I hope they make it through. I hope others who just watched them struggle, will come out and help them raise their voices and stand firm in their support.
They need to be heard and we need to be listeners and make sure we can be their source of light in their fight. Let us be more human and be a hope in others life, let this lockdown not just be time for fighting against disease but let it be a fight against evil as well, let's support the organization that supports such fighters and be a part of it as well.
S. Y. B. Pharm