‘He would draw the blinds and beat me night after night

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He would draw the blinds and beat me night after night

Between 21 December 2015 and 3 January 2016, Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia assisted 1043 victims across its three telephone services. This is Anamika’s* story

“Domestic violence has nothing to do with Left-Right ideology. No man with low self-esteem can justify hitting a woman or a child on the basis that it made him feel better about himself.” Craig Emerson (Former Trade Minister of Australia).

“His desire for power and control was more than his love for his own son.” (Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year)

I look out at an ashen skyline with dollops of rain. George Street is wet; the earth scented. The light “fractured”, Eastman colour!! And, then it was pouring, slowly… in no rush.  A soft quiver descends with the droplets of rain on my face. I am alone and I am safe in the city of Brisbane, I tell myself and think of Anamika* (her name changed on request), and ask myself the same question time and time again —— Why?

Anamika face was battered by punches, her scalp was tender from being dragged down the stairs of her house. The colour of henna had still not been washed away that all her dreams of happy marriage were shattered. Silently she bore it all for the sake of her unwed sister and her ailing mother – but for how long? Even the concealers were not good enough to hide the bruises on her arms —– so many embarrassing questions.

“One night when I was asleep, he held my hair with one hand, and twisted my right bosom with the other, the fear in my eyes satisfied him! He would shut the windows, draw the blinds, lock the room and beat me night after night. Why? I was not in his control,” said Anamika, as she looked straight in my eyes, the eyes that had so much to tell.

She continued, “He would derogate me all the time; compare me to every other woman.” I shuddered wondering what it would be like if she was not working. “One Sunday afternoon, in a fit of rage he started throwing suitcases in the room upstairs. I was in my nightwear. I feared my life and ran out to hide behind the hedge. My neighbour saw me hiding! I didn’t know what to hide, myself, my body or my face with fear.”

Six months later he broke her arm, it was as if a soul was shattered. It occurred when she confronted him in an intimate conversation with one of his fantasy women. He would have killed her that night. Two days later she flew to India, to her parents. To them she had slipped in the bathroom. He controlled her financially and abused her both verbally and emotionally. She had thought abuse could only be physical, until she found that she had started believing that she was good for nothing, she had stopped looking in people’s eyes, and she had started stammering.

Whilst I detest women misusing the abuse factor for their own personal missions, and trapping innocent men in their long rhetoric saga, my heart goes out to those genuine women, who get entangled in this ghastly journey, to never find themselves ever again. Between 21 December 2015 and 3 January 2016, Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia assisted 1043 individual clients across its three telephone services – a 32 per cent increase from the same period last year. No matter how beaten, battered or bruised domestic violence victims were, they chose 2015 as the year they would tell their stories. Whilst many stood up for advocacy, with grace and dignity, unwarranted criticism did flow to shun these stories.

I walked through the city by the river that wept after dark, as if it mourned for the way it has been — the deepest longing and the key human necessity to be loved and cherished every day. Anamika’s story is a tale of many unspoken words, of a lost life, with the war scars of deep humiliation; of an unheard cry that was lost somewhere. I move on consoling myself that there is hope for Anamika and others like her; that domestic violence will become a thing of the past.

Women Helpline Numbers In Australia—Language interpretation (24X7) 13 14 50; Domestic Violence Helpline No (24X7) 1800 656 463; Crisis numbers: Police 000, Ambulance 112 (from mobile)

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