Helpline Diary 16

Domestic abuse - stop it

A frustrated young 20 year old girl calls up from Ghodegaon, a place near Manchar, Pune, yelling at her mother, ‘You wait here and listen to what I am talking to them, but let me speak please’. Her mother in the background was telling her not to lie. She was badly beaten up by her mother the previous night. When she saw an ad in the newspaper, she immediately called us up to share her story. 

She was married off at a very young age, but she lost her first husband within a month of their marriage. Her mother was living with her parents since many years as her father was an alcoholic and did not care for his wife and kids. She was forcefully married by her family, mother, maternal uncle and grandparents in the month of June. Beaten up by the husband and in-laws, who called her mad, she sent her back to her maternal home.  While sharing her traumatic story, she was shaking with anger on the phone, she was getting tremors quite often. According to her mother, beating her is the only way to cool her down when she gets violent. 

I listened to her story calmly, giving her the space to vent out her emotions, mostly the anger. She felt like her head was spinning as she was going through all this for a while now and this is a condition that cannot be ignored. I tried to speak to her mother, and told her that her condition needs special attention, and that she needs to be taken to a clinician to the nearest place in Manchar.

A much satisfying conversation took place after 3 days again, when the girl called back. I had told her to keep a separate notebook, and if she is willing to improve the things at home, she needs to cooperate with me and complete the given assignments daily. It was good to hear when she called with a much softer voice after three days. Her assignment was to note down ‘the things that make me happy‘. The girl notes down- ‘I like flowers, colours, love music, I like going around with my friends. I feel like I want to work and become independent, I also want to take care of my family and I don’t want to be a burden on anyone else’s shoulder.’ 

There is a long way to go as we do understand but, at least her rage is subsiding, she is able to concentrate on her own happiness boosters! Now that is what you call progress right? We are all experts here who are willing to help each and everyone. It gives us immense happiness when the same troubled person calls us back to update us with their progress. Saving one life with every phone call! 


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