The Indian Movie Industry will soon release a new movie titled Thappad (A Slap) This is not a review & I have zero affiliation with the film or the industry.
I have watched the trailer & if the trailer was a movie, then this is what I infer:
This seemingly happy couple is shown to head down the path of divorce because the husband slapped the wife, that one time in a lifetime, at a party. The wife files for divorce, and many are perplexed. It’s just one slap, and he was frustrated – this should not be a ground for divorce. To this, she replies, and I paraphrase: That in that one slap and one moment, all that has been un-equal and un-fair in their marriage becomes clear.
Today I don’t want to talk about the fact that abuse and violence have no gender and also that about 97% of abusers are men who have a female partner.
Today I don’t want to talk about the fact that abuse is not just physical, and often abuse begins with verbal abuse.
Today I don’t want to talk about the fact that at the core of the abuser’s mindset is an idea that they own the victim and that there is a hierarchy, and they are above the victim.
Today I don’t want to talk about gas-lighting, which is a concept an abuser often uses as an excuse to abuse. They blame the victim’s behavior and action for their abusive behavior.
Today I want to talk about to us, the society: you, me and all of us. The society that justifies the abuser and victim shames because we are pre-programmed to view our family & friends with rose-colored biased glasses. Surely, our family member cannot be an abuser. That only happens in other ‘bad’ families.
This non-sense must stop – Call out the abuser!!! Hold them accountable, and through that accountability, the next generation will have a chance to stop this abusive cycle.
Your deafening silence towards the abuser and that active voice asking the victim to understand, tolerate, or accept is giving power to the abuser.
If you do not know how to help, here are three things you can do to start:
- Acknowledge to yourself that you have a bias and have overlooked the abuse coming from your family/friend.
- Support the victim by engaging in activities outside of their home life. You need not even discuss the abuse, be supportive, and engage and help build their confidence and trust.
- Educate yourself on how to support abuse/violence victims. Leverage the gift of technology to find local organizations that will guide you in being the right support. The kind of support that doesn’t threaten the victim further but empowers them without being shamed.
An abuser can be a husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, wife, mother, sister ….your relationship with them doesn’t absolve them of their abuse.
NO CONFLICT in this world requires someone to physically and verbally assault anyone.
Conversation & Coping skills are a must for all genders!