Yes, statistics tell us that around 34 percent of women in India have suffered violence, mostly from their spouses. And that's just physical abuse – violence that shows up on the body in black or blue.
There is no data in the country that records mental and emotional hurt. There is also no data that records abuse against men. Also there is none such for couples, who are not married.
Violence by people you love is known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). People who you share your life, body, money, emotions and secrets with abusing you physically, mentally or emotionally. Such violence can take place among married or unmarried couples.
Couples, who are not married, are just as much in love and just as much dependent on their partners. And the fact that their relationship does not have any social thappa makes the violence even more possible.
IPV can take many forms. According to WHO, there are four different kinds of expressions of violence in controlling relationships - controlling behaviour, emotional (psychological) abuse, physical violence and sexual violence.
While many of us are aware about physical, verbal, sexual and emotional violence, many relationships also witness the province of economic abuse or economic violence.
Unlike in films, real-life relationships don’t always have a happy ending. Every relationship has its own set of problems, caused by a lot of different issues. But if they lead a partner to hit, shame, stalk, abuse or control the other, it is violence. Controlling behaviors are seen as caring and are thus normalized and socially accepted in relationships.
We tend to forgive hurtful behaviour when it comes from someone we love. We even try to justify it and even would even recoil at the thought that our partner could be abusing us.
But then why does it hurt? Who do we feel scared, worthless or ashamed? Why does it change who we are and change the way we like to do things.
Aur kya yahi pyar hain? Is this love? And if it hurts why do we bear it?
Sometimes we do, because we have no other option. But often we don’t because we don’t even realise when love begins to hurt and when care becomes control.
For years, we have been told: These dadi-nani ki salaahein have been telling us for years how life and relationships are meant to be. Many of these diktats have also guided some of the bad behaviour in our relationships.
And we accept them because that’s how things are meant to be.
But are they? Aur kya yehi pyar hain? Is this love?