Pakistani Culture of Turning a Blind Eye to Domestic Abuse -Maryam Salman

Domestic Abuse! Seen all over yet remorselessly ignored in our society and is often dismissed as “their personal matter”. According to a report by Dawn, 90% of women in Pakistan have experienced some form of domestic violence, at the hands of their husbands or families and 47% of married women have experienced sexual abuse, particularly domestic rape. Let me clarify one thing, these figures represent only the reported cases and there are plenty that are still trapped behind the doors of silence.

It is an issue that is in dire need of public acknowledgement. Many people around our nation still find it as a matter of shame to publicly share their personal hardships and the mental and physical abuse they are going through. Victim shaming is the most common action carried out by the masses every day on almost every platform.

Our narrow-minded thinking instantly blames the women. She might not have been able to please her husband or she was not good enough for him. One may wonder, ‘Why didn’t she leave her husband?’ There is no one singular answer to this. She was unable to leave because she didn’t have the courage, was financially unable to move somewhere else, could not escape the tyrant because of societal pressure, was unable to afford an independent living, had to feed and clothe her children, had parental pressure, had the pressure of in-laws, her life was endangered if she left and the list goes on and on. Do we still need to ask that question? She was helpless.

A story by Dawn News vividly describes the way our society tackles the issue of domestic abuse. They would prefer their daughter to die than to return home, divorced. People do not understand the pain a woman goes through. For them, their honour (which can be lost if their daughter is divorced) is the most important thing, even more important than the life of their daughter. A man that shamelessly beats up his pregnant wife is d