Merriam Webster defines tolerance as:
Capacity to endure pain or hardship
The act of allowing something
The capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (such as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure
Narratives Around Domestic Violence
Last year, Twitter exploded as the State Broadcast Channel 2M, in one of their videos demonstrated how to cover up the bruises from domestic violence. As the makeup artist in her thoroughly professional voice demonstrated ways to “cover up scars” and carry on with normal life, outrage flooded the internet portals.
How could someone normalize violence like this? Bruises from domestic violence are not like the pimples on your face. Hiding them will not un-hide the violence in your life.
Of course, like always there were contrarians too.
Perhaps the tutorial was meant to make the women feel human again.
And the irony of it all? The video was aired two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
As the arguments increased, the channel quietly withdrew the video from and posted an apology on their Facebook page.
But somewhere on Twitter, the video still exists—a silent testimony to the fact that violence can never be really swept under the carpet.
Yet in another part of the world, the president of a country that covers more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area has invited global wrath by approving legal changes that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence.
The arguments continue.
The violence remains un-changed.
The stories here are more intimate if not less horrific.
Gauramma, the spindly ironing woman shows me the scars on her face even as she piles the clothes on the floor and neatly classifies them into sarees, salwars suits, pants, shirts and bedsheets.
Thulasi, the woman with smiling face tells me how she is unable to hide her meager savings from her drunk husband every day.
A close friend—educated and smart after sharing an episode of physical abuse contemplates deeply and says to me, “Know Sri had I been in his place, perhaps I too would have raised my hand”
Another woman puts a rhetoric question, “But how can I?”
In all these case, the women have made fear an intrinsic part of their identity. But they mask it with bravado. They confuse lack of movement with comfort. They think that in “forgiving” their abusing partners and “bearing it all” lies their true womanhood.
Understanding Zero Tolerance Towards Violence
October11, 2017 has been marked as The International Day Of Girl Child.
To commemorate this day, Aids Health Care Foundation and Family Planning Association, India had organized a silent rally, their central theme being, “Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women”.
The protest was followed by a panel discussion on “Say No to Abuse, Rape & Violence” chaired by Dr. V.Sam Prasad, Country Manager, AHF India, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, Brand Ambassadors, AHF India, Dr. Kalpana Apte, Secretary General, FPAI, Amita Dhanu, Asst. Secretary General, FPAI and Zainab Patel, Transgender Activist, Policy Analyst Human Rights at UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. Apart from Mumbai, the silent protest was also driven in 10 major cities across the country including Delhi, Pune, Solapur, Madurai, Dharwad, Bangalore, Gwalior, Yamuna Nagar, and Nagaland.
Commenting on the relevance of the day, Dr. V. Sam Prasad, Country Manager, AHF India, said, “It is time that the patriarchal dominions of the society change ways to accommodate the ever changing -power balances and recognise the role of Womanhood in Nation building. Parents need to discuss on taking equitable roles with their Sons and treating Daughters as partners in building a gender just society. Rape victims and abuse survivors often experience lifelong trauma as they are looked down upon and are ostracised and discriminated. Many are infected with HIV and STI infections and the suffering lasts a lifetime debilitating them forever. Making PEP (Post exposure prophylaxis) available to all rape victims and survivors will avert HIV and STI infections and prevent further trauma of these hapless victims. One needs to look at inculcating the gender equity dialogues into the curriculum right from primary level education and deal this issue with age appropriate messages throughout the formative years and continue into University curriculums. India should decide to end rape and violence against women.”
“Violence is the one thing that disempowers women. And this could be any kind of violence, sexual, emotional, physical, or any other. Doesn’t every woman have a right to prevent this violence from happening? And isn’t the society also equally responsible for the same? But the issue is that society takes objection against violence only after the violence is done… FPA India has been educating and encouraging many young girls and women, to identify and talk about violence and more importantly to deal with it. Because only when we talk about it will the society’s perspective change. Hence FPA India shows zero tolerance towards any kind of violence against women.” said Dr. Kalpana Apte, Secretary General, FPA India.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation–
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 810953 clients in 39 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
About Family Planning of India
The Family Planning Association of India, abbreviated as FPA India, is a registered charity in India. Established in 1949, the organisation has 40 local branches across the country that promote sexual health and family planning. It is the national affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Among other issues, the organisation promotes reproductive choices, legal and safe abortion, education about sexually transmitted diseases and sexual and reproductive health.
©: Sridevi Datta