Dear men, domestic violence is never a 'family dispute'

On Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police (Prosecution) Purushottam Sharma was relieved of his duties, after a disturbing video of him allegedly assaulting his wife of 32 years went viral on social media.

In the video, which was recorded by Sharma's sons, he was seen physically assaulting his wife in presence of his personal staff and pet dog as she tried to resist the attack.

While the shocking video led to condemnation of the DGP, the man offered an equally sickening justification and said that his wife 'had been living in his house, enjoying all the facilities and travelling abroad' on his expenses. Purshottam Sharma also said that it was just 'family dispute, not a crime'.

"We've been married for 32 years, in 2008 she had complained against me. But the point is, since 2008 she has been living in my house, enjoying all facilities and travelling abroad on my expenses," Sharma told ANI.

"If my nature is abusive then she should've complained earlier. This is a family dispute, not a crime. I am neither a violent person nor a criminal. It is unfortunate that I have to go through this. My wife stalks me & has put cameras in the house," he added.

After his justification, while several users on the micro-blogging site slammed Purshottam Sharma for his 'disgusting mentality', a section of Twitter (particularly women) decided to share rather odd advices.

A user wrote, "Ladies your husband's house is never your house. Please be financially independent. No matter who asks you to halt study or leave Job. Don't do it."

"That's why females should work, make that coin and be independent financially so they don't become human punching bags and inflict free trauma on their children. Any self respecting female will move out and not make babies with people like these," opined another.

And, as an independent working woman - who has witnessed the horrors of a close family member's journey of being a domestic abuse survivor, I feel obliged to enlighten these misguided people. Being 'financially independent' doesn't give a woman/person the emotional strength to walk away from a toxic and abusive relationship.

While I do acknowledge the fact that domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women and their children, neither can a job take away the trauma of being beaten like a punching bag, nor can money heal the damage caused to young children who grow up in abusive households. At most, being financially independent can pay for therapy that a woman/ man/ person - a survivor of domestic violence - would need to deal with the trauma.

Coming back to Sharma's atrocious explanation, the woman who's your wife, homemaker and the mother of your children, living in 'your house' and 'enjoying the facilities' doesn't give you the right to beat her black and blue.

Motherhood is no joke and being a home maker is a full time-job, which for the least deserves respect. Thrashing your wife IS NOT OKAY even if you 'feed her and let her live in your house'. Brutally beating your wife in front of your children is not okay, even if you paid for the foreign trip she enjoyed.

Even physically assaulting a maid (who gets paid to cook meals and do your laundry) can put you behind bars, and as a DGP, I am sure you are well aware of that.

Speaking of the claims that your wife stalked you and put up cameras in the house, I would like to ask you the same question, "If her nature was abusive then you should've complained earlier... why were you living with her for years and enjoying so much comfort in life?"

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Free Press Journal.

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