Why she stayed?

Silicon Valley CEO abused wife for 10 years, jailed for 30 days only

Yes, you read it correctly. Only 30 days.

And what angered me more was that the judge actually asked her why she stayed for so long?

And since I have read this, I have been thinking the same, why she stayed? She was an educated, independent woman who was an engineer at Apple. She should not have tolerated this abuse even for a day. How did she let it be for 10 years?

But is it really so easy to get out of abusive relationships?

Unfortunately, no. It’s not easy at all. It’s in fact, very difficult.

Abuse is very common, a lot more than we think. In fact, we overlook it most of the times. It’s something we don’t want to talk about, scared that people might be judgemental towards us. But by doing that we also make our loved ones feel that being a victim of abuse is something to be embarrassed about. Also, if the abuse is psychological, we often don’t pay heed at all.

Abusers have one goal in mind: to take (and mainten) control over the victim. To do so, they can choose any method: fear, intimidation or guilt to make sure the victim does not ask for help or try to get out of the situation.

All abusive relationships work in a cycle: the tension build up, the explosion and the honeymoon period. The explosion is the time when the abuse actually happens and can be triggered by something very petty and the honeymoon period is the time when the abuser pretends to act sweet and tries to win over the victim again. This is also the time when although the abuser apologises for his/her behaviour but also makes sure to tell the victim that it was only the victim’s actions that forced the abuser into committing that act. Victims of abuse over time loose confidence and start believing this lie slowly and gradually that it’s their fault to be in such a situation.

One of the many reasons why Neha Rastogi decided to stay with her abusive husband Abhishek Ghattani for 10 years. Because she loved him. And because she believed him when he told her that every time he abused her, it was her mistake.

But that’s not the only reason I must say. Victims often start doubting themselves: what if I will be unable to cope? What if he really will change just like he promised me last week? And things like this only make the victim fall deeper into the abyss.

And then of course the social stigma. Since childhood, girls are bombarded with the idea of them being the damsel in distress who would be saved by their knights in shining armour. They dream of their weddings and divorce is often seen as a failure of being a good wife and/or mother.

And then finally when a victim musters all the courage to actually take action, the judge asks her, “Why did you stay for so long?”

 

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