“Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Story – It will Inspire Others” : Case Study of a Survivor of Violence

The Centre for Social Research (CSR) manages Crisis Intervention Centres in Uttam Nagar and Vasant Kunj, Delhi. We receive cases of domestic violence and marital discord. We not only counsel the victims but also assist them in their legal procedures for justice. Here is the case study of a woman, who having gone through significant abuse and struggle in her married life, came to us to seek redressal.

Dalpreet (name changed) was married at the age of 22 years. On the very first day of her marriage to Kartik (name changed), she understood that there was a matter of concern as her husband was drunk and disinterested in her. Her doubts turned to reality in a matter of few days, when she found that Kartik was unemployed and an alcoholic, who took money from his mother for consuming alcohol and drugs. Her parents had been kept in the dark by his mother, who had mentioned that he owns and operates a shop, when in reality he was entirely financially dependent upon his mother. Kartik used to beat Dalpreet and claim that he was in love with and married to another woman. When the beatings became a daily routine, Dalpreet approached her mother-in-law Rupali Devi, who didn’t take any action, as she herself was a victim of his abuse.

After a considerable amount of time had passed, Dalpreet sought family and police intervention. All parties failed to convince Kartik in changing his behaviour, and she remained emotionally, financially and socially deprived. Seeing no light at the end of the tunnel, she returned to her maternal home and started living there, where in some time she realized that she was pregnant. When she delivered her child and her parents informed her marital family, her husband arrived with his sister to meet the child and consequently they took Dalpreet and the baby with them, on the guarantee from his sister that things will change.

Things were fine for a few days, after which the torture and abuse started occurring again. Kartik started to question Dalpreet regarding the parentage of the child, and often threatened to kill her and the baby. With the intervention of certain family members, Kartik was sent to rehab for 6 to 7 months, during which time Dalpreet was living in her marital home. She was subjected to verbal abuse there, with her mother-in-law often accusing her for living with them for property and money. When the fights became a daily routine, she went back to her parents house. Following this, several of her husband’s relatives came to take her a back forcefully, placing several conditions on her. Dalpreet didn’t agree to these terms and refused to go back.

Dalpreet’s son, who is now 4 years old, goes to school, and her mother-in-law still gives money to Kartik for alcohol and drugs. For her son’s school admission, she required an Aadhar Card for her child and for herself, which was supposed to reach her marital home. On further enquiry, she found that her Aadhar Card was torn by Kartik.

Dalpreet came to Centre for Social Research to seek help, as she wanted rights to property for the security of her son’s future, in addition to monthly maintenance for her sustenance.

The initial task performed by the counsellor was to hear her story and during her second counselling appointment, an application was drafted which was taken to a Crime Against Women Cell (CAWC). During her third meeting, her application was formally received and her counselling started. In CAW Cell on the 10th February, her mother-in-law and sister-in-law had their first counselling, where they were asked to treat her with respect, give her a daily allowance of Rs 200-300. Following this, a date for the second meeting was decided.

Before her scheduled meeting with CAW Cell was to take place, Dalpreet and Kartik went for counselling, where he apologised for his behaviour and said that he’ll quit alcohol and drugs in due course of time. He wanted to take her back to his house, however Dalpreet asked for time to think about returning to his house. During the meeting, she stated that she doesn’t want to live with Kartik. At the next CAW meeting, she was asked about further course of action, with regard to her marriage.
Presently, she has filed a maintenance case on her husband, who can’t seek bail as he is in police custody, till legal processes are underway.