ABUSE IN DISGUISE

According to wikipedia, “Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mentalabuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder” and Any act, including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth (for more info see http://www.vchreact.ca/read_psychological.htm)

Emotional and Psychological abuse includes:

  •      Telling someone they are worthless,
  • Telling them no one else wants them,
  • Forcing someone to do things at an exact time or in an exact way,
  • Undermining a persons actions, thought and beliefs,
  • Telling someone they are weak and could not manage to look after themselves on their own,
  • Making someone believe they are mad,
  • Telling someone that the domestic violence and abuse is their fault.
  • Not allowing someone to have visitors,
  • Controlling who a person is friends with,
  • Not allowing them to go out,
  • Not allowing someone to see their family and friends,
  • Not allowing someone to be left alone with other people,
  • Not allowing someone to use the phone, send letters or emails.
  • Locking someone in a room or house,
  • Not allowing someone to go out to work, not allowing someone to go to college or evening classes,
  • Accompanying someone everywhere that they go in order to keep control over what they do, who they see and what they say.
  • Telling someone they are a bad parent,
  • Getting children to say and do things to upset someone,
  • Encouraging children to get involved in the abuse.
  • Abusing someone’s children or pets,
  • Damaging possessions,
  • Accusing someone of lying when they are not,
  • Telling someone they are fat, ugly and useless,
  • Making someone believe that no one else likes them.
  • Threatening to harm someone, or to harm their children or pets.
  • Threatening to have someone locked up saying that they are mad,
  • Threatening to have someone deported or withholding care if someone is aged, ill or disabled,
  • Telling someone they will find and kill them if they leave,
  • Threatening to abuse someone in front of their children, family or friends.

Emotional abuse is often difficult to recognise. It can be very subtle, often being overlooked by a person’s friends and family. The person affected may not even think or feel that abuse is taking place.

Emotional abuse can affect women and children experiencing it in many ways. It can leave deep psychological scars and can seriously damage the self-confidence of the person experiencing the abuse. For more information see:

http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk

In most of the cultures of this world, abuse is simply not even recognized as abuse, rather considered a moral and spiritual duty of the women towards their husbands. Usually husbands and in-laws use all kinds of abuses towards their daughter-in-laws. In most of the emotional and psychological abuses, women are exposed to, women are simply not aware of the fact that they are being abused on daily basis. one can easily recognize the forms of subtle and traumatic abuses from such examples:

  1. women are restricted towards visitors, visiting family and friends, and going out in general.
  1. women are required to perform a set of duties at a particular time, in a specific way, and according to someone’s special needs whether they like it or not.
  1. women are under estimated in their capability to earn, to stay alone, and to manage the finances alone. In all important matters of life, they are not listened even!
  1. women are expected  to follow the customs and rituals of society blindly, irrespective of the fact that many of them create severe depression, anxiety and stress in turn. For example: traditions designed to feel women less empowered like rukhsati, karo kari, and others.
  1. women are also expected to live according to their husbands sweet wishes. It would include any thing from having more than 12 children in less than 12 years, to being childless in 20 years of married life! It includes everything from having full cocktail hijab to bikini style beach dress! All depend upon a man- the husband.
  1. women are taken as sex objects in some of the culures – so they are no more free to move freely.
  1. Women are never given identity of their own name: at first they are identified with the name of their father and then after marriage they are recognized on behalf of their husbands good names!

In most of the areas of Pakistan, women are treated as if they are not human at all. Their identity, respect and worth are of no value when they are being brought up. So much so, they are not well protected, fed, and secured in their own parents’ kingdom. As a result, they become victims of trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, and many other psychological and emotional disorders. Well, they are not aware of this fact that they are being abused and it is a crime in the dictionary of Law. It is a blessing in disguise as if they knew it, their stress would be doubled!

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Helping The Poor Girls In Pakistan

A boy is a symbol of  power, authority, success, luck, wealth and a stream of fortune forever. Being a boy means, having a home on a permanent basis, having safety forever, peace of mind with respect to parents love and care, having a continuous and unconditional love of parents and relatives, feeling high all the time only due to your gender identity. Though a boy needs to get educated, yet he needs nothing else. He needs to get educated and lead his life as per his own choice. He has to earn money and status for him and his family’s well being. But he is all in all in deciding many domestic matters. He is free in his movements- not afraid of being raped on the way going home. He is getting priority in all the matters, from attending  a luxurious dinner to attending a trip outside city. Boys are very much social in nature as compared to girls as they are more encouraged and appreciated in adapting that attitude. Boys are brave as per our culture. Boys never weep according to our cultural education. Boys should be respected, honored and valued more due to their gender as compared to girls. Boys should keep the money in their hands as they are responsible for their sisters (or female member’s) needs. Boys are free to living alone, whereas girls are not simply allowed to do that.

Girls feel, in such a society, that they cannot express themselves fully being a girl. They bear restrictions on their dressing, social life, education, liberty and freedom tremendously since the day of their birth. They are not well come, being a girl at home, in a family, and in the society. Their position is weak being a girl at home, as they are thought a burden upon parents. They are taken as symbols of honor that can be damaged through any sexual activity. They are not allowed to go out for a walk alone, as their safety is compromised. They are pushed to stay at home as their presence at home is considered  a safety precaution. Their primary responsibility is towards their family – taking care of others (usually males) through household affairs and making sacrifices for them. Girls are never free to choose their life partner of their own choice. Rarely parents accept it, if the partner chosen by their daughter is from high class and worth marrying.  Things are very complicated for girls. It seems, all are their well wishers, but in reality, all are only protecting them from the unseen and unrealistic dangers. That over protecting attitude generates feelings of low self esteem and worthlessness among girls. They live their lives under constant pressure of society, family, and the culture overall.

The dilemma never ends. When a girl is married, her all decisions are carried out by her husband – usually husband is the only earning hand. Girls, even after being mothers, are not thought as an influencer and decision maker. They have to live according to the rules of their husband and his family. There is no rocket science that you cannot understand. There is simply the abuse: emotional, verbal, social, and physical. A girl cannot decide how many children she wants. She cannot decide what career she wants to pursue. She cannot decide what is her planning of the future in terms of spending money on her needs. In most families, girls even cannot decide what food they wish to eat. For sports, girls are never encouraged to participate in. They are thought as the weakest part of the society –  a misfortune bestowed upon the people.

I salute them for living in such a society and smiling all day. I can see western girls being more independent, free, happy, energetic, powerful, influencing, authentic, intelligent and inspiring in overall all fields of life – as compared to Pakistani ones. My humble advice for our generation of girls is that to take charge of their lives, their happiness and their decisions. Do not rely upon anyone, especially when it comes to your life, your need and your pleasure. Seek your way to find your destiny, your identity and your future and be persistent in seeking that throughout your life. This is your war: fight or flight-It is up to you. But if you fight, there are ample chances that you will win; otherwise chances are that you will be caught and could not rise again.

Thanks