I heard of Kiranjit Ahluwalia a few years ago. She had suffered from so many years of abuse and torment from her husband.
In 1979, at the age of 23, Ahluwalia left her home of Chakkalal in Punjab to travel to the United Kingdom after marrying her husband, Deepak—a man she had only met once. For ten years, she stated that she suffered from domestic abuse including physical violence, food deprivation, and marital rape.
When Ahluwalia looked to her family for help, they reprimanded her, saying it was a matter of family honour that she remained with her husband. She ultimately tried running away from home, but was found by her husband and brought back into her abusive environment. Deepak may or may not have been suffering from some sort of undiagnosed mental illness. During her marriage, Ahluwalia had two sons, Sandeep and Rajeev, who often bore witness to the violence she endured.
[^ Amit Roy (June 12, 2005). “An eye for an eye”. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050612/asp/look/story_4851495.asp.]
It’s these stories of the struggles many women face that gives us women the chance to be careful and thankful that we have the freedom to choose the husbands we wish to spend the rest of our lives with, or the type of men we want to be surrounded with. And as mothers and sisters it is our duty to teach our sons and our brothers to treat their women with respect and dignity without ceasing. It is through our teaching our sons and showing them how to treat their women and a woman’s value that we as women gain power in this world.
After Miss Ahluwalia was released from prison that she delivered this following speech at the Southhall Black Rally 1989 (also featured in the book “Circle of Light”)
“Children Bring Joy to any life.
My culture is like my blood flowing through every vein of my body.
It is the culture in which I was born, which sees the woman as the owner of the house.
In order to uphold this false honour, she’s taught to endure many kinds of oppression and pain in silence.
A woman is a toy, a play thing, broken at will, stuck together at will.
For 10 years I lived a life of beating and degradation and no one noticed.
I came out of my husbands jail and entered the jail of the law.
It is here at last that I have found a kind of freedom.
(speech given to the media outside the prison after being released)
……In life there is NO honour in silent suffering , there is no affection, no comfort found in love that is abused. It is our responsibility as mothers to raise our sons to treat women with love and respect. Not violence and anger. Only then will the suffering end. My story is a part of the picture, I may not be important but this issue (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) is. Please do not forget that there are many women who need help from you.
~ Kiranjit Ahluwalia ~
This message to stand up against domestic violence is not only for women it is for men as well because domestic violence is not something that only women face, men also do. Only there is not too much exposure when it comes to men being abused….
Our world will never be a beautiful place if cruelty towards our spouses or our fellow beings is a prevalence in our daily lives….
LOVE LIFE and FEIRCELY LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!