Dealing with emotional harassment from ex-husband

This query was posted in a Domestic Violence Survivors group. Eksaath foundation had this advise. This would be relevant to all victims who are going are facing emotional harassment by their abuser. Most abusers live off the high they get from the harassing the victim. The victims fear feeds the abuse. The goal most often is to emotionally destabilise the victim and then go for the kill. In any abusive situation, a calm and cold unemotional response is like dousing the abusers abuse (at that point of time). Like water on fire. Every small victory helps.

First you need to stop giving into your fear and take charge of your emotions. The more emotional you will get the more ineffective and more you will appear to be unstable. Your abuser would be great at masking his emotions in front of others. Second, if his attempt to take custody has been thwarted then take that as evidence that you may be doing something right. Third, begin documenting every thing in an email to your self. The email will have date stamp that’s untamperable and can be used as evidence of the chaos that’s being caused. Fourth, take your children into confidence about what’s happening. The more you appear as a unit in private and public. The better it would be to counter his claims. Fifth, join a public group when you can participate and contribute to help other people. Building a supportive network will be most crucial. Again this will help in building a persona, that you are a great mom and citizen. If you are working, engage with professionals in social environment and professional environments where they see you perform as a capable person. Network with those in legal arena too. They could give you insight. Please enroll yourself and your children in self defense classes. As much as the harassment will continue, and it may. The only way to rebut the harassment is to build your emotional framework to be stronger.


A CEO can abuse his wife too!

An Indian CEO was accused of abusing his wife for 10 years. And people re surprised. How can he do this?. Its not possible, its unbelievable etc.

Domestic violence is not carried out only by men in slums, or men drunk, or men unemployed, or this kind of a man or that kind of a man. A rich man is as capable of beating the crap out of his wife as a poor man is. And a woman with money and education and a great job, can also be in a domestic violence situation and choose to live with her violent husband.

Men and women in home wrecks don’t come with horns of their head. Majority lead double, triple lives with multiple personalities. Many abusive people are extremely nice, well respected and admired in society. And at home they are extremely abusive with their families. 

The lady who got abused by the CEO/abuser will have nightmares for next decade and even more unless he seeks therapy. It will be an uphill battle for her to come to terms with one of the most crucial self esteem breakers – how could i let him do this to me! This is one question that torments women more than anything and it becomes worse when you ask this question and you continue to take the violence.

For women who live in abusive situation, the most difficult step is to take that first step towards separation. To say enough. Its quite possible to be in love with your abuser and continue to love him or her. Who we fall in love with, we cannot help. But we can choose how we allow them to treat us.



Mothers are culpable for the violence of her sons.

How does domestic violence continue in a home really? In families where the husband is open with his hands and mouth and thinks it’s Ok to use them inappropriately because it’s his right to do so, how does one contain it? Is the husband only to be blamed? No.

Yes, he is the directly culpable for the violence. But his mother, is indirectly culpable too. In fact in many many cases, mother-in-laws, would perhaps egg the son on – dikha de usse ke mard kaun hai. laga de ek chanta, theek ho jayegi. (Show her who the man is, give her a slap and she will be alright)

Violence does not happen in a silo. It sometimes happens with tacit permission from family members. Remember this. If you are an in-law, and you say, when your son beats his wife, it’s a private matter between them, you are directly supporting the violence. Infact, you are telling your son, it’s Ok to beat his wife. And children too, if he beats them too.

As parents, its your birthright, to take a stick to your son when he does something wrong. Use it. You will save not only your daughter-in-law’s life, but your grand children’s lives and their future families, your daughter in law’s parent’s lives, her family and family’s family.

By using the stick, you will end up saving many many people. Use the stick. Perhaps, it would be 20 years too late, but intervene and tell your son, ‘Do not raise your hands on your wife. you wish to vent your anger, talk civilly. Do not raise your hands.’

Is this a just expectation? Yes. But will it happen? Not unless, families and society address the senior women in the homes where violence happens too. But the other side of the coin is, many of the older women, have taken the hit too. Violence sometimes then comes naturally to her children too. It’s a vicious cycle, that can be broken only by continuous engagement with the women, to break that cycle – to see the light.

A father who beats, is only a man!

An abusive home is not a home where there are any familial relationships left. The day a girls father starts whipping her mom, he loses all his rights as a father. He is then only a man beating her mother. The daughter, in the case below, slaps her father because she sees her mom get beat up.  In a situation like this, self-preservation always comes first. And the only way is to defend herself and her mother against the violent onslaught.

Because the daughter slaps her father, the violence would stop a bit because the daughter is all grown up and he sees he can’t control her. But finally the father is a man. When he gets  beat by his daughter,  he may step back a bit because he may be humiliated – that a woman, and then his daughter slapped him. But his anger won’t have abated.

In a case like this, the women in the home should watch their back, especially the mom. And if you are old enough to beat your father, you are old enough to move out of your father’s house. That should be the next step.

You should also remember one thing – don’t get frightened to get beat up. There is pain yes. But the moment you stop getting frightened of landing up in the hospital, that’s the day you will start changing the situation to your advantage.


I don’t feel to go anonymous here.

The biggest mistake I ever did was that ‘I slapped my father’

Before going into details I would like to tell about my father’s family background.

My father’s family hated my mother for giving birth to me. They had craving for a son. Somehow, my mother managed to get out of my father’s hometown.

It was all possible due to courtesy of my grandfather. He was on his death bed when he apologized to my mom that he couldn’t do anything of the situation. He was the only noble soul in their family.

But after my grandfather died, his family again used to poison my father’s mind. We were in deep trouble sometimes due to his drinking habits and abusing my mother physically.

My mother used to never say a word in revolt.

It was a few years back, I was preparing for my medical entrances. I needed few books to study. As usual mom didn’t have money. I asked her to talk to dad at night about money to buy books. She hesitated a bit but eventually agreed.

Night after my father came back from his office, my mom went to ask money for my books. He was partly drunk at that time.

He suddenly started to beat my mom. This continued for almost one hour. I was far asleep but I was woken up due to sobs of my mother.

I asked the reason for her crying. She narrated me whole incident. I was in a fit of rage. I said to myself enough of this ‘’agyakari beti” business and went straight to him and bang!

I slapped him with all my strength. My mom came to stop me.

My father was literally stunned. He said some words which any father would never say to his daughter, he said “I should have listened to my brothers, I should have killed you the moment you were born!”

I was always very close to my mother. Earlier I didn’t hate my father but I didn’t love him much either.

After the slapping incident something changed. My father stopped harassing my mother. And he also stopped talking to me after that.

It’s the mistake which, when I think logically, was actually a blessing in disguise.. :-)”

Need to have laws with teeth to deal with domestic violence cases.


This is fantastic. But we also need to have counter laws that protect genuine women who are facing violence at home from women who fake domestic violence cases against their spouses. There must be harsh penalties meted out to such women. Not so much for men but this must be done for women. False cases against the men sours the system against women. And the system is run by men. We must remember that. We need the system to be fair and not get jaded by fake cases.

According to the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW), “between April 2013 and July 2014, of the 2,753 complaints of rape, only 1,287 cases were found to be true, and the remaining 1,464 cases were found to be false” (Source : So what did happen to those women who filed false cases? No idea. But what must have happened to genuine rape cases locked in between those false one? You get the idea.

Domestic violence cases are not red flagged ones.

So there is this piece of data that is floating via #Zindagi channel – that you can easily spot a domestic violence case. The answer to this is a BIG definitive NO.

Domestic Violence cases are not red flagged ones, that you can spot a mile away. Hey there goes that woman who gets beat up. Yes, if you find a woman with bruises, time and time again, she is most probably a victim of violence. But because you cannot see the bruises and blood etc, does not preclude a woman from being a victim of violence.

Are there obvious signs for a domestic violence case? Not all the time. There was a case, where a woman left office sharp at 6 pm. She was bright, smart, aggressive, with an MBA degree. And she was a role model for work life balance. Reality was, she needed to leave at 6 pm sharp and had to reach home before her husband came back from work. Why? Because he did not like her staying at work beyond a certain time, and had whacked her before for staying late. There were no trauma signs on her physical self. But yes she was a victim of home or domestic abuse.

Another point on the channel being made, a man who is excessively possessive is a perpetrator of violence. Again a resounding NO. Men by the very nature are territorial. A man can be possessive, may not like his wife or girlfriend speaking to another man etc. That does not translate to being abusive. Unless his unacceptance is combined with actual emotional or physical abuse.

Aggressiveness in a relationship is not being abusive. This also needs to include the limits that are acceptable to women. Every woman is different. What one woman may think to be possessive is claustrophobic, another may deem it to be natural.

It’s important not to paint text book phrases to aggressive situations. Context and reciprocal acceptance and non acceptance of that context is also material, when defining a abusive or violent situation. It’s very important to bear this in mind.

Violence has nothing to do with financial status

What is it about women that drives them to stay with people who make them feel like shit? Genetically, we are inclined to take care of or to fix things, to believe that things will get better – always hopeful. But sometimes one has to draw the line for oneself, as we would for those who we love and who would be in similar traumatic situations.








The conflict that Ms Nigella Lawson faced in her personal life is a testament to this. Beautiful, admired by her audience, talented, and still with such low self esteem that she allowed a man to hold her by the neck in a popular restaurant, in full view of people.

The perception is that domestic violence happens only to the lower class people. Uncouth men only belong to that strata of society. Such a fallacy to believe this! Women there have more guts to deal with men who are violent and abusive.

It is the middle class and upper class that feel that they have to keep appearances, even when they get emotionally battered. You can see from the picture the threat, the violence in the man reflected by the fear on her face. The way she is pacifying as a woman does usually to pacify her

The only way is to walk away. For women, their life’s destiny is not to change the personality of the oppressor, but to get away from him/them, so that they remain unbroken. Domestic violence is about breaking the victim’s self to shreds. That’s ‘that’ power that abusers seek and get off on. Women have to understand this. Once you take that power away, the oppressor has no go. Women have to understand this as well.