August 3, 2016
With growing awareness on human rights violation, the instances of domestic violence are increasing in Coimbatore. The nature of domestic violence, however, seems to be class-oriented – while the upper middle class suffers from relationship issues, the families belonging to the lower middle class are forever haunted by financial worries.
According to V.K. Subramaniam, president of the National Human Rights Organization of Coimbatore, more than 20 family cases have been reported to his organization this year alone, and the numbers keep increasing every year. “On an average, we receive 30 cases every year, and more than fifty percent are family disputes,” he said.
He added that most of the complaints come from the lower middle case as they are unable to meet the financial needs of the family. “The problem arises when there is only one breadwinner, and that is the woman. Men quarrel with their wives under the influence of alcohol,” he pointed out.
While the issue is such in lower middle class families, the middle and higher class families are affected by property disputes among siblings.
“It’s ironic but most of the cheating complaints involving property and money, that we receive are against family members, and not outsiders. In one case, a woman was kept under house arrest by her in-laws after a dispute arose over the property following her brother’s death. The entire family tried to harm her, but she is now being supported and guided by the organization,” M. Muthuraj, secretary of the organisation, told the Covai Post.
He stated that even members of a same family can sometimes go to ridiculous extents when disputes arise over the property. “This is usually instigated by third parties,” he said.
Misunderstanding in the relationship is also a big issue in families, especially when the person begins to suspect the spouse, according to Muthuraj. “The peace in the family is lost once the wife or the husband starts to doubt the partner’s fidelity. These things need to be sorted out by counselling,” said Muthuraj, who himself is a counsellor.
Subramaniam, who has been with the organization for more than ten years, added that he would first talk with the wife and then give counselling to the husband, and try to bring them to a compromise. “We try as much as possible to not take the case to the police, and solve the issues by ourselves by letting the couple talk to each other and sort out their issues. We solve 99 percent of the problems,” he said.
According to Dr. D. Srinivasan, a psychiatrist at a Coimbatore-based hospital, children who are exposed to such domestic violence are end up suffering from fear, low self-esteem, and depression.
“They are afraid of their parents because they are constantly fighting with each other, either verbally or physically, and start avoiding school. Some would end up having conduct disorders and become loners,” he said.
The doctor also said that there are high chances that such children might become addicted to drugs.