Source: The New York Times
NEW DELHI — This month, two women’s stories, told courageously, helped to underline the reality of domestic violence in India. Nita Bhalla, a journalist, wrote for the BBC about being physically assaulted by her partner. Meena Kandasamy, a poet and writer on social issues, wrote movingly in Outlook, a national newsmagazine, of surviving a violent marriage: “My skin has seen enough hurt to tell its own story.”
Both Ms. Kandasamy and Ms. Bhalla are, in Ms. Bhalla’s phrase, “professional, educated, independent” women, but as surveys of domestic violence in the country indicate, their empowerment was no protection against abuse.
In 2005-6, the National Health and Family Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Health in households across 29 states, mapped domestic violence in India. It found that about 40 percent of married women across the country had experienced domestic violence; the survey called it a serious public health problem.