Living in a middle-class neighborhood in Pakistan, nearly each and every day we hear about how “Uski khala ki beti ney khula leli”, “haan haan baji uska miyan uspr bohat tashaddud karta tha”. And this, even though it sounds usual to us but it’s like a step back for our country because no one wants to live in a country in which people would gossip, rather than helping others out. If you look at a newspaper right now, any date, you would see at least one case of how a wife or a husband got killed because of not complying with their significant other’s wish. Pushing the most common cause aside, it’s a shameful thing to say for us that, the next generation which was supposed to be carrying out our traditions and culture in, are getting raped and killed like its nothing. Human beings are acting like retards, with no sense of humanity, whatsoever. Treating anyone, whether it be a woman or a man, as an inferior is like letting your education go to waste. Tell me something real quick; keeping current events in your mind, if a terrorist were to enter Pakistan under illegal circumstances with an ill-thought, and you get to know his whereabouts. Would you let him live in peace? I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t. Then why are we not taking action against those who are the terrorists of their household? We have been hearing since we were children about how women should co-operate with men after marriage because no one prefers to marry a divorced woman. How can one say that, after seeing the faces of those women and kids who are victims of mental and physical torture and are forced to live like that by their own parents? Domestic violence isn’t just a problem for children and women, it’s also one for the elderly. Now, how would you feel if you work hard all of your life, give the best life to your kids and when it’s their responsibility to give you a good life, they chicken out because its ‘too hard’ for them or they ‘don’t have enough money’. Domestic violence includes honor killing, dowry killing, rapes, marital rapes, stoning, bride burning, child marriage, and mental abuse. Honor killing, dowry killing, stoning, child marriages, and bride burning. Most of it seems like it’s extremely rare, but if you visit the interior Pakistan, you would see how common it is. How should we respond to domestic violence? If a victim is denying that no domestic abuse is applied to them, the simplest way to make them realize that they’re being a victim of domestic violence is to talk to them. By letting them know about their change in behavior that you have been noticing. If you truly care about them or even as a human being you should reiterate that you are concerned about them and want them to know that you are always with them without any judgment. There are some scenarios in which the victim comes to defend the abuser because they are totally blinded by love or sometimes they can’t see that they’re being abused. In such cases don’t rush things, don’t try to argue with the victim or don’t even try to pass negative comments against the abuser because it may result in polarization and the victim becoming more defensive towards the abuser. Instead, you should listen to them in making any decision and tell them that you’ll do whatever they want you to do. Approach the issue again when you feel that the victim is less defensive. Sometimes there are situations like the victim leaves the relationship or is willing to leave a relationship. But later on, the victim justifies the abuser’s behavior and goes back in the relationship, which becomes very frustrating for their loved ones and sometimes they feel like giving upon them. “Just don’t give up on them”, sometimes It is okay to share boundaries with the person but giving up might put that person in a more dangerous situation. If he or she feels there is nowhere to go, the chances of him or her leaving in the future lessens greatly. It is uncommon for a victim to be completely withdrawn and hard for loved ones to access. This could happen when the abuser is isolating the victim in gaining more control over them which can result in severe mental health issues. In such cases, try to reach out to the victim when you think it’s safe to contact them. Do not say negative things about the abuser, as it is not uncommon for the abuser to be monitoring the correspondence the victim has with others. Just let the person know you are there for him or her and try to meet with the person in private in order to discuss safety planning and making future contact as safe as possible. The most common factor is fear. Sometimes the victim fears to leave their spouse or partner thinking about how it might result. They fear their children and other crisis they might face, as the abuser may be threatening them or may harm their children. It is tempting to try to tell the victim there is nothing to be afraid of, but this is invalidating. Instead, let the victim know that the concerns he or she has are reasonable and legitimate. A professional who works with domestic violence is often helpful to figure out the safety and legal issues that exist in these situations. Acknowledge that waiting to leave is sometimes safer than just leaving without a plan.