“You are not good enough for our son”
“You did not bring any dowry”
“You come from such a poor background”
Prasad* began beating Shanti* soon after their wedding. Encouraged by his father, the beatings began over minor disagreements but escalated when Prasad’s poor financial management left them broke.
Despite the constant abuse, and Shanti needing to work two jobs to help pay back the debts her husband had accumulated in their names, Shanti fought to save the marriage, even after Prasad asked for a divorce. The couple went through long periods of separation and reconciliation, but the abuse only continued. Shanti’s neighbours became increasingly concerned for her wellbeing, approaching her in secret and giving her money to help her flee to safety.
But Shanti’s family home was not a safe place. Her parents refused to support her, and her in-laws threatened to kill her relatives if she would not ‘behave’. With nowhere to go, Shanti approached the local police who, thanks to our partnership with local police services, referred her to a PeaceMaker Counselling Centre.
Her PeaceMaker recalls that, in their first session, Shanti listened intently to the definition of abuse and her legal rights; things she had never heard before. She decided to proceed with the divorce and fight for a life free from abuse.
Shanti’s case is continuing. She still works two jobs to pay off the shared debt she has with Prasad, and the divorce court proceedings are ongoing.
Shanti has grown in confidence and self-esteem, but she still has a long road ahead of her. Her local PeaceMaker Counselling Centre continues to walk with her, offering support and helping her access the services she needs to secure her safety and independence.
*names changed for privacy