How can you raise your hand on a woman?

Happened close enough to me to disturb me. A regular fight got ugly and the man in question started pushing the woman around. She screams. He threatens to throw her off the balcony. I get to know of this the next morning. My stomach turns. My first words to her are dont you take the first slap, because thats when the hitting will never stop. I dont know their relationship. I dont know the issues behind the fight. But I do know that I have zero respect for the man in question. I wouldnt put it past him. I do also know that a woman has to stand up for herself. A woman has to be strong enough to not let a man get such total control over her that he assumes she is okay with being a punching bag. A woman has to be intimidating enough that he never ever has the courage to raise a hand. A woman should shout for help and not cower in her room, and let the abuse continue behind closed doors.

If a man hits you once, he is going to do it again. And again. And again. And it will only get worse. I have no first hand experience of this. The spouse is a gentleman. He will yell, scream, shake the earth, but not raise his hand. Ever. Not even in jest. It sometimes is amazing how the same genetic pool can create such disparate personalities.

Then I read about Rihanna’s album and her song written after her boyfriend Chris Brown assaulted her, and my stomach turns some more. If a woman like Rihanna, who is the epitome of gorgeous and successful can get assaulted, how safe is the average woman from the average guy she is in a relationship with. As safe as Aishwarya was when she was in a relationship with Salman Khan, I guess. But thats old history. I would like to think the man has changed. I havent read of any assaults with the newly recent ex-girlfriend.

My earliest lesson on how to deal with domestic violence came at home. My parents were in a gruesome argument. My dad, tall, broadshouldered, handsome and genial at the best of times had become a stranger. And in the midst of the fight, he smacked my mother hard on the face. The next moment is something that has stayed with me all my life. My tiny, wren like mother, stood on her toes, eyes blazing, and smacked my father right back across his face. Needless to say, he never, ever dared lift his hand again. No matter how terrible the fight.

Dont take the first slap. Dont stay back in the relationship. A man who hits is not a man to be trusted. Dont expect him to change. Dont explain away his behaviour by drink, or depression or a mood swing. Just get away. And save yourself. You need to respect yourself before expecting him to respect you.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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9 Responses to How can you raise your hand on a woman?

  1. Nova says:

    U will be surprised to know Kiran, but the number of beautiful, successful women who bear the tantrums of their enraged boyfriend/husband is quite disturbing!!

    Domestic Violence should not be supported or tolerated at any cost and very well pointed out that the first slap is not the last! If it can happen once, it will happen again!

    Very well written!
    I can imagine. The only way some men can deal with their insecurity is by being physically violent.


  2. Meira says:

    Rightly said. October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I read so many horror stories on blogs that I would murder the next assaulter that came along!
    Have you seen the Bell Bajao ads? I liked them.

    Yup. That was a nice campaign. We need to do more Bell Bajaoing in the urban context. Everyone minds their own business a bit too much.


  3. Aathira says:

    I have read so many domestic violence stories on blogs, regarding friends, relatives and sometimes neighbours.

    Initially I was of the belief that an educated modern man will not raise his hand on a woman, but each of these blog posts said the exact opposite. It is like to claim their supremacy, the resort to one thing which is in their hands, physical strength.

    And if a woman bows down to this power play by allowing him to use physical strength on her, she has helped him assert his supremacy.


  4. Kakali says:

    Such an honest post. But I do think verbal abuse plays a big part in domestic violence. Continued verbal assaults and insults can play a huge role in bringing down a woman’s morale and confidence, to the point she is afraid to ever spaek up.

    Absolutely agree. Verbal abuse can be as detrimental as physical abuse. Many women make the mistake of accepting verbal abuse and insults with the premise that as long as he’s not raising a hand on me its okay. But it isnt.


  5. Chanda says:

    It is very very true – once a man hits you there will always be a next time. Sad to see many women sliently bear the abuse in the hope of a better tomorrow, something that may NEVER come. I pray all us women get the strength to stand up for ourselves in every situation.

    On a brighter note: please share tips on weight loss. I have been trying to lose weight for the last 6 months with no success as yet :((((

    True, to stand up for ourselves, and for other women around us in such a situation. Weight loss tips? Maybe will just do you a post!


  6. priyaiyer says:

    gosh.. that hit me real hard.. my stomach turned too, reading of this… i can’t imagine it happening to any woman.. 😦

    very rightly said – don’t let any man ever take such complete control on you that he feels free to use you as a punching bag… i so totally agree with this.. sad that many women don’t realise this and as chanda said, carry on in the hopes of a better tomorrow.. 😦

    True. A better tomorrow never comes.


  7. anon says:

    i think it’s a question of raising one’s hand on a person. in general. a woman who’s response in an argument is to slap her male spouse, is as much at fault as a man who hits a woman. if one cannot argue with words, one should not argue at all, my mother said. And that’s what they teach in law school also 🙂

    Divya, if I am ever slapped, I am not about to stand there arguing with words. No matter what law school says. And in the real world, there is no argument before a man decides to just get aggressive to remove some frustration of his…


  8. Priyanka says:

    It is scary, isn’t it, that a woman can give that right to a man to abuse her but will still stand up for him in public. Have seen it happen and nothing made me more sadder or angrier. Such an outrage and such a waste!
    The policeman who arrived on the scene was apathetic and didn’t want to meddle in ‘family affairs’! Even though, we could hear the screaming and noise!

    Absolutely. In the incident I wrote about, the woman is back to pandering to her man’s whims and fancies, and even feeding him with the spoon when he’s too drunk to eat. I pity her.


  9. Poppy says:

    True and I also thank my stars that even though I’ve said enough to warrant a smack, the husband has never even raised his hand, not even in a gesture to hit. He just doesn’t hit, period, not even his kids.

    I haven’t personally heard of any domestic violence stories in the urban class and am shocked to hear of your incident.

    And you would be even more shocked to hear the details. When we next meet I must tell you all.


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