One of the most common challenge a population of billions faces is domestic violence. India is one of the leading country’s, topping the charts with domestic violence cases and abusive marriages.
A prey to one such heinous crime was Indu Gopalakrishnan, hailing from Chennai, who got married at the naïve age of 23 to her best friend. After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal? “My whole idea of marriage was living with my best friend”, recalled Indu.
The young Indian started noticing some toxic traits in her then fiancé, which she decided to ignore anyway because of her perfect best friend-partner relationship. “When we got engaged, I knew he gets angry, but then we had our good share too”, recalls Indu.
However, there always comes a point in life where we tend to question how blind love truly is?
Eventually, the situation started escalating for Indu. Her husbands anger management issues turned to verbal abuse which eventually branched out to physical abuse.
Coming from a well educated family, this wouldn’t even make it to your wildest dreams. In fact, Indu recalled thinking that it only happened in villages or in movies.
The astonishment followed by a bucket full of shame and umpteen denial led Indu to stay in her abusive relationship, she made herself believe that this is how things are going to be and that she had to live with it since it is the ramifications of the choices she’s made.
Why are we often conditioned to think that love can fix all relationships?
From there on, it went all down hill for the young Indian. Normalizing abusive culture takes a lot of courage and denial and for Indu to have normalized her abusive relationship meant her love for him was deep rooted and above all. None the less, the day after another regular fight at the household, her husband decided to walk out on her.
What then was a blessing in disguise, took 2 years of back and forth, police stations, FIR’s, court hearings, etc before her life saving divorce was finalised.
The stigma around a broken marriage is deeply embedded in the Indian society. Conditioned thinking of such, led Indu not to walk out on her abusive relationship in the first place. Having no one to talk to, she felt helpless, crippled under society’s stigma.
“It would have been a lot easier if I had someone to talk to or a support forum I could reach out to”, recalled Indu.
The young Indian went on to help those like her, understanding the importance of just being heard. What started off as a coffee shop chat turned to a pan-India support group by the name of ‘Project Kesuri’, influenced by the Japanese art of mending broken things together.
Indu Gopalakrishnan, the young Indian went through a rollercoaster ride in her love life and this is the ever-inspiring journey of how she got out of it.