Popular TV actor Divya Bhatnagar of Yeh Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai fame, who had been diagnosed with Covid-19, died early this week after a cardiac arrest. After her death her friend, Devoleena Bhattacharjee’s uploaded an emotional video on social media where she also alleged that her late friend had been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband Gagan Gabru.
Later, Divya’s brother found a note left behind in her cupboard in which she detailed the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, Gagan Gabru. Divya’s brother Devashish revealed that she had left behind a note in which she wrote details about the abuse she suffered in her marriage. Written on November 7 she had stated in the note that Gagan tortures and abuses her. She had also approached the police and filed an NC on November 16 against him, following an episode of domestic abuse.
It is rather shocking to know that one out of 3 women suffer domestic abuse at the hands of their spouses, according to a data. While we may think what makes them so long to report this or why they don’t leave their spouses at the first instance, we need to understand the sociological structure that surrounds marriages in our country.
What is Gender-based Violence?
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) has been defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.(UN, 1993)
Here are some other celebrities who faced physical violence from their spouses
Karisma Kapoor, the most top rated actress form the 90s, divorced her husband Sanjay Kapur on grounds of domestic violence. Karisma Kapoor was at the peak of her career when she tied the knot with industrialist and millionaire Sanjay Kapur. After being married for ten years and parenting two children, Karisma Kapoor filed for divorce pleading mental tortured and physical violence. It was speculated that the actress had also filed a case of domestic violence against her husband and his family.
Shweta Tiwari the talented television actress faced a bad marriage not once but twice. She was initially married to actor Raja Chowdhary, and was a victim of physical abuse and domestic violence after which she decided to divorce him. Things got ugly in this love marriage when he started physically and mentally abusing Shweta. She claimed that Raja would come home drunk and physically harm her and had reported against him in police stations. After divorcing Raja, Shweta married Abhinav Kohli but filed a domestic violence complaint against Abhinav in a few years of their marriage. They are separated now.
Doe-eyed yesteryear actress Rati Agnihotri was also a victim of an abusive marriage and physical violence by her husband. When she could no longer tolerate it, she lodged a complaint and walked out after 30 years. “Well, I had certain priorities, the biggest being my son Tanuj. He was the reason I put up with all this pain for 30 years. I also believed in the sanctity of marriage… I believed in love”, said Rati in a media interview when asked why she held on for so long.
While many still continue to bear the brunt of such toxic relationships, some take a stand and put their foot down to eventually call it quits on their partner. Leaving a relationship requires strength and courage and while we hope that no woman or man should have to face violence from a companion, we also have to extend our support and help to those who finally learn to say ‘enough is enough’.
If you are facing abuse or physical violence from your parents, spouse, partner, or in-laws, here are some details you can reach out to for help and guidance:
Legal help: SHEROES
Send a Whatsapp SOS Alert on 7217735372 to NCWIndia