Of 3.27 lakh crimes against women reported in India in 2015, nearly 34% were registered against women's husbands or their families for subjecting her to cruelty, as per NCRB numbers.
Domestic violence is a harrowing reality, but also one that is often brushed under the carpet due to concerns of reputation and "honour" of the woman and the family. And while the conversation around domestic abuse revolves around the victim and perpetrator, children often end up being the invisible spectators, but victims nevertheless.
This short film, which was uploaded on the US Consulate General Chennai's Facebook page on December 3, highlights how the spouse isnâ€™t the only victim. The film takes place at a parents-teacher meeting, and for the most part, in the voice of a child as his parents read the sweet and then chilling essay about his family.
Watch it here:
â€śLast Sunday, Daddy gave me a bat. But in the evening, he hit mummy in the face with the bat because he did not like the food.â€ť
The short film titled â€śSilence the Violenceâ€ť propagates the message that the only thing worth silencing in such scenario is the violence and cycle of abuse it perpetuates, not the victims.
And against the refrain of how such "family matters" shouldn't be interfered in, Kunal's teacher has an apt answer: "This is not interfering. This is intervening," she retorts when Kunal's father expresses his displeasure at the teacher's actions.
What is also worth noticing here is that the essay indicates the effect an abusive domestic environment can have on children. â€śI am small and I am very angry,â€ť is the last line of Kunalâ€™s essay, an indication at the effects witnessing abuse can have on impressionable minds.
"Silence the Violence" won the grand prize at the US Consulate Generalâ€™s film festival for womenâ€™s safety in Mumbai last year. The film festival also coincided with â€ś16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violenceâ€ť observed between November 25 and December 10 as part of United Nationsâ€™ UniTe campaign. The campaign aims to â€śgalvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the worldâ€ť.