In the past few days, three young, married women in Kerala have died allegedly due to dowry harassment and domestic violence.

A woman stands sideways her face covered by her hair in a public place while in the background a man approaches. Buildings can be seen in the background tooImage for representation
news Domestic violence Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 20:53

The Kerala Police’s 'Aparajitha Is Online', an initiative through which women can report cyber crimes against them, can now be used to submit complaints of domestic abuse too. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that women can file complaints through the platform, email aparajitha.pol@kerala.gov.in or call 9497996992.

Read: Kerala police offers platform where women can send cyber crime complaints

On June 23, Wednesday, alone, police officer R Nishanthini who took charge as nodal officer to probe dowry-related issues received 108 complaints. As many as 76 complaints were emailed to Aparajitha and 28 submitted complaints via phone. 

Already in place is the Domestic Conflict Resolution Centre in every district, that works online to resolve complaints of atrocities against women, CM Pinarayi wrote on Twitter. He tweeted that he has directed the Director-General of Police to enhance its operations and resolve complaints without delay.

The CM's tweets come in light of three suspected cases of dowry harassment and domestic violence leading to the death of young, married women. Vismaya was the first of the deaths that came out in the last three days. The 22-year-old was found hanging at her husband's house soon after sending SOS messages to a cousin regarding the domestic abuse she faced. Two other deaths were reported soon after–of 24-year-old Archana who burnt to death in a rented flat she lived in with her husband, and of 19-year-old Suchitra who was found dead in her husband's house.

"As a society, we need to reform the prevailing marriage system. Marriage must not be a pompous show of the family's social status and wealth. Parents have to realise that the barbaric dowry system degrades our daughters as commodities. We must treat them better, as human beings," Pinarayi Vijayan wrote.

"A fair society is that which treats women and men as equals. In light of the recent horrifying incidents of domestic abuse, Kerala has decided to take more stringent measures to create a fair society," he added.

He also said that instead of fearing what society would think, women facing domestic abuse need to raise their voice.

Vismaya's mother had later revealed that her daughter was afraid of what society would think if her domestic situation came to light.

Read:

When a woman is nothing if not a wife: Vismaya's death points to our shared guilt

Kerala sees rise in domestic violence during lockdown

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