The Invisible Victim of Domestic Abuse…A Man
His face looked so peaceful, sleeping peacefully. Finally he was free, from all the pain and all the sufferings!
Uncle Imam was a bright student who lived in a small town in rural Punjab. He wanted to study engineering. His village did not had an engineering college so his parents send him to Karachi to live with his Khala when he got admission in the Engineering University.
He lived on the third floor in his Khala"s house, worked at a local tv repair shop as a part-time help to support himself. He ate lunch and dinner at the local street cafe nearby. Uncle never wanted to be a burden on his aunt. Alia was his class fellow who he really liked. She was a smart, hard working girl. After completing his degree Uncle Imam got a very good job in a multi-national company in Karachi. When he went back to his village his mother distributed mithai in the village.
"I want you to marry a "chand si dulhan" , now," said Amijaan.
"There is a girl named Alia she was in college with me," he told her.
"Not at all, you will marry your Khala"s daughter Khalida, after all your Khala took care of you while you were studying in Karachi and your Khala and Khalu have sent proposal for their younger son for your sister," Ami announced quite authoritatively.
Uncle Imam married his cousin after 6 months, it was perhaps the beginning of a very tough journey.
Khalida was the only sister of 3 brothers, very spoiled, highly short-tempered and very judgmental. Uncle Imam tried to make her happy but there was never any stoppage to her sudden temper tantrums.
" Ami please talk to Khala jee, her daughter had made my life miserable. She does not likes any of my friends or their wives. She fights with everyone the milk-man, neighbors even with her own brothers," Uncle Imam asked his mom couple of years after the marriage.
" I think she needs psychiatric help," he sounded extremely sad.
His mother spoke to her sister but it made the matter worse.
The next evening when Uncle Imam returned from work Khalida had gone to her parents house, he went to pick her up she yelled and screamed at him in front of her entire family.
"I am not ‘pagal,’ I don't need any psychiatric help or anger management", Khalida was literally screaming out loud.
" Ami I can't live with this woman anymore," he called his mother.
" No beta if you leave her , your sister will also be sent back to her parents house, please accept her for your sister’s sake,” his mother was crying.
He resisted for few days but then went back to bring Khalida home. She came back with him on one condition, "He will keep no contact with any of his family members!"
They were married for almost 7 years and had no children. "Let's go to a doctor and get some medical help," Uncle said to her one day.
"Doctors just want to get hefty checks from patients, I will go to Pir Sahab for dua, we will have a child soon after his duas," was her reply.
Khalida spent more than 10 years going to different Pir Sahabs, spent thousands of rupees on black magic.
They never had children and she blamed Uncle Imam’s family for all her miseries. Uncle called them once in a while and secretly sent his parents money through an old trusted friend.
When his mother had a massive heart attack he went to see her without telling Khalida. "Beta, I am so sorry for ruining your life, please forgive me," were her only words. She passed away the next day.
They had been married for almost 20 years and Khalida had also started physically abusing her husband. The couple had no friends. Uncle was not allowed to watch TV or read newspapers as according to Khalida everything has become too "westernized".
Earlier this morning I got the news of Uncle Imam’s passing I rushed to their house with my family. My father was his only trusted friend from college. Maybe his only confidant.
"Imam is in a better place now,” said my father. Uncle proved to the world that he was an obedient son and brother.
Khalida was sent to a psychiatric hospital few weeks after his death. Her brothers and their families refused to keep a "psychopath" in their house.
Uncle Imam was a one of many men who are victims of domestic abuse. Maybe "the invisible, the silent victims of domestic abuse".
In cases of domestic abuse all over the world, the stereotype involves a man abusing a woman. In some cases the story goes the other way around.
In a study by HelpGuide.Org( a non profit organization) in almost 33% of reported cases of domestic abuse all over the world the victim is a man.