If you had been following the Shraddha Walkar murder case, you must have come across the term ‘intimate partner voilence’. The victim was in an alleged toxic relationship with Aftab Poonawala who chopped her body into 35 pieces, stored it in his fridge, and used to go out at 2 am to get rid of […]
If you had been following the Shraddha Walkar murder case, you must have come across the term ‘intimate partner voilence’. The victim was in an alleged toxic relationship with Aftab Poonawala who chopped her body into 35 pieces, stored it in his fridge, and used to go out at 2 am to get rid of the pieces, slowly, across many days.
While the gruesome murder case is alarming and the victim’s loved ones await justice, it brought attention to the concept of violence, both emotional and physical, in relationships.
What is intimate partner violence?
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is often described as domestic violence by a current or former partner in an intimate relationship irrespective of whether the couple is married or not.
In their study titled ‘Understanding and addressing violence against women’, World Health Organization describes IPV as one of the most common forms of violence against women. While men are also subjected to violence, the overwhelming global burden of IPV is borne by women.
In fact, according to a WHO study, one in three women globally has experienced intimate partner violence.
Forms of IPV and kinds of relationships prone to it
Studies suggest that there are broadly four types of intimate partner violence – sexual, physical, emotional, and financial. Of all four, physical violence is the most common form of violence.
Intimate partner violence can occur in all settings and among all groups of the society irrespective of socio-economic condition, and religious and cultural background.
Why don’t people leave abusive relationships?
In the context of Walkar’s case, ever since the facts about her troubled relationship with Poonawala had come to light, there was one common question – why didn’t she leave him?
Psychologist Lenore E Walker, who incidentally shares the victim’s last name, wrote a book titled ‘The Battered Woman’. In the book, she talks about women who experience intimate partner violence.
Taken from her book is the battered woman syndrome, which psychologists say victims are suffering from, that makes them stay in traumatic relationships.
The syndrome is best described as, “where a woman in an abusive relationship starts feeling helpless, worthless, powerless, and accepting of the status quo”, reads a report by the Council of Europe blog.
There are many reasons why a person would not leave their partner, and such reasons may include financial dependence on the abuser, social constraints, offspring responsibility, and lack of alternatives such as shelters for victims of abuse and violence.