Anubhav Sinha’s recent movie Thappad has been gripping the hearts of the audience since its release. It looks at an important social issue, domestic abuse. The movie stars Taapsee Pannu, Kumud Mishra, Dia Mirza, and Ram Kapoor among others. Thappad shows the story of many women in the country who face domestic abuse and also gives them encouragement to stand up for themselves.
A news portal took interviews of a psychiatrist as well as an advocate to understand the personal and legal repercussions of domestic abuse. Mumbai based psychiatrist Dr Manjiri Deshpande Shenoy shares that there are various types of abuse: physical, emotional, and neglect. She mentioned that it is not necessary that only women get abused as even men are victims of domestic abuse.
She shared that domestic abuse results in depression, anxiety, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). She talks about how the perpetrator gets the authority to do the same abuse again and again if there is no action taken from the victim’s end. A feeling of dependency on marriage may be one of the reasons why people do not come out of the toxic relationship. Be it a slap or even just a push, nothing must be tolerated by a woman, she said.
As shown in the movie Thappad, a slap makes Amrita (Taapsse) realise that there were sprinkles of abuse even before. Dr Manjiri urged that whenever someone takes the courage to speak up against domestic violence, they must be supported by everyone and also taken care of.
The news portal also interviewed advocate Rabindra Hazari about the laws on domestic abuse. In reality, getting a divorce on the basis of domestic abuse is a difficult process. He gave an example of how Hindus will have to look at Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act. Rabindra shared that a solitary slap will not be constituted under cruelty and thus might not be a strong ground for divorce. The Family Court counsellor also has to give a report to the judge that they have tried to settle the matter. Hazari reiterated that the counsellor or the judge will not consider a solitary slap under cruelty, thus making it difficult for a divorce. Marriage counsellor Dr Ali Ghabrani shares that counsellors will try to patch things and also suggest anger management.
Dr Manjiri stressed on the fact that a movie like Thappad is the first step towards change. She said that a name like Taapsee Pannu talking about this topic will certainly spread awareness among people about domestic abuse. In the end, she said that more films like this must be made that will encourage the victims of abuse to speak up.
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