Incidents of domestic violence go unchecked in AchhamAs many as 86 cases of domestic violence were reported at the District Police Office in the past 20 months.
A 38-year-old woman of Mangalsen Municipality-5 in Achham, who asked her name to be withheld for privacy reasons, works odd jobs from crushing pebbles at construction sites to working as a field hand. Sometimes days go by without a single job as is the nature of wage employment but what troubles her the most is her alcoholic husband.
“My husband used to work in India but he returned when the pandemic hit,” she said. “Earlier I only had to worry about getting work and feeding my children but now I also have to endure physical and mental torture in the hands of my husband. He returned home an alcoholic and there’s no stopping him.”
According to her, she lodged complaints against her husband for domestic violence with the local police several times but not a single case has been filed so far.
“I dread going home at night. My husband can attack us anytime,” she said. “My younger daughter went to India in search of work because she couldn’t take her father’s violence anymore. No one has come forward to help us. The police ask me to settle the matter at home since it’s a family affair. But they don’t understand how dangerous my husband can get when he is drunk and angry with us.”
Another woman from ward 3 of Mangalsen Municipality barely survived when her husband, under the influence of alcohol, attempted to burn her to death a few months ago. She sustained major burn injuries in the incident. She still faces repeated violence from her husband, which is causing her mental distress, she says.
“My husband beats me up almost every day and asks me to leave the house. Where will I go with my three children?” said the woman, who also asked to remain anonymous. “My mother-in-law also beats me up. I went to the police but they sent me away asking me to settle the dispute at home. There is no one to understand the pain and sufferings of women like me.”
Incidents of domestic violence are rife in Achham, with the majority of women complaining of violence in the hands of alcoholic husbands. The data at the district police office and the district court mirror the grim picture of domestic violence in the district.
As many as 86 cases of domestic violence and 48 suicide incidents, the majority of which involved women, were reported at the district police office in the past 20 months. Thirty-nine other cases of family disputes were also registered at the police during the same time period.
“Incidents of domestic violence go unchecked in Achham. Many women complain of physical and mental torture in the hands of their husbands and in-laws,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Tulsiram Aryal. “The police are ready to help the victims but in most cases, the couples prefer settling the issue at home.”
According to the data available at the Achham district court, a total of 61 cases related to women violence were filed at the legal body in the last fiscal year. According to Kamal Dhungana, a non-gazetted first-class officer at the court, 34 cases have been settled while others are pending.