Joined: 22 August 2006
Joined: 09 October 2010
Joined: 18 January 2006
Joined: 09 October 2010
Joined: 04 March 2009
Joined: 24 January 2010
Joined: 18 January 2006
Parents often coerce their children to marry using various blackmail methods. Which kid would have the strength to make their own choices – if doing so meant parents being melodramatic and blaming it on the kids. Our sub-continental society is structured in such a way that parents often have a lot of emotional/social command over their kids. Parents continue to use this to force marriages, and every now and then it leads to unfortunate circumstances with people stuck in horrifying marriages. We need to put some legal recourses in place to send the message that such practices will have harsh consequences. Only then can long term change come through.
Yes, adults are capable of making their own decisions. They can say no or complain to authorities. That is why even if an adult is coerced into a crime they face charges for accessory, and the sentencing is circumstantial. Even if an adult does not explicitly participate, they are often held liable for failing to report and prevent a crime. In this case the son could have refused to marry or sought assistance to avoid duress. The least he could have done is inform the girl and her family that he is in love with someone else or had a friend do it. No one is denying that he should be held liable as well.
Whose idea was it to get their son married, despite him being not interested?
The parents, they are the mastermind.
Who arranged the marriage with the girl's parents?
The parents, they planned everything.
Who hid the from the girl's family that their son is in a relationship with another woman?
The parents, they withheld important information?
Who was emotionally coerced into a marriage?
The son, he will be liable as an accomplice.
Who did not inform authorities of a forced marriage right way?
The son, he will be is liable for preventing a crime from taking place.
Who did not inform the girl and her family of his relationship?
The son, in fact technically marriage means each spouse is expected to disclose any previous history and withholding of past relationships can be considered as breach of trust and grounds for divorce or annulment depending on situation and jurisdiction.
So both the son and his parents ought to be criminally liable.
However, I think that it is a lame abuse of dowry laws in this case. The dowry laws are in place for women who actually face substantial abuse over dowry demands. This is clearly not the case here. While the girl was victimized and emotionally hurt, she was never substantially abused for dowry and the girl's parents are abusing a law.
Personally, I think even though dowry laws are in good intent and for good measure – they have hit a point where they are failing and being abused by the wrong people instead of helping real dowry victims. I think existing laws need to be scrapped and replaced with a comprehensive and gender neutral domestic abuse and domestic violence laws. These laws should range from protecting spouses and families in case of forced marriage to actual physical abuse, as well as statutes for intentionally filing false charges. Anyone can be victims as families sometimes try to trap NRI or foreign educated spouses for their kids, or try and find ways to rip off well to do families – and both genders and both sides need fair legal protection.
Finally, I have to reiterate a failed marriage or cheating spouse is not the end of the world. Especially if you did everything right on your part – there is nothing to be ashamed or battered over. You have legal options to get your life together, and if you are educated with family support there is no excuse to give up with a wimpy suicide. Yes, it hurts when you love someone and they cheat on you – but I hope that every woman who cries and wails over cheating spouses and contemplates suicide pauses for a moment to think of women across the world who actually survive and fight through things like getting beaten and/or raped by their own husbands on a regular basis – often times they fight and survive without anyone there for them. The least any woman can do out of respect for women across the world is at least survive if incapable of standing up and fighting.
Joined: 27 January 2007
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