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Baby Girl And Dowry Fight Leads In-Laws To Beat Woman

Times may change, laws may change, but old customs and traditions die hard. India is having a problem with changing public attitudes about domestic violence, particularly when it comes to the issue of dowries. The old tradition has become something of a crooked sham, and one wife was recently caught on film being beaten because of it.

Dowries were once used to help families secure a good husband for their daughters. The parents of the bride would hand over a sum of money to the groom's family, which would be used to care for that family and his future children.

It was also a security fund, in case anything happened to the groom, so that the bride and any children she gave birth to would be taken care of without putting a burden on her husband's parents.

Unfortunately, for centuries, misuse of the dowry system has become rampant. It's no longer used for security, but for families of eligible bachelors to milk the families of young women searching for a suitable husband for their daughters.

The husband's family sometimes continues to try to extort money from the wife's family for years after the wedding.

Guruswamy, a 52-year-old father who cleans subway platforms for a living, is being taken advantage of by the family of a young bachelor. Guruswamy had a hard time finding a caste-appropriate potential husband for his daughter, 16-year-old Pankaja, and was delighted when a marriage was finally arranged.

Just a week before the wedding, however, the groom's family hit the father of the bride up for some pricey merchandise: a washing machine, a color television set and a motorcycle.

Guruswamy labors on 20-hour shifts and can barely feed his own family. He scraped up enough for the washing machine, so the other family put the wedding on hold until he meets the rest of their demands.

“It will be a while before I have enough to send everything by train,” he said. “I pray every day that they shouldn’t find someone else for their son to marry. No one else from the village in Chennai will marry her if this family rejects her.”

Another woman recently was brutalized by her husband's family over a dowry dispute. The couple had been married two years and recently had their first child. It was a girl, though, and the husband and his family wanted a boy.

They wanted nothing to do with the baby girl, and his family demanded more dowry from his bride's family because of it. They demanded $11,000.

When the wife's family refused, the husband's family sent his brother and a friend to attack her. A video went viral showing the screaming woman on the floor as her brother-in-law and another man brutalize her with hockey sticks.

These kinds of attacks have become fairly common, most of them dowry-related. According to statistics, around 8,000 deaths occur in India every year that are related to dowry disputes.

Because people in the culture believe what goes on in a home between a man and a woman is their own business, locals usually look the other way when violence against women in the home occurs. As people continue to get away with it, victims remain at risk.

Source: Daily Mail, Daily Beast
Photo: MailOnline, Pixabay, Screenshot

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