No More Silent Suffering!

By Umesh Pokharel

Namita Adhikari (name changed), 28, neither wanted to live with her husband nor she could tell him that she wanted to divorce him. Adhikari, who hails from Dolakha, had enough of violent behavior of and domination by her husband. According to her, she tried many times to tell her husband that she no longer can live with him if his misbehavior continued.

“Whenever I spoke to him of getting separated, he used to threaten me with committing a suicide,” she said. She didn’t want her husband die because of her. “Therefore, I condoned his brutality for more than eight years, compromising on my rights and liberty,” she added.  

After his atrocity crossed the limit, she decided to revolt against him. With the help of one of her friends, she visited women cell of Nepal Police and lodged a complaint. “Then Nepal Police referred the case to National Women Commission (NWC).

Psychosocial Support from IPGBVPR Project

NWC has the mandated to register complaints of gender-based violence (GBV), carry out investigation, write the concerned authorities to initiate action against perpetrators and reconcile in cases where Nepal Government is not a plaintiff and receives request from both parties.

Then NWC registered her case in September 2018. The Helpline team in NWC assessed her situation and found her of having low self-esteem, guided by fear psychology and no aspiration to life. Then the case was referred to Transcultural Psychological Organization (TPO), a partner organization of NWC, which looks after psychosocial component of IPGBVPR Project.

In order to make the psychosocial support (PS) process easy, TPO has stationed one psychosocial counselor in NWC. Following her referral, Bina Shrestha, a psychosocial counselor from TPO, has been continuously providing psychosocial support including through counseling sessions, Yoga Therapy and others to her.

The Result

According to Adhikari, PS has changed her perspective to life and reduced suffering. She developed positive instinct to life. “Earlier, I used to think of ending my life. But these days, I find hundreds of reasons to live,” she said. Earlier, she was hesitant to express her suffering even to her mum and brothers.  But these days, she is getting vocal and confident. “My next step is to get separated from my husband to get rid of the silent suffering,” she added.

Legal Support

One of the unique features of IPGBVPR Project is the availability of integrated service to GBV survivors. Once Adhikari regained psychosocial well-being, her case would be referred to Legal Aid and Consultancy Center (LACC) as per her interest. Adhikari is making necessary preparations to file a divorce case. LACC is providing free legal support to her. Including Namita TPO Nepal has provided PS to more than 175 GBV survivors in partnership with NWC.