The horrific murders of Nikki Yadav and Shradha Walkar have brought to light the safety issues attached with live-in relationships in India. Couples share safety hacks that could come in handy for women living in distress
There is a rise in the incidence of crimes against women in live in relationships. Women share tips to fight the menace. Photo Courtesy: iStock
Another shocking incident surfaces in Delhi where a 23-year-old woman Nikki Yadav got murdered by her live-in boyfriend Sahil Gehlot. The gruesome murder was carried out in a similar fashion to Shradha Walkar’s murder by Aftab Poonawala last year on 18 May 2022. The rise of such incidents has threatened women’s safety in live-in relationships and questions the systemic void that needs to flare up to rescue women.
Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of National Commission for Women said that women are ‘not safe’ in a live-in relationship and that families hold a responsibility in such relationships. Her statement has come as a response to the recent case where Sahil Gehlot strangulated his live-in partner with a charger and went ahead to get married the same day.
Midday Online spoke to couples that are currently in a live-in relationship to learn about how women’s safety can be ensured. Here are some tips to ensure the safety for women in live-in relationships:
Do not burn bridges with family
Sneh and Bhavuk have been a live-in couple for seven years now. On women’s safety, Sneh shares, “One of the most important steps before entering a live-in relationship is to keep your family in the loop. Given the traditional setup of India, it is difficult to inform parents about moving in with your partner. In this case, try to identify confidants in your family who are receptive to what you say and can be trusted.”
Do not tolerate abusive behaviour
It is a slippery slope to accept the abusive behaviour of one’s partner. As soon as you identify the violent tendencies of your partner, reach out to your friends or family and let them know. If they exhibit repeated acts of abusive pattern, try to exit the arrangement as soon as you can.
Keep a self-defence kit handy
With a meagre investment, you can get handy defence kits from the internet. Keep one of these items with you in case things go south: self-defence necklace, stun guns, pepper spray or tasers.
Befriend your neighbours
Neighbours are a pokey lot. However, you can utilise their presence to your advantage by reaching out to them. Let them be aware of your presence. They serve as the anchor that will keep you away from feeling aloof when your partner’s attitude turns overwhelming.
Install 112 India application
The 112 SOS Mobile App is a part of the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS), an initiative by the government of India. The application is functional in most of the states in India and can come in handy when you feel threatened by your partner.