Note: All names have been changed to protect the identity of the victim
This is the story of Ruhi, a 32-year-old woman from Dimapur. Ruhi is a housewife while her husband makes a living driving an auto-rickshaw. The couple has a daughter ‘Amiya’.
Ruhi’s husband passed away in the year 2005. Within 3 months of her husband’s death, Raj forced Ruhi to marry him. While narrating her story to Sakhi, Ruhi mentioned that her husband’s dying wish was for Raj to marry Ruhi after his death. Therefore, Ruhi agreed to settle down with Raj after her husband passed away in order to fulfil her husband’s wish.
The violence started from the night they got married. Ruhi was tortured physically, emotionally and mentally by Raj. While narrating her story to Sakhi, Ruhi spoke about how Raj got her to work as a sex worker in order to meet the needs of the family.
Every time Ruhi opposed the idea, Raj would come home in a drunken state and force her into having sex with him. The couple lived in a rented house with just one room and were therefore forced to share it with their children.
Understandably, Ruhi would often try to stop Raj from forcing her into having sex with him as the children slept in the same room. But Raj would not relent. Ruhi also stated that she was forced to have sex even during her periods.
Gradually, Ruhi’s health began to fail her as her husband raped her regularly. After careful examination, Ruhi was diagnosed with trauma and anaemia. She was also diagnosed with HIV as a result of being forced into prostitution.
On several occasions, Raj would give death threats to Ruhi while also humiliating her family. Ruhi was traumatized by her husband’s abusive behaviour. She has been living in this situation for the past 11-12 years. They now have 2 children while Amiya (daughter from her first husband) also resides with them.
— Story submitted by Sakhi One Stop Centre, Dimapur
Sakhi centre or One Stop Centre (OSC) is a fully sponsored Central Government scheme. These centres are set up through the Nirbhaya Fund under the National Mission for Empowerment of women by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.