The horrific murder of Shraddha Walker shines a light on domestic violence in the country
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The assassination of Shraddha Walker by his companion never ceases to shock India. The press has been following the investigation day by day since the beginning of November, when the police discovered more than a dozen body parts of the young woman in a forest in New Delhi. Her companion, with whom she lived in the Indian capital, confessed to having strangled her last May, before getting rid of her corpse and hiding the evidence of her murder for months. The police continue to seek material elements corroborating the version of the main defendant.

This horrific murder caused a stir in India. The young woman had been a victim of domestic violence for a long time and had even written to the police in 2020, after being beaten by her boyfriend, we learn on the site of the news channel New Delhi Television (NDTV).

“The police are now checking this complaint and any action that may have been taken […] at the time”, precise NDTV. The parents of the suspect, who were aware of the violence suffered by their stepdaughter, and a former colleague of the latter in whom she had confided are also heard by the investigators.

“Today he tried to kill me”

The letter, dated November 23, 2020, anticipates what will happen two years later with chilling accuracy. “Today he tried to kill me, and he’s scaring me and threatening to kill me, cut me into pieces and throw away my remains. He’s been hitting me for six months, but I didn’t have the courage to go to the police, because he was threatening to kill me.” writes the victim in his complaint cited by NDTV. She had also shared with her former colleague a photo of herself covered in bruises.

The sad fate of Shraddha Walker once again highlights violence against women, “especially those who are victims of toxic and abusive relationships and who cannot manage to get out of them”, highlighted The Indian Express. “Unfortunately, many women are not informed of their rights”, regrets the English-language daily.

“Stop asking why she didn’t leave him”, intimate a column published in TheWire. “The discourse surrounding the brutal murder that took place in the capital shows that there is no real awareness of the complexity of abusive relationships or gender-based violence,” regrets Isha Singh, the author of this forum, doctor in literature.

A third of women have experienced physical or sexual violence

“This murder should refocus the debate on gender violence in India”, believes the independent site. “The need of the moment is for awareness and more empathy towards survivors of abuse and gender-based violence.”

In India, nearly a third of women between the ages of 18 and 49 have experienced physical or sexual violence, according to the 5e family health survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and published in May 2022. And, in more than 80% of cases, violence against women was committed by their husbands. Only 14% of these survivors spoke about the problem.

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