In conversation with eight women who survived lives of abuse, Nighat M. Gandhi draws attention to the unexpected fact that despite years of suffering, many abuse survivors can and do live enhanced lives and experience personal growth.
Once these eight women find the sources of help which enable them to leave the abusive situations they are in, there are significant changes in the women’s thoughts, beliefs, and behaviour with respect to gender-based violence. Refreshingly, these eight women are unanimous in their refusal to return to their previously abusive families.
They value their new-found independence much more than their previously socially approved, limiting roles and duties as wives, daughters-in-law and daughters. Most of them report a great degree of satisfaction and well-being with the new lives they have built.
Nighat reflects upon her own ‘privileged’ status as an educated middle-class woman living in a small town in North India as she records these poignant and empowering encounters with valiant women who confirm that women are thriving and discovering the joys of building new lives when old ones have let them down.
Nighat M. Gandhi