Gambling Addiction Leads to Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

Indian gambling addict threw acid on his wife to punish her for her refusal to go to his gambling friends and pay his debt by being gang-raped, according to a media report. The brutal case of sexual exploitation took part in Bihar, a state which ranked 14th in 2019 with 2,300 cases of domestic violence and was one of many during the period of lockdown in the country.

Objectifying a Living Person

According to the senior police official of Muzahidpur police station, the 36-year-old man lost his wife with whom he had been married for 10 years while playing with his gambling buddies in late October. When he tried to send her against her wishes to the others to pay his dues, something she had done before, and she refused to go this time, he threw acid on her.

“If she ever resisted the sexual exploitation, her husband would beat her and hold her hostage.”

Rajesh Kumar Jha, Senior Police Official, Muzahidpur police station

The chief police officer further stated that the 30-year-old victim complained her husband used to physically torture her as she refused to have a child due to his alcoholism. For his actions, the husband was arrested and booked on multiple charges under various sections of Indian law, including “acid attack, gang rape, domestic violence and wrongful confinement”.

Spike in Domestic Violence

According to the law which protects the identities of victims of sexual crimes, neither the name of the husband nor the wife’s were released by the police, yet the case adds to the growing number of domestic abuse which spiked during the months of coronavirus-related restrictions.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) reported nearly a twofold increase in gender-based violence in India during the lockdown period. The organization which receives complaints of domestic violence across the country registered 587 complaints between March 23 and April 16, a 45% rise compared to the previous 25-day period from February 27 to March 22.

As reasons for the domestic violence complaints, victims state confinement with an abusive partner, financial worries and anxiety due to the lockdown and the uncertainty, as well as lack of access to alcohol.

Gambling in India is part of the culture as first evidence of gambling boards is found in one of the two Sanskrit epics, Ramayana, which is believed to date back to 7300 BC. In November, Indian police in several Indian states conducted anti-gambling raids ahead of the Diwali Festival of Lights, to enforce virus restrictions and curb a potential further spread of the infection.

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