The Plight of Padma Patil

The brother and father of Afshan Azad, who plays Padma Patil in the Harry Potter films, have been charged with threatening to kill her. According to the BBC, Azad's family are conservative Muslims and did not approve of her Hindu boyfriend. This disapproval led to threats and a physical assault by Afshan's brother and father in the last week.

This is an obvious case of violence against women and domestic violence. At Sojourn, we often stress the occurrence of intimate partner violence between a woman and her current or former romantic partner. However, Azad's assault highlights domestic violence in familial contexts by male family members. It is important to remember that the desire to control another person can and does emerge in familial contexts and that these situations can become violent.

Moreover, some news outlets have pointed to the similarities to Azad's situation and the growing number of Honor Killings in the UK. Honor killings are described by the UN as the murder of a family member (mostly female) by a fellow family member (usually male) to save the "honor" of the family. Wearing inappropriate clothes or engaging in sexual acts are some of the ways a female victim can bring dishonor upon a family. While Azad has not confirmed the details of her attack, her situation offers a platform for discussing the on going domestic violence (honor killings) against women by male family members today.

We, at Sojourn, hope that Afshan remains safe and feels the British law offers her sufficient legal responses to her emotional and physical assault. We also hope her horrific situation can raise awareness about family violence against women as well as the rise of honor killings in western countries.

Updates on this situation as it develops.

(Photo Via www.msmagazine.com/blog/)

No comments:

Post a Comment