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Judge tells woman to “adjust” to her husband’s domestic abuse


Sarah Graham
WVoN co-editor

An Indian High Court judge has been heavily criticised after telling a woman she should “adjust” to the domestic violence committed by her husband, rather than divorce him.

Justice K Bhakthavatsala, a judge at the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore, suggested that the abuse was justified by the husband’s ability to take care of his wife financially.

Addressing her in court, Justice Bhakthavatsala said, “Women suffer in all marriages. You are married with two children, and know what it means to suffer as a woman…Your husband is doing good business, he will take care of you. Why are you still talking about his beatings?”

The 28-year-old woman, who was no longer living with her husband, was seeking a divorce on the grounds that he subjected her to cruelty and abuse.

Both parties were asked to be present in court on 31 August after her 37-year-old husband complained that she had left him and taken their sons.

During the case the woman’s lawyer showed photographs of the injuries inflicted by her husband, to which Justice Bhakthavatsala responded, “You have to adjust.”

He later added, “Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother” and suggested that she was to blame for “bringing [the beatings] out in the open.”

Described as “radically pro-family”, Justice Bhaktavatsala is known for his efforts to reconcile warring couples.

He is believed to have made other sexist remarks, including reports that he recently told an unmarried female lawyer her single status made her unqualified to argue in divorce cases.

The shocking comments have sparked outcry amongst women’s groups and activists in India, where violence against women is widespread.

An online petition demanding the removal of Bhakthavatsala from his position as Justice has already been signed by more than 700 people.

The petition states, “The comments made by Justice Bhaktavatsala in various domestic violence and divorce court proceedings recently are perpetuating the myth of patriarchy and his opinions going beyond the legal scope.”

“The judges are supposed to protect and enforce human rights of the citizens, but here we have a judge who is against women’s rights and even encouraging them to continue to stay in a violent relationship.”

You can sign the petition for Justice Bhaktavatsala’s removal here.

  1. Absolutely disgusting. He thinks that marriage means suffering for the woman, as the norm. Why would any woman ever want to marry if that were the case?

    I’ll be signing the petition, and hopefully this judge will soon no longer be in a position to inflict his idiocy on anyone else.

  2. Arthur M. Fried says:

    Women do not become punching bags after they are married. Her husband must find some other outlet for his frustrations, and you must get out of the judging profession, because you are terrible at it.

  3. fuck the judge says:

    fuck the judge and the husband

  4. My daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. In her memory I founded an NGO to combat ignorance about “domestic” violence.

    Ignorance like Justice Bhaktavatsala’s only serves to perpetuate this violence.

    Shame on Justice Bhaktavatsala and shame on any justice system that would give tacit acceptance to this profound ignorance by allowing him to remain in his position.

  5. This is unacceptable, where is the petition to sign? I’d love to sign this and pass it around for others to do the same…I’m not only disgusted, I’m in shock that an individual in a position of power would even state such a thing. What is wrong with our world? I wonder if this particular judge also beats his wife and justifies it.

  6. This man has no understanding of being kind and gentle. He has NO idea of how men and women should treat one another. He is a disgrace and should be SACKED immediately.

  7. Women are supposed to be cherished and loved, it’s obviously clear, and it blows my mind how simple this rule is. Life is simple, we just mess it up. Life has it’s own problems, why create more.
    Then again. Women are supposed to be cherished and loved.


  8. Just finishing reading oxana’ s story-mummy, come home. I the first 20 pages. This poor woman! How she has stood the strength to go on I don’t know I would have been so brave. As a single parent I cried for the love and strengh she kept and still does for her children.Don’t comment on an article if you want to understand sex trafficing then read her story.Oxana when your children finally reach you they could never hate you even if they never understasnd.
    You are the bravest person I have ever read about. Keep going and be the best person you can be for yourself and your children

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