Somy Ali: We, as a society, are afraid to talk about domestic violence

Actress Somy Ali, who runs a US-based NGO called No More Tears and helps rehabilitate victims of domestic violence and rape, says that such topics are a taboo in society today. She adds that victims are still blamed for such social evils, and this needs to change.

“Unfortunately, it’s the stigma attached to victim blaming; be it human trafficking or domestic violence. What shocks me to no end is that even in 2024, some people place the blame on the victims or a person’s sexual orientation. We, as a society, are afraid to talk about domestic violence as if it’s some sort of disease that we will catch if we say even one word out loud about its existence. Not only that, people side with the abusers and assume the victims to be mad or mentally unstable and I say this with my own personal experience to be the absolute truth. It makes me sick how power and clout makes an abusive narcissist get away with so much based on his or her charm and an innate gift to fool the people who already worship them for their fame and power,” she says.

Talking about the dangers of protecting victims of domestic abuse and rape, she says, “There  comes the risk of getting attacked by the abusers and traffickers which has been my misfortune too and them trying to file a lawsuit to shut us up from rescuing their victims. Then comes the big dilemma of getting funding because it has been my experience that people are far quicker to donate money for abused animals before abused human beings. While NMT also rescues pets within domestic violence households, I am in no way undermining the donations for abused animals, but I am simply stating what I have experienced running our charity over the years.”

As she completes 17 years of her NGO, she says this journey has changed her. “I have evolved emotionally to an unbelievable level because of my NGO. I have seen so much that is wrong with our world and our people and in the instance, I have seen so many who care to fix it with me that my life has taken a complete 180-degree turn on every level. My priorities are no longer to worry about not being married or having a boyfriend or giving birth when I see children who we are helping that do not have baby formula or even something as simple as diapers. I was always a recluse and a loner and chose one or two friends even as a child and that mindset of quality over quantity has cemented furthermore after working for this long with abused individuals. It’s easier to help someone when you yourself were in that exact predicament or someone close to you has experienced it. That’s when empathy kicks in and the victim understands that I know how he or she is feeling because I have been there. I was never an extrovert and always preferred staying home rather than going to a party even when I was younger which has stayed the same, but I definitely understand the human psyche way better than I did before I began working with victims. I have learned that life is a gift and it is something we need to be grateful for each day and not to take it for granted. Above all, I have learned that there is no such thing as perpetual bliss and happiness and no matter who we are, we will all fall down from time to time. It’s the ones who get up again and again who truly matter.”

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