Kerala Women Commission Chief’s Insensitive Reply To Survivor Sparks Outrage

Kerala Women Commission chief
Kerala Women Commission chief MC Josephine made headlines after her conversation with a domestic abuse survivor aired live on television. The insensitive comment made by her has now gone viral.

During a live program on Manorama News on June 23 women were told that they could complain about abuse faced by them directly to the Women’s Commission chief, MC Josephine. One woman from Kochi who got married in 2014 opened up about the domestic abuse faced by at the hands of her husband.

Josephine seemed annoyed while speaking to the survivor and complained of bad network connection at first. She then asked the survivor if her husband and mother-in-law were treating her badly, the woman replied yes. She then asked if the survivor had filed a police complaint. When the woman on the other end replied that she has not informed anyone, Josephine replied, “Then you suffer”.

Before the woman, her mother was speaking to Josephine but she insisted on speaking to the survivor directly. After the rude reply to the survivor, Josephine told her to consult a lawyer and appeal in family court. She also told the survivor that she can file a complaint at the Women commission but added that it is of no use if her husband lives abroad. According to TNM report, Josephine seemed calm and patient while speaking to other survivors who called her during the live programme.

Josephine’s curt reply to the woman has drawn flak as many asked for her resignation from the commission chief post. She reacted to the criticism and denied that she was insensitive towards the survivor. Josephine claimed that she did not say “then you suffer” to the woman and asked her file a police complaint. She said that many women call her on daily basis about their sufferings and it builds severe pressure on her as a human being. She justified her comment by saying that common people do not understand such things so had to make her point in a different way.

This is the second controversy courted by Kerala Women Commission Chief Josephine in 2021. In January this year, she reportedly shouted at a relative of 87-year-old survivor, Lakshmikutty, who had complained about a assault by her neighbour. The woman had said that she was unable to walk because of the assault.

When the relative asked Josephine to shift the women’s commission’s hearing to a nearby place as the Lakshmikutty was bed-ridden, she was heard asking why he made an old woman file a complaint. She also called the woman “thalla” in the video. It is a Malayalam word used to refer to an old woman in a rude way.