Social Activist, Literary Genius and Reformer Mayaa SH Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Suicide Prevention and Women Related Violence

Attempting suicide is a serious problem that requires mental health interventions. Factors that impact stress related to mental health include childhood adversities such as sexual/physical abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, stressful life events. Death of a loved one, loss of a job or relationship, financial bankruptcy, impending criminal prosecution, and being diagnosed with, or recently diagnosed with, a terminal illness can also leave behind a deep scar on one’s mind. Essentially, people who attempt suicide require help in connection with high psychiatric or psychological morbidity. Philosophical dilemmas involving a person’s right to life and death have been debated, inconclusively, in many disciplines with different viewpoints and approaches. Many are ostracised by the societal doctrine of “being weak” and fear being either shamed or eliminated from participation in social activities. If we do not have preventive measures in effective highlights of reformative approaches in place, there is a risk of losing a human life. Estimates published by WHO indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may increase the risk of acquiring HIV in some settings.

Violence against women is preventable. The health sector has an important role to play to provide comprehensive health care to women subjected to violence, and as an entry point for referring women to other support services they may need.

Many women have reiterated and expressed before me, that a ‘woman’ is not an object of delight. ‘Woman’ is not a perfect notion of a ‘good wife’ in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not to be a female Einstein brain always, ‘Woman’ is not a liking for Louboutin shoes meant to be idealised as the most expensive because of their craftsmanship, luxury materials, and brand name. Besides, an emphasis or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive is not fair to be called ‘gender neutral’ . Moreover, the ‘diversity inclusive causes’ that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanising and demeaning. Those who’ve had degrading slurs spat at many by violent people, it’s not neutral, it’s hostile and alienating.

My interest in women-related issues is pre-dated by a matter of a girl almost a year and a half ago, during which I followed the debate around the concept of gender neutrality closely. I’ve interacted with trans people, and read sundry books, blogs and articles by trans people, gender specialists, psychologists, safeguarding experts, social workers and doctors, and followed the discourse online and in traditional media. On one level, my interest in this issue has been professional, because I feel I can understand the emotions that many people bear in their mind latently of non being able to communicate freely. This is due to being judged harshly and eliminated and humiliated by many in the society. All this is truly presented and set in the present day, and my contemporary female detective is of an age to be interested in, and affected by, when we lose a human life, but on another, it’s intensely personal, as I have seen the negative impact on many as social and economic impacts have increased the exposure of women to abusive partners and known risk factors while limiting their access to services. Situations of humanitarian crises and displacement may exacerbate existing violence, such as by intimate partners, as well as non-partner sexual violence, and may also lead to new forms of violence against women.

All one can ask and wish is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse. People may not be judged harshly on any stress they are trying to cope with both mentally and physically. Life is long and there is so much to celebrate about. Community norms that privilege or ascribe higher status to men and lower status to women; low levels of women’s access to paid employment; andlow level of gender equality (discriminatory laws, etc.) can all contribute to fatal outcomes like homicide or suicide.

We should live a life that is useful to others. A person should give up his or her selfishness and live for others. One should have kindness, compassion and benevolence, not pride. If we live for others then even our death can become a good depart and if we can touch lives, there is nothing bigger than that.

About the Author

Mayaa SH is a known name in contemporary literature. She is a multi-national and state award winner, a ten-time world record holder, an artist, a podcaster, and a chart-topping international fastest anthology co-authoress. Mayaa SH is an Indian author, writer, thinker, essayist, and women’s empowerment culturist. Her contemporary prose work has highlighted and broken so many stereotypes about women and their power of self-belief.

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