Tale of two young, popular victims of domestic violence

The cases of vlogger Rifa Mehnu and Shahana Sajjad are quite similar in more ways than one

May 16, 2022 07:50 pm | Updated 08:05 pm IST - Kozhikode

Rifa Mehnu

Rifa Mehnu

It feels quite natural to draw parallels between vlogger Rifa Mehnu who died in Dubai in March and model-turned actress Shahana Sajjad who died a few days ago.

While one belonged to Kozhikode by birth, the other was related by marriage. Other than their shared mode of death, the two were similar in a variety of aspects. They were both young, attractive, ambitious and popular in their respective circles. Both married very young and were allegedly victims of domestic violence.

The preliminary investigations have shown that Rifa's husband Mehnas was jealous of her popularity through her vlogs and resented her fans. As for Shahana, who had modelled for several jewelleries and had recently bagged a lead role in a movie, her husband was a drug peddler without a regular income due to which he tortured her for money.

Shahna Sajad

Shahna Sajad

They both had married very young. Rifa Mehnu was barely 17 while Shahana was just 19 when they got married. "This proves yet again how wrong it is to get girls married so young.  They may not be mature enough to handle the stress involved with married life", said  V.P. Suhara, president of Nisa, the Progressive Muslim Women's forum based in Kozhikode, expressing appreciation over the recent law that raised the marriageable age of girls to 21.

Ms. Zuhra brought up the not-so-old incident of the suicide of a law student in Ernakulam district in similar circumstances. "By inflicting physical and mental torture and pushing the women towards suicide, the men are probably trying to avoid the complexities of divorce," she added.

Those in distress or having suicidal tendencies may seek help by contacting Thanal, a counselling support centre, at 04952760000, WhatsApp 7902281306.

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