Women’s Freedom Conference by Love at the Cross Trust, Chennai, 19.5.2016.

Around 38% of all murders of women worldwide are done by their intimate partners, and every one out of 4 women suffers violence as per WHO research. 70% of all married women in India are victims of beating and rape as per UN population fund report. BBC infestations reveal that in the year 2013, there were around 34000 rape cases while domestic violence amounts to 119000.  These numbers are alarming. Mark Green says if the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms and it would be the lead story on the news. Abuse can be of many types, physical, emotional, psychological and sexual. It can be perpetrated against a child, against an elder, against any vulnerable person and mostly against the intimate partners. Every one of you is in the middle of a life story, and your story is being shaped by what you are saying yes to and what you are saying no to. Your yeses and nos are what boundaries are made of. These two words – yes or no – are great tools.  You use this to make your decision, figure out your relationships and to check your boundaries.  One may become entangled in boundary issues in two ways – (1) trespassing – when someone intrudes on your space without invitation and (2) – enmeshment – the failure to honor the psychological autonomy of another. It involves an inappropriate merging of identities and gets even more complicated if you become codependent, either by inappropriately involving others in getting your needs met or by acting inappropriately to fulfill others’ needs, thus robbing them of their independence. Because codependency is so widespread, many people are equally, mutually enmeshed – a situation that can be very difficult to change. Love honors boundaries through restraint. Enmeshment is insidious because you often feel compelled or imprisoned by it. You can learn to recognize trespassing and enmeshment. Personal boundaries help to limit our selfish inclination to control or manipulate others. Likewise, boundaries protect us from those who have no self-control and who wish to control us.