Posted on: December 20, 2020, 05:35h.
Last updated on: December 20, 2020, 05:35h.
An alcoholic problem gambler in India allegedly threw acid on his wife following her refusal to no longer have sex with his gambling partners after he lost multiple bets, according to recently published reports.
The 30-year-old woman had been gang raped “several times” since October by the men and she was beaten repeatedly by her 36-year-old husband, The Independent, a UK-based newspaper, reported. But after the most recent incident, she refused to submit to the continuing violence.
“Her husband was into gambling and he lost her in a bet in late October,” Rajesh Kumar Jha, a Muzahidpur police official, told The Independent.
After that, he would send her to the gamblers against her wishes, where the men would rape her. If she ever resisted the sexual exploitation, her husband would beat her and hold her hostage,” Jha added.
One local news report said the woman was blindfolded during the gang rapes so she could not later identify the assailants. But police are continuing to investigate the multiple assaults and other arrests are possible, local reports said.
“The victim … alleged that her husband used to physically torture her as she could not become a mother due to her husband’s alcoholism,” police further told the newspaper.
Husband Arrested on Multiple Counts
Last week, her husband was arrested by police in India, The Independent said. He was charged with acid attack, domestic attack, gang rape, and wrongful confinement, the newspaper reported. He was being held in a jail pending a court case.
The wife escaped from her home this month and made her way to her parents’ house. They notified Deepak Singh, an activist in India, about the violence.
The series of crimes then was reported to local police, the Times of India said. The woman later was examined by health professionals.
The couple has been married for 10 years. They live in Bihar. That state is located in the northeast of India. One report said the attacks took place in a village in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar.
Earlier this year, India saw increased domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdown. Similar trends were seen elsewhere during the pandemic.
Problem Gambling Associated with Family Violence
When asked for comment about the incident, Lia Nower, who is the director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University’s School of Social Work, called it “extremely disturbing” and “tragic.”
It says much more about the man and the place and experience of women in that location than it does about gambling,” Nower told Casino.org. She warns that those with a gambling disorder are “no different from those who abuse substances. In the throes of addiction, a desperation takes over.”
“They have to have money — or, in this case, something of value — so they can keep playing. They can become a different person — a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde of sorts — if they can’t get what they want,” Nower adds.
Nower, who in January will start a term as a board member of the National Council on Problem Gambling, also points out that studies have found an association between gambling problems and family violence. The rates can be 10 times higher than in families without family violence and, if there is also an alcohol problem involved, one study found a rate as high as 50 times higher.
The gambler is not always the perpetrator of the violence. In many cases, they are the victim of a family member who is enraged by their behavior, Nower said.
“The association of problem gambling to intimate partner and family violence is more common than we realize,” Nower said.
The Rev. Richard McGowan, a Jesuit priest who teaches at Boston College and follows gambling and alcoholism trends, agreed.
“A person who becomes addicted to gambling can become very desperate to obtain funds,” McGowan told Casino.org.
“The person is addicted to the rush they receive when the person gambles. So, this is an example of how desperate they can become.”