Indian Artist Dipti KulKarni Writes Poem About Domestic Violence, Giving Voice To Survivors

By Dipti Kulkarni

Gender-discrimination, in general, has been going on for ages. Education has brought awareness amongst women. Now she is struggling for her rightful place in the society. I am depicting her plight, struggle through my art series “Women’s Rights and Empowerment”. I make use of bold and bright colors with the contrasting effects. They focus more on expressions and emotions.

My primary aim and vision is to project her problems through art and do my share to contribute in the development of the society. I believe that the art can influence people. The art has the power to facilitate a change in the society. I dream a future where women will be considered at par with men and make this world a beautiful place to live.

Women’s safety and security has become a burning topic these days. Living in this 21st century where the world has so many technological revolutions and advancements, I feel that women of this century still has some sorrow deep inside her heart. The sorrow is of helplessness and concerns for her safety. Being raised in an Army background, I received a lot of exposure and opportunities traveling various places in India. I studied computer engineering and then had a good experience working for multi-national firms in India and USA.

I always feel very sad watching and reading the news about women suffering. Newspaper pages are flooded with the news on gender-based crimes every day. Domestic violence, child abuse, and rape are just a few of those. These are the women who give birth, go through potentially difficult times during pregnancy, who work hard toward the well-being of her family, and she has to earn money and support her family too.

There are far too many women who keep quite if they are a victim of gender crimes such as domestic violence because they are concerned about their families, and as we’ve seen in a number of high-profile cases, they aren’t always believed. I feel strongly about using my voice to speak up for other women who cannot.

Last year, I decided to focus my art work on the topic of domestic violence. It is a complex subject to handle but I decided to pen my thoughts on the reality of this subject. I wanted to give voice to the emotional trauma of fear a woman experiences when she is a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality.

It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence. I think that Domestic violence is among the most under-reported crimes worldwide for both men and women.

The problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse could also be severe. A woman can lose her self-worth, leading to anxiety and depression, and feel helpless and alone. A problem that brings tears in my eyes every time I read any news about it. So, I decided to bring this reality in the form of my poem.

I wrote my third poem in the series in Nov 2016 titled “The Last Tick”. The poem is inspired from my art series “Women’s Rights and Empowerment”. The subject of the poem is the domestic Violence Victim that is trying to give a valuable piece of advice to other fellow females. I was not sure how I was going to handle this subject. But I knew I had to, since it is a global issue and there are so many victims on day to-day basis.

It took me almost a month to complete the poem. I was contemplating how I should end this poem: with hope or reality. Well, I always believe in hope. We live because there is a hope to live, and many survivors of domestic violence, especially those with children, know this all too well. Hope is the root cause why we can constantly look for happiness. I always try to end my poems in hope but sometimes you have to put the reality front and center in order to balance out the message.

I have written this poem in English so that many people are able to understand the message.

I had an opportunity to present this poem in Robbinsville Town Council, New Jersey, in Dec 2016. I started with my background and my motivation in choosing the subject of domestic violence, before reciting my poem before an audience of community members. I also brought along some of my artwork with me. The presentation was extremely well received and I got a standing ovation from the women in the town-council. Afterward, my town then decided to showcase my family picture and my story in the township’s magazine. It was showcased in their June 2017 edition.

I decided not to sell the works in this series that is meant for a good cause. I ensure that my exhibits are free for public because social awareness is more important to me. My aim is to inspire people to stand up and raise their voice against the issues they are facing. A woman should live with her dignity and respect. These works won several recognition awards and media attention in last 2 years. But to me, all this is a byproduct of this journey and effort by our family. The real success to me is when I hear from people how the art or poetry touched their heart and they start speaking their minds.

I must thank my family here and back in India for all the support and encouragement. A big thanks to my husband who is extremely supportive and encouraging about whatever ideas I bring up. I consider myself as a Global Citizen and so my artworks or poems are not meant for any specific caste, creed, country or community. They are meant for humanity.




Born in India, Dipti KulKarni is an established, internationally acclaimed artist who had several Solo exhibits in India and in USA. Dipti is a Software Professional, currently working as Vice President in Bank of America and residing in Robbinsville, New Jersey, but her life has always been surrounded by Art. She strongly believe that “Art has a great power of love and expression” and so has tried to put forward the social issues that a woman in society faces through 17-piece art series “Women’s Rights and Empowerment”.


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