Poetry must be raw, like a side of beef, should drip blood, remind you of sweat and dusty slaughter and the epidermal crunch and the sudden bullet to the head. —Mona Zote
It took a while for violence against women to be recognized as a crime or as a law and order issue. It was only as a health issue of serious dimensions that violence against women entered international discourse as worthy of consideration. This merely underlines the degree to which violence against women has been normalized and internalized as acceptable behaviour. During the anti-arrack struggle in Andhra Pradesh when women complained to the police about the increasing violence inflicted by their husbands the police asked, ‘If your husbands don’t beat you then who will’? In the popular imagination a thorough beating is as fundamental as air, or water to reaffirm their existence as women. Violence, the most potent tool of domination and control of women is so deep rooted in our social structure that it seems impossible to counter or eradicate it. Bearing an ideological and cultural legitimacy and acceptance in society it serves to legitimize and reinforce existing inequalities. The pervasiveness of violence—sexual, domestic and familial—has led to a radical rethinking of the way violence is welded to everyday reality.