On April 1st, another young Indian woman made national headlines by dying of an apparent suicide. This time, TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee was found dead, hanged from a ceiling fan in her Mumbai apartment. Her death has been linked to alleged domestic abuse at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Rahul Raj Singh. Pratyusha is said to have experienced unspeakable horrors at the hands of Singh according to her parents: "He took full control of her life. He used to beat and abuse her often." She was only 24 years old.
[pullquote align="C"]He took full control of her life. He used to beat and abuse her often.[/pullquote]
Pratyusha's heartbreaking story is not the only one and echos recent cases including model Priyanka Kapoor, who died in a similar tragedy last month, and actress Jiah Khan, who took her own life a few years ago also an alleged victim of domestic violence.
Why are these young women feeling so helpless they decide suicide is the only way out? "Every 5 minutes, someone somewhere in India attempts suicide, making suicide, the third major cause of death," according to Sneha India, and there is growing pattern of young women in toxic relationships committing suicide instead of reaching out for help.
Young women need to be able to openly talk about their feelings with trusted family and friends, but sometimes discussing problems or feelings of despair may not be enough. Be aware of and recognize the warning signs of suicide in case someone you love needs to seek professional help, especially if you know someone who is in a volatile relationship.
According to Sneha India, below are 5 potential signs of someone who may be thinking about suicide:
1) Is withdrawn and unable to relate.
2) Has definite ideas of how to commit suicide and talks about tidying up affairs.
3) Mentions feeling isolated or lonely.
4) Expresses feelings of failure, uselessness, dispiritedness, lack of hope, or loss of self-esteem.
5) Dwells on problems where it seems like there is no solution.
If someone you know exhibits any or all of these alarming signs or if you are struggling with these feelings yourself, know there is help. Please visit the following confidential organisations that can provide services, Aasra, Sneha India or Vandrevala Foundation because suicide is never an option.