“Tell them that it can happen to anybody”

A writer to the tip line draws our attention to a terrible death in Indiana: “Nupur Srivastava was a distant relative’s daughter and my mother knew her well. Everyone is distraught over her passing, especially given the circumstances.” Srivastava died last week after being in an induced coma since April 3 with third degree burns over 80 percent of her body. She was allegedly doused with gasoline and set on fire by her boyfriend, Michael Wilson, who is now charged with murder. Both Srivastava and Wilson were 33.

Srivastava’s family has an important message:

[Srivastava] was rebuilding her life, setting herself on a road to recovery from alcohol abuse and toward a career in public relations or event management, [her sister Ritu] Adams said. Others saw Srivastava, petite at less than 95 pounds, as “drop-dead gorgeous,” but her sister’s low self-esteem prevented her from seeing herself as beautiful, Adams said.

She suspects that contributed to her sister staying in an abusive relationship. Police investigators are piecing those details together, Adams said. The family simply wants Nupur’s story to resonate with others.

“Tell them that it can happen to anybody,” Veena Srivastava pleaded.

“She was doing so good,” Adams said of her sister’s fresh start. “Maybe she was afraid to leave him. There are a lot of women who probably won’t speak out because they’re ashamed of their past, but that shouldn’t matter.

“People say, ‘It can’t happen to me.’ Guess what? It happened to my sister.”

Update: That link either moved or is now broken. For more information, please try here.

71 thoughts on ““Tell them that it can happen to anybody”

  1. Nice:

    You said: why then are DV laws made to specifically exclude men from protection and exclude women from cupability? In India, Section 498a of the IPC and the new “Protection of Women from DV Act 2005″ are amazing in their injustice towards men. They are a disgrace. but it’s all justified unde the umbrella of “it’s always the man’s fault”.

    Because the reality is that the largest percentage of abuse happens to be male on female. Mainstream studies in the United States have shown that 93% to 95% of heterosexual abuse happens to be male on female.

    Sonya

  2. I knew Nupur and her family, and her cousin, Richesh, is extremely dear to me.

    Chandni, do you happen to know anything about the guy in question? While it’s obviously agreed that he’s deranged, and mentally unstable, is there anything else noteworthy? Has he had some kind of history?

    Mainstream studies in the United States have shown that 93% to 95% of heterosexual abuse happens to be male on female.

    But, couldn’t this be skewed by the fact that most female on male abuse (which I’d say is mostly non-physical) goes unreported? BTW, I don’t disagree with the majority abuse being in the male–>female direction, but 93%-95% seems awfully skewed.

  3. HMF, male on female abuse is significantly underreported as well. I’m not disagreeing with you, just saying that then we’d have to speculate about what goes more unreported, and how much moreso.

  4. HMF

    The statistics are not culled from police reports but from studies/surveys etc. that are done in various communities through many research groups. It is very possible there might be bias but not by much in my opinion.

    Sonya

  5. The statistics are not culled from police reports but from studies/surveys etc.

    That doesn’t change the argument, studies and surveys still require a human being to verbally convey to another human being, and I’d say if we’re using surveys and studies are benchmarks, they’d be more likely to include male reports of abuse as they’d not be frequently as physical. In addition to lack of reporting, I’d argue the male claims that are made, are not as likely to be taken as seriously as female claims.

    Also, another point to be made, abuse is not necessarily always unilateral, it musn’t always be: is this male on female, or female on male? It could be both, when you open it to non-physical, you’re casting the net very wide.

    Either way, I think ‘nices’ point is an important one.

  6. Opposers to 498a sadly come across as crazy, even though some, maybe most of them, have genuine grievences.

    I’ve gone to several of their sites/blogs and they link to crazy-ass Western men who have been jilted by their wives and are since bitter and cent-per-cent against feminism in any form. Yep, many of those sites in turn have links to “Phillipina brides” sites. Those are the milder ones. A few spew so much hate against women that they advise men to not get into relationships with women at all, at any time. Can’t repeat here the kind of language used towards women on such sites. And these are linked to on those 498a opposition sites/blogs, in turn giving them a bad name/appearance. They should choose their company wisely if they wish to be taken seriously.

  7. True and i’m sure PG or a PG clone will endeavour to explain how the perpetrator was really Bharat Mata in caucasian clothes.

    Muralimannered, yeah right. I’ve witnessed DV in my own extended family so I know how abusive black (and white) men can be. However, her culture, her society, her community, her family and her friends were all PRO-DIVORCE and RE-MARRIAGE.

  8. A tragic coincedence is that Yvette Cade (fire abuse victim) and Nupur are both from the same county in Maryland.

  9. When this was blogged a few days ago, I did not want to express my views since more often than not they are misunderstood by some passionate gunslingers and I end up spending time trying to make them understand where I am coming from. Moreover, the girl’s family could be reading this blog and my post could have been misconstrued as “blaming the victim”.

    Since the passion of posters has cooled down a bit, I think it’s time I said what I intended to.

    The title of the post is: “Tell them it can happen to anybody“. I disagree. It happens to people who jump into relationships without doing due diligence. Sometimes bad things happen to good people who are not careful.

    I’m an ardent watcher of police dramas, crime shows and courtroom theatrics. In all of the DV cases that I’ve seen, read or heard about, two items stand out in common:

    1. The abused person did not know the abuser’s history before they met.
    2. The abused person dies or suffers near-death just when they try to break free of the relationship.

    First

    Almost all of DV cases(in the west) start out with “love at first sight” or “felt some deep connection”. The man and woman met in a situation where the families were not involved at all and were notified only after the woman squealed “Yes Yes” after gazing at the diamond ring. In almost all cases the woman knew nothing about the man’s past before she met him, and when asked the man never gave a straight answer or did not meet her eye. In almost all cases the man did not like it when the woman called him at work or dropped in at his work to say hi.

    If you read the links, Nupur’s family knew next to nothing about the man. Indeed, Nupur’s sister did not appear to be sure where they met in the first place. In my book, this is a red flag.

    In India, the families do get involved due to the nature of marriages, but most DV happens in families where they don’t know each other’s pasts. Bride’s dad in Kanpur scans prospective grooms’ bio-data: Same Caste? Check. Horoscope match? Check. Has a job? Check. Well, let’s go ahead with the wedding! Do you know their history? Do you know how the groom’s father treats his mother? Do you know if the groom throws violent fits at his work against his subordinates? Do you know if the groom beats up the driver if there is a spec of dust on the car? Do you know how the groom’s married brother treats his wife?

    I recently learnt of a DV case within my own extended family in India. He was always demeaning and cruel to her over the years, and lately was carrying on an affair. She bore all that “for the kids”. When her parents spoke to his parents, they were sorry but offered the excuse that “He never listened to us, even as a child“. The last straw came when he burnt her really bad because she refused to have a threesome with him and the other woman and threatened to leave. Their horoscope matched perfectly, though.

    Know the person’s past before you get involved in a relationship. There needs to be fairly intimate knowledge of his/her temperament at least since puberty. Find out how he/she deals in professional relationships. Most DV abusers are usually cruel to their subordinates at work and sycophants to their bosses.

    Second

    If you need to break the relationship, there’s no need to announce it to him. The day you walk off, make a nice juicy steak, pour a bottle of wine, put on ESPN. Tell him that you’re out of gravy and need to go to the grocery store. Don’t come back.

    It pains me to see women make the same mistakes over and over again – regardless of country, culture or generation.

    M. Nam

  10. Moornam # 60

    I wish life were as black and white as you portray it to be -with no shades of grey at all!

  11. Boy, Moornam….you’ve generalized a lot in #60, and admittedly based on what TV/movies have shown you.

    Tell him that you’re out of gravy and need to go to the grocery store. Don’t come back.

    Yeah, it’s just that easy. Because there is absolutely no way he could track you down if you left. Good grief.

  12. The day you walk off, make a nice juicy steak, pour a bottle of wine, put on ESPN.

    What if he’s a vegetarian? And I know what you’re thinking, just get one of those boca-steaks…. But they aren’t guaranteed to make you feel “heavy” enough to not be able to run after the girl. Also, what if the breakup occurs during the off-season, when they’re just speculating about upcoming trades and draft picks, then you’d have to wait until spring training or at least until the #1 draft pick has been announced, and by then the deed might have already been done. Another alternative is to put on Spike TV, but only before 11, because after that, they just show reruns of magnum PI, those can’t be guaranteed to hold anyone’s attention, right?

    When suggesting serious, viable solutions, you should really work through the details.

  13. Another alternative is to put on Spike TV, but only before 11, because after that, they just show reruns of magnum PI, those can’t be guaranteed to hold anyone’s attention, right?

    I recommend the Spice channel. That should hold a guy’s interest for a significant amount of time.

  14. and by the way.. I absolutely champion the need for female accountability in relationship choosing, but these kind of extreme cases are a different matter entirely.

  15. I recommend the Spice channel. That should hold a guy’s interest for a significant amount of time.

    Au contraire, the average length of time an adult video is on (in a hotel anyway) is 12 minutes (source: Al Franken, Lies..)

  16. Au contraire, the average length of time an adult video is on (in a hotel anyway) is 12 minutes

    That seems about right, based on the average endurance of men. ;)

    (Yes, I really can bring the stupid to bear on any discussion, no matter how serious)

  17. Hey all you know it alls trying to analyze this case. The guy was a pretty good guy growing up but got involved in drugs and met her when they were both seeking help for their addictions. Unlike the pictures seem to portray in their thousand words. She wasn’t the angel that the glamourshots like photo may lead you to believe, she was an alcoholic. The way he killed her was most likely a simple action of opportunity while in a rage. If you want to start analyzing statistics be sure to look at what the percent of domestic violence happens to couples struggling with addiction. She certainly never deserved to even have a hand laid on her let alone such a terrible experience, but this wasn’t some rough white guy killing and angel sent from heaven or race related. I know she was somebody’s daughter and maybe a very wonderful person most of the time.

    What we need to learn from this is to fight drugs any way we can as a community, as a species. To keep our kids form getting caught in this terrible trap so they don’t become the next perpetrator of this type of crime or so they don’t hang around these type of people and become victims of their actions.

    I support both families because if both children had not become addicted they’d be with us living decent lives right now.

    Marjuana isn’t the first drug……it’s cigaretts and alcohol. Stop them early and set a good example, you might not think they are listening but they are. And especially if you are a neighbor parent. Take a second to tell a neighborhood kid what you really like about them and be there for them when they are at odds with their own parents. You’d be amazed at how powerful your words of encouragement can be.

  18. Being an alcoholic or not being an angel does not mean you deserve to be murdered. Many people unfortunatlty choose to include drugs in their lives but still don’t resort to putting people on fire. It is surprising that people (friends and family of the guy who claim to know how she was) would even mention her supposed alcoholism or less than perfect behavior, what does it have to do with being murdered..! This guy was sick no matter how you look at it AND WHAT HE DID WAS WRONG. People defending him should be ashamed of themselves and in my eyes rotting behind the same bars that he is right now.