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Shraddha Case – Psychologist Speaks on Hidden Traumas & More


Almost everyone now recognises Shraddha Walker as the “28-year-old woman who her live-in partner brutally murdered.” This case has made me think of the heinous atrocities performed by people like Surinder Koli, Raja Kolander, and Chandrakant Jha. Aaftab has also admitted to performing the same act as Koli, Kolander, and Jha, who killed numerous people and sliced up their remains.

Labels like “serial killer,” “predator,” and “psychopath” are often used to describe such offenders. Still, they do not help us explain why they act the way they do or what is going through their minds when they commit unspeakable atrocities.

Speaking of Aftab, he showed characteristics of a psychopath who killed his girlfriend without regret and went on with his life. He said that he enjoyed watching crime shows and films, where he got the inspiration for killing Shradha and making it seem like she was still alive. Even though they were arguing and fighting, he could have ended the relationship painlessly if his mental state had been expected.

Though attempts to delve into the lives and psychology of these individuals—both the culprit and the victim—may not serve as a defence, they offer insights that may help stop similar shockers in the future. Considering that much of it is just sensation and shock without context, it is necessary to unravel the psychological layers to gain context.

In similar situations in the past, it was reported that the murderers had first-hand knowledge of dismemberment techniques. Being a qualified cook, Aaftab was skilled with a meat knife.

Childhood trauma can significantly alter how you perceive and interact with the world. People like Shraddha may become exceedingly susceptible and prone to entering an abusive relationship, later becoming victims. For others, like Aftab, it can block down emotions and make them into nasty people who take delight in the suffering of others. These individuals adopt the freeze reaction and anger suppression as a coping strategy. When anger is repressed, it builds up inside the person, making them anxious to let it out. A person may become overloaded and explode at any surprising degree, including murder, with even the slightest disproportionate trigger.

Many people would question Shradha why she did not leave Aftab if she was so unhappy or abused. Since the abuser has been quite crafty in how they have portrayed this over time, the victim is actually in a very confusing situation. There was a lack of understanding regarding the complexity of abuse and the abusers’ capacity to mislead and control her purposely.

She was caught in the abusive cycle, which has a pattern similar to that of addiction, and she is unable to express how she feels when abused. The abused victim returns to the abuser for love and affection, much like an addict who keeps going back for the high. By altering their behaviour, they try to end the abuse. By appeasing their abusers, they believe their relationship will resume its “love bombing” stage. The victim is so much in love with the abuser that she doesn’t question him and thinks he is acting in their best interests.

It is heartbreaking that Shraddha passed away without safety to safety while believing in profound love. However, we must now accord her honour in death and stop attacking her character for making her own decisions. Piling conflicts, old grudges, poor anger tolerance, lack of communication, and an anti-social lifestyle can drive such violent crimes. I think we need to raise awareness of trauma bonding, a psychological condition that makes it difficult for the abused person to flee their abuser. We also need to sensitise ourselves to this and the dynamics of abusive and toxic relationships to develop a healthy connection from the beginning.

The article is written by Aastha Dhingra, Assistant Professor & Clinical Psychologist | SGT University, Gurgaon

1 Comment
  1. Dr. Vishnu Narayan Kucheria says

    So precisely explained. It has nothing to with any religion, race, caste culture. Such people are available everywhere so when one such type of symptoms are appearing in a person, they are victimised on a daily basis, then they should report to the well wishers, authority, so that they themselves can saved as well as they can seek help for these type of people around them. This will not only help them from becoming victim as well as save the person as was from committing any type of crime.

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