MADHYA PRADESH – An India minister has given specially made wooden bats to newlywed 700 women to prevent alcohol-related domestic violence made by drunken and abusive husbands.

According to international media, Gopal Bhargava, a minister in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, equipped the women with bats who attended a government-organized mass wedding on Saturday.

Bhargava has reportedly ordered about 10,000 more bats for future brides. The paddles, measuring nearly one foot long and traditionally used to get the dirt out of cloths while washing, bear messages such as “for beating drunkards” and “police won’t intervene,” reported.

The minister further advised the newlywed women to first settle the issue through discussion, but to “let the wooden paddles do the talking” if words do not work.

The minister added, “There is no intent to incite women or instigate them to violence but the bat is being given to prevent violence.”

Several states across India have recently introduced measures to curb alcohol-related domestic and sexual violence, mostly geared toward prohibition or restricted liquor sales.