We all agree that violence is something that cannot be refuted. The first word that strikes our mind after hearing “domestic violence” is “women”. The biggest myth of society is that only women suffer from intimate partner violence. There are many laws on domestic violence and marital cruelty etc. for protecting the rights of women. It is a conception that women suffer from violence, abuse, and mental torture at the hands of men and their families. Do we ever realize that it is not only women but it is also a man who has been victims of violence; not only violence but also accused of untrue allegations?
Abuse against men is not a laughing matter. Once a week a meeting held by the Save Indian Family Foundation where 4-5 new people attend these meetings. By a study of 1000 married men of various age groups from 21-49 years in the rural villages of Haryana, 52.4% of males experience gender-based violence in India whether 51.5% of males were gone through with some sort of torture or violence from their wives or their intimate partners in their lifetime. Emotional and physical torture is the most common domestic violence against men.
Intimate Partner Violence
Any spouse whether wife or husband can experience IPV. Some major causes of IPV are lack of education, middle-class values. Men also experience gender-based violence in India. Most women experience violence so there is a stereotypical assumption among the society that domestic violence is gender-specific which is not correct. India is a male-dominated society. So, it is often hard to believe that even males can be victims of domestic violence.
Despite the data available, suggesting violence against men, there are no laws to protect men. All laws for controlling domestic violence consider women as victims. Anti-dowry laws Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, and later Section 498A passed by the Supreme Court of India already show the concern and asked to stop the “Legal Terrorism” in the form of misuse of 498A and the necessary changes to be made by the Parliament.
Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act states that any act, omission or commission, or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence. The victim under this act is always a woman. Whereas the respondent may be a woman and a man.
More recently domestic violence over man has increased tremendously during lockdown due to pandemics. In April 2020as many as 1,774 men from 22 states across India reached out Save Indian Family (SIF) foundation, alleging domestic violence by their spouse. Several incidences of groom burning have also been reported during lockdown across different parts of India.
Reasons why men suffer in silence
- Men worry just like women that leaving their spouses will harm their children or prevent them from having access to them. Due to the prospect of raising children alone, obtaining custody of them is always challenging for fathers.
- Many men feel that they are failing in their role as a protector and provider for the family or; feel ashamed at being beaten by a woman.
- In Indian men, the biggest fear is of dowry harassment case or other cases that are always in the favour of women and tend to drag a man for years.
- Even today, there is pressure on men on the side of their parents as most men continue to live with their parents even after marriage. Parents generally step in and can sometimes make matters worse with their own demands when differences arise.
Priory men were seen as protectors of their family but nowadays both men and women are equally working, raising, and managing their homes with equal contribution to their incomes. Men have now opened up about the domestic violence that they face and now they have started sharing their pains and struggles openly. It’s high time that statute and laws too should recognize their problem as a social problem or issue. We can recognize Domestic violence against men with effective changes in the laws. And, also by creating awareness and by breaking stereotypes and preconceived notions.
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