Gone are the days when men were the sole breadwinner of the family. Gender roles and expectations have significantly changed after the Independence and they are still changing. A man being subjected to domestic violence seems unbelievable to us as a society, primarily to the extreme gender stereotypes inherited for centuries.
A man goes public about facing domestic harassment from the wife and her family members, and suddenly his ‘mardaangi’ is questioned. 27- year- old Sonu Sharma got married in 2016. He says things went from bad to worse. On 7 january 2017 his six- months- old baby accidently fell off the bed and was bleeding from his mouth and nose. He told his wife that they have to rush to the hospital, while the lady asserted that it was his baby and he should take him to the hospital and that she wants to return to her family. She called her family had told them that her husband had hit her and asked them to pick her up. Sonu Sharma says “ while I was taking my baby to the hospital, her family members came and snatched the baby from me. Then they held me and thrashed me”. Irony is that the law against domestic violence is being used against men by the wife’s family.
Spousal abuse is not something which is faced by only one gender. Preconceived notions and presumptions have led our society to believe that, man is supposed to be strong, mighty and should always bottle up their feelings and never talk about them. And if he shows his vulnerabilities he is considered to be sissy, wimpy or effeminate and many other derogatory terms.
Another example of the recent controversial case of a Bengaluru woman and the Zomato delivery boy can be taken, where the delivery boy was emotionally and physically harmed on a mere delay of food delivery. And even after physically abusing Mr. Kamraj – delivery boy, Ms Hitesha filed a domestic violence report against him, accusing him of sexual assault. This led to a major controversy and naturally people started supporting the women without knowing the facts clearly. This kind of pseudo feminism is very destructive and puts the lives of innocent men in anguish.
Statistics on domestic violence against men in India
In a study of 1000 married men among the various age groups from 21-49 years of age in the rural villages of Haryana, 52.4% of males experience gender-based violence in India. 51.5% of males have experienced some sort of torture or violence at the hands of their wives or their intimate partners in their lifetime. 10.5% of males have experienced gender-based violence at the hands of their wives or intimate partners in the last 12 months. The most common spousal or domestic violence against men is emotional and physical is the second most common domestic violence against men.
IPV or Intimate Partner Violence can be experienced by any spouse whether wife or husband. Lack of education, middle-class values, one person earning a higher income, etc. are some of the major causes of IPV.
Besides women, men also face gender based domestic violence. It is not a rare occurrence, it happens in the society we live in. As women, Man also faces difficulties while publicly talking about it, fear of loosing family name, loosing the custody of the children, these factors play a major influence on him.
To compare these statistics with other nations, it is found that 1 in 9 men in united states of America experience some sort of domestic violence, and 1 in 7 men have been a victim of physical domestic violence by their wives or intimate partners. In the United Kingdom, two out of five victims of domestic violence are men. This discards the popular belief that only women can be the victim of domestic violence. According to men’s rights campaign group parity domestic violence against men often go unnoticed and most of the time their attackers are not punished by the police.
There are many reasons domestic violence against men go unreported, some of the reasons are family pressure, fear of fake cases, stereotypes against men. Our country is a patriarchal and male dominated country, due to which our society considers man bold, strong, and if the man tries to talk about his difficulties he is considered to be delicate, sissy.
Fear off fake cases is also one of the prime reasons domestic violence goes unreported, people do not want to cause unnecessary nussisance. In reality there is no place for domestic violence against men in our constitution, this changes the attitude of our society and we consider domestic violence as gender specific crime.
Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code says that “Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.—Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
There should definitely be a statute or a rule made against domestic violence of men in india. Due to the gender biased law in india many of the cases are not reported, there is a plethora of false accusation cases against men, innocent citizens lives are getting destroyed.
Gender neutral laws
Human rights and gender quality rights belongs to both men and women. In these crisis of false accusations of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment gender neutral laws are need of the hour. It is necessary to catch the perpetrators of the victim irrespective of their gender. Due to such gender biased laws in our country, the society gets prejudiced into thinking that a man could always be a offender, and the real culprit gets unreported. Domestic violence should be considered spousal violence as it is not limited to only women.
In the recent times due to modernization and westernization, gender activists are playing a big role in the transformation of our society’s pre-conceived notions. Its been a long time and it is very much important for statutes and laws to recognize this need, to treat women as well as men Equally. Now, men are talking openly about domestic violence and have started sharing their pain, agony. Men are no longer stronger than women. We say every gender should be treated equally well, now is the time for the Indian Constitution to acknowledge this.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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