DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST MALE- A BARRIER TO ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY
Author: Jina Hazra, II year of LL.B(Hons.) from the University of Burdwan department of Law
“A world full of empowered women isn’t one where men are marginalized.
It’s a world where everyone thrives”
Domestic violence or intimate partner violence means one person’s control over another person in a matrimonial or intimate relationship. The person can be a male or husband who is dominating or controlling female partner or his wife or it can be vice-versa. In a border sense domestic violence includes violence against children, parents. Article 14, article 15, article 16, article 17 and article 29of The Indian Constitution represents the concept of gender equality, a fundamental right of every citizen. Gender equality means the rights of men is equals to the rights of women. Women have been deprived, tortured, abused and harassed by the male partner or family and now men are not an exception. Almost 3 crore men are facing domestic violence in India. Various provisions are there to protect from domestic violence but none of those gender neutral or in other words those sections exclude men protection from domestic violence. The concept of ‘gender equality is equals to women empowerment’ creates a barrier to achieve the goal of gender equality.
Types of domestic violence against men
There are many forms of domestic violence mentioned below-
Physical abuse: Physical abuse is the most known form of domestic violence. When wife or female member harm or injured the other by slapping, pushing, hitting or throwing any object it will consider as physical abuse. It is easy to identify because its visible to everyone.
Psychological abuse: Persistent insult, humiliation, threat or emotional black mail are the causes of mental and emotional pain which leads to psychological abuse or psychological violation. After continuous abuse of many days results psychological abuse and its difficult to detect and prove.
Financial abuse: Financial abuse is another kind of domestic violence where husband or male member loss his financial freedom. Dominating person controls victims bank account, prevent him or her from obtaining education or job and restrict the person from making his own personal choices.
Sextual abuse: Forceful or nonconsensual sex is called sextual abuse. It also includes unwelcome touching and unsafe sextual activity in the absence of consensus ad idem. It is difficult to detect because of a stereotypical concept about matrimonial relationship.
Causes of domestic violence against male
Domestic violence against men is less serious or an ignored issue in India but they are also suffering for many reasons. In this context psychological and financial abuse is more popular than physical and sextual abuse.
Greediness: Greed is a characteristic of few persons which denotes material gain or excessive desire to acquire something. Sometimes wives are materialistic in nature and they demandgold, diamond, expensive gifts or many other things which is either beyond her husband’s capacity or her husband’s willingness. The pressure of fulfilling her demand creates financial as well as phycological abuse.
Over possessiveness: Over possessiveness is not only a phycological decease but its also a reason of domestic violence. Wife or intimate partners over possessiveness restrict her husband or male partner from talking to any woman, travel along or with friends, to join a party or socialization etc. This kind of behavior leads to anxiety, depression or domestic violence.
High expectations: Human have expectations from anything and everything. Wife’s expectation from her husband is not an exception.long drive in every two days, cinematic date in every week, expensive gifts in every alternative day or trip to abroad in every three months are some common expectations of dominating wife. By excessive work load in office or business or unsupported finance or wiliness to spend some alone time prevent the partner or husband to fulfill. Again, wife’s unreasonable force or threating takes place of domestic violence.
Mismatch marriage: Sometimes a marriage between highly educated woman and less educated man, rich woman and poor man, high earning woman and comparatively low earning man born an unsatisfied relationship and further wife’s disrespectful words, insult, humiliation disturb the other person’s mental and emotional health.
Apart from the above reasons women harass men by murmuring and cursing her husband, willful negligence in serving food on time or most of the time working husband prepares food for him and his jobless wife. Women refuses to take care her sasural or marital home and also forced her husband to pay for her family unnecessarily. By this way many men are suffering from domestic violence without filing a report.
Laws related to domestic violence against men
Law makers makes law based on current and future scenario which is also influenced by race, caste, sex, religion etc. Gender biased laws are protecting a particular gender as the victim is only male or only female. But domestic violence is a gender-neutralcrime which has gender biased laws. Indian laws exclude male protection from domestic violence as woman can’t dominate man. According to section 498A of the Indian Penal Code 1860 only the husband or the relatives of husband be cruel to a woman. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 exclusively mentioned that the is to provide effective protection of the rights of women and only woman can file complaint under this Act. Man can file divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 on the ground of cruelty to protect himself from domestic violence.
In Rakhi Paul vs Amit Paul husband made allegation against his wife that his wife insisted him to visit shri shriAnukul Thakur ashram frequently and he had to spend about Rs 1,60,000 due to those visits. Wife in her written statement made allegations of domestic violence against him. Hight court observed that wife made false allegations against her husband and granted divorce to husband.
In Shamshada Akhter vs AjazParvaiz, Shah a court of Jammu and Kashmir clearly stated that The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 was enacted to protect woman who need protection not to harass husband or misuse the Act. Judge Fayaz Ahmad imposed Rs 10 lakh on the woman.
In today’s India by the help of feminists, various schemes of govt or through the support of organizations women represent themselves equality in almost every sector in India. Previous conception of male dominating country turns into country with equal contribution of male and female. Female are also doing job, earn money, travel along, take responsibilities and dominate male. Men can suffer from domestic violence too and they need protection as women. An Act must be enacted to protect men from domestic violence. More programs should be organized to remove fear and stereotypical mentality from men and society. Through an appropriate Act and implementation India would remove the barrier of domestic violence against men and will come one step closer to achieve gender equality.
Study report by save family foundation and Mynation
The Indian Penal Code 1860
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005