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Domestic Violence With Men

As someone talks about Domestic violence, the first word that comes to mind is 'women' But it is just a preconceived notion, that spousal abuse only affects one gender. The title of this article may sound illogical and unreasonable to a general person. There is also a general assumption that when men show their vulnerabilities, they are cowardly, girlish, and various derogatory terms.

IPV OR Intimate Partner Violence can be experienced by any spouse whether wife or husband. Lack of education, one person with a higher income, middle-class value, etc. are major causes of Intimate Partner Violence. There is a stereotypical assumption among people that domestic violence is gender-specific or mostly women experience it, being a part of a patriarchal and male dominant society, like India, it is hard to believe that even men experience domestic violence or domestic abuse.

Reasons behind unlisted cases
Firstly, the climate of opinions prevents men from getting their cases registered. Men mostly feel that disclosing the violence can cause unnecessary disturbances in their lives and they gear that society will label them as weak.

The second and one of the most important reasons is that they do not want to be a part of legal procedures because of gender-biased and gender-specific laws provided in India. The society also plays a vital role in nurturing gender-biased laws and stereotypes against a particular gender.

Even most people in our country denies the fact that males can be a victim of domestic violence. Why only females could be a victim of domestic violence? We had tagged a gender as strong, powerful, and dominant and another as weaker, gentle, and inferior but the fact is that both are humans, and both live in the same society. It is natural to be weak or inferior in certain conditions and to be powerful and dominant in other conditions irrespective of their gender. Gender does signify a person's strength.

Gender biased laws

Gender-biased provisions make the situation worst. It can never be disregarded that violence is faced by everyone regardless of their gender but the number of instances may vary. This does not diminish the troubles of any gender. Gender-neutral laws are the way forward.

Because of gender-biased law provisions of law, which are bent towards women, there is a plethora of false cases where women falsely alleged a man of rape or domestic violence and the worst part is that these biased laws have already assumed a fact that a man can never be a victim.

According to section 498A of IPC, only a man can be liable for domestic violence to his wife. This section does not even provide any subsection that makes women liable for domestic violence.

By reading the report 2002 by World Health Organisation, women think of committing suicide more often than men while men die of suicides more frequently.

Remedies available for men
Men do not have any straightforward provisions for them against domestic violence or abuse, instead, one option is divorce under section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, this act establishes an acceptable ground for divorce if the petitioner is treated with cruelty after the solemnization of marriage.

According to section 200 and section 153(3) of CrPC, the husband can also approach the district magistrate and present his complaint, which the magistrate will examine upon the oath of the complainant and witnesses present, the complainant's statement, and any statement from a friend, family member or even neighbour corroborating same.

IPC also contains some provisions which may help in these cases like section 319, section 320, section 323, and section 193, which will help if the aggrieved has seen any false evidence being logged against then he can complain under this section, it punishes false evidence. Section 319 deals with bodily harm, whoever causes bodily pain, disease, or infirmity to any person is said to cause hurt.

Section 320 deals with 'grievous hurt', interestingly starting with 'emasculating', followed by "fracture or dislocation of bone or tooth and any hurt which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to be during the space of twenty days in severe body pain, or unable to follow his/her ordinary pursuits". Section 322 punishes for voluntarily causing hurt.

Gender-neutral laws are an urgent necessity. Domestic violence or abuse against men should be recognized with effective changes in the laws and statutes by creating awareness and by breaking awareness and preconceived notions.

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