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The other side of equality

In any case or any crime, a woman is innocent until proven guilty and a man is guilty until proven innocent.

The long term effects of sexual abuse committed by men on women have been researched or dealt through extensively across the world but the essence which has been missing or the dug hole which has still not been filled is that a smattering number of people are aware of crimes committed on men.

The society in which we live considers crimes on women as the most sensitive matter currently prevailing and no one denies the fact that the crimes on women are increasing day by day in India as well as across the world. There is a whole lot of stereotype across the globe in any case or in any crime that the victim is a woman and the perpetrator is a man, which is the foundation of stereotype and gender differences in the society. One should also consider the fact that crimes are also committed on men across the world which remains unreported in most circumstances.

There are very few complaints filed regarding crimes committed on men and also very few crimes are reported and proceedings are taken further of crimes committed by women. Numberless cases are filed against rapes, gang rapes, acid attack, honor killing, etc committed on women. A handful of people are aware that the same crimes are committed on men too which goes unreported many times and at times justice is not provided to them. A little or no attention has been paid to the crimes committed on men or the inequalities faced by them in society or even legally.

All the inequalities create a stigma or a shame on the manliness or masculinity of a man since there is a lot of underreporting of cases that have created such crimes unusual in society.
In India, a person has to be a man to officially rape and at the same time, a person has to be a woman to be officially raped. If a man is raped by a woman then it is not counted as a crime at all under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. There have been attempts by the government to categorize rape as a gender-neutral crime but were opposed by various women groups.

As per section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, rape is a crime that a man can commit on a woman with no vice versa condition. However, children of both genders are covered under the Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012. So the first loophole in the legal system of our country is that men rapes are not equal to women rapes or the law that governs the punishments related to rapes wholly excludes males. This breaches article 14 (Right To Equality) of our constitution.

Acid attack is another crime that takes place in our country at a very high frequency. Acid attack is throwing acid on the body of a person(primarily face). According to a survey conducted by the Home Ministry in 2014, there were 225 acid attacks in one year which were reported all over the country. However, the survey was conducted for women survivors/victims. Another deep hole here against men is that there is a minimal official record regarding men acid attack survivors and victims in our country as compared to women and for that matter, there is no official reporting of male rapes in our country. However, certain cases have been reported of acid attacks on men in certain areas in the country.

In an article published by India Today, an acid attack survivor Mr. Chandrahaas Mishra filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court on behalf of several male acid attack survivors and victims. Justice Madan B Lokur considered the Public Interest Litigation and uttered, We will deal with it giving hopes to the people filing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL). However, the PIL has not been looked into which was almost filed a year ago.

Jai Vipra at the New Delhi think-tank Centre for Civil Society, argues that the phrasing of rape laws should be gender-neutral. This view is opposed by some human rights advocates and women's rights activists. Mumbai-based human rights lawyer Flavia Agnes told the India Times,

I oppose proposal to make rape laws gender-neutral. We had opposed it when the government made child rape laws gender-neutral ... If made gender-neutral, rape laws will not have the deterrence value and it will make it more complicated for judges in court.

International human rights lawyer and activist Vrinda Grover was quoted in the same article:
There are no instances of women raping men. I don't think men are facing serious sexual violence as women. Consider the brutality and intensity of sexual violence against women.

About two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men, contradicting the widespread impression that it is almost always women who are left battered and bruised, a new report claims.
Men assaulted by their partners are often ignored by police, see their attacker go free and have far fewer refuges to flee to than women, says a study by the men's rights campaign group Parity.

In 2013, the center passed the criminal law (amendment) ordinance, which worked on swapping the word sexual assault with rape which substantially turned the crime into a gender-neutral crime from both the aspect of a victim as well as the perpetrator.

But, after tremendous efforts, a reversal was then granted in the same year which is 2013 with the criminal law (amendment) act. The groups putting in tremendous efforts argued that:
Rape Was An Explicitly Patriarchial Crime, Directly Stemming From The Grotesque Abuse Of Male Power And Privilege.

Thus, for charges to stick, the perpetrator must be a male and the victim must be female.

In understanding what constitutes rape, international law has evolved from viewing it just as penile-vaginal to penile-orifice and then to penetrative-orifice, all within a non-consensual context. By the last legal definition, the physical violation with blunt objects undergone by Nirbhaya at the hands of her gang rapists would be classified as rape.

It would by current Indian legal standards as well. Yet if the setting had been an Indian women's jail and the same violation had occurred by fellow prisoners, there would be no rape. To be sure, it would be an assault-based crime of some form, but not rape. This, even though the victim would have been forcefully penetrated sexually by her assailants.

Out of the 96 countries studied, 63 were found to have rape or sexual assault laws written in gender-neutral language, 27 had completely gender-specific rape laws (i.e., the perpetrator was defined as male and the victim as female) and 6 had partly gender-neutral laws.

A recent UK government survey indicated that 9% of males had experienced some form of partner abuse, which amounts to around 1.4 million men. This includes stalking, physical violence, and sexual assault. Indeed, a seminal US study found that male Intimate partner violence (IPV) victims are often slapped, kicked, punched, grabbed, or choked by their partners. A growing body of international research indicates that men and women experience IPV in similar proportions.

A research paper by Dr. Elizabeth Bates from the University of Cumbria on the perception of male victims. Under the research paper, a man shared his experience of domestic abuse and how people reacted to the same.

I told friends, they laughed. I told a friend's brother he was a cop, and they both joked saying man up
These were the words of the victim's friends while some other men preferred not to inform anyone about the domestic abuse they faced.

Statistical Data
According to a survey conducted in 2007, the Indian Government found that out of 100% of children reporting sexual violence or sodomy 57.3% are males. Another survey conducted by Delhi based center for civil society discovered that almost 18% of the men in the survey were coerced or forced to have sex or sexual relations. Out of the 18% cases, a female was the perpetrator 16 times which makes it 88.88% female perpetrators.

A report published by (an online news publication) claimed that the torture conducted on people in Kashmir by the local police and other security forces which includes sodomy, beatings, rape, cutting with sharp implements, burning with metal rods, etc is committed on males in 97.6% of cases, however, more than 995 cases have been unreported in the past year. And the flashes on news channels, headlines in the newspapers mention the crimes committed against women in Jammu and Kashmir.

As per reports by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
  • Nearly 1 in 38 males have experienced completed or attempted rape during his lifetime.
  • About 1 in 4 males rape victims experienced it for the first time between 11-17 years old.
  • About 1 in 4 males rape victims reported that it occurred before age 10.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States (US) conducted a study in 2010-2012 and found that 1 in 17 men reported being forced to penetrate at some point in their lives. Among male victims who were raped by being penetrated, 86.5 percent reported that the perpetrators were male.

Male rape in Southeast Asia has always been around with victims more often than not having to suffer in silence. A survey carried out by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Cambodian government found that 5.6 percent of males aged between 18 and 24 had experienced sexual abuse before reaching the age of 18. According to The New Humanitarian, in a focus group discussion with 89 Rohingya men and boys, a third of them personally knew a Rohingya man or boy who had experienced conflict-related sexual assault in Myanmar. Although no complete or updated data is available on male rape in Southeast Asia, there have been several infamous cases of male sexual abuse reported in the region.

Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug-facilitated completed penetration. However, it should not be neglected that the corresponding figure for females is 1 in 5 which amounts up to 20%. While the figure for women is much higher, the figure for men is by no means negligible.

Approximately 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else during their lifetime, most men who were made to penetrate someone else reported that the perpetrator was either an intimate partner (44.8%) or an acquaintance (44.7%).

Nearly 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported at least one impact related to experiencing these or other forms of violent behavior in the relationship (e.g., being fearful, concerned for safety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, need for health care, injury, contact a crisis hotline, need for housing services, need for victim's advocate services, need for legal services, missed at least one day of work or school) Male rape victims and male victims of non-contact unwanted sexual experiences reported predominantly male perpetrators. Nearly half of stalking victimizations against males were also perpetrated by males.

Perpetrators of other forms of violence against males were mostly female. But when the categories of made to penetrate (4.8%) and sexual coercion (6%) are included, the figure including rape is 12.2% (an estimated 13.7 million men). Further adding the categories of unwanted sexual contact (11.7%) and non-contact unwanted sexual experiences (12.8%), the figure becomes 22.2% (an estimated 25 million men, not counting rape).

Even when it comes to suicides, the rate of committing suicide of males is much higher than that of females. And the fact of the matter is that the Indian married men are twice more likely to commit suicide.

As per the report published by the National Crime Record Bureau, the suicide rate of males was 67.1% in the year 2013. There were several causes of suicides such as illness, bankruptcy, suspected/illicit relation, etc among which family problems recorded the highest number of suicides.

A report published by the National Crime Record Bureau stated the number of deaths due to suicide in various states, cities, and in various age groups. In each aspect, the suicide rate of males has been considerably higher than females.
  • Up to 14 years- The suicide rate of males- 53.57%
  • 15-29 years- The suicide rate of males- 57.61%
  • 30-44 years- The suicide rate of males- 70.18%
  • 45-59 years- The suicide rate of males- 76.61%
  • 60 years and above- The suicide rate of males- 72.99%
  • The overall suicide rate of males in India- 67.13%

A report published by the National Crime Records Bureau stated the number of deaths due to suicide. The data was collected as per the social status of people. In each aspect, the suicide rate of males was higher than females.
  • Never married/Spinster- The suicide rate of males- 66.17%
  • Married- The suicide rate of males- 68.48%
  • Widowed/widower- The suicide rate of males- 53.83%
  • Divorcee- The suicide rate of males- 52.15%
  • Separated- The Suicide rate of males- 65.86%
  • The overall suicide rate of males- 67.16%
A report published by the National Crime Records Bureau stated the number of deaths of people keeping the base as educational qualification. In each aspect, the suicide rate of males was higher than females.
  • Uneducated- The suicide rate of males- 62.30%
  • Primary- The suicide rate of males- 65.39%
  • Middle- The suicide rate of males- 68.22%
  • Secondary- Suicide rate of males- 70.35%
  • Intermediate- The suicide rate of males- 68.91%
  • Diploma- The suicide rate of males- 72.70%
  • Graduate- The suicide rate of males- 71%
  • Post Graduate- The suicide rate of males- 71.08%
  • The overall suicide rate of males- 67.16%

27.40% of males committed suicide due to physical abuse as per the report of the National Crime Records Bureau.
65.26% of males committed suicide due to family problems as per the report of the National Crime Records Bureau.
44.38% of males committed suicide due to divorce as per the report of the National Crime Records Bureau.

Fact- The website of the National Crime Records bureau yields no results when one searches men rape.

Acid attacks are registered under Section 326 A of the Indian Penal Code, with a minimum punishment of 10 years imprisonment.

A report published by The Hindu gave an insight about the acid attacks in a year committed on both males and females.

As per the report, in 2017, there were 244 acid attack cases reported out of which 131 were on women which constituted about 57% of the total cases.

A handful of the population is aware of a person named Reynhard Sinaga who was a serial rapist and was sentenced to a minimum period of 30 years recently.

But, the twist, in this case, was that he committed rapes on males particularly in Manchester, England.

Sinaga as per reports has a count of 159 sexual offenses under his name on 48 men and 70 victims remain unidentified.

Reports said that the Indonesian student who lived in Manchester, United Kingdom would wait for intoxicated men outside nightclubs and bars, lure victims into his apartment, then drug them until they passed out before raping them. He was caught when one of his victims regained consciousness while he was being violated. Sinaga was sentenced to life imprisonment for his heinous crimes.

Sinaga is believed by police to have raped or assaulted at least 195 men since 2005, two years before he had arrived in the United Kingdom. In Manchester, he waited for potential victims outside nightclubs, pubs, and similar venues in the early hours. He then offered them a stay at his flat, subsequently drugging and raping his victims.

In a recent case reported in Delhi(majorly from South Delhi) wherein several boys(many of them being minor) had a group on Instagram. This group was one of many such groups.
The group's name was Bois locker room and the screenshots of the conversation were leaked.

An all-boys group consisted of around 100 members all being teenagers from South Delhi. The basic purpose of the group was to share pictures of various girls and then to pass on comments. The screenshots leaked revealed that some serious body-shaming comments were made, girls were objectified and countless pictures were shared. The comments made were disturbing as there were threats to leak nude pictures of several girls, rape threats were evident, etc.

The pictures that were floated were of minor girls as the screenshots reveal. The screenshots also reveal the harsh comments made on the girls.

Delhi Commission for Women also issued a notice regarding the same issue. On May 6, 2020, the admin of the group was arrested by the cyber cell of Delhi police.

A Delhi schoolboy was also taken into custody and nearly 20 more were identified. Reportedly, the mobile phones of various boys were seized by the cyber cell of Delhi police.

Just 2 days after the Bois Locker Room Instagram conversation took everyone by storm for passing comments, objectifying, body shaming, raping, etc another controversy of similar nature came into light.

But, the controversy that took place after the Bois Locker Room' controversy was the spreading of several screenshots of chats between several girls which made up an alleged female version of Bois Locker Room.

The group consisted of several girls who were again teenagers and passed objectionable comments on men. Several men were objectified, comments were passed on their private parts and some even expressed their desires.

It has also been alleged that the girl who leaked the chats of Bois locker room' was a part of girl's locker room
However, the girl's locker room was not discussed as widely as the Bois locker room' was discussed. No complaint was filed as well.

In all these controversies there was another Snapchat controversy'. A screenshot was spread on the grounds of which the boy was criticized. The screenshot contained a fictitious name Siddharth.

It was a conversation that clearly shows the intention of one boy to rape a girl. The boy mentions that we can rape her easily and thereafter mentions Call 2-3 more boys and we will gangrape her.

However, on investigation police found that the alleged conversation was done by a minor girl with a fictitious name Siddharth' to check the values and character' of that boy.
The girl by the fictitious name of Siddharth' tried to plan her rape or gangrape.

Swati Maliwal the chairperson of Delhi Commission for women condemned this act by tweeting

Disgusting that a girl sent out Snapchat msg to a boy planning her own rape.

Bois Locker Room chats are not connected to this Snapchat but equally offensive & warrant legal action!

The girl endangered cause of hundreds facing cyber abuse everyday! MUST be acted against too!

Another case was then reported in which a boy of 17 years committed suicide by jumping off the balcony of his flat which was on the 11th floor.

The 17-year-old boy committed suicide after a girl had made several allegations against the 17-year-old on Instagram.

The Instagram account of the 17-year-old was then thoroughly checked and it was found that the girl had imposed false allegations on him without any evidence to prove.
Before the boy had committed suicide two screenshots were floated on social media claiming that she was molested two years ago in the basement of her building. The girl also stated that she was tired of keeping this as a secret.

The boy's sister posted the following information on her Instagram account:
After the story got viral, the boy started receiving threat calls and messages, he was harassed by the girl and her friends, he tried to defend himself and also told his friends that he is innocent but he couldn't handle the threats and the tremendous pressure and believed that his side of the story won't be heard.

The girl who claimed that she was molested posted a story saying that if he couldn't handle the pressure then it's not her fault. This story was posted by the girl after gaining the knowledge that the boy had committed suicide.

Rape/other laws in India

  1. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860-

    The section starts with,

    A man is said to commit rape

    , so a man removes the grey area and makes it clear that as the Indian Penal Code rape is not a gender-neutral crime and only a woman can be a victim of it. So as per section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, a man is said to commit rape when he has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent, against her will, with her consent but the consent was obtained by putting her or any person close to her in fear of death or of hurt, with her consent but the man knows that he is not her husband and the consent was given because the woman believes that he is the man with whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married, with her consent but at the time of giving such consent the woman was unable to understand the nature and consequences of her consent or with or without her consent when the woman is below the age of 16 years.
  2. Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860-

    This section deals with the punishments for rape. Section 376(1) says that whoever commits a rape except in cases provided in sub-section (2) shall be punished with imprisonment for at least 7 years and extending up to imprisonment for life. Section 376(2) deals with punishment of rape by police officers, members of the armed forces, staff or management of hospital or jail, public servant, etc. Section 376(3) defines the punishment for a person in authority or fiduciary relationship, public servant, or the staff or management of a hospital. Section 376(4) deals with what is gang rape and defines the punishment for gang rape. Section 376(5) deals with the punishment of repeat offenders. However, even this section fails to take into consideration the topic of rapes committed on males.
  3. Section 354(A) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860-

    This section yet again starts with a man is said to commit sexual harassment thus even this section is not gender-neutral since it takes into consideration the sexual harassment of females by a male on committing certain activities.
  4. Section 354(B) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860-

    This section starts with a man is said to commit an assault or uses criminal force thus even this section is not gender-neutral since it takes into consideration the assault or applying of criminal force on a female by a male on committing certain activities.
  5. Section 354(C) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860-

    This section starts with a man is said to commit voyeurism thus even this section is not gender-neutral since it takes into consideration the voyeurism on a female by a male on committing certain activities.
  6. Section 354(D) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860-

    This section starts with a man is said to commit stalking thus even this section is not gender-neutral since it takes into consideration the stalking of a female by a male on committing certain activities. Hence, the whole section 354 is not gender-neutral and only a woman can seek justice under this section.
  7. Section 37 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954- As per this section, the husband shall secure his wife for her maintenance and support, if necessary, by a charge on the husband's property such gross sum or such monthly or periodic payment of money for a term not exceeding her life. However there is no such provision for males under the Special Marriage Act. It must be noted that alimony is allowed for both husband and wife under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

  8. Section 113(A) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872-

    This section deals with the commission of suicide by a woman abetted by her husband or any other relative of her husband. If it is shown that the suicide was committed by her within 7 years of her marriage and that she had been subjected to cruelty, the court may presume that such suicide had been abetted by her husband or relative of her husband.

In a country like India male rapes are far beyond the imagination of the population of the country and even the torture on males in the disputed regions in the country is spiking day by day which in many cases are not reported due to one's honor and even because of lack of provisions in the law.

By not having gender-neutral laws most of the cases remain unreported by males and at times justice is not served to them. India should focus on creating new laws which are gender-neutral or amend the current laws to make them gender-neutral such that there is equality among males and females in the country.

Rape is an offense which can be committed on both males and females and would adversely affect on the mental health as well as physical health of each, remember a rape is an attack not on the virginity of the person but on the integrity of that person as well as on the conduct of that person.

Not only rape should be a gender-neutral crime but all the offenses taking into consideration any one gender should be neutralized, this would lead to a minimum amount of underreporting of cases and to the males their masculinity won't be ever in danger since the crime would become familiar to the people and they will not consider it to be a matter of shame.

I would strongly suggest or recommend the following:
  1. Gender-neutral laws must be formulated.
  2. Laws that are biased towards any gender must be amended to make them gender-neutral.
  3. Separate records must be published which may solely report crimes committed on men and the same records may be published for women as well.
  4. Separate tribunals or commissions must be set up which may be the same as National Commission for women.
  5. Awareness must be spread regarding the violence committed on male through reports, articles, campaigns, etc
  6. All forms of violence committed on men by any other person must be criminalized.
  7. Just like we have women's court (Mahila Adalat) which is an alternative dispute resolution, such same courts must be formed for men as well.
This is the need of the hour if not taken care of then our country and for that matter, the globe would see more and more Reynhard Sinaga'.

  1. Cabinet nod to make rapes gender-neutral riles women's groups. (2012, July 20). Times Of India. Retrieved from
  2. More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, the report reveals. (2010, September 4). Retrieved from
  3. Stokes, J. (2014, September 10). India's law should recognize that men can be raped too. Retrieved from
  4. Vipra, J. (2013, July). Retrieved from
  5. Whitley, R. (2019, November 19). Domestic Violence Against Men: No Laughing Matter. Retrieved from
  6. Bates, E. A. (n.d.). Retrieved from and perceptions paper final.pdf
  7. Desk, C. (2019, May 20). Rape, Sodomy, and Electrocution Forms of Torture Used in Kashmir by Security Forces: Report. Retrieved from
  8. Nortajuddin, A. (2020, February 6). Taking male rape seriously. Retrieved from
  9. Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Briedling, M. J., Smith, S. G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., … Stevens, M. R. (n.d.). National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.
  10. National Crime Records Bureau(2013). Incidence of suicides categorized cause wise – 2013[PDF file]. Retrieved from
  11. National Crime Records Bureau(2013). Distribution of suicidal deaths categorized by sex & age group – 2013]PDF file]. Retrieved from
  12. National Crime Records Bureau(2013). Profile of suicide victims classified according to social status – 2013 [PDF file]. Retrieved from
  13. National Crime Records Bureau(2013). Educational status of suicide victims – 2013 [PDF file]. Retrieved from
  14. Singh, S. S. (2020, January 11). West Bengal tops in 2018 acid attack cases: NCRB. The Hindu. Retrieved from
  15. Maliwal, S. (2020, May 11). Disgusting that a girl sent out Snapchat msg to a boy planning her own rape.' Bois Locker Room' chats are not connected to this Snapchat but equally offensive & warrant legal action! The girl endangered cause of hundreds facing cyber abuse everyday! MUST be acted against too! Retrieved from^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1259790466368720896&ref_url=

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