Domestic Violence against Men: Can a man be a victim of domestic abuse?

Does domestic violence against men exist?

Well, domestic abuse does not choose your sexual category. Sooner or later, any person can become its prey. So, yes, domestic violence happens to men as well. In our society, where the characters of males and females are becoming all the time more blurry, domestic abuse against men is on the rise.

The public and social order support the point that men must not hit ‘the weaker gender,’— but the same is not true for the contrary.
When you imagine a picture of the domestic violence, tell me who comes to your mind as its target? If you’re honest, then it’s indeed a woman, right? Not your fault! It’s not just you, in fact, if any one of us hears the term “domestic abuse,” we every so often assume that a man is an attacker. Our society still follows an old plot of domestic abuse, based on judgemental terms like ‘wife beater’ or ‘beaten wife.’

Two things are wide of the mark with these expressions:

• We take up that all abuse is physical
• We assume that all sufferers are females

While these two things are correct in more than a few reported cases, domestic violence against men is another harsh reality. And it is way more common than you may consider. But, as long as the delusion continues that males are always the abuser and females are always the target, the domestic violence against men would be hard to acknowledge.

The domestic violence against men – Revealing all nuts and bolts of the harsh reality

All right, before we get to the domestic abuse against men, let’s understand what domestic abuse is. The term domestic violence covers a comprehensive range of forceful acts committed by a family member against another. It often denotes the abuse of a kid or spouse and may consist of not just physical damage. It furthermore comprises of intimidations in addition to the verbal, mental, and sexual abuse. The main difference between domestic abuse and the general attack or crime is the relationship of the abuser to the target.

What are the signs of domestic violence against men or women?

To define domestic violence, you need to understand the signs of domestic abuse. So, what are the signs of domestic violence against men?

Tell me what your domestic abuse definition is? By the book, the definition of domestic violence covers all kinds of brutal and aggressive behaviours:

  • Physical abuse: This consists of hitting, pushing by your partner, his/her close relative or families. It may further include throwing stuff like bowls, dishes, cell phones and cutlery at the spouse.
  • Emotional abuse: There are instances when a person may frighten his/her partner to commit suicide for threatening or controlling the partner. All this comes under the banner of emotional abuse.
  • Verbal abuse: Domestic verbal abuse against men or women includes needless screaming, using foul language, yelling, accusing, or dishonouring your partner.
  • Sexual abuse: Of course, when a person disagrees for having sex but is forced to do so.
  • Mental abuse: A woman intimidating her husband of involving him and his family under an untrue case of dowry or domestic violence can be an instance of mental abuse against men. On the contrary, a man keeping his wife away from her family or friends, or not letting her go out to work is mental abuse against women.

Do you know that out of all the above-stated domestic abuse signs, which one is the hardest form of abuse to identify? Yes, it’s the emotional abuse.

Does your spouse

  • Humiliate or embarrass you?
  • Puts you down?
  • Makes you feel guilty for all the problems in your relationship
  • Keeps checking your plans and whereabouts?
  • Separates you from your family and friends?
  • Snatch all your earnings by force?
  • Use intimacy and sex to keep you in control?
  • Reads all your emails, texts, messages or checks your calls against your will?
  • Blames you of mistreatment beside the point?

Then, my dear, you are being emotionally abused.

This domestic abuse is a grave issue and women are not the only victims of this fierceness. By and large, we daily come across the news bulletins that highlight dowry-related harassment in marriages and crimes against women. But what’s surprising is that even a rising number of men in India receive mistreatment and face exploitation by their spouses.

Getting precise figures of this crime is hard as a lot of domestic violence against men cases go unreported. The biggest cause for this is the outdated ‘gender roles’ in the society. And not to forget, the ‘stigma’ of the apparent weakness of men confessing their oppression by a woman. What’s worse? The disgrace and embarrassment of this act going public forces them to stay silent. What’s more? The society that surrounds them makes sure that they keep their mouth shut as “no one would accept this as true in any case!” They are persuaded that their harassment will be giggled at, ignored, mocked and would be overlooked in the long run. So, what becomes the final decision is — “why trouble themselves and their families?” And eventually, they remain trapped in the problem.

“Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota” – A sickening outlook

The macho mentality that “men don’t feel the pain” or “mard ko dard nahi hota” praise men’s strength to the skies. It demeans the emotional unmanning of man that offers them a grounding to accept cruelty and feel hyped about making sacrifices. This condition is due to ‘patriarchal philosophy’ of the society. This idea believes that ‘men are stronger than women.’ For that reason, they can protect themselves with their physical power. Due to this social training, quite a lot of offended boys wear a fake smile to hide the obnoxious scars and grieve in seclusion. Sadly, Indian men are going through all types of exploitation and cruelty. But do you think it is right? Of course, not! So, this mindset — “mard ko dard nahi hota” needs to breathe its last breath now.

Men in India are not as lucky as in other countries

Fortunately, India recognizes domestic violence as a crime and offers help and protection from it – although only to WOMEN! Yes! The satire is that law does not distinguish domestic violence against men in India. The opinion is that men cannot be the prey of violence by a ‘weaker gender.’ Still, domestic abuse by women against men is a harsh reality in India. Even so, no one including our administration or government ever takes any stands to address it. Domestic violence against men is a serious social subject, but then again, male victims of domestic abuse in India have nowhere to go as the law doesn’t even treat them as sufferers.

In most nations of the world, the rules and regulations against domestic violence offer protection to both men as well as women, by the same token. In these countries, men can pursue restraining orders from the court of laws. Thus and so, the court warns the abusive spouse from committing abuse or even communicating with the victim. However, when we talk about India, domestic violence against males is virtually ‘lawful.’ Yes! What else can we say when there is actually no provision in any by-law to protect a male, who faces harassment from his partner? There are quite a few cases where a wife beats, mistreats or tortures her husband while receiving full support from her own family. Every now and then, the spite is so cruel that the man undergoes dangerous injuries. At times, the consequences are suicidal as well.

All of us raise voice for the need of feminism in India. All of us raise voice for the independence and equality of women. But how can we fail to recall that men can be the target of domestic abuse as well? Sadly, Indian Legislation is completely unsuccessful when it’s about accepting the fact that even men can be the prey of domestic abuse . The Section 375 of IPC that deals with rape and valid provisions against it declares no rapes or sexual attacks against males. As a matter of fact, it depicts the picture of the rape where a woman is a victim while the man is the perpetrator. Not only this, IPC Sections 354 A, 354 B, 354 C and 354 D that deal with sexual harassment, stripping, stalking and prurience, all acknowledge females as victims and males as the perpetrators.

Domestic Abuse is objectionable regardless of the gender of the victim

At the end of the day, a victim of domestic abuse is a victim, no matter if the gender of the aggressor is male or female. While the mainstream of domestic abuse victims is females, exploitation of men takes place far more often than you’d assume. Usually, boys are physically stronger than girls are but does that make it easy to escape the ferocity of the situation? In India, the male victims of domestic abuse face a lack of resources, cynicism from the police force and a lot of legal complications.

But isn’t it unfair to them? Even as a male, you have the right to take violence against you in all conscience. No matter if you’re tougher or stronger than the woman is. You never know when these slight issues may intensify into some hazardous situations.

It’s good time when India needs to keep pace with time and the entire world. It’s high time when India needs to make certain laws for domestic violence by women against men. After all, our legal system must be ‘gender neutral.’ What do you say?

It’s time we speak out on the subject of domestic violence against men, and then only we can talk about real ‘gender equality,’ right?

Special Note:

By stressing on the domestic violence against men statistics, I don’t mean to give a lower profile to the domestic violence against women in any way. I rather intend to round about that anybody can be the victim of domestic violence and anybody who wants the safety is worthy of retrieving it.

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