BREAK THE SILENCE ON MEN’S VIOLENCE by Swaranjali Kapoor

Every now and then, we hear cases about violence against women and
female children from every part of the world. The news headlines flash about
the brutal and heinous crimes committed against women by men, be it rape,
murder, domestic violence etc.

To solve these issues and to empower the women, our law provides various
remedies and rights to the women, so that crime and violence against them
reduces, and eventually comes to an end. On one hand, these rights and remedies
provided to the women have really helped in improving their situation and have
empowered them to take a stand for themselves, and on the other hand, women are
misusing these rights against men only.

For instance, let’s take the recent case which took place in Amity
University, Noida. A girl falsely accused a group of boys of molestation just
because they told her to move her car which was blocking their car. Let’s also
throw light on a very famous false-dowry case known as Nisha Sharma v. Munish
Dalal and family. In this case, Nisha Sharma who was the wife of Munish Sharma
was having an extra-marital affair and wanted to ditch her marriage so she put
false dowry allegations on Munish and his family and they were convicted for 9
years.

This way she misused her rights for her own benefits. Many men all over
the world are going through the same torture that Munish went through. Several
women instead of using their rights at times of need, use them by falsely
accusing men of the crime they have not even committed.

The ironic thing here is that, our law which talks about ‘Right to
Equality’, does not follow it themselves. There are several laws made for the
protection of women but not even one single law is provided for the protection
of men. Where is equality now?

Our law has assumed that violence of any form can only be caused by a
male perpetrator. But what about violence against men which is caused by women?

If a man says that he has been raped then the society laughs at him, makes a joke out of it because “men” are supposed to be strong, how can they be raped? This is the reason that the issue of violence against men has been silent for so long. Men prefer to stay silent rather than get insulted for reporting the violence caused against them. They feel their reputation will be harmed and they will lose their status in the society.

Section 498A of Indian Penal Code is a strong anti-dowry law which was
made in 1983 after many cases of dowry deaths was being reported. It’s so
ironic that the law which was made to save lives, had instead taken many lives.
This law is the most abused law in the history of Indian law. Women use this
law against their abusive husbands without even thinking about its
consequences. This law prescribes immediate arrest of the persons accused. In
many cases, the wives, in order to take revenge from their husbands or to
blackmail their husbands, file a false dowry complaint against him and her
in-laws. The innocent husband and his parents have to face severe consequences
and their life is ruined. So many husbands spend years in jail when they are
unable to prove their innocence until the court finally acquits them. Several
men kill themselves because they are unable to bear the harassment and hatred they
face from the society for something which they have not even done. In Delhi, an
estimated 24% of calls to women’s helplines are from men in distress. Many
lives are being destroyed and thousands of people are killing themselves
because the only way they find out of this vicious cycle is taking their own
lives.

Violence does not only mean physical violence. Violence can be sexual,
emotional, psychological, spiritual or financial. Sexual violence in the form
of rape or unwanted sexual activity committed against men. Emotional and
psychological violence in the form of using hurtful words or actions or
torturing a person mentally to such an extent that he decides to kill himself.
Financial abuse means to control, misuse or forcefully acquire a person’s property
or money. Neglecting a person is also another type of abuse. If a person is
denied of basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing etc., then that
will also adversely affect a person’s mental and physical condition.

Majority of the members of the parliament are men and still they don’t
understand the condition of the men and make laws for their protection. Men are
suffering in silence and women who have been given rights for their protection
are misusing it.

Since our law has no provisions for helping the aggrieved men, there are several help groups, NGO’s, counseling organizations etc. that work for these aggrieved and helpless men. They guide them, counsel them and provide them with solutions to their problems. Several men are being benefitted by this initiative taken by these institutions. These support groups provide therapy to men who get out of an abusive relationship, or have faced any physical or mental violence. They guide them to get back to their normal selves and motivate them to move forward in life.

It is very important for the men suffering from any kind of abuse to
report it, to get the help they need. It will not make them less of a man if
they ask for help, nor will it mean that they’ve failed as a husband. Asking
for help from an expert like a lawyer or the police will help them tackle the
situation with a little ease. Getting support from family and friends and
talking to someone they trust will also help in dealing with their feeling of
loneliness or helplessness.

It’s high time now, our country is developing in terms of everything
except people’s mentality. Crime against men are not taken seriously but if any
crime against a woman takes place then the whole country unites to raise their
voice. This is unfair on the part of the men who are always expected to portray
themselves as “strong” and “fearless”. It is very important for the society to
understand that it is okay for a boy or a man to cry, it is okay for him to be
weak sometimes, it is okay for him to be scared, but is it not okay for him to
be judged upon when a crime has been committed against him. After all he is
also a human being. He has feelings, and he is allowed to grieve when those
feelings of his are hurt.

This is something very serious and the law makers should make laws for
the protection of men also or they should make the existing provisions
gender-neutral. I am not against women but I am against injustice. Being a girl
myself I am not talking about the violence against women today, because the
whole world talks about that. I am throwing light on the violence against men
because no one talks about that. Concluding my view, I would like to mention
that, we teach our sons to respect every girl as they respect their mothers and
sisters, but instead, we should teach both our sons and daughters right from
the very beginning to respect every individual, be it a male or a female
because everyone deserves the same respect and everyone should be treated
equally so that no human should go through any kind of violence.

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