No Country For Abused Men?

No Country For Abused Men?

It is often challenging for people to accept that men can also suffer from domestic violence, just as women do, says SIFF co-founder Anil Murthy

Gaurav KadamUpdated: Friday, December 22, 2023, 03:05 PM IST
article-image
No Country For Abused Men? | Freepik

"I got married in August 2020. Within three days, my wife's behaviour shifted drastically. She began threatening my family and me, initiating fights every day with accusations of our lack of culture, poor thinking, and incompetence. Her actions led to severe physical, mental, and verbal abuse over trivial matters. She even threatened to file police cases and imprison us. In March 2021, I was summoned to the police station as she had filed a complaint of domestic violence against us. Unfortunately, the police didn't comprehend my perspective and favoured my wife. The case is ongoing in court, and I've endured immense psychological, physical, and financial hardship," Ajay Bavaskar, a resident of Pune, shared his harrowing experience.

Sanjeev Verma, another Punekar, also had a similar story to tell. "I got married in June 2018, and initially, things were going smoothly. However, my wife, hailing from Mumbai, began expressing dissatisfaction with her life in Pune. When I refused her request to search for jobs online, her behaviour changed drastically. She subjected me to mental torture and racial abuse. Moreover, her elder sister joined in, using derogatory language against me and threatening legal action. Subsequently, they filed a case against me under IPC 498A (relating to cruelty against a woman by her husband or in-laws). Now, sadly, my marriage has turned into a means for them to extract money."

Anand Doifode, also from Pune, shared a distressing incident. He said his wife filed a case against him, his family, and eight other relatives, accusing them of various charges, including rape, unnatural sex, and cruelty. He added, "At the time my wife filed the case, I was away working in Beed. How could I have committed a crime while I was in Beed? Yet, the police filed the FIR just because my wife started crying. No evidence or proof was sought before registering the complaint."

These cases are part of a collection shared with The Free Press Journal by a men's rights group called Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF). The reason for their sharing is a recent call by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi to make laws more gender-neutral—an initiative also supported by SIFF.

In a widely circulated video clip, Owaisi advocated for gender-neutral laws regarding rape and stalking. He questioned the prevalent belief that these offences only affect women, stating, "Is rape exclusive to women? Aren't men also victims? Is stalking only directed at women? Aren't men stalked too? These incidents occur for men as well."

In a conversation with us, SIFF co-founder Anil Murthy expressed his viewpoint on the need for gender-neutral laws. "We advocate for 'Equality For All' across genders, religions, and other spheres. However, in reality, our laws exhibit gender bias. Additionally, it is often challenging for people to accept that men can also suffer from domestic violence, just as women do," he emphasised.

SIFF counselor Sagar Gunthal added, "The judiciary acknowledges the misuse of laws by women, but when it comes to penalisation, they often receive lenient punishments. There's a stark difference between the ideals of socialism and justice in practice. While men face stringent judgements, women tend to receive preferential treatment even in penalties."

Bavaskar, Verma, and Doifode echoed the demand for gender-neutral laws.

"False accusations by women are driving innocent men to take their own lives. It's crucial for the judicial system to take strict measures against those manipulating laws for personal gain," asserted Bavaskar.

"I urge the government to implement gender-neutral laws. It's essential for cases to undergo a rigorous investigation to discern truth from falsehood before entering the courts," highlighted Verma.

"Why isn't there legislation to punish women filing false rape cases against men? Laws are being exploited, and it's the innocent men who bear the consequences," stressed Doifode.

Vivek Narayan Sharma, a Supreme Court advocate, told us that as long as society and laws maintain gender distinctions, discrimination abounds. Eliminating gender biases and breaking workplace barriers necessitates the implementation of gender-neutral laws.

"For instance, workplace sexual harassment can impact men as much as it does women. If we aim to eradicate stereotypes related to women, the same should apply to stereotypes about men. Otherwise, it remains a perpetual debate of 'what came first, the egg or the hen.' Achieving social equality can rectify such anomalies and steer society toward a better future," he added.

RECENT STORIES

Pune: Minor Son of Builder Who Killed 2 With Speeding Porsche Released On Bail Within JUST 15 Hours

Pune: Minor Son of Builder Who Killed 2 With Speeding Porsche Released On Bail Within JUST 15 Hours

Pune: Senior Scientist Vijay Bhatkar Launches Autobiography of Ustad Usman Khan

Pune: Senior Scientist Vijay Bhatkar Launches Autobiography of Ustad Usman Khan

Pune: Suryadatta Group Honors Top Students with Gold Medals and Cash Prizes for Outstanding CBSE...

Pune: Suryadatta Group Honors Top Students with Gold Medals and Cash Prizes for Outstanding CBSE...

Satara: Former Congress MP Prataprao Bhosale Passes Away; Nana Patole Expresses Grief

Satara: Former Congress MP Prataprao Bhosale Passes Away; Nana Patole Expresses Grief

VIDEO: Massive Gas Tanker Explosion Rocks Pune, Shockwaves Felt Over 1 km

VIDEO: Massive Gas Tanker Explosion Rocks Pune, Shockwaves Felt Over 1 km