The Article ‘Unapprised Issue of Domestic Violence Against Men’ by Pallavi Panchwal is a thorough analysis of the brutality faced by men in our Country in the present era. The Author laments that we live in a society where violence is always understood against women as it is the orthodox mindset that women are feeble so they are… Read More »

The Article ‘Unapprised Issue of Domestic Violence Against Men’ by Pallavi Panchwal is a thorough analysis of the brutality faced by men in our Country in the present era. The Author laments that we live in a society where violence is always understood against women as it is the orthodox mindset that women are feeble so they are the victims. But in today’s time, women are no less than men in any field and thus they are also culprits in harassing their husbands.

Even the author feels it from the bottom of her heart that the legislative enactments in India are biased and mostly favour women. The author interrogates through her article that the Indian Constitution (Supreme Law) emphasises equality and thus why are so imbalances seen in treating the two gender in practical life. The Author exclusively points out certain factors which are responsible for the unreporting of domestic abuses against men.

The verdict of the Johnny Depp- Amber Heard case has also been reflected in this article as it’s for the first time domestic violence against men had been given importance and as such a remarkable decision for the world at large. Thus, lastly, the author wishes to have gender-neutral laws in our Country.

A Brief Introduction: Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is regarded as a cruel societal offence; millions of people face it nevertheless their class, gender, race, caste, etc. It can be defined as a form of conduct in a domestic relationship to sustain their power or to subjugate their partner. Domestic Violence is described as a form of behaviour that hurts or injures the health, safety, or well-being of the person and this abuse can be verbal, physical, sexual, psychological, or economical as per Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act.

In the live streamed court case of Depp and Heard, the jury announced its verdict in favour of Johnny Depp and the jury ruled that Heard’s accusations of domestic abuse were false. This case gained huge attention all over the world. It brought to light the subject that domestic abuse is not only perpetrated by men but in some cases, they are the victims too.

Domestic Violence in India

The very first thought that appears in everyone’s mind after hearing the word ‘Domestic violence is a man thrashing women’ is due to the male prevailing dominance in society. India is a patriarchal society, where females have often put up with domestic brutality in the past. Ordinary violence includes harassment, threats, shoving, etc. and severe violence involves slapping, choking, beating, punching, pulling hair, throwing sharp objects, etc.

In India, many strict laws are enacted for the safety of women from domestic abuse including 3-year imprisonment for cruelty in the case of women(Sec 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1860). In India, it is observed that in a maximum of the instances, the main motive for abuse is dowry demand, so 7 years or life incarceration for dowry death cases(Sec 304B of Indian Penal Code), one separate act (Dowry Prohibition Act,1961) has been enacted which strictly prohibits paying and receiving dowry.

The Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act Act of 2005 says that it protects and safeguards women from domestic brutality. At present, abuse in the case of women is still a serious issue. But now, the situation has changed to some extent, as females are well educated and well aware of their status, legal privileges, powers, and rights.

In our patriarchal society, the general perception about domestic violence is that women are considered physically weaker than men and are not strong enough to be physically violent toward men, so it is hard to believe that men can also be a victim of this. People are in a misconception that domestic is something that is perpetrated by the only male member of society. More than half of the population thinks only men can perpetrate domestic violence and due to this biased nature of people, everyone has trivialized domestic abuse against men.

Some NGOs like SIFF, INSAAF, CRISP, and Vaastav Foundation are combating men’s rights. The initiatives of these organizations are to raise legal issues like divorce, child custody, domestic violence, etc.

In 2018, the #Men Too movement was started in Bengaluru by the NGO named Children’s Rights initiative for shared parenting (CRISP) with an initiative to fight against faulty cases of Section 498A of IPC. This movement was basically started for faulty accusations of cases of abuse in India’s Me Too movement. This movement spread tremendously even outdoor after the live stream trial of the Depp v. Heard case on 1st June 2022, Amber Heard was found guilty of falsely blaming her ex-husband, Johnny Depp in a domestic violence case.

Why do domestic violence cases against men go unreported?

The cases of domestic violence against men have tremendously increased in recent years, especially during the COVID -19 pandemic period. Men don’t want to report about it because of many reasons. Some of the reasons for cases of domestic violence against men going unreported are as follows:

1. Patriarchy

In Indian society, females are considered as emotional, tender-hearted, and physically weaker than males. A man by birth is told that he needs to be strong. A man in a patriarchal society is someone who establishes dominance over women. No woman is physically strong enough to abuse a man and if he is abused by any woman then he is weak to have it inflicted upon him. And due to this reason men are afraid to show their vulnerabilities, as their masculinity is questioned, people laugh and make fun of them and everyone will term them as coward or unmanly.

2. Embarrassment

Some men think it will be better as time passes and some men are so ashamed and embarrassed about this situation as they are the Karta of the family and are expected to be strong. They don’t open up easily about this situation with their friends, relatives, or family as they think it will create a nuisance. This situation may lead them to anxiety attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. as they fear being judged and so suffer in silence. They feel uneasy and uncomfortable talking about the violence and torture they face.

3. Fear of not being trusted

There is a misbelief that only men can be abusive against women and therefore it’s hard to accept the fact that men could be a sufferer of domestic brutality too. Men fear not being trusted for the cases relating to domestic brutality. Women are considered free from any blame up to the time she is proven guilty whereas men are considered culpable up to the time he is proven innocent. This is because there are no data that shows how many men are sufferer of domestic violence.

4. Laws are not addressed

Section 2(a) of the Protection of women from domestic violence Act, 2005 says that only a woman can file a case of domestic brutality. The act itself says it protects and Safeguards women from domestic cruelty. As per Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, everyone is equal in the eyes of law. The basic concept of liberalism is to treat every individual equally, but there are laws that typically favour only females in society.

Gender-biased laws related to child custody, alimony, and domestic violence cases have made the circumstances worse. As men think opening up about domestic abuse will create unnecessary nuisance in the family and society. They fear that disclosing this may result in divorce and they will lose their child custody. Presently, there is no legalized solution relating to domestic violence in the case of men.

Conclusion: Unapprised Issue of Domestic Violence Against Men

Domestic Violence in opposition to women is still a significant matter to look within. But it shall be noted that Domestic brutality affects men in a similar way as it affects women. Domestic violence in case men is not acknowledged by any law so far. People in our society are not well aware of this concept and so no one talks about it.

Domestic violence is faced by both partners in a marriage. This is not about being female or male. It is about morality. It’s high time we are required to change our mindset. Men too are victims and so they shall be protected too. It is the right of each and every person to be treated respectfully and equally in society. In India, there is no lawful remedy linked to domestic brutality in the case of men. By using the provision of Article 14 of the Indian constitution in its true sense, there is an urgent need for gender-neutral laws in the country.


[1] Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Available Here

[2] Indian Penal Code, 1860, Available Here

[3] Dowry Prohibition Act, Available Here

Updated On 10 April 2023 7:54 AM GMT

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