The study, conducted by two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – Save Family Foundation (SFF) and My Nation – looked at four aspects of domestic violence — economical, emotional, physical and sexual. In a sample survey of 1,650 urban men, almost 98% of the respondents said they had suffered violence under one or the other of these heads more than once.
NEW DELHI: Women have for long complained of being abused by men, which the law takes very seriously. Now it’s the men who claim to be at the receiving end.
A new survey has found that no less than 98% of Indian urban husbands say they have faced domestic violence in one form or the other during married life.
The study, conducted by two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – Save Family Foundation (SFF) and My Nation – looked at four aspects of domestic violence — economical, emotional, physical and sexual. In a sample survey of 1,650 urban men, almost 98% of the respondents said they had suffered violence under one or the other of these heads more than once.
Economical abuse was found to be the most common complaint with 32.8% saying they had faced it at least once in their married life, followed by emotional (22.2%), physical (25.2%) and sexual violence (19.8%).
Nagging, grumbling, taunting, name calling, refusing food, denying sexual intercourse, abusing parents and family members, snatching salary, throwing objects, scratching with nails and biting, threats of suicide and even eviction from the house were some of the common forms of abuse mentioned. But perhaps the most serious was framing of false charges under the Indian Penal Code.
“It is true that men account for most of the violence outside the home, but women instigate most domestic violence and they injure men more frequently and more severely,” says Swaroop Sarkar of Save Indian Family (SIF).
“When a man tries to tell his problems of torture and harassment in marriage, no one really listens or believes it. Many men are ashamed to admit they are beaten at home by their wives and her family members because everyone believes a woman can never be a tormentor. But the reality is often different,” said Sarkar.
Close to 43% of husbands said they contemplated suicide due to humiliation, harassment and frustration and 14% accepted they that had wanted to kill the woman and her family members for instigating her. Turn to DNA Nation, p13
The study, conducted by doctors and IT engineers for these NGOs, covered husbands from various socio-economic strata but the bulk of the respondents came from the middle class and upper middle class backgrounds. A high proportion of husbands who had experienced domestic violence were either well educated and/or earned good salaries.
This study corresponds with a similar survey conducted by Orissa’s State Women Commission recently where it was found that women are increasingly using dowry related laws like 498A and the Domestic Violence Act to harass husbands.
According to its chairperson Namita Panda, women were found to be filing false cases in order to harass their husbands and settle scores with them.
“Section 498A is a great weapon for women. It is being used for both getting justice and settling scores. We always tell police to first inquire into the matter before arresting a man and his parents because in many cases it may turn out to be a hoax,” Panda said over phone from Bhubaneswar.
However, the National Commission for Women (NCW) differs. “Women are generally in a more dependent position. There may be a few stray cases of women harassing men but that doesn’t change the basic situation,” said Malini Bhattacharya of NCW.
As per the National Crime Record Bureau’s statistics, 4,450 men in the age group of 15-29 and 5,876 between 30-44 committed suicide in 2005 due to family problems which included matrimonial discord.
During the study these organisations received more than one lakh mails across the country. However, only 1,650 husbands aged between 15-49 years selected through random sampling were specifically interviewed using a schedule adapted from the WHO multi-country study on domestic violence.
An interesting finding was that the probability of violence increased significantly with the duration of marriage particularly if it was more than seven years old.
“As the marriage gets older the wives get stronger and more intolerant towards spouses and their families,” said Dr Grover, one of the researchers. “The interviews showed that Indian husband who had experienced some form of violence during the first year of marriage, continued to do so for the rest of their lives. It is not something that just goes away.”
Gaurav Nigam, a software engineer with the Bangalore-based IT giant Wipro, recently accused his wife, Tripti, of physical abuse. He claimed his wife was pressuring him to transfer ownership of the house and the car in her name. When he refused, she would beat him up.
He alleged that on one occasion, Tripti had left him and gone back to her parents’ house from where she filed a dowry complaint against him, after which his parents were arrested and sent to jail for three days ‘for no fault of theirs’.