Domestic violence is the worst kind of insect that it is eating up the entire society from inside. But when it comes to rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment- the words conjure up an image of a woman and not a man. Does that mean that men don’t feel the same? Or are we living in a society which is gender-biased? Domestic violence against men goes unnoticed in the society.
Violence against men includes violent acts done against men. Domestic violence against men usually goes unnoticed in the society and remains unrecognized by the laws.
WHAT DOES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN ENTAIL
When it comes to males, women abuse them on an emotional basis very frequently. There is a sense of social inequality faced by men when it comes to helping them in dealing with domestic violence. The nature and frequency of domestic abuse against men are more severe as it also involves people not believing that they are victims. Majority of the times, society shuns them into believing that men are not victims and the ones who express their concern are not believed.
Instances of men facing sexual assault, emotional abuse surface very frequently. Domestic violence against men entails- facing emotional abuse, partner getting all possessive and jealous, hits, forced sex, getting blamed for things that are beyond control, tolerating violent behaviour and being told that it is well deserved, being questioned upon the sexual inclinations, etc.
THE CAMPAIGNS AND STUDIES
There have been unlimited feminist campaigns that talk about the problems of battered women getting suffocated in a male-dominated society but hardly any talk about the domestic violence against men. Various studies have been reportedly claimed that men and women equally go through domestic violence- however, only women tend to get injured and report the case.
In 1975, the sociologists at New Hampshire University published a study which indicated that men equally got assaulted by their parents as women. The researchers were threatened by the angry public. In 2016, National Domestic Violence Hotline has reportedly received 12,046 calls from victimised men who were found in an abusive relationship. Despite the fact that it is only a small fraction of the 1,19,470 received calls from victimised women- it cannot be ignored.
Various studies also indicate that people perceive the nature of violence (severity or normal) depending upon the gender of the victim and perpetrator. In the 1970s, the feminists took up the issue of lack of domestic violence shelters and won the battle.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN AND SOCIETY
Domestic violence against men is not just physical- it is also societal. When it comes to guys, men have always been forced by the society to act strong and practical. Showcasing of emotions is shunned upon. Even though there are domestic violence shelters opened up for men to find shelter in, very few men utilise it. The common misconception that men cannot be victims since women can’t hurt people. For instance, a case came into the light where a guy was arrested by the police as a suspect for hitting his son on the forehead with a guitar, despite the fact that his girlfriend did it.
There are several such cases that emerge every once in a while. Though domestic violence is now reported, hardly any man goes ahead to file a report. It is extremely hard for a guy to reach out and express that he needs help. They feel that they would lose their masculinity if they report it to the concerned authorities. Male victims are taught by the society that they can’t express their feelings in front of anyone. They also face ridicule on expressing that a woman is abusing them.
The worst case of domestic violence occurs with men since hardly anyone believes them. With all the propaganda related to women empowerment, the other side of masculinity has been suppressed. Even though there are cases of female domestic violence, the society has started taking men for granted. The society considers men to be the aggressor and not victims. When a domestic violence case is registered, even without a proper investigation, people consider men to be the wrongdoers.
When it comes to law enforcement, there is the use of stereotypes- men have the strength and hence they are the perpetrators. Sexual violence against men goes unnoticed while the focus is laid upon sexual violence against children and women. Even the Government does not have strict laws to prevent violence committed against men. There is lack of any legal framework that can be held for prosecuting women for conducting domestic violence against men. Domestic violence victims feel isolated and alone. For instance, Domestic Violence Act 2005 is applicable only to women.
There is a need for change. It is about time that men accept the fact that they are not always wrong. There is a need for recognising the fact that it is not your fault every time. Getting help is extremely important.