CRIME AGAINST MEN IN INDIA – by SOHINI BISWAS

VIOLENCE IS NOT GENDER-SPECIFIC – “EQUALITY FOR ALL” INCLUDES MEN

India is a country with a traumatic records of derogatory practices and customs towards women. Stories by our grandparents and historic information are evidence that women of our country faced violence and discrimination. It has been reiterated many a time that India is a “Purush Pradhan Desh” or Male-Dominated Land but do India have laws specially for the safety of men? When we speak about “Equality” does it consist of women-only or the essence is “Equality of all?
Let me ask the reader a easy however fascinating query –
Have you ever talked and study about the crime towards men in India?
The solution to the above-cited query is probably ‘NO’ due to the fact in our country people’s perspective of men is as ‘Criminal’ and not as ‘Victim’. This article is an attempt to set up that men also are vulnerable to violence and crime, to a significant extent if not equally as women. When we speak about crime in opposition to guys, maximum common kind of crimes which comes to thoughts is domestic violence, rape, false accusations of rape and dowry.
Crime against men isn’t generally heard or seen due to the fact they aren’t usually stated. Societal expectancies and the absence of needful legal provision are of the main reasons behind the unreported crime against men.
Societal expectation: Stereotypes generated by society concerning men which includes – “Men should never be emotionally vulnerable”, “Men are supposed to be strong” etc. plays a essential role in the reality that men feel ashamed even as opening up about the violence they’ll have confronted sooner or later in their life. They feel if they start talking approximately their emotions, they will be labelled as effeminate. Societal strain forces men to act in a particular pattern because otherwise they may be taken into consideration as “failed guys”. Being a male sufferer goes against society’s concept of masculinity.
Legal provisions: Surveys and research have proven that violence against men is the factor of concern but yet there may be no regulation to guard them. Laws controlling domestic violence only consider girls as ‘Victims’. Even segment 377 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, which deals with crime against men, best consider penile penetration as an act of violence. Thus, the cases of non-penile penetration aren’t presented before the court. Similarly, in S. 498A of IPC, only a man is considered as the wrongdoer for cruelty to his wife. Men keep themselves quiet as they consider their struggle and raised voice will cross in vain because of gender-precise provisions. Hence, cases are not stated in many instances.
Supreme Court in 2018 dismissed a Public Interest Litigation in search of gender neutrality in crimes including rape, sexual harassment, outraging modesty, stalking, and voyeurism with the subsequent observations:
“Legislations come as a response to social and collective cry. These sections are victim-oriented and Parliament has acknowledged a woman as the victim. We cannot ask Parliament to legislate.”
“Equality among all” mentioned in Article 14 of the Constitution, seems to have lost its importance to our legislators when it comes to drafting provisions on sexual harassment.

TYPES OF CRIME AGAINST MEN

Rape isn’t only a crime against the body, mental health and psychology are equally affected by the act of rape. Crime of rape isn’t always committed against the female body, men might be a sufferer too, wherein offender might be from opposite gender or same gender. Men worry to stand up with a view to file a report in opposition to rape due to the fear of humiliation amongst individuals of society and not having enough legal provision.
Domestic Violence: Usually, women revel in domestic violence due to which an assumption is being nurtured that domestic violence is gender-specific. A study performed with a random sampling of 1000 married men showed round 51% of them experienced violence by their wives/intimate partners at least once in their lifetime. The most common kind of violence is emotional and not bodily. Lack of education, middle-class values, one individual earning a better income is one of the reasons behind violence by a partner.
False costs: Fallacious dowry and rape cases against men are growing. Legal provisions for the safety of women are the center of women empowerment. In recent times, the court has found the misuse of the law by women who report fake rape charges or dowry cases to take revenge or fulfill any grudge against men or his family as a consequence many harmless guys face costs for the crime they did not commit.
Justice Jayshree Thakur of Punjab and Haryana High Court said that-
“It has turn out to be a common exercise to apply the provisions of Section 498- A IPC as a weapon rather than shield by disgruntled wives.”
CONCLUSION
Norms, values and perspective of society towards men is developing with the passage of time. Several men rights motion has surfaced as result men are breaking social stereotypes by sharing their agony, harassment, torture by women or Intimate partner. It is time to understand crime against men as a socio-legal problem and expand suitable rules, guidelines and provisions.
Scarcity of information and research show that crime against men is the much less explored topic, which demands investigations and extra surveys to gather nationwide data in order to change the situation for better. Apart from this gender neutrality is the need of the hour. Legal provisions should incorporate violence (either bodily or mental) against men as punishable by regulation.

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