MEN: NOT ALWAYS THE ACCUSED BUT SOMETIMES THE ABUSED TOO
[Vol 2/ Issue 1/ May 2016] [ISSN 2394 -9295]
Amity Law School, Noida (U.P)
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
The paramount purpose of this article is to create an equal environment for men as compared to women with respect to crimes and violence. This paper talks about victimization of men, about how men are not equally treated when it comes to them being assaulted or exploited. This abstract discusses instances of dowry harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence where men are falsely framed for offences that they have not even committed. This paper also highlights some of the laws which are favorable to women when compared to men. The paper emphasizes on the present scenario where men are vulnerable to various crimes. The stereotype mentality accepts women as victims and men as executors. The sub themes of the paper are “Men as victims of Violence”, “Forced Sexual Intercourse”, “Trafficking”, “Forced Marriage”, “Kidnapping and Abduction”, “False Dowry Cases”, “False Rape”, “Assault”, and “Other Charges”.
As a whole the article speaks from men‟s point of view who are always thought of as the accused and never the abused.The study has been done by taking into consideration the valuable text available in form of online content, digests, journals, articles and case laws.
Keywords: Sexual assault, Dowry harassment, Rape, laws.
Over the years men have attained a position of dominance in the society due to Indian society being a patriarchal society. This situation has resulted in many instances where women have been put in situations where they feel that either they are inferior to men or in a position where they cannot raise their voices against the injustice. However with the changing scenario and growing activism in the recent years there has been great awareness among women and they have started knowing their rights and are ready to fight for them too. Apart from the awareness, legislations have been made which empower women and enable them to raise voice against any injustice that might occur to them. This was done because the legislation realized that laws should be made to prevent the injustice against women who continue to be dominated by the male gender. With the increasing cases of assault against women the definition of the same has been amended and widened. To believe it or not but consciously or subconsciously there exists a bias in favour of women claiming to be the accused. It is a a general notion and a common mind -set that the male is the accused and women is the abused. This situation may have been true a few years back however in the present – day many cases have been reported where the women are taking undue advantage of the laws that favors them. The new laws have failed to capture the truth that even men can be the accused and not always the abused. However, very less is done to even acknowledge the issue of violence against men, let alone there being steps taken to protect victimized men. There are numerous laws which protect women, but the woes of men suffering from violence go unnoticed.
Focusing on this issue we have mainly discussed issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, false instances of dowry harassment against men
INCIDENTS AND INSTANCES AGAINST MEN
Even though we are progressing as a society but somewhere it is still considered shameful and unmanly if a male reports of violence, especially sexual violence, against him. A case of Deeptanshu Shukla who was an IIT Topper who fought the false dowry case against his wife Pragya Diwedi, who filled a false complaint against her husband. Investigation showed that she did not want to live with Deeptanshu‘s parents so just to get rid of them she filed a false complaint against him and his family. Deeptanshu took this as a challenge and decided to fight this case on his own, which resulted in his win.
There are so many cases just like the above one, and this is just a few of the cases to mention. Many of those cases are very difficult to prove since government has given a very powerful right in the hands of women, and many women misuse their rights and powers. Now, the question is that the government says that India is a gender neutral country but it is very hard to make India such a country government has to make laws which protects both the genders. If laws which protect women like anti dowry laws and section 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1860. Government should also make such laws which should favour the men as well. Like laws should be made where men can file a complaint that he has been accused falsely. Moreover, dowry cases should be investigated properly. Violence‘s like domestic violence are issues that have been recognized all over the world as such form of violence that adversely affects the person physically, emotionally, psychologically and in many other ways. Almost all the countries of the world have identified this problem and found various ways to provide relief. India has also recognized it as an important problem and has framed various laws for protection of victims. However, like our society our law also presumes that it is women who need protection and the law largely works on protecting the victims who are women. Situation is made worse by the laws which favour women in crimes like these. Men complaining of such incidents are often laughed at because most people still believe only women can be victims of crimes like rape, harassment etc. STATISTICS OF VIOLENCE
There have been various surveys and researches conducted which totally contradict this stereotype mentality. According to National Crime Research Bureau 2012 data , 175 men have been abducted and kidnapped for illicit intercourse since the year 2009 in India. The NCRB report also shows that nearly 995 men were abducted for the purpose of forceful marriage. Another similar NCRB Data also shows that approximately 115 men were abducted for the purpose of prostitution.
The 2014 National Crime Victimization Survey states 38 per cent of incidents of rape and other sexual violence were against men. Males are raped where victims are forced to penetrate someone either by physical force or coercion. There have been incidents where the victim was forcefully intoxicated to give sexual
pleasure .Usually these cases have been reported form the prison and war fields. In case of Syrian Civil War the male detainees experienced sexual abused like being forced to sit on a broken glass bottle, getting their genitals tied to a heavy bag of water, or being forced to watch the rape of another detainee by the official.
A 2010 study by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that it were female perpetrators in instances of being made to penetrate(79.2%), sexual coercion(83.6%) and unwanted sexual contact(53.1%). Men are also harassed sexually at the work place as has been seen in the Bollywood Movie ―Aitraz . Sexual torture of male models and extras is also prevalent, In the last decade sexualized violence against men and boys including rape, sexual torture, and mutilation of the genitals, sexual humiliation, sexual enslavement, forced rape has been reported in 25 armed countries of the world. There have been incidents where the victim was forcefully intoxicated to give sexual pleasure. CASE: James Landrith who was made to penetrate a female acquaintance in hotel room while incapacitated from drinking. In US School teachers were involved in raping their under aged students.
According to the provisional data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total number of 16,351, 4,204 and 531 cases have been registered under the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 in 2012 -14. Out of 90,000 to one lac cases investigated every year, nearly 10,000 complaints of dowry harassment turn out to be false. The figure makes the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act (498A) one of the most abused laws in the country
Similar is the situation in cases of dowry harassment. One such case is the Nisha Sharma vs Munish Dalal and his family. This is a landmark case in false dowry complaint. In this case the accused filed a false complaint against the victims‘ family asking for dowry and torturing her. After all the investigation conducted by the police it was found that the accused made a false complaint against the victim. The accused never wanted to marry her husband in the first place and just to break this marriage and get a sufficient proof for divorce she filed the false complaint. Later, on the victim Mr. Munish Dalal acquitted and he even counter sued the accused with adultery and bigamy. Apart from this famous case, the general rule is that most dowry harassment cases result in acquittal. All this only shows that even though as a society we try to push the matter under the rugs saying most incidents are only one off but in reality it is a growing crime which needs to be seriously addressed. A Research from the 2012 ABS Personal Safety Survey and Australian Institute of Criminology shows that one out of every three victims of family violence and sexual assaults are men. EFFECTS OF ATROCITIES ON SUCH VICTIMS
Our society however sees a man‘s ability through how he handles crisis. This attitude of society, where the men who are victims are shunned or even worse laughed at has forced the victim to hide the crime and suffer in silence. Their families don‘t want to acknowledge it publicly. They don‘t have a platform to speak out as they are afraid of the fact that people will doubt their sexual orientation. An adult male may also be reluctant and helpless to fight back or fearful of doing so. Male victims tend to feel more intense anger. The recorded frequently physical injuries are tension headache ulcers colitis nausea abrasions to the throat, black eyes and broken bones.
Depression and hostility are profound on male victims immediately post rape. The recorded frequently physical injuries are tension headache ulcers colitis nausea abrasions to the throat, black eyes and broken bones, The study by Stermac and colleagues (2004) noted that 45% of male survivors who accessed hospital sexual assault centre had some type of physical injury(25%) soft tissue injury, 20% lacerations. Some victims suffer the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases as the result of rape. Men who were sexually assaulted before age 18 have a greater risk of having mental health problem including symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and depression, alcoholism and drug abuse, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts problems in intimate relationship and under achievement at school and at work. They also develop fear of becoming homosexual or gay. Some may also develop sense of being and inadequate man. They may also lose confidence control and power to his manhood.
ABSENCE OF GENDER NEUTRAL LAWS
When one feels shattered, deceived and does not get support from society ,one would definitely turn to seek legal help and hope to get justice at least in the courts of law. However a look at few of the provisions at our existing Laws makes us realize that getting justice legally is also a tough, tedious and tiring battle for men who are victims.In Indian Penal Code, for example, Section 377which talks about Unnatural Offences i.e. whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. This law is not biased. However it is hardly interpreted in its true, complete and exhaustive sense. We need to have gender neutral laws.
The definition of rape under Section 375 of Indian Penal Code 1860 says that a man is said to commit ―rape and lays various grounds which are included in the definition of rape. At does not include provisions for male as victims. The definition of rape in India is not gender neutral as compared to other definitions of various crimes where most of the time the words used are ―anyone , ―any person , someone etc. And not directly accusing by using the term ―a man by default as stated in Section 375 of Indian Penal Code 1860.Then there are provisions like protection of women against sexual harassment at workplace which are also gender biased. In many countries violence against men is equally an offence as violence against woman. Men can move to courts, file for divorce, get restraint orders and fight for their rights to prevent the abuse from their partners. In India, however, the absence of proper legislation makes violence against men legal. If laws which protect women exists like anti dowry laws and Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1860. Government should also make laws gender neutral. Moreover, dowry cases and other similar cases should be investigated properly. Separate tribunals or authorities should be set up by government to investigate the authenticity of complaint filed by a woman.
The crimes against women in our country has been a sensitive issue and is still continuing and is very obvious to everyone. In spite of many attempts such gruesome crimes are prevalent in the nation. Keeping this in mind one cannot blame the society or the law for always seeing men as the accused. However one can also not blame the entire mankind by forming a stereotype notion against men by always seeing them under the
suspicion of being accused. We emphasize that with the increasing cases of violence against men there is a need to throw light on victimization against men which gives rise to a huge necessity to make the laws gender neutral. It is bad enough to be a victim of a crime, but worse when the crime is not recognized by society or law.
To address this issue, the society first needs to accept the problem. The manhood of victim cannot be judged because of a crime that he has been subjected to. A change in the attitude of society in how we see men who are victims of crimes will help these people to come out in open and seek the needed help. There have been many organizations like the Save Indian Family Foundation which have approached various members of parliament requesting them to submit a private member bill to start making steps for working on enacting a law to protect men from violence.It‘s long overdue. It is when law has provisions for punishing of victims based in crime irrespective of gender it will establish equality in the real sense. There should be more laws to protect innocent men from the malicious intentions of women who want to frame them in false charges by misusing the legal provisions. Such women stain the sanctity of law. There is a famous saying that: no innocent should be punished even if 100 convicted are set free.To conclude I would like to say that ―We must not take the sides. Neutrality helps the victim never the oppressor.
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