SIFF & INSAAF demands to include issues specific to men like exposure to domestic violence on men, physical and emotional well being of men in marital relationships in National Family Health Survey 4(NFHS4)
Men form 50% of the nations population and are obviously key to family health. Every year more 6,2000 married men commit suicide in the country due to domestic abuse . We often get to hear news of men committing suicide after the society, police and judiciary forces them to stay with their abusive wives, else threaten them with punishment. There is no social acceptance of harassed and victimized men. Often when men share their problems, they are ridiculed and belittled by society.
This Press Release demand for inclusion in NFHS-4, problems specific to ones men face in matrimonial relationships so that adequate provisions can be enabled by the government to protect men from abuse in marriages .
1. While most extremely credible international peer reviewed surveys repeatedly conclude that Indian men face almost 50% of the domestic in marriages, the Domestic Violence Module of NFHS-3 measured physical and sexual violence, ONLY amongst married women, while deliberately and completely ignoring the domestic violence that men (who constitute 50% of the population) face. NFHS-3 survey was hence completely unscientific, biased and cooked and no less than a scam of epic proportions.
2. NFHS-4 which is now being planned by Min of Health and Family welfare with support from USAID also plans to completely exclude domestic violence on men to deliberately make it a non issue.
3. A majority of men in India face domestic violence in relationships by way of emotional mental and physical violence which includes some or all of the below areas.
Physical abuse: Husbands and male partners have presented serious evidence of being scratched, punched, bit, and things thrown at them by their female partners apart from attacks with deadly instruments. In the absence of a legal system to protect men from physical violence, these victims get little or no medical care or attention and are even unable to speak of their physical wounds due to the unavailability of a law to protect them from abuse.
Emotional abuse: Demands to forcefully separate the husband from his parents and family, demand for separate residence, threat of police action and legal recourse if the wife’s demands are not met, were some of the commonly seen tactics of emotional abuse. Also, constant non-cooperation of the wife or the female partner in the smooth running of a family was another commonly seen tactic, which was used to abuse husbands in case of non-fulfillment of the demands of the wife.
Verbal abuse: Calling husbands and male partners derogatory names with an intent to demean and hurt. Names like “impotent”, “spineless”, “hijra (eunuch)” have most commonly come up and were verbal abuses that were leveled against husbands and male partners with intent to cause pain and ignominy.
Legal abuse: The acts of misusing the state machinery by the wife or female partner for coercing the husband or the male partner to abide by their demands. Common among these are the misuse of IPC 498a, DV act 2005, rape/molestation laws, denying child custody on event of separation and maintenance laws.
Economic abuse: Constant irrational demands on the husband for purchase of jewelry, real estate, expensive clothing, automobiles, restaurant hospitality, feminine beauty products and demands for payments to family members of the wife’s family were also noted. When the husband or the male partner was unable to meet the financial demands of the female partner, they were subjected to further emotional and physical abuse.
Sexual abuse: Using consensual physical relations to coerce a man for either financial payments and/or forced marriage, threatening to file cases of rape and molestation after consensual physical relations, forcing men to start families against their will and denying physical relation in a matrimonial setup if irrational and unreasonable demands are not fulfilled were some examples.
Demand for surveying issues specific to men in NFHS-4
1. Include separate sections to survey men in an unbiased manner if they have faced any of the above instances of abuse ever in their lifetime.
2. Survey judges to gain information on the magnitude of falsification in cases of Rape, molestation, 498a and Domestic violence to measure the magnitude of misuse of gender legislations.
3. Include in the survey, NGO’s and organizations working for the welfare of men to understand and measure the risks that men face in area of marriages , healthcare, education, workplace risks ,accidents and violent crime.
4. A sample questionnaire to measure domestic violence against men has been provided as an addendum .