• Author Name: Anupama Kumari Rai
  • Details:  Advocate, Bombay High Court, B.Sc, LLM

When we talk about laws, it must be gender neutral. Either law related to sexual harassment or related to cruelty, these are not subjected to specific gender. Saying that women are the only victims of these crimes are partly true. Indian law specifically related to rape, sexual harassment, cruelty, custody of child, divorce are not gender neutral by prima facie. Laws are made for the protection of women. But it doesn’t mean that they get right to revenge by way of false allegation. Indian Constitution, which is the great protector of human rights, guarantees some basic rights under part 3, by way of fundamental rights, which ensure equality before law and equal protection of law. By virtue of birth as human, all human being irrespective of there sex possess human  rights. Human rights are unalienable rights. It is never denied the truth that women are a weaker section of society and they must be protected against crime but this protection by creating strict and strong law did not give them a chance to misuse it. Women are subject to various heinous crimes and this must be considered and laws should be made and amended also . But the question is, should all men be treated equally? Are all the men rapists? If not, then how can he protect himself by their strict and gender biased law? One other important question is that, do all the females are the victims? If not, what should the law be for false allegations? 

For centuries, it has been depicted in various mythologies, literature, and forms of expressions that women are inferior and men are superior. Therefore, men are supposed to be powerful, aggressive, and women on the receiving end as oppressed and silent sufferers of all forms of violence. These notions are mostly guided by gender roles and norms where women cannot be violent, aggressive or oppressive because of their social positions. But, it is a known fact that the power relations, gender roles, norms, and values are not static, and they change over time. It has always been widely assumed that women are always the victims and men the perpetrators.

Even when men report domestic abuse and violence, most people do not believe them. When men try to narrate their problems, torture, struggle, and harassment within marriage and family, no one listens to them; instead, they are mocked. Many men are ashamed of talking about and sharing that they are beaten by their wives.

Over the years, Section 498A has acquired the reputation of being the “most abused law in the history of Indian jurisprudence”.

One needs to understand that dynamics of domestic violence and abuse among men and women are different, with different reasons, purposes, and motives . There are various studies on dynamics of violence against women, but there are limited studies on the issue of domestic violence and abuse against men.