Alarming statistics show that more women justify domestic violence than men
When you think of domestic violence, your brain instantly conjures up images of women being beaten by men and crying out for help. For years we have read stories of men beating women for the slightest thing. Naturally, we associate domestic violence with men as the aggressors and women as the recipients of the stick.
In April 2022, a man allegedly murdered his wife for putting more salt in her food. In January, another man was arrested for murdering his wife when she refused to serve him food. In June, a man allegedly murdered his wife for not serving a salad with her lunch. The reasons become more and more strange and trivial with each incident.
However, that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.
The most alarming part of domestic violence cases in India has been revealed by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS5). Apparently, 40% of women and 38% of men said it was okay for a husband to beat his wife if she ignored her chores, abused her in-laws, rejected sex, or went out without telling him.
In 2018, a survey in Telangana found that 84% of women agreed that men were right to commit domestic violence against women.
Imagine, those who are beaten are those who say:Yes, that is absolutely correct. I deserve it.”
It’s weird, isn’t it? What kind of world are we raised in where people think domestic violence is okay? When did it become acceptable to say yes to being beaten and to justify such heinous crimes?
The answer is painfully simple: it’s a world that upholds regressive patriarchal values.
Patriarchy teaches us that men are superior to women and must exercise absolute control over their lives. If women disobey them, they must be punished and women must remain mothers and accept this punishment as a learning experience so as not to repeat their mistake. These acts of violence are a way for men to remind women of their place in society.
Patriarchal codes decide the things that make a man masculine or a woman more feminine. This power dichotomy puts undue pressure not only on women, but also on men to act according to certain social codes in order to maintain their reputation.
It plays beautifully in by Ranveer Singh Jayeshbhai Jordaar, where he loves his wife but whenever his father asks him to beat up to show off his masculinity, he has no choice but to agree and finds hilarious alternatives behind closed doors to protect her. It’s a scene that makes us laugh but in the back of our minds we know it’s wrong on many levels.
If he does not beat his wife, he will not be considered manly and will not be reprimanded by his father. If he shows too much love or care towards her, he will be seen as weak and effeminate.
So he silently protests in his own way, drawing a line between his father’s wishes and his own decisions. He refuses to beat his wife, but they both find a way to create fake wounds to satiate his father’s ego.
This is exactly why patriarchy is harmful to men as well. It creates a social code for them where their self-esteem, masculinity and ego depend on how they control their women.
However, not all men are raised this way. Not all men are aggressors.
महिला शिक्षामित्र ने कर दी प्रिंसिपल पिटाई पिटाई पिटाई वीडियो वीडियो वायरल हुआ बीएसए ने ने beo को दिए जांच के आदेश आदेश https://t.co/dp1oho4hgi pic.twitter.com/3dORH2nk37
— NBT Uttar Pradesh (@UPNBT) August 6, 2021
In reality, violence against men mostly unreported because of this patriarchal image of one man being the powerful aggressor. It has no place to accommodate male victims of domestic violence.
This is why most cases of domestic violence against men go unreported. They are neither protected by law nor by society.
A study documenting gender based violence against men in Haryana revealed that of the 1,000 men studied, 51.5% had experienced violence from their wives/intimate partners at least once in their lives. Most men reported emotional abuse (51.6%), followed by physical abuse (6%) and sexual abuse by women.
Of the 60 men who reported physical violence, slapping was the most common form of violence (98.3%). Of those who reported emotional abuse, 85% said they had been criticized, 29.7% had been insulted in front of others, and 3.5% had been threatened or injured.
Earlier this year in May, CCTV video went viral, showing a wife hitting her husband with a bat. The man, a school principal, filed a complaint for domestic violence against his wife. In Madhya Pradesh, a wife beat her husband in public on valentine’s day because he filed a police report against her for locking him out of the house every day.
Surprisingly, India ranks third in the world for most wives beating their husbands after Egypt and the UK.
The biggest example of violence against men to emerge this year is the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard libel case. Depp won a volley of supporters at the trial where footage and audio recordings revealed Heard was abusive to the Pirates of the Caribbean star.
You may be wondering why this article contains so many statistics?
This is because people still don’t believe that men can be victims of domestic violence. For them, men are strong beings who control everything, so how can they be victims of abuse? How can a man get beaten up by his wife when it’s usually the other way around?
Instead of believing abused men, their masculinity is questioned. Complaining about such incidents is considered “feminine behavior”. As a result, most of these cases go unreported, hidden away in a corner of their minds as they deal with this trauma alone.
When will this change?