Sub: Press Release highlighting skyrocketing suicide rates of married men.
Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), an NGO dedicated to promote the cause of Gender Equality and Family Harmony, wishes to conduct this press conference to bring forth alarming rises in suicides and the causes underlying it. Very Recently the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has published the suicide statistics and its analysis for the year 2007 which is available at its website, http://www.ncrb.nic.in.
Some shocking and heart rendering facts have come to light. Over the last year suicides have gone up by 3.8% and by 28% over the last decade (1997 – 2007). Family problems have emerged as the number one cause for suicides attributing 23.8% to suicides. Moreover for 16.6% suicides the causes are unknown. Allocating proportionately from this category for Family problems, the contribution goes up to 27.75%.
Ø The number of suicides committed by married men is 57,593 whereas 30,064 married women have committed suicides which means almost double the number of married men have committed suicides than married women. Also if one goes by the analysis of 2006, 30% of suicides are due to domestic disputes. So in 2006 close to 16500 married men committed suicide directly due to Domestic Abuse. Also there is a 33% rise in suicides in the decade 1996 – 2006. Hence in 1996 around 11500 married men must have committed suicide directly due to Domestic Violence which gives us an average of 14000 per year.
Ø So in ten years (1996 – 2006) 140,000 married men have committed suicide directly due to “Domestic Abuse”. For 2007, the figure works out to close to 16000. Hence in 11 years 156,000 married men have committed suicide directly due to Domestic Violence. Yet the Government does not feel any need to protect these men. The society ridicules these suicides by passing off these men as weak and irresponsible and cites financial reasons as the cause of suicide. On the contrary, for the years 2006 and 2007 as per NCRB, the suicides due to financial reasons are only 5%.
Ø If we compare the suicide rates for married men and married women, then we find that for married men the suicide rate has increased 6 times in proportion to that for women. Suicide rate for married men have increased by 3.87% over last year, whereas for married women the suicide rate has increased by only 0.65% which is a whopping 6 times less than that for married men.
Ø It is also worthwhile to note here that there is a high density of suicides occurring in the age group 30 – 59. 82.7% suicides of men have occurred in these age groups as these are the main years whence a man rears and raises his family by getting married and fathering children. But marriage itself has become so stressful for men that either to live through it or part from it ultimately ends up in their suicides.
However a positive trend has also been noticed in the suicide analysis. In the year 2007 suicides due to Domestic Abuse have reduced by 2.13%. This year also noticed a surge in the activity by Save Indian Family and related NGOs about the ongoing Legal Terrorism and the presence of a support group to help its victims. The efforts done by the 15000 odd members of the NGOs to create awareness about the misuse of Section 498a of the IPC and other marital laws drawn in favor of women and provide support to those men who are falsely implicated in these laws for extortion has worked wonders.
SIFF feels proud to announce that its efforts has saved close to 700 lives that could have been lost due to unwarranted unleashing of Legal Terrorism on innocent Indian citizens. As is evident from the suicide statistics, family problem is the number one killer for men as 57593 married men have committed suicide as opposed to 30064 married women, SIFF feels that men are unnecessarily cornered and thus having no option left they are forced to commit suicide. There is no communication channel provided to men to vent out their problems. Men face emotional castration right from the age of six as they are continuously, routinely and sub – consciously discouraged to express their emotions and feelings. Those who do so are ridiculed as being weak and ‘womanly’.
SIFF has found that by merely providing this communication channel to men who approach SIFF, it has helped them greatly avoid suicides / suicidal tendencies. A communication channel that does not invalidate their pain and grief and does not justify their problems which unfortunately the society hesitates in giving it to them but does expect sacrifices from them in the name of bearing family responsibility and compromise to keep the marriage intact. SIFF has also found that many men develop suicidal tendencies as they are denied access to their children by their estranged wives and in – laws.
Psychologists often put this argument that men do not express yet they fail to observe that men cannot communicate if they are not given that needed channel to communicate. It has been our experience at SIFF and other related NGOs that men do communicate about their problems to us as they get that necessary communication channel. Today in this press conference SIFF urges the society to provide that communication channel to men lest we see rising number of suicides by them every year and surging distrust amongst men for the society and the system.
The Government that gets 82% of taxes from the men does not feel the need to do anything about men. Men are simply left to fend for themselves by the Government and in the name of vote bank the Government turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the problems of men. SIFF has been creating awareness about the problems men are facing like fear of false dowry cases and losing everything with one false complaint, high suicide rates, absence of protection / shelter from Domestic Abuse to name a few. Unfortunately these concerns and cries have fallen on deaf ears.
Today in this press conference SIFF raises a question to the Government as to what steps has it planned to arrest the surmounting and skyrocketing suicide rates for men in general and married men in particular. In addition to this SIFF would also like to know the views of independent and parallel social agencies like the United Nations, World Economic Forum on such large scale suicides of men.
In light of the above facts, SIFF demands the following from the Government,
- Set up a Men’s Welfare Ministry and a National Commission for Men to study the problems faced by men and provide solutions for them.
- Allocate budget for men’s welfare.
- Make family an issue in the upcoming elections.
- Conduct a national debate on family issues and break down of family system involving various social and international agencies like the United Nations, World Economic Forum etc.
- Form a study circle formed of people from different walks of life especially citizens, members from SIFF and retired judges to study the problems of men, husbands and propose alternative solutions to the same.
- Provide shelter home to men trapped in domestic / partner violence.
- Give unemployment benefits to unemployed men at the rate of Rs. 600 per month till employment.
- Make all marital laws civil and gender neutral in nature.
- Allow men to take custody of their children as a parent and not as a visitor or a weekend TV program.
- Promulgate the concept of shared parenting for erring couples.
- Make divorces quick and easier so that young men and women do not waste useful years in unnecessary litigations.
Save Indian Family Foundation urges the society, the media, the Government and various other social agencies to take note of the alarming suicide rates of men and take necessary steps to arrest it. The society is urged to give men a communication channel, the media is urged to create awareness about it, while the Government is urged to provide men with protection and lastly the social agencies like the United Nations and World Economic Forum are urged to consider suicides of men as part of their study agenda.
Thanks and Regards
Public Relations Officer
Save Indian Family Foundation, Bangalore