Cases of battering jump the sex divide

Cases of wives abusing their husbands and giving them sleepless nights is on the rise and so are the number of divorces in the city

“My wife wanted me to be a cuckold husband. I was pushed into wedlock by guile and threat. I’m the only son of my parents. What I suffered for 10 years in marriage will read like a film script. But, let me tell you, I suffered her abusing my sick mother as no man had ever endured. My mother, Santamma (66), is an acute diabetic, but my wife is so cruel that she bashed my mom’s head on the wall, leading to serious injuries. She was in KC hospital and later in NIMHANS,” narrating the story, K Suresh, 38, says he received no justice from the world.
Rake your brain, the name will zing. It’s Suresh who was instrumental in getting a policeman of Mahalakshmi layout trapped by Lokayukta last year while taking a bribe from him to settle his domestic trouble. Suresh is still waging a war with his wife and the two live apart.
Adarsh is a software professional. A Hindu, he married his college chum, Selina, a Christian, two years ago. The couple has a baby girl. Life turned sour pretty fast for them with Selina, an MBA but not working, would throw tantrums and create horrific scenes for flimsy reasons, sometimes at the dead of night. Adarsh says he sought the help of his mother-in-law in Uttar Pradesh but she kept giving him false promises. Adarsh’s parents are at their wits’ end, for the girl, they say, swears and uses off-colour risques when she gets into a fit of anger. Adarsh says he wants to try psychiatric help but can’t without her cooperation. Selina scoffs at the suggestion. When DNA met him, he was locked out and staying in a hotel. He showed scratches and bite marks on his body.
Wife-bashing has been around ever since Adam woke up from his slumber to find his one rib missing. But husband-battering has been invisible up till now. Recently, many young men in the third richest city are seen frequently rushing out of bedrooms howling. The 2006 and 2007 crime data say 1305 husbands in Bangalore ended their lives in 2006 and 1596 in 2007. It was 245 a decade ago. The national scene shows that 65.3 per cent of men committed suicides in eight cities in 2007. Bangalore comes third in the list.
Divorce cases of IT couples have risen steadily since 2003. If it was 283 in 2003, it rose to 526 the next year. In 2005, it was 946 cases and in 2006, the figure reached 1,246. Last year, of 3000 cases in family court, 1510 were from IT-ITES. Argues Virag Dhulia, a leading crusader for gender parity, “IT or non-IT, more and more young husbands are getting the stick. It’s not just a gender issue but an intra-gender issue. Women related to husbands are at a receiving end.” NCRB data say an average 27,000 women are arrested in a year under 498A (dowry harassment) which help male activists show as living proof of the charge.
Six of the eight psychiatrists contacted confirmed growing domestic troubles of young working couples in the city. “What I find,” says psychotherapist Dr Vinaya Prabha Baligar, “is the working girls today are financially empowered and they will not take things lying down as before.” p_surendran@dnaindia.net

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