Sub: SIFF asks US to exclude India from iVAWA.
Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) is a non-funded non-profit NGO fighting for men’s rights, Gender Equality and Family Harmony by creating awareness against the misuse of gender obsessed laws like Section 498A, the Domestic Violence Act, and the various Maintenance laws etc. which are systematically breaking down the family system of India.
SIFF representatives in the U.S. have met the US Senate and House staffers, around 30 of them and expressed their displeasure over the implementation of iVAWA – International Violence against Women Act and the proposed funding of $ 1 Billion (Rs. 4500 crores) being approved.
SIFF representatives apprised the U.S. officials about the ground realities of the Indian Domestic Violence scenario, some of the highlights of which are as follows:-
- India enacted its first domestic violence laws in 1983, over a decade before the United States passed the Violence against Women Act in 1994. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code mandates the arrest and jailing of the husband accused of domestic violence, along with his male/female relatives. Under Indian law, such persons are presumed guilty until proven innocent.
- According to a survey by Professor Murray Straus of the United States, females in India are more likely to engage in severe domestic violence (punch, hit, kick, or choke) than males. Despite that fact, Indian domestic violence laws consider only women as victims and does not take account the male victims. This method of prevention of domestic violence has miserably failed in India.
- In four years from 2004-2007, more than 123,000 women and 423,000 men were arrested and jailed without investigation or trial under the domestic violence legislation Section 498A. These figures are from the National Crime Records Bureau. This is one of the worst violations of civil rights ever reported in India. Therefore, the Indian Home Ministry has directed all the States to stop misuse of this law and put an end to jailing of innocent people.
Therefore, SIFF opposes the enactment of I-VAWA. And if the law is passed, SIFF strongly urges the United States Congress to include statutory language to specifically exclude India from the scope of this program.
Outcome of the meetings:
The Staffers of the Senate and the House expressed great shock and disbelief at the way innocent people have been traumatized, funds have been mis-utilized and at the exposure of the Indian Police brutalities and judicial inefficiencies.
They admitted that earlier also they have received a lot of complaints against USAID, UNIFEM and UNICEF about mis-appropriation of funds resulting in unintended consequences like arrest of lakhs of innocent people, misuse of the criminal justice system, treatment of men as FREE ATM MACHINES, abuse of small children and sick senior citizens.
SIFF also apprised the staffers about how Section 498A and the Domestic Violence Laws of India are blatantly misused by filing and admitting of completely false and baseless cases of dowry harassment and domestic violence by greedy and disgruntled women. And also how the Domestic Violence law has been responsible for throwing out of senior citizens from their own homes and they have been forced to stay in temples and Gurudwaras – having no one to look after them.
SIFF stated it very categorically to the U.S. Govt. that either it has to engage fully or stay away completely from Indian social problems to which the staffers agreed. And they also admitted that there has to be complete transparency in funding and accountability of funds which is missing right now due to which international bodies like the USAID, UNIFEM and UNICEF are causing more harm than anything else.
The U.S. Govt. expressed serious concerns over these complaints resulting in massive and large scale violation of human rights and civil liberties of innocent men and their families and has promised to look into the issue.
- Lack of transparency and accountability in funding,
- Bad implementation of gender biased laws,
- Unintended Consequences leading to social disaster
And many other issues, SIFF presented the ground reality of anti-male, gender biased laws in India and categorically urged the U.S. Govt. to stop funding to India for gender welfare schemes and keep India out of iVAWA.
Date: 23-Feb-09 Thanks and Regards
Place: Bangalore Research Team
Save Indian Family Foundation, Bangalore
 Dominance and symmetry in partner violence by male and female university students in 32 nations. Children and Youth Services Review. Volume 30. 2008, Pages 252-275.