Anuurag – The extraordinary story of an ordinary man

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Domestic Violence claims 156000 husbands


In the last eleven years (1996 – 2007) 156000 husbands have been claimed by rampant domestic violence against them. In a shocking revelation of suicide statistics for the year 2007 reveals that almost double the number of married men have committed suicide in comparison to married women as the report attached here corroborates. It states that in the year 2007 57,593 married men committed suicide in comparison to 30,064 married women whereas the same figures for the years 2006 are 55,452 and 29,869 and for 2005 are 52,483 and 28,188.

While there has been a lot of hue and cry for domestic violence against women with various studies being sponsored for studying the same with tax payers’ money 82% of which comes from men, but sadly enough no study has ever been done in India for studying the prevalence, effects and trends of domestic violence against men or the statistics about it.

International studies world over have proved that both men and women are equally likely to be victims of domestic violence, but the Indian government unfortunately has closed its doors very brutally on the men leaving them to fend for themselves on their own. Even the courts have an anti – men and a step – motherly attitude towards men what with the Honorable Delhi High Court observing, “Though men are victims of violence, such incidences are few and far between, thus ruling out the possibility of protection from the parliament”, while dismissing a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Domestic Violence Act as it violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Although no studies have been done for studying domestic violence against men, yet the National Crime Records Bureau in its analysis of suicide data for year 2006 and the decade 1996 – 2006 has come up with some heart – rendering revelations. It has published that 30% of suicides are directly due to domestic dispute, family problems and related stress. In the year 2006 55, 452 married men committed suicide 30% of which works close to 16,636 husbands. Further the analysis says that there has been 33.2% rise in overall suicide rate in comparison to 1996. Hence in the year 1996, close to 11,536 husbands must have committed suicides. Average for the two extremes approximates to 14,000 husbands committing suicide per year directly due to domestic abuse. For a period of ten years it works out to a staggering 140,000 husbands committing suicide directly due to domestic violence. While for the year 2007 57,593 married men have committed suicide and 27.75% of those have been due to Domestic Violence. Hence in 2007 close to 16,000 husbands lost their lives, bringing the figure for 11 years to 156,000.

Moreover NGOs like Save Indian Family Foundation and MyNation Foundation conducted pilot studies to find shocking findings. One of them was an online study in which it was revealed that 98% of the husbands have faced domestic violence at some point of time in their life at the hands of their wives and in laws in the form of physical abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, etc.

In another pilot project conducted on the suicides by married men, the Nagpur team of Save Indian Family Foundation found out that in a span of 2 weeks 5 cases of suicides by husbands came to light where the dying husbands had left behind suicide notes clearly blaming wife and in laws’ torture to be the reason for committing suicide. Yet the police was reluctant in taking action and wanted to register the cases as accidental deaths. It was only after sustained pressure created by the ground force of Save Indian Family Foundation team at Nagpur, forced media pressure created by the Times of India, Nagpur Edition and hordes of volunteers of Save Indian Family Foundation all over India that a case of abetment of suicide under section 306 IPC was registered against the persons named in the suicide note left by Vitthal Dodke. And just after that 4 more such cases surfaced in Nagpur city alone.

This is the just the tip of the iceberg. Large scale suicides of men, especially married men are being grossly and routinely neglected, suppressed and ridiculed let alone imparting justice to them. The Government has simply shaken its hands off responsibility and passed off these suicides as being due to ‘financial reasons’. But in reality, suicide data analysis by National Crime Records Bureau puts suicides due to financial reasons at only 5% as attached in the report.

Psychologists have also not spared these men even after their deaths terming those men to be weak and irresponsible. It becomes imperative to mention here that the peculiar feature of domestic violence against men is its total lack of social acceptance let alone extending any kind of support to its victims. Finding no helping hand from the society, government or the media, these victims have no option left but to commit suicide. Psychologists make irresponsible statements that men do not communicate themselves but fail to note that the society does not provide any communication channel to men to vent out their problems and seek redressal.

It is not at all uncommon to see people laughing whenever a married men tries to express his problems or says that his wife and in – laws are torturing him. The audience might find it funny but it is a sad reality for those 156,000 who laid down their lives being unable to bear the torture and lacs more such who continue to live an abused life without acceptance of abuse. Where on one side the society expects its men to be strong and protect, at the same time it refuses to provide any kind of relief to those men who are weak and are being victimized.

Men undergo emotional castration right from the tender years as they are routinely discouraged to express themselves or share their problems with others. They are not given a listening ear and are told, “You are a man learn to solve your problems on your own.” Even psychologists have corroborated the fact that behavioral foundations are laid in the age gap of 7-12 years. And hence the above mentioned emotional castration leads to the development of an emotionally reserve persona which is again used as an excuse to provide any support to men – a vicious circle at play.