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What if Men are Subjected to Domestic Violence: The Laws and Rights

Author: Sanya Malhotra


Usually the term ‘Domestic Violence’ is often subjected or limited to women. Although there’s no harm in it, as women of the society have always been subjected to patriarchy and violence. But the term ‘violence’ or ‘abuse’ cannot be used in a limited context, it has much wider and broader sense of meaning. “Domestic abuse, often known as “domestic violence” or “intimate partner violence,” is defined by the United Nations as a pattern of behaviour designed to establish or retain power and control over an intimate partner in any relationship.” It is astonishing that even men are subjected to physical violence, mental and sexual abuse in many households. About two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men, contradicting the widespread impression that it is almost always women who are left battered and bruised, a new report claims. Men assaulted by their partners are often ignored by police, see their attacker go free and have far fewer refuges to flee to than women, says a study by the Men’s Rights Campaign Group Parity. 


When most people hear the term “domestic violence,” they often assume that a man is the aggressor. While this may be true in many of the reported cases, domestic violence against men is more common than you may think and can pose a serious threat to its victims. Men are assaulted in their households and often subjected to continuous physical, psychological and sexual violence by their respective partners. Spousal abuse is not something that is faced by only one gender. The general presumption or preconceived notions that have been into our society since bygone is that men are supposed to be strong, mighty and they are generally supposed to bottle up their emotions. If they show or expose their vulnerabilities then they are labelled as being sissy, effeminate, and many other derogatory terms.  And in reality, this is not at all true, no human being on this earth should be subjected to any kind of violence, doesn’t matter what gender they belong to. There are eventually many cases of domestic violence against men in which there have been suicidal attempts by the victims and in the worst cases , many victims have even lost their lives. Men still choose to suffer in such conditions because domestic violence against men in India is not recognized by the law. The general perception is that men cannot be victims of violence. Like women, men also find it hard to get out of abusive relationships, but they feel that the situation is worse for men, as they not only fear being away from their children, but are also worried about all the false accusations being filed against them.


In reality, India doesn’t support any laws and legislations for domestic violence against men. As a consequence, governments conveniently overlook Article 14, Article 15(1), and Article 21 of the Constitution in relation to men, and as a result, the pattern of permitting women's aggression against men, and just highlighting men’s violence towards women while enacting discriminatory and biased legislation against men has become the norm. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 is purely concise and focused on the laws for a woman and is precisely concerned with the punishments against the men only. 

The section states: “Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.—Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be pun­ished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. 

As a result of this, it is evident that men are assaulted and tend to be the victims of domestic violence because India doesn’t have any laws or legal implications for domestic violence against men. That is the major reason why most of the matters of violence against men goes unnoticed and there is no legal help for men in these cases. 


Domestic violence and abuse can have a serious physical and psychological impact. The first step to protecting yourself and stopping the abuse is to reach out. Talk to a friend, family member, or someone else you trust, or call a domestic violence helpline. As well as offering a sense of relief and providing some much-needed support, sharing details of your abuse can also be the first step in building a case against your abuser. Because there are no provisions against male domestic violence so ,these are some things you should keep in mind when dealing with your abusive partner:

Leave if possible: Be aware of any signs that may trigger a violent response from your partner and be ready to leave quickly. If you need to stay to protect your children, call emergency services. The police have an obligation to protect you, just as they do for a female victim. 

Never retaliate: An abusive partner may try to provoke you into retaliating or using force to escape the situation. If you do retaliate, you’re putting yourself at risk of being arrested or removed from your home.

Get evidence of the abuse: Report all incidents to the police and get a copy of each police report. Keep a journal of all abuse with a clear record of dates, times, and any witnesses. Include a photographic record of your injuries and make sure your doctor or hospital also documents your injuries. Remember, medical personnel aren’t likely to ask if a man is a victim of domestic violence, so it’s up to you to ensure that the cause of your injuries are documented.

Keep a mobile phone, evidence of the abuse, and other important documents close at hand: If you have to leave instantly in order to escape the abuse, you’ll need to take with you evidence of the abuse and important documents, such as a passport and driver’s license. It may be safer to keep these items outside of the home.

Obtain advice from a domestic violence program : or legal aid resource about getting a restraining order or order of protection against your partner and, if necessary, seeking temporary custody of your children.


Each and every species on this earth deserves love and respect. Nobody from an animal to man should be subjected to violence. So, now it is high time that the government and the legal system of our country takes strict legal actions against male domestic violence and ensure that efficient laws, rules and regulations are made for the male victims of domestic violence as well. Males are an important section of society who are unrepresented in India's legal system. When gender-based legislations are considered or enacted only women are considered while men's concerns and challenges are ignored. To address the challenges and concerns of men, gender-neutral legislation, a constitutional body, or a forum are urgently needed.



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