Domestic Violence Act: Why men are at a disadvantage

Recently, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi showed her concern towards the protection of women who face abuse from their sons and daughter-in-law and sought an amendment to the Domestic Violence Act. However, it did not occur to her that thousands of men too have been framed and sent to jail by scheming wives abusing the DVA.

Though it’s true that a lot of abuse is done to women in homes that don’t fall in the category of wife and they must need a cover under the Domestic Violence Act and for that an amendment to the law is essential, the minster must have given her thought to those who are languishing in jail for the no wrong on their part.

When Maneka Gandhi said that many cases have been brought to the notice where elderly women have been misbehaved with or even tortured by their sons and daughters-in-law for property or other reasons, there must be law to provide them protection, she forgot to mention that a lot of women like mother-in-law also face arrest under IPC 498A.

In fact, 498A has been abused to the extent that many elderly women in their 80s have been sent to jail. Should she not also talk about amending 498A so that its abuse is stopped and the concern she is showing for mothers and elderly is addressed as well. Whereas she is talking about amending the DVA to help women, there is one law that is being used to harass them.

Domestic Violence Act does not Provide Protection to Men

According to Save Indian Family Foundation it’s not just women but men too face domestic violence; however, as it is not recognized by the law the cases don’t come to front. A major reason behind the legislators ignoring the men being made subject to domestic violence is the wrong perception in the patriarchal society that men cannot be victims.

Rather than focusing on the substantive abuse of the DVA, the Women and Child Development Minister is trying to amend the law and make it even better tool than 498A in the hands of women to abuse it for the malafide purposes.

Should not the men too should be given protection under the DVA as any cruelty or violence is wrong per se and giving protection only to one gender is against the natural justice at least from the number of cases where women used it to settle score have gone up, recently.