At the women’s redressal cell of Navi Mumbai police, the department received complaints against their wives. This was no small number as 30 percent of the total complaints from men in 2020 were about domestic work and challenges. Meera Bansode, the senior police inspector of the women’s cell said, “Of the 633 applications, around 180 complaints were from men who had issues against wives and were facing problems.” Most of these men fought with their spouses over something as simple (but not so simple) as household chores. Afternoon Voice newspaper spoke to many Mumbaikar about their opinion on growing complaints against women by men this is what they have to say.
Shaina NC a BJP spokesperson stated that, “According to me any complaint has to be based on evidence not on gender. And the main verdict should ensure that the guilty are punished for their crime and not the sex of the complainant.”
Whereas Dr. Neelam Gorhe an MLC from Shiv Sena said, I think it’s not strange! Due to lockdown people, (In context with Men) are stuck into home and they get points to complain (Laughs). But jokes aside, this thing took place as people were forced to stay at their home in a view of the global pandemic. And because this of all the household chores were divided between the family members and we all pretty much aware that Indian men are not accustomed to doing any job at home. However as much as the domestic abuse is real for women it is the same for men as well. So, let the law take its own recourse and then decide!”
Preeti Sharma Menon, an AAP spokesperson is of the opinion that, “This year has been quite tough for several people because of the COVID-19 lockdown. But domestic abuse is something which has gone beyond limits. While the large section of victims of domestic abuse are usually women. This might be true that men are also going through domestic abuse. And because of this whole local down anxiety, proximity and not having any other option people have been locked up with their abuser, the trauma we cannot even imagine! So, I think it is a real thing for both woman and man and we must stand for everybody who is going through such abuse in their family.”
Vikas Kumar Gunjan, an IT professional from Mumbai told AV that, “One lockdown and work from home has exposed how vulnerable the relationships are these days and how truthful they are. While most common complaints from men are like wife not cooking on time, over busy on social media, doesn’t take care of family, or having an extra marital affair shows how in these cases the female partner has taken the space given by the men for ride”.
Mrs Vaidehi Rele’ Lal, very well known Bharat Natyam Dancer said, “Personally I see domestic abuse beyond gender, especially in 2020 when we have faced challenges like COVID-19 lockdown that we never thought of. People gone into depression due to various situations and staying under one roof for a long period of time brought a lot of imbalance to the family. It is not at all surprising to see in today’s time domestic abuse which was predominantly faced by women is also faced by men. When it comes to certain emotional feelings like anger, anxiety, depression or sadness this is equally in both the male and the female. They are not women centric or men centric problems. Hence unfortunately, when men are succumbing to domestic violence it should be taken into consideration with a similar approach as women”.
Manish Sharma, Food and Drugs Department employee says, “Men can get in a whole lot of trouble for defending themselves especially if they cause any injury to the woman in the process. He is a lot more likely to go to jail than she is EVEN IF she is the one who is doing the abusing. I believe it rarely happens that the woman ends up going to jail when the man is the abuser. The woman is a lot more likely to go to jail if the man has visible injuries and the woman doesn’t.” There are situations where one person is deliberately abusing the other, and feels they have the ‘right’ to abuse their partner because they have law to their side”.
Advocate Pratibha Bangera told Afternoon Voice, “Suffering party has same emotions. It is not always a woman who goes to complain. Men send intimation notice to police about an impending divorce or have apprehensions about false cases being filed against them. Women deny visitation and access to the father to sometimes use it against the man if maintenance is involved. Also the police gives a fair hearing to both parties before registering any case.”
Vishnu Tumbatkar, a security guard at a very reputed company of Mumbai told AV on the condition of anonymity, “I have been continuously abused by my wife almost since our marriage. She does hit me in anger but she tortures me for her own pleasure (she is a sadist). Unfortunately I can’t escape this and live for my entire life for some complicated reasons which cannot be explained here (Divorce is not an option). I have been systematically whipped, slapped, caned, and even branded by her :-(. She made me totally dependent on her for everything – in fact she selected such a person (me) for marriage so that she has a lifetime partner for her needs. She respects me outside the house, and inside the house too since I obey her wishes and commands.”
Mrs Aditi Taman’ Vinay, Orange Salon owner says, “I sense relief after reading this news of complaints by men against women. Should I think that this is the completion of the first level to abolish patriarchy? Or finally women have understood their self worth and are struggling to stand for themselves? Maybe we are witnessing the fight for equality which has begun from home, marriage. Or Should I applaud law enforcement that they have left no other heinous criminal option to retaliate women on the basis of sexism?”
Pradeep Sarpate a marketing manager by profession said, “I was raised to love and respect women by my single parent, mother. I jumped into a relationship way too soon. I ignored all of the red flags with my new girlfriend, particularly the love bombing. I didn’t recognize what I was getting into but enjoyed all of the affection and excitement I was experiencing, I fell right into the trap of a narcissistic abuser (and I didn’t even know what that was at the time). After a few months of bliss came a surprise. I was attacked in my sleep, punched in my balls after being awakened by having cold water thrown in my face. There was a wild accusation of me cheating on her. I hadn’t been out of her site since we’d been together. Nor had I had interest in any other.”
Amrita Udeshi, HOD at Social Pipal said, “I feel a man complaining against women to redressal cell is more one to one basis; the reason is that I feel women have taken a lot of domestic and work front responsibilities. Any additional expectation out of her is more like an added burden so maybe they have put their foot down expecting their men to take equal part in sharing responsibility leading to frequent tiffs?”
Thomas John working at Pizza outlet said, “In my case It all started with the psychological abuse, albeit covertly. I found myself apologizing constantly for being in relationships before I had even met her. She would then gaslight me into believing that I was the worst person on the planet and that I was incredibly fortunate to be with her as no other woman would ever look twice at me apparently. Before I realised it my support network of friends and family were becoming increasingly small as she alienated them all and encouraged me not to see them due to trumped up charges she would level against them. Finally I got into severe depression and somehow my mother got me out of the horror side of it.
Janak Solanki a Clinical Therapist said, “Yes, Women just aren’t seen as violent, and if they do become violent, it’s assumed that they can’t do much damage against a man. Men are expected to be able to take a punch without complaining about it. And men, even know, are expected to be financially and emotionally independent enough to just leave if their partner becomes truly intolerable. Violence against women is a major problem in just about every society, and it gets quite a bit of attention and concern, and rightly so. Unfortunately, violence against men tends to be ignored, minimized or otherwise treated like it’s not a problem. There are a lot of reasons for this. Men suffer from domestic violence, as well as emotional, financial and other forms of abuse. This can and does escalate until they end up dead.
Mrs Darshana Kale says, “I am a woman but I would like to speak for men, we are in a country where the laws are not gender neutral, that is they do not apply to all genders equally, and then yes, laws to protect abused men should be enacted. Abuse is abuse; it matters not who perpetrates it. The abuse heaped to men is often seen as less serious, because often the physical damage is not as great as it is when a man hits a woman. Of course, also, we deal with the sexist notion that it is fine for a woman to hit a man, but not for a man to hit a woman. These are both wrong-headed views. Everyone has the right to be protected from domestic violence. Everyone has the right to be safe in their relationships.”
Atish Patil who works at a garage shop said, “If a man slaps his wife, she will go to the community, police and family shaming that man, but there are many women who are not only abusive but very violent and cruel. They get sadistic pleasures in harassing the husband and his family, such women know how to play their cards and throw the weight”. It’s high time that the law needs to be changed.”
Rupal Mistry, an animation director told AV, “People have been forced to stay in confined spaces for an unprecedentedly long amount of time. The boundaries of mental peace and human space required to mutually co-exist have been restricted thus subjecting relationship equations to new levels of stress and changed dynamics. Social panic, job insecurities & uncertain future matters are a great matter of concern for most and undoubtedly are the key reason to bring disdain and complications in most family equations. Also by approaching the Women’s redressal forum first, the husbands are taking away the support normally reserved for their wives. Perhaps there is a legal advantage to their primary complaints too if they wish to discontinue the relationship and thus this angle too needs to be explored.”
Akash Jaiswal a Senior Journalist said, “There is nothing strange in it since domestic violence is something that is not just limited to women. Though we usually witness the majority of victims being women, we have had many cases where male members have filed such complaints against their partners. Many a time’s men fear reporting such cases due to several reasons. Differences of opinions, lack of empathy and forbearance are the causes of more physical violence by women against men.”
Lizza Malik, an Actress said, “There is law, but sadly we have a prerequisite notion that whatever transpires between a man and woman, man has to be always at fault. As a woman I’m embarrassed to say that many innocent men are falsely accused and the justice is biased in India.
Daljeet Kaur (IAWA President) said, “As women of today raised their voices for their rights, it’s their man ego which got hurt and which they are not able to tolerate. They cannot believe how come their wife who always worked round the clock to please them, took care of their home, their family suddenly started thinking about herself. Women had been always suppressed for their feelings from years. Now men of today cannot digest it and started complaining at the redressal cell against their wife. But on the other hand, some women have taken women empowerment for granted and misusing it against men. Ultimately whether it is a man or woman, it’s only the good human being who suffers.”
Archana Sharma, a Woman Activist said, “Right to live with respect and dignity is the birth right of all irrespective of gender male or female. Each individual has the right to be protected legally. We need to build the society of justice for all. Men too face torture justice should not be denied to them if proved innocent.”