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Some help for victims on the other side (India)

They are abused and harassed. They have to choke back their tears and look strong, lest they are misjudged and ridiculed. Their sorrows get unnoticed and they are afraid to cry out for help. Yes, these are men, the silent victims of domestic violence who are desperately trying to make their woes heard.

The Domestic Violence Act that came into force in 2005 says that a wife or live-in partner can file a complaint against her husband/partner and his family members in case of any abuse or torture. Though the Act addresses the age-old abuse and dowry harassment of women, men, however, complain that there is no provision in it to protect them.

“Domestic violence is not a gender issue. Men and women both can be victims of it. Our mission is to ask for an amendment so that the law is gender-neutral. There have been cases where women have misused the Domestic Violence Act and the Dowry Act but there are no laws to protect the Indian men,” says Uma Challa, president of All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA), an NGO that deals with men subjected to domestic violence and counsels them.

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