Silent Suffering: Unveiling the Reality of Domestic Violence against Men in India

Silent Suffering: Unveiling the Reality of Domestic Violence against Men in India  

Author:- Tanishka Jain, a Student of prestige Institute of Management and research, Department of Law

The first thing that comes to mind when someone hears about domestic abuse is “women.” Nobody believes that a man might be the target of violence. It’s a misconception that says violence against intimate partners is limited to women and is skewed against them.  It does not, however, solely impact one gender in a marriage. It may also be directed against men.

This Article talks about the Domestic violence against the men mainly with the perspective of India.

Therefore, As a result, the first thing that crosses our minds is: What exactly is domestic violence? Is it defined in Indian law somewhere? Intimate partner violence, often known as domestic violence or domestic abuse, is characterized by a relationship between two individuals wherein one party seeks to exert control or influence over the other. Any behavior that harms another person is considered domestic violence. This includes harassment, threats to one’s health, life, or well-being, as well as physical, financial, and sexual abuse.

Domestic Violence against the men is a common problem which can be seen in the society at the large level. People finds it difficult to believe on this fact that domestic violence can also be faced by the men, especially when we talk about India, the society has been male-dominated for the many centuries. So this can also be the reason why Domestic violence against the men is not recognized anywhere in Indian Law. Nonetheless we have the law only for the protection of the women against the violence by the men. However many cases related to the Physiological or physically abused arises against the men in comparison to the women.

Nonetheless it was seen that the cases are not registered and there is no proper statically data was present related to the cases. Because it is believed that if the men show or expose their vulnerabilities, they are considered as cowards, girlish and there are many other derogatory terms. This is also the biggest reason that the cases are not reported to the police. However, as the society changes and the country is moving towards the development, the perspective of the society is also changing and people are getting aware and serious about this matter.

Records, Data & Report Related to the Cases

Till the date, there is no official report about the Domestic violence against the men. But many research was conducted and one of them by the International Institute for Population Science (IIPS), Mumbai which shows that the women who are working and earning case and have the access of the mobile phone perpetrates the violence on husband in India.

There is also a study which is conducted in the small village of Haryana which founds that gender-based violence was faced by 52.4% of men. It was also seen that the emotional violence was most common followed by the physical violence. (Malik, 2019)

From this report we can assume that if the percentage of the gender-based violence is that much high in a small village then when we conduct the study in whole India, imagine what will be the situation in the urban areas of the country.

Equality in India & Indian Constitution

India follow the concept of equality even it is the fundamental right given under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which claims that everyone is equal  and no discrimination can be face by anyone on the basis of caste, sex, gender, religion or place of birth.

Still In India, there is no gender equality when it comes to the Domestic or Physical violence. Although India has the law which talks about the protection against the Domestic Violence which came in 2005 but it is available for the women only.

Laws against the Gender-Neutrality

There are many other laws which are gender-biased against the men such as if there is any case filled under section 498A then the court prima facie held liable the man and in Dowry prohibition Act, 1961. Yes, the wife has the defence under this Act against the Dowry demand but what about the men who suffer the harassment by his wife there is no law which provide the defence to the men or the husband.

So, the question is: Does the man have any defense in these circumstances? Yes, is the answer that is given. Although the men use a variety of strategies, the two most crucial ones are the offensive and defensive strategies. In the first approach a husband can card his defence under different sections of the Indian penal code and Criminal procedural Code. The husband can also filed a defamation case against his wife under Indian Penal Code. And in the later approach husband can collect the evidence, apply for the anticipatory bail, and also file for the Restitution of Conjugal Rights.

He can also filed the complaint to the prime minister against these atrocities in the website .

Role of the Supreme Court in the Implementation or Interpretation

There are many cases on which we can see that the Supreme Court gave the harsh punishment to the women who filed the false complaint such as in Bibi Parwana Khatoon v. State of Bihar. In this case the wife was killed by her husband and his relative setting fire on her. But due to lack of proof that they did not even live in the area where the accident occurred therefore, the defendants were released in this case.

Similarly in other cases also we can see that these approach are used by the Husband and the Supreme Court also issued the guidelines preventing the misuse of Section 498A in the case Rajesh Kumar & Ors. V. State of Uttar Pradesh (2017) SCC Online SC 821.

Therefore we can say that It is not purely true to believe that the preference always give to the women only but also considered the men side and Supreme Court also ensures that no one treated discriminately and fair chance is given to both the parties which supports the Concept of Natural Justice(Audi Alteram Partem).

Comparison of India with other countries

When we compare the India with other Countries it was seen that the cases of Domestic Violence against the men by their wives or the intimate partner are not uncommon.

In the United Kingdom, by the office of National Statistics figures shows that one in the three victims of domestic abuse are male (Brooks, 2021). And according to the British crime survey, 40% of domestic violence victims were men between the year 2004-2005 and 2008-2009. (Office for National Statistics, 2023) 

After these studies and the surveys, the government understand that the boys can also be victim of the domestic abuse and feels the need of the law and the rules to improve the condition of the boys and also the children so they passed a law called Domestic Abuse Act 2021 to protect the boys and the children against the violence.

In the United States, report by National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Center For Disease Control and prevention, 2020)shows that one in every nine men is subjected to the domestic abuse by their intimate partner. (National Coalition against Domestic violence, n.d.)

India perspective towards the Domestic Violence against men

In India there is no law which talks about the protection of men against the Domestic Violence. The need of the hour is gender equality and gender neutral laws with respect to the physical violence and the domestic abuse. Both men and women are treated equally and have the human right and the dignity. 

The term Domestic violence is not only represents the women or one section of the society but also affect the other group of the society. Domestic violence means the violence suffered in the spousal relationship which considered both the men and the women. So, it becomes the need of the time as the cases are increases rapidly of the Domestic violence against the men in the country as a result, special provisions, acts and many amendments are required to create the equality and remove the gender-based laws which affects the gender neutrality in the society. The government should also work to spread the awareness and  make the rules and regulation so that the victims specially the men, openly share their problem and also filed the report related to the violence and the actual condition comes forward related to the domestic abuse.


Breaking the silence and dispelling stereotypes are crucial when discussing domestic abuse against males from an Indian perspective. More empathy and equity in society can be achieved through promoting support networks, updating legislative frameworks, and having an inclusive conversation.

The Supreme Court also plays crucial role which work as the interpreter and protector of the laws. It also provide the justice and maintain the equality. So, It can also made the guidelines to protect the men from the abuse and violence and give the advice to the parliament with relation to the implement of law.

The country is moving with full pace towards the development and the digital country, but not a pace that is require by the rising problems which also include the Domestic violence against the men in the society.


Brooks, M. (2021). Male victims of Domestic and Partner abuse key facts. United Kingdom: Male Domestic Abuse Network.

Center For Disease Control and prevention. (2020, june 1). Intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and Stalking among men. Retrieved from

Malik, J. S. (2019, Jan-Mar). A A Cross-sectional Study of Gender-Based Violence against Men in the Rural Area of Haryana, India. Retrieved from National Library of Medicine:

National Coalition against Domestic violence. (n.d.). National Statistics. Retrieved from

Office for National Statistics. (2023, November 24). Domestic Abuse in England. Retrieved from

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