New Delhi, Nov 20: When we watch several panel discussions on television on marital rape, our mind assumes that only women are at the receiving end of such crimes. However, several horrifying tales of husbands getting subjected to inhuman sexual torture by their wives, have been revealed from New Delhi.
Hundreds of men in the National Capital Region carried out a protest rally on Sunday, November 19, which is also celebrated as ‘International Men’s Day’, from Leisure Valley Ground in Gurugram to Red Fort, opposing the criminalization of marital rape, a matter which is subjunctive at the Delhi High Court.
Quite shockingly, SIF-one, the largest all-India helpline for men in distress, receives on an average, 5,000 calls per month from across India. Most of these are complaints of domestic violence, including physical and sexual assault suffered by husbands at the hands of their wives. If the husbands dare say ‘no’, they are accused of baseless allegations and have to take on long legal battles, which is really unfortunate of our modern society.
Fear of false cases of threat and harassment:
According to a report by India Today, Vijay Batra (name changed) says he was asked to get out of the house by his wife and had to spend four nights on the pavement of a street, as he did not agree to perform acts of pornographic fantasies of his wife. He got married just six months ago and he was ashamed and assaulted each time he refused the unusual sexual demands of his wife.
When Vijay went to the police station to register a case in this regard, to his utter dismay, police refused to file an FIR as there is no provision in the Indian law that would put a wife behind bars for sexual torture of her husband. It is really disgusting that men like Vijay have no legal help to defend themselves and the only option is of divorce, which, most men claim, hurts more on both emotional and financial fronts.
“My wife assaulted me physically, whenever I refused to have sex. In the beginning, I was abused emotionally. I am a call center employee and on certain days my stress at work will not leave me with any energy to have sex with my wife,” says Rakesh Joshi (36), (name changed), who is married for a year and a half. He also says, “My wife would not hear any of my woes and would say that she will file a case of impotence on me. Due to the fear of legal and social embarrassment, I used to have sex with her against my will. Finally, it went to the situation, wherein, she will scratch my arms and neck with her nails whenever I said no to her demands of sexual gratification.”
When he tried to refuse his wife’s demands for sex, she complained to the police of harassment by him. “Out of sheer frustration, I pushed her one day when she tried to attack me. She called the police immediately. Only because of the mediation of my landlady, I was saved from that situation,” he added.
Making fun of masculinity
The India Today report states that husbands who are subjected to sexual abuse say that they have become ‘laughing stock’ of the society. Suraj Tyagi (name changed), a 35-year-old businessman in Delhi, says that he is married for eight years and has to take care of his young son all by himself. “My wife is totally engrossed with sex and she urges me to perform perverse sex on her. When I cannot fulfill her wishes, she makes fun of my manhood and admonishes to have an illicit love affair,” he said.
According to Suraj, his wife does not do a single chore at home. The total responsibility of cooking, dropping the son to school and taking care of his homework is on his shoulders. He has attempted to end his life on several occasions but his son’s future holds him back. He has no social interaction at all as his friends poke fun at him.
“The demand to criminalise marital rape is a premeditated effort to label Indian husbands as potential rapists, a hype of having another oppressive law without enough obstacles, which can be used as a tool to favour a wife in case of a relationship that turns sore,” said Amit Lakhani, Men’s rights activist and president of Men Welfare Trust that organised Sunday’s rally.
He also added, “Men have been pictured as ‘villains’ and women as ‘exploited’ in today’s social set up. Indian Law does not consider domestic violence on men, leave aside sexual violence by wife on her husband. But the fact is that either the husband or the wife can be the victims of marital violence. It is very unfortunate that at present the laws cover only the violence that is inflicted on a wife by her husband and not vice versa.”