Fewer men justified domestic violence than women in most states, says NFHS survey

admin December 2, 2021
Updated 2021/12/02 at 2:57 PM

Despite the fact that a large number of women surveyed continue to be victims of marital abuse, the national family health survey (NFHS-5) finds that men justify domestic violence against wives less than women in the majority of states.

In your opinion, is a husband justified in hitting or beating his wife in the following situations: if she goes out without telling him; if she neglects the house or the children; if she argues with him; if she refuses to have sex with him; if she doesn’t cook food properly; if he suspects her of being unfaithful; if she shows disrespect for in-laws?” asked the respondents in the NFHS survey.

While responses vary depending on the situation, the survey found that only 33% of men in 18 states—Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, and West Bengal—justified such violence.

In Andhra Pradesh, for example, 84% of women believed it was acceptable for husbands to beat or strike their wives, but just 67% of men agreed.

Bihar has 37% (women) and 34% (men); Himachal Pradesh has 15% and 14% (respectively); J&K has 49% and 45%; Gujarat has 30% and 28%, Maharashtra has 44% and 36%, Manipur has 66% and 57%, Telangana has 84% and 70%, and Tripura has 30% and 21%.

The ratio of men and women defending such violence is equal in Sikkim, Meghalaya, and other states.

“There are a variety of reasons for this, including a lack of economic independence for women, societal mores and norms (that say a woman’s place is with her husband and so on), family settings (where parents don’t support daughters who can’t live with violent husbands), lack of education, and so on,” says sociologist Samata Deshmane. The woman, in most circumstances, internalises the abuse and does not talk about it. ”

However, in Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, and West Bengal, males justified violence more than women.

77% of women and 82% of men in Karnataka believe such violence is justifiable.

Karnataka is also the state with the greatest number of women who have suffered spousal violence (44%). This is followed by  Manipur (40%), Bihar (39%), Telangana (36%), Assam (31%), Andhra Pradesh (30%), West Bengal (27%), and Maharashtra (25%).

Men who exhibit numerous marital control behaviours are viewed as a primary source of such violence in most states, although alcohol is also a prevalent factor.

According to the report, just 10% or fewer of women who are subjected to domestic abuse by their husbands ever seek help, and in nine other states, the ratio was more than 10% but less than 20%.

While Samata and another sociologist agreed that comparable reasons for women justifying domestic abuse prevent them from seeking help, they added that a lack of legal understanding is another factor.

“I don’t believe it’s just a matter of awareness,” advocate Sudha Ramalingam said. These should not be seen just as problems created by the dominant gender since they are part of a much larger problem of patriarchal ideology that is perpetuated by the whole society, including women.


Source: Times of India

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