The flip side of domestic violence

The constitution of Nepal grants equal rights to all citizens. But it is an irony that women, the pivot, around which the whole way of life has revolved, are abused, humiliated, sexually harassed, and psychologically tortured in every sphere of Nepalese society no matter how loud the protagonists preach about the women’s right’s. However, there is another side of the story too. Women’s violence is glossed over in the propaganda war against men and it is largely ignored by the media. On the other hand, the myth of the evil male perpetrator and the innocent female victim in domestic violence is being showcased in the Nepalese media over and over again.

Hence, to track the problem of

domestic violence, we must alter

our perspective. Because men are ridiculed when they reveal that they have been battered by women, women are more likely to report their abusers to the authorities.

We advocate equal rights but why do we loathe exposing the responsibility of women in domestic abuse? If we are sincere about change, we must acknowledge the truth: Women are part and parcel of domestic violence too. Why does our culture refuse to hold women accountable for their participation in domestic violence? Even the rudest and cruelest behavior of women are ignored by the society as the by — product of socialization or poor economic status but on the other hand, men are held fully accountable for all their behavior. Since society does not define abuse of men by women as a problem, social data reflects a much more frequent response to abuse of women by men than of men by women. If a man asks for help, who would listen?

None of this is intended to exonerate male culprits. The point is that, in the reaction to the cases of abuse, we do ourselves a grave harm to slip into gender biased — accusing only men as abusers. Domestic violence is a complex, but it is not sex-specific as many would have us believe. If women are not expected to think and act for themselves, and their dependency is characterized as feminine, the fault cannot be laid at the feet of men.

Living in a patriarchal society as ours, the sorrow of the female victims are palpable but only when we come to terms with the fact that ending domestic violence should be the responsibility of both men and women.