A year ago, Men’s helpline number 8882-498-498, was launched for men in distress, which is run by 40 NGOs across states. According to the reports, the helpline number has received around 37,000 calls by men in distress.
Delhi has been termed as a rape capital where the woman isn’t considered but at times, it’s another way around too though the statistical figures are not too high but can’t be ignored.
One of the men narrated his story on the call where he was gang-raped, filmed nude, thrashed with belts, and objects were inserted into his private parts. “Then they urinated on me,” the 19-year-old broke down on call.
It was very tough on the counselors’ part to figure out how courts could help him. To their disappointment, they found that the Indian rape laws did not recognize a man as a victim. Being an adult, he could not have sought help under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act either.
The 19-year-old is not alone who has faced such humiliations by a woman. Almost daily 100 of men call the helpline number to share their traumatic stories and seek help.
But it all comes down to the help aspect as Indian men do not have say in the legal system as they are not treated as victim ever.
Ritwik Bisaria, one of the counselors with SIF (Save Indian Family) that handles the helpline cases said, “We receive cases of men being implicated in false rape and dowry cases. On an average, we receive 110 calls a day from across the country. About 65-75 percent of the calls we receive is from the new callers.
Most calls are reported from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab, according to the data collated by SIF. They constitute 55-60 percent of the total calls made to the helpline. From fake dowry charges to sexual exploitation at the workplace, the helpline number receives the calls by tormented males.
Amit Lakhani, another counselor working with SIF said, “We received a call from a man whose wife made a call to his company and told them about a harassment case she has filed against him. The man was asked to resign without any particular reason,” Lakhani said. “While reasoning with the human resource personal, he broke into the argument. The human resource manager filed a sexual harassment case against him. Now, he has a case filed by his wife and the office colleague.”
These cases are eye-openers and reflect the need to have more helpline centers and serious legal remedies that can serve the men and counsel them.