A study on the social construction of intimate partner violence perpetrated by Indian women against Indian men

Ms Melba Kuriakose1

1Impress.ai, Kochi, India


Intimate partner violence (IPV) has long been perceived as violence against women by men. Recent surveys in India have shown that men are also victims of IPV. This research project aimed to examine the social construction of intimate partner violence perpetrated by Indian women against Indian men. The aim of the study was analyzed by using snowball-sampling method (ages 20-45; n=10). Using in-depth, semi-structured interviews, this study investigated the general perceptions that Indian men hold about male victims of IPV in India. The findings of the study revealed that Indian men in general have perceptions that the reasons why some men are abused in India include infidelity, inability to provide sexual satisfaction and inability to perform the role expected of them as heads of the family. Again, Indian men perceive male victims to be weak, cowards, disrespected and completely disregarded by the society as a whole. Due to the patriarchal system of India, it is perceived by Indian men that, male victims do not admit to being abused due to their fears of being stigmatized and mocked in the society. The results of the study suggest that there is a need for extensive public education and advocacy programs to bring attention to IPV against men in India. There is also the need for provision of professional services for male victims in the form of mental health policies and making cost of services affordable to the victims.

Keywords: intimate partner violence, male victims, perceptions, support services


Melba Kuriakose is a postgraduate in Forensic Psychology from Coventry University, UK. She is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS). She holds a bachelor honors degree in psychology from Central University of Karnataka. She’s particularly interested in research on ‘transgender population’ and is formally enrolled for a PhD in Sociology and Crime at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. She is currently working as a Consultant Industrial-Organizational Psychologist at Impress.ai, Kochi, Kerala, India. Her research interests include criminal justice, behavioral neuroscience, women empowerment and sexual minorities.