MRAs Are Deluded about ‘False’ Rape and Dowry Cases, and Data Proves It

There is an indisputable wave of hatred against certain laws that aim to protect women. These laws, pertaining to dowry, domestic violence, rape and more, are meant to protect women from crimes that have been committed against them for centuries. For far too long, women had no refuge against such things. Now that we at least have laws that aim to protect the rights of women, one would think that this would be seen as a step forward in the fight for empowerment and, subsequently, equality. 

However, several people, especially Men's Rights Activists, actually believe that most women make false claims of rape, domestic violence, and dowry demands to harass men. The basis for saying this is nothing but a woefully poor understanding of the world.

A large chunk of the false rape cases are filed by family members of girls in consensual relationships.

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Last year, The Hindu investigated all the rape cases registered in Delhi in 2013. There were 1,636 of them, out of which 583 went to court. They found that 40 percent of these cases were filed by family members of girls who eloped with boys. Even though two-thirds of these girls insisted throughout that their relationships were consensual, the cases were still filed. In the remaining one-third, the girls said in statements to the police, and in further depositions, that their relationships were consensual, but changed their stance in courts. According to people inside the system, this is generally because there is a lot of pressure on these girls once they are sent home to their parents.

All this proves is that a lot of people tend to think of their daughters as property, and not as human beings capable of making their own decisions. This is why they file rape cases against their daughters' lovers. A large number of these cases concern inter-caste and inter-faith couples, which further substantiates this point.

A fair number of rape cases are never argued till the end because the complainant backs out.

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One-fifth of the total number of cases registered were dropped because the complainant did not appear or turned hostile. One-fifth of the cases that went to court were dropped after the complainant stopped attending the trial or turned fully hostile. In some cases, they even said that they had filed a false complaint. In some of these cases, "community members" intervened in the depositions.

This points to pressure being put on complainants to withdraw complaints and compromise. It also points to the harrowing process rape victims have to go through to see their rapists convicted. It is NOT proof of cases being false.

There has been a rise in cases of violence against women related to dowry.

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This rise is disproportionate to the rise in the total number of crimes against women, according to Feminist Law Archives. Between 2005-2009, crimes against women increased by 31 percent, but crimes against women in their marital homes increased by 49 percent. This includes dowry deaths, wife murders, cruelty by husband and relatives, and suicides due to dowry demands. During the same period, convictions in dowry cases remained more or less the same - around 21 percent. This is despite the fact that in 94 percent of the cases, there is prima facie evidence corroborating the case of complainants, since chargesheets were filed in these cases.

This clearly shows that anti-dowry laws are essential to our country, given the rising number of cases. Moreover, these cases have enough evidence for the police to file chargesheets. The only reason that convictions are hard to get is that it is difficult for the police and public prosecutors to make their case in court, which can be attributed to the difficulty in proving something that happened inside somebody's home.

Only around 10 percent of dowry complaints are false.

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Data clearly shows that the number of cases that have been declared false is around 10 percent. Moreover, there are laws in place that impose penalties for making false claims in court. The police is also obligated to issue a notice of appearance to the accused instead of arresting him. Data on other crimes such as kidnapping, cheating, etc clearly shows that the number of false claims concerning these crimes are higher than the ones concerning dowry.

It is very obvious that ANY law can be misused. This is absolutely no reason to not have the law in place at all. In addition, it is clear that there are enough safeguards in place to prevent false cases from being filed, and that the percentage of false dowry cases is not high enough to be worrisome.

Patriarchy IS a real thing, and people's mindsets prove it.

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Research by the International Centre of Research for Women has shown that 65 percent of Indian men feel that women deserve to be beaten sometimes. Worse still, a study conducted by Swayam, a women's rights organisation, revealed that 80 percent of judges said that if their female relatives asked their advice in situations of domestic violence, they would tell them to adjust to their situation unless it became unbearable. Around 78 percent of them believed that women are somehow responsible for the violence against them.

Patriarchal mindsets exist even among the most educated people in our country, including the ones who are supposed to be fair and impartial. In such a society, complaining against laws that aim to protect a marginalised and oppressed group is absolutely preposterous. What is worse is that MRAs, while arguing against feminism, are actually the reason that feminism needs to exist, because the only reason that they cite 'false' allegations of crimes committed against women is the fact that they feel that women's rights come at the expense of men's rights. 

The entire MRA ideology rests upon anti-feminism and anti-women beliefs. Men's rights activists do not actually care about protecting the rights of men, simply because they fail to see what's right in front of them - that men are victims of patriarchy too, and it is that very patriarchy that feminists are trying to fight. MRAs are a tiny section of society that has hitherto benefited from its laws at the expense of others, and is terrified now that the people it oppressed are getting some rights, because that means that its power is being diluted.

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