MP claims husbands suffer emotional abuse when wives refuse sex

Terengganu MP Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh also suggested that nagging wives subject their husbands to psychological abuse

By Lydia Chan | Published: 27 Jul 2017

Refuse sex = abuse?
Photo: iStock

Sit down; it's time for some Thursday morning rage.

During a debate over the Domestic Violence Act (Amendments) 2017 bill, Terengganu UMNO MP Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh of the Setiu district suggested that husbands suffer from different sorts of 'extreme' abuse from their wives, including the latter refusing sex.

"Men are generally physically stronger than women so they are subjected to emotional and psychological abuse, which is even worse," he said. "The usual is when wives curse at their husbands [...] Other times they insult their husbands, refuse sex."

Sorry, what?

Wives refusing sex with their husbands – tell-tale signs of 'wife abusing husband', apparently. We guess there's no need to mention how a woman has every right to choose what to do with her body, including deciding whether to have sex with her husband. Or that she could just be exhausted from having to deal with gender discrimination all day. Or that it's wrong for a man to force himself on a woman even though she's said "no" very clearly (that's called rape). Or that rape actually causes emotional and psychological abuse.

Che Mohamad also added that wives who "constantly nag" their other halves cause "a form of emotional abuse." To be fair, verbal or physical abuse can happen both ways, and the effect on the victim, whether male or female, should not be taken lightly if we are not personally familiar with every individual situation. So why and how severely a woman nags her husband (or vice versa) is subjective.

The Terengganu MP went on to say that when wives do not allow their Muslim husbands to take another wife, that too is considered abuse. In Islam, a man is allowed to have up to four wives at a time if he can provide for them equally.

The Star Online reported that Women's Aid Organisation's Tan Heang-Lee responded to Che Mohamad's statement: "We must not trivialise abuse, and we must also respect women's rights over their body." DAP politician Kasthuri Patto also pointed out that "This is the kind of mentality that will lead men to be aggressive and rape wives when they are denied sex."

Back to what really matters, the proposed Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2017 is working towards adding an emergency protection order that will give survivors immediate protection against their abusers within 24 hours, without having to lodge a police report or go to court. This change would definitely be of more help to abuse victims; it was reported that from 2014 to 2016, 74% of domestic violence victims were women.

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