It is from the laws that criminalise or ban dowry that claims have arisen of ‘Reverse Dowry Abuse’. This is considered reverse as the victims in this case are largely men and/or their families. The laws making dowry illegal are in the giving, receiving or demanding, legal claims made to either punish the other party or to gain a financial return eg a false claim of dowry having been given that was not.
It is alleged false claims are being made only by women against their husband and his family, however the facts do not support this as false claims against women and their families too.
In Australia this is particularly significant, as husbands withdraw sponsorship for a partner visa and coerce the wife to return to the home nation using a false dowry claim over her family if she doesn’t. Leaving him free to marry again and not enter into any property settlement.
False claims are not really reverse dowry abuse, but more about opportunistic exploitation and extortion; there are some key elements:
- They are used as a bartering system, with the complainant coercing the other party into something; it may be to gain financial benefit or more personal such as to take over child custody.
- Often occur at the end of the marriage relationship.
- The family pursuing the matter often have more means, either in money, influence or powerful connections.
- To exert control over the other party
The real of Reverse Dowry Abuse observed in Australia is the practice of dowry in it’s true form however the payer is no longer the female or her family it is the male or his family.
Residency is at the core of such practices, where arrangements are made to pay a sum of money to marry a permanent resident of Australia. Where men are the payer, in many cases he pays continually by working and passing his earnings over to his partner or her family, the amounts paid in such cases can be in significant values in tens of thousands of dollars.
Abuse in these cases have the identical pattern of demands, abuse, in some cases violence (although less incidence than against women) and threats of deportation.
The practice nor the abuse changes only the genders are reversed, which reinforces the opinion that the underlying cause of abuse is about control.