‘RAPE’ hearing the word certain common questions that comes to our mind is,
Why are there so many Rapes in India?
What leads a person to become a rapist?
What were the causes that led him to commit such a heinous crime?
Rape is the violation of a woman’s right to her body; it is the worst form of violence against women. Every fifteen minutes there is one rape case reported in India (According to the 2018 NCB Report). Rape is not a problem only in India; it’s a heinous crime that the whole world is struggling with. The offences against women are endless such as dowry death, sexual harassment, domestic violence, female genital mutilation and so on. Numbers of female victims suffering from all kinds of sexual violence are in millions and every day the reported rapes are increasing.
Men and woman are equally responsible in the creation and development of humanity but every time the women’s are subjected to several humiliations before birth till her last breath regardless of all the safeguard and protection that she receives from the law.
Women’s status in Indian Society:
From the post-Vedic era to the modern times, culture, societal norms and practices, religious scriptures, rituals have created a secondary status for women in the Indian society. Women have always enjoyed a lower status than men in the society, we have always witnessed a larger amount of restrictions imposed on her, women were kept away from the light of education, she has only been a passive partner in the religious rites.
Naturally the mindset of people became such that a new born son was more welcomed in a family rather than a new born daughter, and in order to fulfill that wish early marriage of women became a norm in the society. Woman has always been told to worship her husband like God even if he is devoid of such godly qualities or seeking for pleasure elsewhere.
Women have always been the subject; in her childhood to her father, in youth to her husband, and when her god equivalent husband is dead, then finally to her sons.
“Women must never be independent” ” (Manusmriti, V: 147-148. See also Shankeracharya,n.d.: 3, 6, 8).
Women were never considered responsible enough to make her own decisions, there has always been regulations imposed upon her.
Child marriage, Sati practice, and the shameful treatment accorded to a widow led women to wish that they would have never been born a woman in this unfortunate country.
Literature consist stories of women that are largely centered on sex, in our painting and sculptures a general trend has been made in the representation of her sensuous body. In today’s movies story relating to lust and passion are shown in order to make the plot more appealing, men have always treated a female body as his property, every single time a woman is objectified. Although sex is a biological need but it’s mode is influenced by the prevailing socio-cultural scenario.
Causes of Increasing Rape in India:–
There are various theories relating to this topic but specifically three main reasons that contribute towards a person committing such heinous crime are:
- The Socio-cultural factors and
- The Psychological factors.
The Socio-cultural factors totally depend upon a society in which a individual is born and bred, their character and temperamental traits are largely influenced due to the atmosphere or environment in which they are bought up, their behavior and personality get molded according to the socio cultural standards.
Next comes the Psychological factor, it is a very basic thing that every man is endowed with sex urges, there is a period of life in which these sex urges are always active and intense and that point sex urges needs to be satiated but when the society fails to provide such an outlet simultaneously, sex urges find outlet at times in rape. Hence we see the youth develops a behavioral pattern conductive to sexual assault.
Some psychoanalysts also trace the root of rape in mal-development of personality; certain individuals whose ego has grown weak are incapable of making judgment and controlling their impulses. Hence such mal-developed personality individuals become sexually perverse and indulge in sexual activities.
Men and women sometimes suffer from excessive sexual desire, when a individual suffers from such abnormal desire it is termed as ‘Nymphomania’, and if not treated in proper time may result in such crimes as Rape.
Marital rape is a very crucial issue, yet without any recognition in the eyes of law and the society till date. The term Marital Rape which refers to unwanted sexual intercourse by the man with his wife, obtained by force or physical violence, or when she is unable to give her consent.
As per the Indian Penal Code 1860, provisions relating to rape are provided in sections 375-376. Section 375 of the IPC which talks about the rape of the wife committed by the husbands states that if the wife is not under fifteen years of age then such act shall not constitute marital rape, in other words if the wife is above fifteen years of age then the husband is authorized to rape his wife, without any kind of interference of the State.
So, we see here that if a woman has been married then all her rights has been assigned to her husband and she is totally helpless because she is married. The wife must be honored if a woman has given her consent for marriage doesn’t necessarily mean that she has consented to be raped by her husband. Sex is a normal commitment of marriage but use of force in sexual intercourse is against the bodily integrity. Hence, the exception of the Section 375 is completely outdated and marital rape should also be treated equally as any other offence.
The Verma committee’s recommendations that was made in collaboration with various feminists and women’s organizations which included criminalizing marital rape, rejection of death penalty, labeling acid attacks as a criminal offence, broadening the definition of sexual assault to include stalking, voyeurism, and assault with the intention to disrobe women. In addition to these recommendations they also included stringent punishment for raping a minor.
When the Bill passed in March 2013, many activists marked this law as a milestone in India’s women’s rights movement (CBC News 2013b). In the final amendments there was silence on marital rape once again and, specific punishment for rape of a minor was ignored.
Women’s contribution towards the society has always been devalued. If the contribution of woman towards the society is ignored then we ignore half of the population and if we ignore half of the population what progress and welfare are we even talking about. There has always been a connection between the growth of unjust economic policies and the intensification of crimes against women.
“When rape happens to a young girl, culture stands in opposition with the law” (Shisana and Simbayi 2002: 1478).
One very basic question comes to my mind that is ‘CULTURE’ the burden that only women face?
Certain cultural policies such as gender inequalities, patriarchy are totally un-theorized. Laws alone without cultural reforms elimination of such orthodox teachings will never be sufficient towards achieving a gender-just society. Committing the crime of rape includes learning the techniques of committing rape.
Child marriage should be eliminated in order to prevent sexual violence. There should be criminalization of marital rape, premarital counseling should be provided in order to inculcate the values about a healthy and respectful sexual relationship. Sexual harassment, unwanted touching, or unwanted vaginal penetration leads to severe consequences for the victim such and post-traumatic stress, increased suicidal risks etc.
WE, need to overcome these socio-cultural factors and orthodox teachings and values in order to prevent rape.
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