Marital Rape

Rape is an offence worse than murder as it is an assassination of a woman’s dignity which she is destined to suffer throughout her life. Of late, a specific form of rape called as marital rape, is being recognised as a heinous crime in the western world. Marital rape occurs when women’s bodies are outraged, regardless of their consent or willingness. However, women in Indian setting do not make it an issue of complaint because it is against social norms and considered acceptable for men to force their wives to sex as and when they wish, especially after marriage. They do not realise that marriage is not the consent. Historically many cultures have considered Marital rape as a sin, different religious text has very well traced out the rights of women in marital bonds before any code of law was formed in any country. Equal rights, equal importance or equal opportunities this is what we call gender equality. Both men and women are pillars of humanity, but women have always been subjected to humiliation. The dignity of women is always hampered by men, rape is one of the appropriate example of violation of dignity of women by men. Marital rape is a crime undefined in India, is one of the most debatable and controvertible issue.

 Though, the Indian law recognises domestic violence against women as an offence but it is mainly confined to physical harm or torture rather than the sexual abuse of wife. In a country where development is determined by the progress of its women, how come there is no law or no legislation against such violent and brutal crime. If state can make laws for domestic violence then why can’t it make laws for such a heinous crime. There is a need for protection of women against their husband who is the perpetrator and the woman is the silent victim. Lack of laws and social stigma present in our society is one of the primary reason why offence like marital rape is not criminalized and not seen as offence. There is an instant need of criminalisation of marital rape in India via proper legislative approach and gender sensitivity should be created among the people.  

Types of marital rape-

Battering rape – This is a kind of marital rape which involves the use of force and aggression against the wife. The women experience both physical and sexual violence during sexual assault.  The beating may also occur before the sexual assault so as to compel her into sexual intercourse.

Force only rape – In this kind of marital rape, the husband usually does not necessarily batter the wife, but also uses much force which is necessary to enter into sexual intercourse with the unwilling wife.

Obsessive/Sadistic rape – This is a form of marital rape which involves the use of force sexual assault complied with perverse act against the wife. It involves a kind of sexual sadistic pleasure enjoyed by the husband.

Marital Rape is one of the worst kind of sexual abuse which is taking place in the family. Patriarchal mindset has led to gender discrimination which in result has led the laws to close its eyes in doing justice towards the misery of the abused wives by not recognizing Spousal rape as a crime. By not criminalizing Marital rape as an crime it is paving an escape hatch for many offenders of sexual violence and the hunt for justice remains unquenched. When a women says “no”, the word itself is a sentence which needs no elaboration or any kind of justification. When a woman go through Marital rape it is only the woman who suffers, the society, including children also face the impact of it. Its high time that Marital rape should be criminalized and our legislature should be reviewed. After all how long women will be facing torture and subjected to victimhood? How long women will be victimized by the men and the society? Does a woman loses her right to give consent after marriage?

Aishwarya Says:

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