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Marital Rape: An Unfair Treatment To The Fairer Sex

Marital rape is reality in India that nobody is talking about. Although marital rape is the most distasteful form of flagellation but is still prevailing in our society as it is shielded by the sacred institution of marriage. According to Black's Law Dictionary, “rape is defined as the unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman by a man forcibly and against her will.”

Carnal knowledge is the same as sexual intercourse. Under Section 375 of IPC rape as an offence. Marital rape also known as spousal rape is non-consensual sex in which the perpetrator is the victim's spouse.[1]

The Section 375 of IPC also states that:

Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.”[2] But recently the supreme court of India passed a judgement criminalizing marital rape of girls between the ages of 15-18 years.

This is a very celebrated judgement but still it does not solve the majority of the problem. What about the rights of the women who are not a minor? The legal system makes it clear that when a woman marries a man she submits herself mentally and physically to him.

Marital rape is a form of domestic violence only. Marital rape can be repetitive and more traumatizing than being raped by a stranger. It's a brutal and grotesque violation of a woman's body.

Till the early 1960s marital rape was seen as an oxymoron. It was later in the early 1990s that most of the country began to comprehend marital rape as an actual threat to society and started criminalizing it. Despite being the fastest developing nation India's legal system fails to provide justice to the women of their country. Indian is one of the only 36 countries who haven't criminalized marital rape. U.S.A had criminalized marital rape in 1993, Australia did it way back in 1963 and even a country Rwanda has acknowledged the need to criminalize marital rape.

Section 498-A of IPC is related to domestic violence regarding mental and physical torture but doesn't include the abrasive form of torture, marital rape. The Indian legal system fails to provide a balanced justice to its citizens. If a woman files a F.I.R against someone under section 498-A of IPC, the police can make a no-questions-asked arrest on the soul testimony of women.

This particular law makes woman so powerful that it is being abused to a great extent. On the other the Indian legal system fails to provide a simple law criminalizing marital rape to secure the women of the country. One of the main reasons behind not criminalizing marital rape is stated that it will destroy the sanctity of marriage and it is more important to sustain the marriage than criminalize marital rape. It is evident that Indian legal system needs some reforms when the main aim of the government is to secure the marriage rather than preventing its citizens from a heinous crime.

Sources:
  1. The New Times, 'Marital Rape - The Horror Victims Won't Talk About' (2013) <https://www.lexisnexis.com/lnacui2api/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T26622181565&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T26622181569&cisb=22_T26622181568&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=361886&docNo=1> accessed 11 October 2017.
  2. 'Section 375 In The Indian Penal Code' (Indiankanoon.org, 2017) <https://indiankanoon.org/doc/623254/ > accessed 11 October 2017.

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