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Marital Rape

Rape is a term that can give shock to anyone. Rape is the worst thing that can ever happen to a woman. But still Rape Is Legal in India. Yes, the topic here is RAPE.

I say nothing, not one word, from beginning to end, and neither does he. If it were lawful for a woman to hate her husband, I would hate him as a rapist.- Phillipa Georgy

Marital rape is any unwanted sexual act by, a spouse committed without consent or consent obtained by force, or threat of force, intimidation, or any threat. These sexual acts include intercourse, anal or oral sex, forced sexual behaviour with other individuals, and other sexual activities that are considered by the victim as, painful, and unwanted. This is to be noted that with in marriage, if a woman gives her consent for sexual intercourse due to any of the threat this would still be counted as NO.

The Marital rape is not legally prohibited in the Indian penal code if the woman is above 15 Years of age according to section 375 of IPC. It is prohibited only when the woman is living separately from her husband due to any judicial requirement.

Marital rape is not legally prohibited in India because it is based on the historical myths that the spouse has all the rights even without the consent of his wife. In fact, the studies, researches proved that even marital rape also has an equivalent long-lasting effect on the mentality of woman, also it affects physically too.

The mental effects may include: short-term effects - anxiety, shock, intense fear, depression, and post-traumatic stress. Long-term effects often include disordered eating, sleep problems, depression, and increased negative feelings about themselves.

While the physical effects may include injuries to private organs, soreness, torn muscles, and vomiting. physical consequences which women suffer after being raped include broken bones, black eyes, bloody noses, and knife wounds that occur during the sexual violence.

Marital rape is something that needs to be criminalised under IPC but the same has not been criminalized yet, around 5.4% women claimed that they have experienced marital rape according to the data obtained in 2015-16, though it is less than the 9% in 2005-06 but the same must be criminalized. These numbers are far from the actual because, this is something that every woman canít speak, Furthermore, this may happen multiple times with the same women.

Itís not like people didn't raise their voice against the section 375 exception it has been observed that From many years Activists , Civil Society and people in general has been asking for marital rape to be criminalised but it doesn't seems like it will happen soon, because the Indian Government contemplates that the population of India is uneducated to understand this law so they are not implementing, but according to the study conducted by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2014[1] in 8 states of India showed that a third of men in those states admitted to having forced a sexual act on their wives or partners. In fact, the majority of sexual violence reported by woman are within the marriage.

Over the period, Voices have been raised by different communities, NGO'S, RIT FOUNDATION, etc. In 2011 marital rape case has been reported to the high court of Delhi and The Centre told Delhi High Court that criminalising marital rape may destabilise the institution of marriage and would become an easy tool for harassing the husbands and this leads to rejection of appeal in the Delhi high court.

The centre in its affidavit also says that criminalizing marital rape may also lead to its misuse just like section 498 A of IPC that deals with cruelty to a wife by her husband or his relatives. In fact, the Jyoti Verma committee[2] formed after the Nirbhaya case had also recommended government for removing the exception of marital rape under section 375 was rejected.

In a society where a woman always faces so much restrictions on going out, staying out and in other activities too this is not bad to say that Not Criminalising The Marital Rape Is A Curse For India. Directly-Indirectly we are trying to suppress the women's rights for safeguarding the men. It should be considered that women are a part of the society in fact they play a major role for our economy, they must have the right to raise their voice against all such acts (in which her permission is required) performed by their spouse or anyone else. The women are trying their best in every field but the men are still dominating on them and so there should be a platform where women can speak without any fear about their problems .

End-Notes:

  1. www.criminaldefenselawyer.com
  2. Timesofindia.com


Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Suhasini Tahiliani

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