Marital rape simply means non-consensual sexual intercourse between a married
man and a woman. Marital rape is the crime of rape but committed under the realm
of sacred marriage. It is not yet considered a crime under Indian legislation,
but is of grave concern for a country like ours due to multiple reasons.
It is a very delicate issue and must be dealt with care and caution.
Criminalization or decriminalization of the aforementioned act must be done
The criminalization of marital rape is important in certain occurrences, but
could be perilous in others. The idea of criminalizing marital rape in a country
like India stands strong. In a country where marriage is considered a pivotal
part of life, there is a certain amount of societal pressure to abide by social
roles, under which women are restricted to performing their role as wives even
when they are not in the state.
Criminalization would be a ray of hope for such households, where the wife is
forced to have sex every night and is expected to perform her duties and social
role without being dubious. It would give them legal and firm support to rely on
for the punishment of the atrocities they've been through.
Secondly, criminalization would simply give women a way to punish the offender.
When a woman is raped outside the realm of marriage, the offender is punished
under Section 375 of the IPC, which gives the victim a sense of satisfaction and
This hope and satisfaction must be given to marital rape survivors too, as
they've gone through trauma that is worse since the perpetrator is the one they
know well and have pledged their lives to.
The criminalization of marital rape could also rebound in multiple ways. Most
importantly, in the form of false cases and misuse of the legal process. In
2014, the Delhi Commission for Women submitted a report stating that 53.2% of
rape cases registered between April 2013 and July 2014 were false.
This explicitly highlights how delicate this issue can be. India as a society
has a mindset against marriages; marriages are of utmost importance in life, and
they must be maintained. This leads to women being shattered after divorces are
filed from either side, as this could tarnish their social fabric. And in an
attempt to save their marriage, they might take the wrong course and use devious
means like blackmailing or filing false cases against the husband and his
Either way, marital rape curtails basic human rights. This debate is of great
importance and shouldn't be left out in the cold.