Marital Rape in India

This article is written by Shreya Bansal. Shreya is a commerce graduate from Shri Ram College Of Commerce and is currently pursuing Bachelors Of Law from Faculty Of Law, DU.

 

In India marriage is considered as the sacred solemnization of a perpetual bond, not just between two individuals but between two families. Ever since a girl child is born in a household, her parents eagerly await for the day on which they can perform her “kanyadaan” which in literal sense means to give away the daughter as a form of charity.

Well, this brings light on the fact that our country is restrained by the shackles of a patriarchal mindset where a woman is given the second gender status and not considered as a counterpart. As per historical studies, a girl before her marriage was considered as a “property” of her father, post which she is transferred to her husband as her guardian which gives him the absolute right of control over his wife’s body and mind.

Behind the closed doors of many Indian households, women are subject to brutalities of their husbands. Marital rape is one such form of a barbaric activity which sadly is derecognized by the law of our country. Marital rape basically takes place when a husband either uses force or threatens to use force on his wife or takes her consent by coercion to have sex with her. So it means that marriage is a contract between these two individuals where the consent of the wife to bow in front of the whims and fancies of her husband is implied. An English judge from the 17th Century claimed:

Behind the closed doors of many Indian households, women are subject to brutalities of their husbands. Marital rape is one such form of a barbaric activity which sadly is derecognized by the law of our country. Marital rape basically takes place when a husband either uses force or threatens to use force on his wife or takes her consent by coercion to have sex with her. So it means that marriage is a contract between these two individuals where the consent of the wife to bow in front of the whims and fancies of her husband is implied. An English judge from the 17th Century claimed:

So, it means that marriage is a contract between these two individuals where the consent of the wife to bow in front of the whims and fancies of her husband is implied. An English judge from the 17th Century claimed:
“The husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract, the wife hath given herself in kind unto the husband, whom she cannot retract.”As per Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), forced sex in marriages is considered as a crime only when the wife is below age 15. The law of our country does not admit a rape committed by a husband with his wife as a crime, thus discriminating on the basis of

As per Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), forced sex in marriages is considered as a crime only when the wife is below age 15. The law of our country does not admit a rape committed by a husband with his wife as a crime, thus discriminating on the basis of marital status of the people.

A senior government official said in a written statement to India’s upper house of Parliament, “It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context.” As per the lawmakers of our country, the reasons because of which marital rape is not considered a crime in India is due to prevailing illiteracy, poverty, religious beliefs, social customs etc. which do not restrain the western world where it has been criminalised.

Apart from the patriarchal form of the society in which we all live in, women also a have big role behind this laxity of the government for not criminalizing marital rape. Firstly, our Indian women are devoted wives who would not leave any stone unturned to make sure that their marriage works out. They are ready to face all the brutalities of their husbands for the sake of their children, parents, and the fear of the society.

Secondly, the concept of marital rape is still unknown in India. While some women are not aware of it and believe that it is their conjugal duty to have intercourse with their husbands whenever they demand so without having the right to say no. Also, some might use it as a weapon to avenge their husbands even for small and petty fights between them.

The remedies today available to a woman against marital rape include protection under The Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and Section 376B of IPC which states that a man can be jailed for 7 years if he rapes his wife during judicial separation. But both these laws are not sufficient enough to protect a woman against the monstrosity of her husband. Hence a new law needs to be enacted such that it should be able to exactly identify the marital rapist without faulty judgements. There should be minimum loopholes so that the actual criminal is punished and be held guilty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s