Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Gender-based Violence What Is Stopping Our Government From Criminalizing Marital Rape?

4 replies, 5 voices Last updated by Aditi Sahu 2 years, 4 months ago
  • 038 deepika Singh
    Participant
    @038-deepika
    #34147

    Any kind of forced sexual intercourse with a person without prior consent is known as rape and is a crime, irrespective of the relationship between the victim and criminal. It does not matter if the person raping is a stranger, relative, father, brother or a husband of the person being raped. Then why India remains one of the 36 countries where a husband raping his wife is not considered a criminal offence?! What is holding India back from criminalizing marital rape?

    Well, it’s the Union Government itself! Each time several petitions have been handed over to the supreme court and the high court regarding the criminalization of marital rape, our government have continued to protect our men who rape their wives citing that its ‘against our Indian culture’. So in simpler terms what they exactly mean is that, according to our Indian culture it is okay for a man to rape a woman- as long as they are married. They have often criticized those who raised their voice against martial rape saying that it is wrong of them to ‘blindly’ follow the west, without considering the cultural and socio-economic differences between the regions. The government argues that if somehow they criminalize marital rape, then a majority of marriages will fall apart because women will start standing up against their Rapist Husbands. So, the government cares about the fall of marriages over the integrity and rights of our women! They believe that once a woman is married, she automatically transfers her sexual consent to her husband and the husband is allowed to deal with it in whatever manner he desires. It is 2022, and marital rape has still not been criminalised in our country and year after year women have been raped by their own husband but they have not been able take any legal action.

    Samriti Sharma
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    @samriti
    #34247
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    India today is one of 36 countries in the world that hasn’t criminalised marital rape. Today in 21st century it has become the need of the hour that we unlearn certain things one such concept is marital rape. Across the globe there are many legal systems including India which do not recognise marital rape as a crime. Here it becomes utmost important to recognise the value of consent in sexual relationship irrespective of the fact that women is married or unmarried. Our Indian society is still stuck on the ancient believe system where daughters and wife in a family were considered the property of the father or her husband later on when the rape cases increased outside their respective homes the protection of a women was made the liability of her husband when married and her father if the girl is unmarried but again here she was considered as a property and not a human being who is suffering violence. And finally it was in 1860 with the enactment of the Indian Penal code that rape in India was made punishable offence under section 375 where sexual intercourse with a woman without her will, her consent, by coercion, by misrepresentation or fraud or at time when she was intoxicated is considered rape.
    The concept of marital rape was highlighted when an exception to the said section was raised which states that a sexual intercourse by a man on his wife not being under the age of fifteen years is not a rape which reflects the misogyny in our society. Marital rape clearly violates the constitutional rights of a women which include right to equality before law, right to life and right to personal liberty.
    Our government somehow is still believing that an effective law against marital rape will adversely affect institution of marriage and also questions are being raised as to the misuse of the law. Our government here is clearly supporting the patriarchal setup which has been prevalent in the society for ages now.
    It has become necessary to take some necessary steps to stop such harassment against women and also to recognise her value as an individual.

    Afshan Iqbal
    Participant
    @afshan
    #34288
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    RAPE is a heinous crime that happens every day in our country and we have laws that may or may not be enough for the kind of crime that rape is but MARITAL RAPE is not criminalized in our country. Strange, isn’t it? India today is one of 36 countries in the world that hasn’t criminalized marital rape. Let’s just shout out loud that Nobody I repeat nobody has the right to do this offense no matter if you’re a stranger or lover or even husband. Rape is a crime and by no means it can be justified whatsoever. Marital rape stands against the light of the right to equality, the right to life with dignity, personhood, sexual, and personal autonomy — all fundamental rights protected under Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution respectively. So why there is no law against marital rape? What is holding India back from criminalizing marital rape? Why is it okay when a woman is raped no matter it’s her own husband? It’s because our society is inclined towards a patriarchal system where a husband’s dominance is normal and we have a government that thinks it’s the internal matter of the couple. But nothing in this world gives a husband the right to rape his wife. That’s it! Marriage is not a license for men to rape women nor does it make a woman the property of her husband that he can use it. Then why is it so difficult to make a law that punishes the husband the same way a rapist is punished? Why does the judiciary consider this as a private matter of the nuptial relationship? A crime cannot be justified because of the tag of a marriage. There should be a law for marital rape. This crime cannot be non-criminalized because of the fact that a raped woman is married to the culprit. Women out of fear of social stigma don’t file complaints. Victim-blaming culture is common in a patriarchal society, particularly if the victim is a woman so it is the need that women who are raped by their husbands get justice. If the husband forces his wife to have sex with him, he should be considered a criminal and the wife should have the right to go to court and file a complaint against him to get punished. So, I strongly believe that marital rape should be criminalized and the judiciary of our country must look into this matter at the earliest.

    Shreya Shukla
    Participant
    @shreya
    #34540
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    Nothing stops us if we want or are willing to achieve something. Rape is sexual intercourse that takes place without the consent of someone with whom it’s being done.
    Rape is rape and it cannot be justified on any basis. Even when it’s done by a husband because being married do not mean that it gives the right to force a wife according to his physical needs.
    But the fault is on our end It is taught to our daughters that after marriage they have no control over their lives and body, they have to do whatever is asked to do by their husband. And this makes her quiet and she keeps on doing everything willingly or unwillingly.
    Also, there are women in this world who use their rights for some personal revenge. So if the government makes a law against this, there are chances that some greedy women may use it for a wrong cause by blaming their husbands even if they didn’t do anything wrong.
    And this will also become a problem for those women who are innocent and suffering every day as no one would trust them.
    So before making a law, good homework has to be done.

    Aditi Sahu
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    @aditi
    #34561
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    Non-consensual sex within a marriage is termed as marital rape. Marital rape is criminalised in almost 150 countries till date—sadly India remains in the minority who hasn’t criminalised such a heinous act yet. It is really sad and appalling that we still have to discuss why a crime as serious as a rape is still legal in our country. But that’s just what it is, it’s our responsibility to rectify it. But it definitely makes one question, what is stopping our government from criminalising marital rape?

    The answer is quite complicated and shameful. The government has claimed, time and time again, that what happens between a married couple is their personal matter, and that government and judiciary should not intervene in it. This is such a disgusting and deep rooted misogynistic mindset. Just because a rape happens within a marriage, does it somehow decrease the amount of trauma it causes the victim? Is marriage a license to rape someone? Of course not! But sadly our government has still not realised such a simple thing. And that is why India remains one of the 36 countries where marital rape is still legal.

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