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Marital Camouflage on Rape

Ravali Reddy
Marital rape refers to unwanted intercourse by a man with his wife obtained by force, threat of force or physical violence, or when she is unable to give consent. Marital Rape could be by use of force only, a battering rape or a sadistic/obsessive rape. It is a non-consensual act of violent perversion by a husband against the wife where she is physically and sexually abused. Countless strong women survive the sexual assaults that occur in the millions every year, but every rape leaves a scar; no one ever fully heals. - Stephen Lewis "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."   - Philippa Gregory (The Red Queen) Marital Rape is the rape of the wife by the husband which is non-consensual or done forcefully under passion and aggression without the will of the wife and involves battery done on the part of the husband and leads to unwanted sex. In India, rape laws do not consider marital rape a ground and it's taken as an exception under rape, because people believe that marriage is a sacred institution which should not be degraded by unholy remarks and laws. They believe that marriage is the certificate given by both the spouses providing with an agreement to have sex even when they don't want to. They also think that marriage allows the husband to take advantage of his wife whenever he derived by the passions of sexual desires. Under the grounds of divorce, no place mentions marital rape a ground to have divorce. Since marital rape is not considered a Criminal Offense, no possibility is there for it to be considered a ground to take divorce. It is believed by some women that introduced within the marriage, a notion of 'implied consent' that started ta the time of the marriage and continued for the entire course of the marriage , and such consent was deemed irrevocable. This established that once married, a woman does not have the right to refuse sex with her husband. Due to construction of sex as a woman's duty within a marriage, there is always a presumption of consent. Not denying the fact that marriage gives the right to the husband to have sex with his wife lawfully and ethically, but does it really impose the women to have sex with the husband wherever and whenever he wants. I guess no. Marriage as an institution often disregarded by some, but praised and followed by many is a relationship where two people come to live rest of their lives compromising, understanding, adjusting and withstanding each other shoulder-to-shoulder in each and every situation be it good or bad. They promise to bind in a forever bond of togetherness and pay respect to one another. But there stand some issues which bring out a lot of problems to this holy relationship. One of such prevailing issues is marital rape. As defined before - Marital rape refers to unwanted intercourse by a man with his wife obtained by force, threat of force or physical violence, or when she is unable to give consent. Marital rape could be by use of force only, a battering rape or a sadistic/obsessive rape. It is a non-consensual act of violent perversion by a husband against the wife where she is physically and sexually abused. NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN ON SPOUSAL RAPE A new bill endorsed by the NCW, seeks to make comprehensive changes to the existing laws relating to sexual assault on women and children. It proposes amendments to the Indian Penal Code, The Indian Evidence Act and the Criminal Procedure Code. There is also a proposal in reference to spousal rape. "Pointing to the Woman and Child Development Ministry's silence on the issue of marital rape in its Draft National Policy for Women 2016, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has said that marital rape should be recognized under the law." As a final piece of argument to show the pressing need for protection of woman, here are some effects a rape victim may have to live with,-
  • Physical injuries to vaginal and Anal areas, lacerations, bruising.
  • Anxiety, shock, depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Gynecological effects including miscarriage, stillbirths, bladder infections, STDs and infertility.
  • Long drawn symptoms like insomnia, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction and negative self image.

Marriage does not thrive sex and the fear of frivolous litigation should not protection from being offered to those caught in abusive traps, where they are denigrated to the status of chattel. Apart from judicial awakening; we primarily require generation of awareness. Men are the perpetrators of this crime. 'Educating boys and men to view women as valuable partners in life, in the development of society and the attainment of peace are just as important as taking legal steps protect women's human rights', says the UN. Men have the social, economic, moral, political, religious and social responsibility to combat all forms of gender discrimination. In a country rife with misconceptions of rape, deeply ingrained cultural and religious stereotypes, and changing social values, globalization has to fast alter the letter of law.

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