“When a woman is raped by a stranger, she has to live with a frightening memory. When she is raped by her husband, she has to live with the rapist.”
– David Finkel and Kersti Yllo
DEFINE MARITAL RAPE
Rape is an act of violence in marriage by the husband shows his dominance & control over their wife also unwanted intercourse between married couples is obtained by the wife under force, and coercion & when she is unable to give consent if she is below 18 yrs of age it will be considered Rape. By marriage, it gives a permanent license to the husband to rape their wife and there is no law to protect that woman, marital rape should not be based on any age limit
SECTION 375 OF THE IPC DEFINES RAPE
(d) applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, and urethra of a woman or makes her do so with him or any other person, under the circumstances falling under any of the following seven descriptions: First. Against her will. Secondly. Without her consent.
In the section, it read ‘women’ & not wife so if a husband forcefully rapes his wife without or against her consent if she is above 18 yrs. of age then it will not be considered rape
They also relate to minor & unnatural offenses also but marital rape is an exception there.
(2) Section 375 of the IPC decriminalizes marital rape and holds that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, who is not under 18, without her consent is not rape.
REASONS FOR MARITAL RAPE
Forceful marriage – under family pressure if the women got married
Contraception – due to social & family issues of having a child the husband forcefully rapes his wife.
MARITAL RAPE GAVE A STATUS UNDER THE ABORTION LAW
Judgment was given by Delhi H.C right to abortion of rape victims under marriage. They said that a husband’s act of sexual assault or rape committed on his wife would be considered rape under the MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) of 1971 acts and rules. A woman can get an abortion beyond 20 weeks if she becomes pregnant as a result of forced intercourse with her spouse. There are many reasons for forced intercourse by a man to his wife one of such is to give birth to a child due to family pressure.
RECOGNIZATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Under at least one provision of the sexual offense statutes, marital rape became a criminal offense in each of the 50 states. In 30 states, spouses are still often excluded from rape prosecution, including India also.
WHY MARITAL RAPE IS CONSIDERED A LESSER SERIOUS OFFENSE OF CRIME AS COMPARED TO OTHER FORMS OF RAPE?
The research was done among college students & out of that only 50% of male students were on the view that it is unpredictable & impossible for a husband to rape his own wife.
Victims of marital rape can seek legal recourse under civil proceedings of the Domestic Violence Act 2005 which defines any form of sexual abuse or act in a live-in or marriage relationship.
JUDGEMENTS IN COURT
The Supreme Court recognized the right to privacy as a basic right of all people in Justice K.S. Puttuswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India. There is no opposing judgment saying that a person’s right to privacy is violated by marital affiliation, and the aforementioned decisions do not make a distinction between the rights of married and single women. Thus, regardless of the fact that the victim was married to the perpetrator of the horrible crime, rape is a breach of the basic right guaranteed by Article 21.
The right to bodily privacy was addressed by the Supreme Court in the State of Maharashtra v. Madhukar Narayan Mardikar a prostitute is permitted to decline sexual activity, according to established law. All stranger rapes are considered crimes, and all women—aside from wives—are granted the right to privacy over their bodies, which includes the option to deny permission and sexual activity. The challenge is that matrimony has come to be revered as sacred. Instead of having the woman worship her husband for all of his needs, especially sexual ones, there should be reciprocal respect and trust. Being the victim of rape by a friend or family member is much more distressing.
Most of the women raped by their husbands may hesitate to complain because of family reputation & their trust or because they are unaware that rape in marriage is illegal. women do not characterize their experiences of forced sex in marriage as rape is a convincing final argument against women under-reporting rape. Others view marital sex as a responsibility and regard forced sex as a “wifely duty,” not rape, while some people consider only stranger rape to be “real rape”.
Author’s Name: Trishika Kumari (XIM University)