Marital Rape: Rape Under Veil

  • Any sexual intercourse between husband and wife without the wife's consent is called a marital rape.
  • When marital rape cases arise, people surrender the issue to the tradition and culture, which believes marriage gives license to rape.
  • The reasons behind marital rapes are economic dependency on her husband and in-laws, the pressure to play by traditional rules, and widespread gender inequality that reenforces a patriarchal society.

The 21st century, a modern era of humanity, still fails in understanding women’s right position in society and for a country’s development. And in this patriarchal society, women are still being objectified and are expected to follow men’s wishes even if it’s against her consent.

Here, I am talking about marital rape cases in India, where women’s consent is being suppressed, which is proved by Section 375, the provision of rape in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which states – “Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape.” Here, it clearly shows the neglected importance of women in a marriage, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the government itself is encouraging marital rape under the veil of society, culture and tradition.

So, what is marital rape?

Any sexual intercourse between husband and wife without the wife’s consent is called a marital rape. A type of rape where the husband uses his male power against the wife, and also feels privileged to do so.

India, where different cultures and traditions are beautifully linked to everyone’s sentiments and marriages are believed to be the purest relation between a man and a women, still fails in understanding that in relations like marriage, it is important to equally place the two pillars which are husband and wife. It is important to respect each other. Women in India are always being subjected to crimes like domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, trafficking and forced prostitution.

Somewhere we understood these issues are important and tried to control them, but when marital rape cases arise, people surrender the issue to the tradition and culture, which believes marriage gives license to rape.

A case recently reported in The Hindu online news of a woman “Asha” (name changed), explains the situation. Asha first lodged a domestic violence case against her husband in 2007. Nine years later, in August 2015, she landed in a public hospital, her private parts brutally injured, which was seen as “a matter between husband and wife” and no case was registered. Here, again because marital rape is not considered as crime, women are forced to live the life of a rape victim.

The reasons behind marital rapes are economic dependency on her husband and in-laws, the pressure to play by traditional rules, and widespread gender inequality that reenforces a patriarchal society.

Let’s not forget, women have right to their opinion, even if it’s about engaging in sexual intercourse. Being forced to have sex clearly ends up being rape. So, lets stop the marital rape. Let’s criminalize it.

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Neelkusum Kerketta

My name is Neelkusum Kerketta. I am from India. I am a student of Journalism and Mass Communication in Amity University. I am into creative writing, poetry, speaking.

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