18 Apr Shhh, don’t say anything. It’s just Marital rape
“I don’t think that marital rape should be regarded as an offence in India, because it will create absolute anarchy in families and our country is sustaining itself because of the family platform which upholds family values,” Former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said this at a conference on ‘Transformative Constitutionalism in India’ on Monday. Justice Misra’s comment brought attention to a topic which is not regarded as important or valuable in India, Marital Rape.
The basic definition of Marital rape is rape committed by a person to whom the victim is married and maybe that’s why most people specifically men don’t consider Marital rape as an offence.
From the inception of the marriage, sex has been an important element of marriage as it serves both purpose of family outbid and pleasure but mostly it is about pleasure of men. For hundreds of years this sin/offence has existed and nobody talked about it. Even today not many especially women know what martial rape is and many of them are victims of it because they don’t get education on this topic.
Some men also don’t know about this offence either and they might stop committing it if they get information on this topic but a great partition of men know about marital rape but don’t stop committing it as they feel forceful sex is not rape because you are married to that person. Legal scholars have classified Marital rape in three categories that exist in the society.
1-Battering rape: Battering rape is the most common type and majority of marital rape cases fall under this category. Women experience both physical and sexual abuse in their relationship in many different ways in Battering rape. Some women are physically assaulted during sexual intercourse where husband compel his wife to have sex without her consent or against her will.
2 Force-only rape: In ‘Force-only rape’, physical assault is not part of the relationship. Husband use only amount of force needed to compel his wife to have sex. Usually this happens when wife refuses to have sex.
3 Obsessive Rape: Obsessive Rape is the most ‘sadistic’ kind of marital rape. In this type, women are tortured, physically abused and ‘perverse’ sexual acts are carried out against them.
The sad part is that the institution solely responsible for giving justice to people i.e. Judiciary doesn’t consider it as an offence and former CJI Dipak Misra’s statement clearly reflects it. The justification for his statement was that according to section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, forced sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, who is 18 years old or above, is not considered as rape. The Central Governance in August 2017 argued against criminalising marital rape.
The Central told Delhi High Court that if Marital rape is criminalised, it would destabilise the institution of marriage and will become an easy tool to harass husbands. Central also made a claim that there would be no ‘lasting evidence” in the case of sexual acts between a man and his wife.
But the question arises, do we really need a law on Marital rape and only it’s then we will acknowledge it as a crime and stop committing it? How can our conscious permit us to do such awful doing? Well, if every man out there decides that he will take consent of his wife, surely his sister or daughter will not be a victim of marital rape.