THE DARKNESS IN MY OWN SEX (PART 2)- It’s High Time To Criminalize MARITAL RAPE

” Sometimes I think what kind of a woman am I? A wife? A whore?.. My husband used to tie my hands to the bedpost, and hit me with a leather belt, asking me to touch his organ. With my tongue. If I stopped, the times I gagged… he’d kick me hard. Saying he was close. His eyes fearful. I was eight months pregnant, when he insisted on doing it from the rear. Videotaping the same. I tried to protest, but he beat me severely. It’s like hearing me howl gave him a great deal of pleasure. I miscarried. Almost bleeding to death. I have been married for eight years. It was an arranged marriage. I was raped on my wedding night. It has never stopped. How can I explain that in the darkness of a woman’s bedroom, she is the most vulnerable. I am always alone. I wanted to die, after my second miscarriage. We have a daughter. What do I tell her? Who is he? … “

Under the Indian Penal Code, marital rape is not covered by the ordinary rape laws and is a form of non-criminal domestic violence. According to IPC Section 375 which says that sexual intercourse or sexual acts by man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is NOT rape; in fact exempts spouses from prosecution except in cases of legal separation. Some cases, however, are in fact covered by the ordinary laws relating to assault and unnatural sex/ sodomy as in the present case, for use of violence to claim sex is clearly not acceptable.

In 2016, A judgement came where it was officially confirmed that Rape laws don’t pertain to Married Couples — Once you’re legally wed, forced sex is no longer a crime.

It was a case in which a woman had alleged she had been drugged, then forced to marry, and then raped — in other words, she hadn’t consented to the marriage or the sex. The Judge said there was no evidence that the accuser had been drugged, but he also said that if the woman’s husband (identified only as Vikash) had forced himself on her, that wouldn’t qualify as rape under Indian law. The official verdict said – “The prosecutrix (the wife) and the accused (Vikash) being legally wedded husband and wife, and the prosecutrix being major, the sexual intercourse between the two, even if forcible, is not rape and no culpability can be fastened upon the accused.

According to a recent report by the United Nations Children’s Fund India, India ranks the highest in the list of countries where adolescent girls are subjected to sexual violence by an intimate partner. The study ironically titled “Hidden in Plain Sight“, says 77 per cent of girls between 15 to 19 years in India have suffered sexual violence at least once in the form of forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts by their husband or partner.

What’s further shocking is that 41 per cent reported physical violence by their mothers/stepmothers while 18 per cent were abused by fathers or stepfathers. Brother and sisters were the perpetrators in 25 per cent cases. Most adolescent girls who are victims of sexual violence also report physical abuse and, in India, that number stands between ten to 20 per cent. The report also says that among married girls who experienced physical violence since age 15, a current or a former partner was cited most often in all of the countries. The proportion is more than 70 per cent in India. Women who were not married were most likely to report physical violence at the hands of family members, friends/acquaintances and teachers.

And now the Union Government submitted a report to the Delhi High Court mentioning that marital rape may ‘destabilise’ the institution of marriage..

Really??

What if rape is not the only kind of sexual violence there is? What if every woman at some point in her life is violated? What if the man attacking her is the one she choses? Or is scared to run away from? What if we tell her to suffer in silence? Saying she must attain Sitahood at all costs? That it is what her womanhood is worth?

The ‘exception in the rape law for marital rape’ has its origin in the historical patriarchal society where a woman was considered as her husband’s property. Various countries around the world have criminalised marital rape including our neighbours like Nepal,
Bhutan, Sri Lanka, etc.

It is important to note that sexual violence within or outside marriage is a gross violation of one’s dignity and it should not ordinarily need a judicial stamp.

The issue is a sensitive one and would need a detailed scrutiny and analysis. The very first step would be to define what constitutes as ‘Marital Rape’, and then further steps may be taken.

Due to a grossly high number of assaults on women of sexual nature, it becomes crucial for the country to take the matter for consideration on an urgent basis.

 

(The story featured in the article is culled from the interview the author @sreemoyeekundu has conducted with the many nameless women of the country during her research.)

 

12 thoughts on “THE DARKNESS IN MY OWN SEX (PART 2)- It’s High Time To Criminalize MARITAL RAPE

  1. Very emotional and touchy article.
    especially this line
    “you’re legally wed, forced sex is no longer a crime.”
    however the Indian Judiciary should understand that a woman is human before and even after marriage.

    1. Not only the judiciary but also the people..

  2. Ahh, this is so sad (and injust, and horrible!) :'( But thank you for putting it out there, I hope it’s okay if I reblog.

    1. Of course. I appreciate if you reblog it, sharing is caring. thank you.

  3. This is harsh reality. And it’s cruel. Those people are not human beings. Wish it could be changed

    1. Ya. A strong public, political and judicial will is required to end this torture..

      1. Indeed. I wish that happen soon

  4. very touchy..we should always remember tht hurting any woman is just like abusing our own sister& mother.and their sacrifice they hav done for…its all due to the influence of greed and cruelty on very humans.. the peoples are loosing their humanity.. this is a crime &this must be punished by death.

    1. i appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  5. Great article 💯

  6. Our society and low is very poor

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