Marital Rape: A Privileged Crime

V. Krishna Priya Lahari AND D. Ram Sharan
 Pendekanti Law College, Hyderabad, India

Volume III, Issue II, 2020

Aim: To bring more awareness about marital rape in the society in order to make women more vocal about it, exposing the extent of damage that a marital rape can do on a woman’s physical and mental health at last why new laws should be  made regarding marital rape.

All over the history there is prevalent ideology that man own women, women can’t revoke man’s will and there is an “implied consent” once they are married. it’s a shame that women were treated as objects with no individuality.

 Rape is just not an intercourse without consent, its stealing and rupturing a women’s dignity which might even leave an unhealable scar on her soul. rape is as gruesome as murder or even more, the amount of trauma the women has to go through after the rape is immeasurable, no man can put it in words. When such trauma, pain and agony is caused by a man she shares her life with is unspeakable evil. A rape is a rape no matter it is committed by whom. The worst part of the marital rape is the women are going to be raped again and again, most of the men use coercion, use force, for torment them for having sex, the thing called consent doesn’t exist to them, marital rape is not only limited to the vaginal rape, oral and anal are also a part of it.

In the world scenario, New Zealand, Albania, Tunisia, china, Taiwan, united kingdom,Denmark, Hong Kong, united states, Algeria, Belgium, Ireland, Mauritania, Norway,Indonesia, turkey, Thailand, Mauritius, Africa, Scotland, Australia, France, south Africa, Italy, Philippines, Sweden, japan, Germany, Canada have criminalized marital rape and not only made special provisions for marital rape but also distinguished marital rape from rape. More than 100 countries recognized marital rape as an offence violating human rights. But sadly, India is not one of these countries.  There are many legislations for protection of women, and safeguarding women’s rights but Indian judiciary and government is overlooking the most deep-rooted and complex issue of marital rape which is probably the most common crime committed and criminals are roaming free hence the “privileged crime”.

Marital rape is still a taboo in Indian society, where it is linked with culture, prestige of family, society. Many people even refuse to speak about it. Marital rape is one most gruesome and traumatic experiences once can go through. Everyday many women go through this and are not able to do anything about it though it is proving detrimental to their mental and physical health.

We as citizens of India have to bring awareness about marital rape and make women comfortable to speak openly it. We should try to educate women who are especially not aware of their rights. We as citizens should be vocal about what kind of true evil marital rape is and educate men that it’s not okay to force himself on his wife. It’s not just about women non criminalization of marital rape is promoting the toxic ideology that men are owners of women’s bodies, women’s consent doesn’t have any value, men are superior to women, they can be rapists to their wives and walk free. These are the ideologies we are going to pass on to our younger generations we don’t act on the issue of marital rape. Judiciary should make new laws and send a message that marital rape is not okay, it is as gruesome as rape and it will be punished in the same manner that rape is punished and a women’s consent is the priority, nothing should be detrimental either to her physical or mental health.


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