Constructing the Crime of Rape and the Boundaries of Consent: The Law, Reform and Developing Critical Analysis

  • Rishu Verma
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  • Rishu Verma

    Student at Amity Law School, Noida, India

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Crimes against women, particularly those violating their bodily autonomy and sense of safety, have long plagued societies worldwide. While the specific forms and impacts of these crimes have shifted over time, their devastating consequences remain. This paper delves into the complex phenomenon of rape in India, focusing on its evolution, societal roots, and legal landscape. The paper journeys through the "lifecycle" of rape, starting with its historical context and cultural influences. It examines how social change can alter cultural and social institutions, potentially impacting the prevalence and perception of rape. This analysis highlights the need to dismantle harmful myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual violence. Next, the paper dives into the legal framework surrounding consent in India. It analyses relevant provisions in the Indian Penal Code, Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure, exploring the current understanding and challenges associated with defining and establishing consent. Examining the societal factors that contribute to a "rape culture" is crucial. To understand the practical application of legal frameworks, the paper delves into case studies. Significant court decisions related to consent and rape are discussed, demonstrating how judicial interpretations shape legal standards and influence the course of justice. Finally, the paper emphasises the crucial need for critical analysis and ongoing reforms. Addressing the complexities of rape requires constant re-evaluation of legal frameworks, social attitudes, and cultural norms. Only through sustained efforts can we create a society where women are truly safe and respected.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 2, Page 2009 - 2030


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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