Marital Rape in India: A Disguised Violation of Human Rights

  • Dr. Vandita Sharma and Jaspreet Singh
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  • Dr. Vandita Sharma

    Assistant Professor at The Law School, University of Jammu, India

  • Jaspreet Singh

    Student at The Law School, University of Jammu, India

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Women in India are subjected to criminal atrocities such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, trafficking, rape and forced prostitution. This is just a small catalogue of endless crimes against women. The most heinous of all sexual offences, which not only subjects women to a thoroughly detestable physical conquest from which there can be no retaliation, is rape. Among all instances of rape, the most discriminatory and yet largely unreported form of sexual violence is marital rape. Marital rape can be more traumatic and abusive than stranger rape because wife is abused by someone who is generally thought of a careful and protective person as a source of trust and care. It produces a feeling of treachery and disenchantment in the woman. The traditional belief that marriage provides a husband with the ‘license to have sex’ thereby exempting him for any prosecution for having sex against the will of his wife still persists in the 21st century. Marital rape is, in particular complicated because of the complex, personal nature of marital relationships which makes it hard for the victim to even see herself as a victim. Treatment of marital rape as a civil or moral wrong rather than crime reflects the patriarchal notion that still treats a woman as husband’s property. The present paper confines itself to examine the glazing inequities of justice system with regards to marital rape in India. Paradigmatic shifts in law and justice in 21st century call for criminalization of marital rape which is the severest form of human rights violation.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 4236 - 4246


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