Need For Recognition of Martial Rape as Crime in India

  • Anupriya Singh
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  • Anupriya Singh

    Student at KIIT School of Law, India

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Rape is an offence against women, violation her dignity and self-respect and when it occurs within the four walls of matrimonial home, it reduces the women to the status of an object used merely for sexual pleasure. There is an immediate need for the distinct law on marital/ spousal rape in India, should be at per with the accepted international norms on these issues. Rape within marriage is a concept that agonizes the wife to the very bottom. The dread of having to face it and still have to suffer silently through it is an unbearable thought that affects the mental condition of the women. This self enforced silence has a very damaging effect on the emotional, psychological and mental stability of women. However, this silence is not exactly self enforced. The lack of law and abundant social stigma against the act of marital rape is one of the primary reasons that the evil of marital is still hidden behind the hollowed marriage. The women has being given the right to fight for the protection when the violators are outside entities, but the perpetrator of her body integrity is her own husband, who she married with all the pomp and show, such protection is withdraw by the legislation. Both pillars of humanity i.e men and women have equal importance and role in creation and development of the humanity but the women are bound to face several humiliation in the society. Despite various safe guard and protection, available at the global as well as at national level, before birth till last breath, women are discriminated. The offence against women are endless as sexual harassment, dowry death, domestic violence, female genital mutilation and so on. Among other problems ‘marital rape’ is very crucial as it is not recognised, till date, in our Indian legal system as a crime, which need immediate attention of the legislation. Even after 70 years of Independence, the women in our country are still not truly free and independent and continue to live under the realm of darkness and fear. It is indeed a harsh reality of India. In the matter of concern, that while on the hand the country is celebrating some glorious decision in the legal arena from the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India like Adhaar Card case and Tripal Talaq creating new milestone for the Judiciary, on the other hand, to the general disappointment, the central government has given its view against criminalizing marital rape, saying doing so would destabilized the institution of marriage. When marital rape bill was introduced in India to criminalized, it was repudiate by the Parliament, according to some of the Parliamentarians, marriage is a sacred institution and touching it will lead to breakage of marriage. They are view that India should be proud of its culture because “nation has low divorce rate”. statement has been issued against criminalized marital rape with acknowledging the fact that most marriages in India survive because women silently endure violence and abuse within such relationships. The culture of silence, tolerance, adjustment, compromise among women is disseminate to save and respect the honour and value of the Indian family overlooking the facts that incest, violence, suicide, murder is the price women pay. On the other hand, there is men’s group which is lobbying fiercely to highlight the fact that law against domestic violence has been misused by women and therefore should be diluted. They further spread that the enactment of penal law against marital rape will be misused by the women. According to such argument a women, who is no docile, subservient or complaint and complaint about the continues abuse within the conjugal relationship is an anti family warrior breaking the sacred bonds while converting bedroom to a war-field. They ignore the fact that most cases of emotional violence, sexual abuse, physical assault, mental trauma, all takes place within this “sanctified” territory because women are powerless and vulnerable and have been socialized to be tractable, obedient and subservient. It concludes that this needs to be examined in the larger perspective.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 3, Page 4402 - 4410


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