Written By – Ishita Singh
Marriage between a man and a woman in India implies that both have agreed to sexual intercourse. The concept of Marital rape elucidates as an act of sexual intercourse without one spouse’s consent. It also considers as a form of Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse and a Heinous Crime.
Forced sexual intercourse between couple perceives as a Criminal Offence in almost every country. But India has not yet criminalized marital rape.
In absence of a law on Marital rape, there is no exact data on number of cases of marital law . According to a research, 1 in 3 men admit to raping their wives. A woman is raped by her husband every three second. This number has slightly increased during the lockdown.
The definition of Rape codified in Section 375 of The Indian Penal Code (IPC),1860,
It includes all forms of sexual assault involving non-consensual intercourse with a woman with the help of six descriptions. The exceptions is “Sexual Intercourse by a man with his own wife, IS NOT A RAPE”. This law amended in 2013 but no action was taken against framing a law on Marital Rape.
It also violates Article 14 and Article 21 which promises Right to Equality and Right to Life and Personal Liberty of the Indian Constitution.
Marital Rape also converts as a form of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence victims can take refuge under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. It defines sexual abuse as ‘Any conduct of sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or violates the dignity of the woman’. It considers marital rape not as a form of rape but as a form of sexual abuse.
Rape by Husband Is Not A Rape?
Most of the people believe if a law on marital rape amend women will misuse it. But all are assumptions only.
In the landmark case of Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan, The Supreme Court extended this right of privacy in working environments also. Similarly, we can translate that there is a right of privacy to get into a sexual relationship even in married couples.
We are living in 21st Century. The era of legal reforms and revolutions. it is of requisite importance to take steps against marital rape. That would be a possible step towards advancing the way of actual development.
Despite being a developing country, such an improvement is far from the real world. There are some differences between rape and marital rape. Though they are both heinous crimes which could scar the victim, Indian judiciary are not ready to take action against marital rape.