Marital Rape- A ‘RUST’ of marriage
She was lying naked on the floor screeching harshly and loudly, busting all her lunges to please stop but only words echoing to her ears- “You are my wife now. Come baby!” She cried. She begged. He was biting whole her body till it started bleeding, satisfying his boastful sexual desire. Practicing all sorts of sexual violence. She resisted, fought with all her might. More she resisted more he enjoyed with more violence and simultaneously keep on affirming her as his wife. She wanted to shout but her sound jammed in her throat. She soon felt tired of fighting back, lost all her energy and senses. Body froze. She became too numb to react when he was touching her front, back, inside and every awkward place with an aim of not missing any corner. She could felt her body as a play-toy rolling up and down, twisted and twirled wildly by that beast.
She felt like dead by that day when her body’s been tossed and turned, brutally kissed by her spouse WITHOUT HER CONSENT. “
She’s a victim of Marital Rape
Sitting in a balcony while resting on a rocking chair, enjoying the morning cool breeze with a sip of hot tea, eyes peeking into newspaper and then nerves suddenly got electrified pathetically bad when headlines become familiar with RAPE incidents, almost everyday. Some are raped on streets, some at their workplaces, at parties or even at their homes by their father, friend, cousin, stranger or even her husband! W-what husband? Sad but true. What if we add ‘Marital’ before ‘Rape’? RAPE issue evergreen burns in the air while a solemn common issue of Marital Rape has been buried cold down under the deep layers. Let’s get accustomed with both terms and point out the difference between two.
Rape: A sex being forced physically by a stranger without any consent of a victim
Marital Rape: A sex being forced emotionally, psychologically or physically by a spouse without any consent of a victim
Though marital rape can’t be denied to fall under the same category of rape, still it is being confused with a term ‘rape’. Let’s get clear right here that ‘rape within marriage’ is not at all any kind of private concern, it is a CRIME!
MARRIAGE IS NOT A FREE LICENSE TO RAPE
In marital rape, culprit forces the spouse for sex by blackmailing, threatening or emotional or physical abusing. Moreover, victim also suffers physical violence during sex for sake of culprit’s sexual hunger of pain and lust. Aftermath, that victim lost her confidence and live rest of her life in an insoluble trauma. But, why only women are counted as victims? Victimization can never be gender-biased. Some proportion of men can’t be neglected who are being sexually violated and raped by their wives. There is help for women atleast via some or the laws but sadly men in India remain helpless. Sideways, situations are worst in rural areas due to lack of literacy and knowledge about illegality of forcing for sexual intercourse and stereotype i.e. to be a good wife when allow to have sex against her own will including violence-action (assault).
A victim says- “My body is not mine now, it is his. He used to play and penetrate every night during my sleep just like a non-living toy whose cries are unheard and unnoticed. Her heart cries every moment in shame”.
In India, in addition of being recognized a Marital rape as a problem, it is also a key solution of a problem itself. The concept is used to be demonstrated in Bollywood movies like a girl when raped by a stranger, family instead of approaching cops in fear of shame in society, they beg that rapist to marry that so called ‘non-respect girl’ by now. Is this a justifiable way of treating that bloody brute? Does this illogical resolution will wash-off that brute’s sin? Doesn’t it give us a hint that rape within marriage is licensed in India?
Safety for women has become a joke in India. Not even India, it is uniform for every country in globe. Forget about outside, women are not even safe at their own homes now.
UN report says-“73% of countries not consider marital rape as a crime”
Marital Rape Statistics:
The very issue is not limited to our country, it is globally experienced. Only difference is that some countries treat it as a serious offence while for some; it is a sacred marriage custom.
- Marital rape is not a crime: India, China, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc
- Marital rape is not a crime: Australia, Canada, Germany, France, US etc
Columns of The Hindu mentioned a Survey taken by National Family Health Survey (NFHS) on Sexual violence within marriage in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
Note the proportion of men admitting marital rape upon their wives and less proportion of women admitting their experience(refused to be a victim). Ground research holds than the actual cases being filed. A renowned social scientist Mr. Aashish Gupta found from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) that 6.6% women admit Marital rape by their husbands. It can be guessed due to lack of knowing that the very act is a sort of crime.
73% out of reported rapes to NHFS were committed by spouses of the victim
- To show dominance and control
- To express anger
- Stereotypes about ‘women and sex’ that their ‘yes’ is ‘no’ and vice-versa due to which protests remain neglected.
- Since ancient times, women are made to believe that those who don’t enjoy sex against their own will are considered as bad wives.
Effects of ‘Marital Rape’ remain prolong because of the very fact that victims are betrayed by their trusted fellow and marriage no longer remains sacred.
- Physical effects: Severe harm to the vaginal and anal areas, bruising, black eyes, fatigue, vomiting, bloody noses, and knife wounds occur during the sexual violence.
- Gynecological effects: Vaginal stretching, pelvic pain, urinary tract infections, miscarriages, and the potential contraction of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
- Psychological effects: Victims experience multiple assaults. They thought of experiencing constant sexual attacks by someone whom they once trusted, cared and loved.
Why Marital Rape still legal in India?
Due to lack of knowledge, awareness and such custom to treat husband as “pati-parmeshwar” though he pursues wrong deeds, women fail to recognize the act as a crime. Married women prefer to tag themselves as a “Good-wife” who will without spitting an “aah!” or “resist” her husband even though he aims for beastly desires. Ironically if victims complain their parents then instead of supporting, they blame her for not acting like a good wife. Situation is most commonly found in rural areas due to illiteracy and typical stereotype about women as merely a bounded ‘property of husbands’ and ‘wifely-duty’ after marriage.
Ms Kanimozhi cited a UN estimate that 75 per cent of the married women in India are subjected to marital rape
- Turkey criminalized marital rape in 2005
- Mauritius and Thailand did so in 2007.
- US began criminalizing marital rape in 1970s and most European countries in the 1990s.
- Section 375 of Indian Panel Cod (IPC) states the definition of marital rape- “Rape is considered only incase if sexual intercourse by man with his own wife is under 15 years of age”
Is it not violating another India law of Prohibition of Child marriage Act 2006, itself? Because girl being married less than 18 years of age is categorized as a Child Marriage and Section 375 states remedy for under age married girls. Let me state with a bold underline that IPC DO NOT CONSIDER MARRITAL RAPE AS A CRIME. Moreover, it is gender bias as no mentioning about man as a victim.
- Domestic Violence Act introduced in 2005 by UPA-1 govt. to protect women from violence including sexual abuses by their husbands. It too only provides remedy for the sexual assaults but
considermarital rape as a crime.
- Article 21 provides Right to live with dignity which clearly not adaptable for marital crime in India. Also violates Section 375.
There is a word called “consent” and a limit to a dominance in this sacred thread in the form of sexual violence. Marriage in India is often misinterpreted like the points below–
- Marriage is not where wife/husband says “How may I be your assistance?” exactly like a submissive, instead , let’s say- “How may we become an assistance for each other?”.
- Marriage is not a self-explained contract signed for sex. Though such an image is framed by our social customs, instead, marriage is much about understanding, trust, loyalty and respect for each other.
Drawback after its legalization is that it is hard to prove rape among married women and sometimes can also be misused by the educated women ruining their husbands’ lives. But that doesn’t mean to neglect the major victimized portion of society. Such an issue which should be put in brakes is rising due to loosening of sex laws. Thus, there is utter need of a proper legal framework for the same.
- Let’s support in criminalizing Marital Rape by signing the following petition-
- More literacy and knowledge in rural areas about their rights and realization towards this very crime.
- Remove such typical stereotypes like a “good wife who will be with her husband in wrong deeds also”.
We need to understand this very fact that marriage is all about mutual understanding trust and respect for each other. It is an innocent expression for mutual love, caring, faith, equality and consent. Let’s not rot its very sacred meaning. Yes, Marital Rape- A ‘RUST’ of marriage. Issue is though in air but still we are blindfolded by the rubbish custom stereotypes.
Dear readers, just keep the things in mind,
*If not we, then who?
*If not act now, then when?
*Be a change maker and inspiration for others.