Reason why marital rape is not a crime in India
Blog By Chithra Prabhakaran | Aug 16 2018

How developed is the Indian society if it advocates marital rape. For a majority of the population here, it is something that does not exist. How a husband can rape his own wife, they ask.

Indian society believes that the sanctity of marriage is supposedly much more important than the trauma faced by the marital rape victims. The physical and mental torture that some women have to undergo at the hands of their own husbands is hushed up and probably it remains a well guarded secret their entire life.

Another problem in this context would be the rampant child marriages in India; where the children, mainly minors, are at the receiving end of sexual abuse. This only adds to the entire legal inefficiency caused by failure to criminalise marital rape.

Apparently there is no law to protect women against marital rape in India. The legal system in India is completely blinded by the fact that the religious beliefs in India and the poverty and high illiteracy rates in India makes it difficult to quantify marital rape as an offence.

Image credits cdh-mitte.d

The Indian Penal Code explicitly states that the sexual acts by a man with his own wife is not rape. And therefore the punishment for rape cannot be given. The maximum charges that can be levied are sexual harassment and spousal cruelty which carries lesser punishments, the punishment of which goes up to three years in jail or a fine.

India is one of the 36 countries where marital rape is still not a criminal offence. According to UN Women, atleast 52 countries have criminalised marital rape but while these laws don’t prevent all assault, they contribute to an overall culture in which sexual violence is less accepted.

The patriarchal mindset of considering women as the property of men after marriage needs to change. The attitude of the society and the judiciary towards marital rape has to change for the betterment of the lives of the women in the country.

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Blog By Chithra Prabhakaran

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