Marital rape: Why marital rape is being discussed in India | Marital rape: Why there is a debate on marital rape in India

Marital rape: Why marital rape is being discussed in India | Marital rape: Why there is a debate on marital rape in India

India

-BBC Telugu

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Updated: Saturday, January 22, 2022, 17:36 [IST]

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Marital rape

22-year-old Ritu (name changed) from Uttar Pradesh was married to an adult. Before marriage, Ritu did not know about her fianc భర్త and their family.

After marriage, she learned about her husband and the work he did. Physical intercourse with him made her uncomfortable.

Despite Ritu’s refusal, her husband began forcing her to have sex with him. She was physically abused. Many times he would give her narcotics and fulfill her desire while she was unconscious.

Ritu told her mother that her husband was forcing her and that she was in a lot of pain … It was not coercion, she said it was natural between husband and wife. He said he would do so because you refused.

All this happened in 2020 when the first wave of corona started in India.

Ritu was counseled by Dr. Daly Singh. “Ritu did not get any help from her family members in this regard. This is your home mess, Ritu advised to adjust yourself. Her husband, Ritu, was locked in Chavabadi’s room, “she said.

” Ritu came to know about our company through YouTube while locked in the room. She contacted us. “

The NGO ‘Shakti Shalini’ works for women victims of sexual harassment and violence. It was founded by Bharti Singh.

Daly Singh oversees the operations of the company in the Eastern Region of Kolkata. “Ritu did not know that forcing her to have sex after marriage was called ‘marital rape’ or ‘marital rape’. But she knows that a forced relationship is definitely wrong, “said Dolly.

With the help of this organization Ritu is now fighting for justice. She is currently working in a call center. She is away from her family and firefighters.

Responsibility for married life

According to Dolly, Ritu is very brave. But, there are many women who feel this kind of coercive bondage is their destiny, believing that all this is normal in married life and that it is their responsibility to maintain it for the rest of their lives.

Not all of them can come forward to state their problems. In most cases firefighters do not consider a similar situation facing their cousins ​​to be a problem. Think it’s normal. This is also one of the reasons why women face this situation and do not come out.

Delhi Petitions in the High Court

The Delhi High Court recently heard petitions filed alleging marital rape. The petitions challenged the second exemption under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The High Court questioned the Center on this. In response, the Center has recently submitted an affidavit. The affidavit states that the proposed amendment to the Act is under discussion and that the petitioners can give appropriate directions in this regard.

In addition, the Center asked the High Court not to criminalize marital rape until the completion of consultations with all parties on the matter.

Section 375 of the IPC defines rape. Considered it a crime. But there are objections to the second exception in this section. Petitions were filed on this.

The second exception to section 375 of the IPS does not criminalize marital rape. Allows the husband to engage in physical contact with the wife of 15 years or older. It is not a crime to have sexual intercourse without the consent of the wife. Don’t think of it as rape.

In 2017, however, the Supreme Court raised the age limit from 15 to 18 years.

The Justice Verma Committee report said that physical contact that occurs involuntarily should also be included in the definition of rape.

In fact after the infamous incident, the Justice Verma Committee demanded that there should also be a separate law for marital rape.

He argued that women’s consent and dissent should be taken into account when engaging in sex after marriage.

Marital rape

Marital rape is not a crime legally in India. That is why it is not defined in any section of the IPC. There is no mention of penalties for this.

The petitions, filed in the Delhi High Court, challenged the unconstitutionality of Section 2 of Section 375 of the IPC. It is alleged that this is a violation of Articles 14, 15, 19, 21 of the Constitution of India. This is described as irrational.

Dr. Chaitra Awasthi was one of the petitioners in the High Court on marital rape. She founded the RIT Foundation, a non-governmental organization working for women’s empowerment.

“I do not know what the court will decide. But it will definitely create awareness among the people, ”she said.

It is forbidden to talk about sex in married life

Bharti Sharma said that one of the victims of marital rape had also filed a petition against it. She said she receives 10 to 15 new cases each month, 50 percent of which are related to marital rape.

“Women come to us to solve problems in marriage. When counseling is given to them, we are told that they have also been subjected to marital rape. Cries profusely when told about that suffering. It is very difficult to comfort them, “she said.

Bharti said that in the current Indian society it is forbidden to talk openly about sex, especially about physical contact between spouses. ” Would any woman in such a situation speak openly about marital rape? That is not what actually happens. That’s why so many women do not care about it, ”she said.

” When parents are told about marital rape, they remain silent. Or they warn you that if you do not agree, they will look at outsiders. “

“In a society that believes that a home is a safe place for women, it’s a big deal for a woman to decide to move out of that home,” she said.

Different reactions in society on marital rape

When the topic of marital rape became a trend on Twitter, there were mixed views on it. Some spoke in favor of it, while others strongly condemned it.

If such cases are reported, how can women prove that they are victims? How can men prove that they are not wrong? Doubts were also expressed.

https://twitter.com/DeepikaBhardwaj/status/1484012125458960387

There was also talk that women who wanted to separate from their husbands might take it for granted. They are also wondering what would happen if similar cases arose in Live in Relationship.

https://twitter.com/TheAmitLakhani/status/1483704427320020992

“A section of the society is angry with us for filing a petition to criminalize marital rape. They may not have had similar experiences. But there are many women who have had bitter experiences because of this. That is why we have filed a petition in the court, ”said Dr Chitra Awasthi.

https://twitter.com/jyotitiwari05/status/1483734615374241795

When considering sex worker consent, there are also those who argue why one should not have that right to own wife.

https://twitter.com/HusbandInLawyer/status/1483868107014033408

” Permission is taken from a sex worker. That’s a business. But everyone knew what was going on inside when the doors closed. The wife’s responsibility to please her husband is instilled in the minds of girls from an early age. Who will ask for their consent and consent? ” Said Bharti.

Marital rape

Court decisions

Contradictions also appear in court decisions on marital rape. Chhattisgarh High Court Judge NK Chandravanshi has acquitted a man in a rape case against his wife.

The court ruled that the husband’s involvement in a physical relationship could not be considered rape even if he pressured the wife and she did not like it.

The Kerala High Court has given a different verdict in exactly such a case. The wife said that even if she felt she had a right to the body, engaging in sexual activity against her will should be treated as marital rape.

Supreme Court lawyer Radhika Thapar said it was a very sensitive issue. “Marriage will be affected if the second exception to section 375 of the IPC is removed. Such victims will become more if not eliminated. The big challenge before the Supreme Court is to take a proper decision on this, ”she said.

” Marriage is a bond. In this the two are responsible for each other. In this bond the woman considers the man as her right. Equality does not exist in such situations. So governments need to come up with a solution in the middle of the road to balance this, ”she said.

In many countries around the world, marital rape is considered a crime. The home is also one of the most dangerous places for women, according to the United Nations agency UN Women. Only four out of ten countries consider marital rape a crime, according to a 2019 report by UN Women.

According to the report, more than 50 countries, including the United States, Nepal, the United Kingdom and South Africa, consider it a crime, and many countries in Asia are working to amend the law.

Also read:

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English summary

Marital rape: Why there is a debate on marital rape in India

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