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Marital Rape: Marriage does not mean sexual consent forever

In the ongoing case regarding criminalisation of marital rape, the Delhi High Court pointed out that both husband and wife have the right to refuse sexual relations. Marriage does not indicate that spouses have all-time consent to have physical relations with the other.
man forcing woman

Let us begin with a real-life story which we got from one of our readers recently.

There was a man, a 45-year-old professional who worked in a reputed IT firm. He was smart, suave and successful, but he had a problem too. He liked sex. Too much sex. Nothing ever satiated his hunger. One exceptionally stressful day led to his bad temper. So he saw her, and without thinking twice, pounced on her, and kicked her. When she resisted, he covered her mouth with his rough hands and pressed himself hard on her. She tried to resist but eventually she had to give in. He used her like an object, he abused her, had sex with her which was unpleasant in every way and once he was satisfied, he just left her lying there. After so many such nights, she knew that her ordeal lasted around 15 minutes. Mind you, when she says 15 minutes, she only means the actual physical pain. The mental agony and its sharp pain, pricks her the entire night and the day later.

woman don't like making sex
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We forgot to tell you the guy in the story is her husband.

Did this story made you sad? Angry? Disgusted? Well, this is the life of thousands of women in our country. While some rapes are featured and sensationalised by our media, a lot others are hushed and often ignored. The marital rapes that take place behind the closed doors of a house remain just that – closed. Rape can create some furore but marital rape is something we don’t even want to discuss. We might discuss the elephant in the room but this topic is much more invisible than the elephant. We don’t see it, we don’t know about it, and hey, it does not exist!

lady showing stop signal by hand
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Read more: She was a victim of marital rape and yet blamed for the divorce
Read more: My husband was almost twice my age and raped me every night

So recently when a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar of Delhi High Court said that in a relationship like marriage, both man and woman have a right to say ‘no’ to physical relations, a lot of women must have smiled.

The court’s observation came while hearing pleas seeking to make marital rape an offence and others opposing them.

“Marriage does not mean that the woman is ready all the time, willing and consenting (for sexual relations). The man will have to prove that she was a consenting party,” the bench observed.
Although there are a lot of layers in this case, the court noticed that physical force alone does not constitute rape and it is not necessary to look for injuries in a rape.

No truer words were ever said! A lot of our readers have often shared their woes and sought counselling regarding marital rape. Not all of them have complained about physical force by their husbands. There have been counselling queries where victims confessed how their husbands took out their anger on children and her parents when the wives did not comply. There also have been instances when the husband has threatened the wife that he would not give her money for kids’ expenses, and the court has mentioned such cases too.

Marital rape is still not a criminal offence but the fact that the curtains of the power corridors are swaying with this new wind of change, is in itself quite a relief.

The grim truth of marital rape in India

Marital rape. A reality in this marriage.

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1 Comment

  1. Actually yes!! Marital rapes are so many times ignored in the country but the pain caused by such things is not lessened by the fact that it is marital.. IT SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED

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