Marital Rape – A True Account Of Its Reality And Suffering

Let us begin with a real-life story of marital rape we received 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 was obsessed with sex. Too much sex. Nothing ever satiated his hunger. 

One exceptionally stressful day led to his bad temper. So he met 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, had to give in. She knew he was physically stronger than her and she stood no chance against his power. This was the first time he had resorted to rape. 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. But eventually, she became numb to the physical pain. The mental agony and its sharp pain prick her all day and the entire night. 

Yes, the guy in the story is her husband. And yes, this is exactly what you’re thinking – marital rape.

The Grim Reality of Marital Rape

Did this story make you sad? Angry? Disgusted? Well, this is the life of thousands of women in our country. While some rape cases are featured and sensationalized by our media, a lot of others are hushed and often ignored. 

The cases of marital rape that take place behind the closed doors of a house remain just that – closed. Women are encouraged not to talk about it because it will put their husbands in a bad light. 

Most people believe that marital rape is not a valid concept because apparently once you’re married you’re given consent for a lifetime. 

Related Reading: She Was A Victim Of Marital Rape And Yet Blamed For The Divorce

It’s time we address the elephant in the room

Rape can create furor but marital rape is something we don’t even want to discuss. Article 375 clearly states what accounts for rape – if a woman is intoxicated, duped, is below the age of 18, or in any circumstance does not give consent, that sexual intercourse is known as rape. 

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! Marital rape is just as common as the rape cases that happen with women outside marriage. 

In fact, reports by IPleaders suggest that 14% of married women report that they were raped by their spouse and 10% of all sexual assault cases reported by women involve a husband or ex-husband as the perpetrator. Unfortunately, marital rape is still not criminalized in India.

Stop marital rape
A plea to put a stop to marital rape

The judgement we’ve all been waiting for

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 benefited from the judgment. 

The court’s observation came while hearing pleas seeking to make marital rape an offense, and others opposing them. But how many women have really benefited from this judgment? How many cases go undocumented every day? Can we really hope for a concrete crackdown on marital rape unless it is brought under the purview of Article 375?

The judgement we’ve all been waiting for
How many women have really benefited from this judgment?

In all, 52 countries have criminalized marital rape, these include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, France, Kenya, New Zealand and Russia. When will India join their ranks remains to be seen.

Related Reading: This Is How Women Can Enforce Their Concept of Consent In Relationships

It doesn’t always have to be physical

In the aforementioned judgment, the bench also observed, “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.”

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 counseling regarding marital rape. Not all of them have complained about physical force by their husbands. 

The mental trauma that women face can be as painful as physical abuse. It is a shame that women have to keep their mouths shut about it and learn to take this violation of their bodies in their stride. 

abuse in relationships

A long road ahead

There have been counseling queries where victims confessed how their husbands took out their anger on children and 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.

We still have a long way to go, but we are on the right path. There has been an outcry from women all across the world, and several NGOs and other organizations have been set up to voice the struggles of such women. 

Marital rape is still not a criminal offense in India yet but the fact that the curtains of the power corridors are swaying with this new wind of change gives hope that we are on the right path. 

FAQ’s

1. Is marital rape a form of abuse?

Yes. If you don’t give consent, despite being married, the sexual intercourse that takes place with your spouse is rape. It need not involve violence.

2. Is marital rape punishable?

52 countries have criminalized marital rape including Australia, Brazil, Canada and Japan.

Is Marriage An Excuse For Rape?

Here’s How To Teach Your Sons Not To Rape

Why Men Can’t Take No For An Answer

Tags:

Readers Comments On “Marital Rape – A True Account Of Its Reality And Suffering”

  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

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.