Sunday, 8 April 2007

maritial rape

maritial rape

What is marital rape?

Recently, the Rajasthan high court granted divorce to a woman on the ground that her husband has not consumated the marriage। What if the wife refuses sex? Can the husband demand it, or will the wife then shout marital rape? in this case, we have been married for over 12 years and have two children? Wife allows sex only when she wants .It can become a grounds as cruelty agaisnt the wife to obtain divorce by the husband. Not allowing the husband to have physical relation will defeat the purpose of marriage but in your case its not permanent refusal. Permanent refusal of physical relation amounts to cruelty.

As desired the concept of Marital rape is as follws:When one mentions the word rape, the tendency is to think of someone who is a stranger, an evil, malicious person. No one ever thinks of rape in the context of marriage. Women themselves find it difficult to believe that a husband can rape his wife. After all, how can a man be accused of rape if he is only availing of his conjugal rights?
Despite the unwillingness to recognize marital rape as a crime, the fact remains that marital rape is prevalent throughout society। Women’s bodies are outraged, regardless of their educational qualifications, class or status. Women themselves don’t make a noise about it or talk about their experiences. This is because cultures worldwide discourage their women from openly discussing sexual matters, let alone within marriage. Most women don’t even think of rape by their husbands as marital rape.

Various subliminal messages across the media and through society encourage young boys to believe in the sexual availability of women। Men begin to believe that decision-making is their sole prerogative that their wives do not have any rights in most matters that their wives are subject to them in every respect. Even educated persons, who would otherwise treat women with the utmost respect, would think nothing of having sex with their wives, against their wives’ wishes.

Social beliefs are only reinforced by the lacunae in the law। As of now, Indian law contains no provisions for helping abused wives and penalizing guilty husbands. Women have no legal recourse. What is worse, women are not even aware that they don’t have to meekly give in to their husband’s demands.

According to section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, "sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, not being under 15 years of age, is not rape।" On the other hand, the Criminal Procedure Code states that `it is rape if the girl is not the wife of the man involved and is below 16!’ Which means that if the girl is not the wife of the man involved and is below 16, it is rape even if she consents. Whereas if she is a wife and below 15 years of age, it is not rape even if she does not consent.

A woman who has been raped by her husband cannot count on the legal system coming to her aid. Not only are there no laws to protect her interests, the large number of loopholes make it difficult for her to seek protection under the law. These include:Though protection of the dignity of women is a fundamental duty under the Constitution, domestic violence and rape do not come under the definition of dignity।

A husband cannot be prosecuted for raping his wife because consent to matrimony presupposes consent to sexual intercourse. Though women's rights advocates secured a legal clause in 1983 under which it is unlawful for a man to have sexual intercourse with his separated wife, pending divorce, the courts are reluctant to sentence husbands in spite of the law।

Indian rape legislation (Penal Code 375) specifically exempts marital rape. This allows husbands to have complete sexual control over their wives, in direct contravention to Human Rights regulations. Only those married women who are separated from their husbands are covered by the rape legislation. The law simply echoes what social mores often take for granted: that women have no right to their own bodies; their will is subject to that of their husband.
A faint hope was raised by the Law Commission in its 42nd report। This report advocated the inclusion of sexual intercourse by a man with his minor wife as an offence. But a joint committee reviewing the proposal dismissed it.

More recently, the National Commission for Women released a report, "Rape: a legal study," which stated that marital rape should be recognised as a criminal offence.
All over the world, steps are being taken to ensure that marital rape is regarded as an offence. In however, we haven’t even begun to admit that marital rape is a reality, let alone an unpleasant one. Unfortunately, a mere amendment in the law will not ensure that women get their due. Before marital rape is made an offence, the police and the judiciary must be sensitised to deal with rape cases. Sadly, in marriage is considered the definitive experience in an adult woman’s life. Consciously or otherwise, a woman is given to understand that her desires and dreams must henceforth be subject to those of her husband. Under such conditions, women find it difficult to talk about the physical violence that takes place under the guise of conjugal relations in the marriage. Any mention of rape or sex fills them with shame.
The prevalent viewpoint is that when a woman marries, she is willing to fulfilling her husband’s conjugal rights। Once she has made this commitment, she cannot back out of it. Since sexual relations are part of the marriage set-up, a woman cannot refuse to have sex with her husband. By the same token, a husband cannot be said to have raped his wife.

In marriage remains the only route to social acceptance of adult womanhood: there are strong social incentives on women to enter into marriage. The same reasons act as a negative motivator, prompting women to stay in abusive marriages, simply because life outside marriage is not regarded very highly.
Accepting that women go through the most heinous forms of abuse under the name of marriage may be the first step towards protecting women. Until then women will continue to be abused and raped by the one person they trusted enough to want to spend the next seven lifetimes with.

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