Marital rape or Spousal rape is non-consensual sex in which the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. It can also be regarded as a form of partner rape, of domestic violence, and of sexual abuse. It is a criminal offence in all the 50 states of the United States but still not criminalized in India.
India is a country of vivid cultural norms and values, and when a woman gets married to a man in India, it is regarded as the woman then becomes the responsibility of that man and inherits his name which means that the bride with her whole heart, soul & body belongs to the groom. Responsible gentlemen see marriages as not only a link between two bodies but also of two souls, they try to make sure that their partner never feels dominated by them and care about their feelings and problems but, there also exist men, who totally contrast the idea of equality among marriages. They treat their wives as sex slaves who always have to be ready for ‘it’ according to their wish.
A case related to such heinous crime was highlighted a few years ago when a woman who just came back from Bangkok after her honeymoon reported about sexual abuse and was found with serious injuries which were incurred by practicing ill and unorthodox sexual practices by her husband on her. She told the police that all of it was forced on her and was done without her consent. Similarly, there are many unsung villains behind those closed doors who use women to fulfill their sexual desires whenever they want, or if they are stressed with something (what’s more relaxing than having sex, right?; WRONG!), or if they are just drunk and want to show their manly side.
After the December 16, 2012, Delhi gang rape case, a committee of three members headed by a former chief justice of the Supreme Court Mr. J. S. Verma was made to review the laws for sexual crimes in India. The commission identified ‘failure of governance’ as the root cause for sexual crimes. They, along with 9 other suggestions, recommended the parliamentary board for criminalizing marital rape to empower human rights of women who are molested daily & can’t do anything about it as they are the victim to the hands of their own husbands. They suggested the law ought to specify that marital or any other relationship between the perpetrator and the victim is not a valid defense against the crimes of rape or sexual violence. But in this reference, the then Minister for Women & child rights Ms. Maneka Gandhi rejected the suggestion and said that the concept of marital rape cannot be applied in the Indian context and we have a law already existing for domestic violence, which further saw outrage of woman’s rights activists from all over the country. However, she improvised her statement later but no strict action was taken for this abhorrent behavior of cynical men towards women.
Even in 2017, marital rapes go without being noticed behind the walls of cultures and respect for the husband-wife relation but, it should be clearly understood that a woman who leaves her home, changes her lifestyle and is ready to start a new life with a stranger should not be mistaken for being weak, poor, or dependent. It’s because the word marriage is sacred for her and she devotes her life for it to make it special for you. If she can do it all, you should too. If she can care for the little things to make your world bright, you should too. Its high time we have to start thinking about the voices being silenced behind closed doors, female bodies being used as toys in the name of lovemaking, mental & physical health being tortured every other day.
So the next time before you force your sexual desires on your wife without her consent or on the days she bleeds or is ill or weak, ask yourself a question: Is my wife worth of just a mere body part?
If the answer is yes, then I can clearly say without even knowing you that neither your marriage is sacred nor you are a God!
Article Inspired by the slam poetry ‘The Legal Rapist’ by UnErase Poetry.