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Marital Rape - A Voiceless Crime!

Rape is a crucial term which has a deeper emotion linked than just a meaning. We have number of amendments and laws to safeguard rights of rape victims but, isn't this ironic that on one hand society & laws consider rape as a lethal crime and on the other hand there's no recognition of marital rapes as Rape.

This is indeed an entrenched issue that needs to be considered now. With time society has evolved to a certain extent and many major changes have been executed for the welfare of the society. Many countries have not only recognized this crime but also took necessary actions to prevent them in future and to safeguard rights of all the victims.

Unfortunately, India is one of the country that haven't considered this brutal crime as Rape till date. Though there are many legal amendments and laws currently existing to identify and punish various marital crimes such as dowry deaths, physical violence & harassment, sexual abuse & cruelty, mental, emotional & physical tortures. But still our law system has not criminalized marital rapes. Shockingly yes! They do consider other aspects of it but not specifically the concept of marital rape. There are many other aspects that are creating hindrances and probably influencing society's thought process to some extent.

Why is it so? What is marital rape? What is society's point of view? What's the difference that separates other rapes & marital rape according to the society? If you haven't questioned this to yourself then you must do it now. Before getting any deep into this, here's another extremely important question for you.

Have you ever thought how does death feels?
'Getting raped everyday is no less than dying everyday' and the worst part is only due to lack of support, legalities and so called societal beliefs many victims step back and never raise their voice against such heinous crime. We need to understand that marriage isn't a License to access your partner's body against their will.

Society consider other forceful non-consensual intercourse as Rape, let it be against a woman or a man or even in case of any animal. These crimes have got recognition by the society and law. Though, there are not specific laws against the crime of bestiality but society is at least aware of it. But when it comes to marital rapes they aren't actually considered as rape in the eyes of society. That's probably because people still believe that how can a husband rape his own wife? That doesn't make any sense, right?

Well it does make sense. Any sexual intercourse without the consent of the other person i.e. a non-consensual intercourse is indeed rape. The essential component to define rape is the Consent.

According to our society, a legally wedded husband cannot rape his own wife but have you ever questioned yourself, why not? Is it only because the society never considered it? Or is it because logically the concept of rape here doesn't exist? Or because there are no specific laws defining it as Rape ? The deeper you go into this topic, the more questions you will be surrounded by. But sadly without sufficient answers. Probably because the society never opened up to view this aspect to reconsider it and analyze the issue on a deeper level.

Why so?
We live in a society wherein people's opinions or thought process is majorly influenced by the customs or beliefs established by the society ages ago. Believe it or not retrospective opinions are still running in our veins and we can't help it unless, we really wish to bring the change in these thoughts and established beliefs that are unlawful, unjust and unfair.

Society & people have evolved with time but some gender roles, societal assumptions and many stereotypes haven't changed yet. Specifically in this regard we really need to break the chain of misbeliefs & misconceptions about marital rapes. There was a different era wherein people lived a life in a male dominated society, with a specific set of rules that were set by the same dominant party. Indeed still being a patriarchal society there is certainly a dominance of a specific gender but thankfully this era has brought a major change by giving equality in status, rights, opportunities etc., to every gender. Law & Authority became the voice of voiceless. So shouldn't we being a part of society consider a crime on the basis of it's nature, components and most importantly with a neutral point of view rather than arguing on unnecessary aspects that are leading towards never ending debates and creation of extra chaos. Retrospectively things might make sense but in current life it cannot be certainly fair.

Society's role in any matter is important but it is equally important that it doesn't view a crime wearing blindfolds of misbelief or unjust opinions. instead of resolving the issue it is just exacerbated by the society in decades. The only difference that has been created by people in there so called opinions is that, if a couple is married they have agreed for sexual intercourse it doesn't matter whether individually the partner is ready or not. Isn't this a violation of a person's legal rights?

As per Article 21, it's a person's right to decide for themselves. Whether they want to establish a physical relationship or not, it's completely their liberty to choose whether they want it or not and to express their feelings & will, no person can force them to suppress their voice. A NO means NO and no matter who the other person is they must stop right there. You all must have heard this famous quote in slogans of anti-rape campaigns. It is pretty clear no matter who the person is if the consent is missing the other person must not establish any forceful sexual relationship.

Due to lack of support from the society, law & Authority and even sometimes from their own families, many victims restrain themselves to fight for justice and do not dare to say a word against the crime. Instead they suffer their whole life or even sometimes might choose to end one. Sadly, this is the heart wrenching truth. Once anyone's stuck in such type of marriage they keep suffering for the rest of their life. Stronger ones fight against it until they get justice whereas those who are vulnerable either deal or die.

According to Indian law, only if the victim is a minor i.e. of below or 15 years old then the crime is considered as rape because a minor is incapable to give the consent. Well, does that mean the rights of a minor victim is considerably of higher importance than any adult victim? If in both the cases consent is missing then why the right of an adult victim is not considered? If the sufferings are same, torture is same, then why there's no consideration of marital rape of adult spouse? They too deserve justice. They are human beings too. Even their bodies are forcefully used by their partners to satisfy their thirst. There should be necessary provisions to safeguard their rights.

Rape is a crime that kills you inside out. Marital rape is an invisible weapon and an ignored offense that encourages people to continue the serious crime without any fear of going behind the bars. We cannot even imagine the emotional, physical and mental pain the victim bares in such marriage. It's high time to raise our voice against such brutal crimes and punish the spouse with a rapist's mentality. Even if the person is your partner they are individually and legally privileged with the right to say No, if they don't want to get physically involved in any sexual activity. One person must respect the consent of the other person. forceful rape of a partner by their own spouse considering it as their so called right, should not be entertained by the law, as it is a spousal rape i.e. a marital rape.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Muskan Karmajit Singh
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Authentication No: SP35768085893-07-0921

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