Marital Rape : An Unrecognised Offence
Shruti Bohra, Gitarattan International Business School, GGSIPU
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL RESEARCH PAPER
Spousal rape also known as marital is the most common adverse form of domestic violence. Rape is codified under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code and is defined with the help of six descriptions. The offense of rape is said to be committed when a man has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent or if she is a minor. Section 375 has certain exceptions to it, one of the exceptions of this offense is “Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape”.
India is one of the 32 countries where marital rape is not a criminal offense. In India the concept of marital rape is still unrecognized because of the stereotype and orthodox Indian mindset I.e., after the marriage, a woman is considered as the private property of the husband and he has a right to do anything with her even if it is without her consent.
In Indian society, the institution of marriage between two persons is a sacred relationship which is made in heaven and that is not only limited to this life alone but extends to seven or more lives that’s why countless women in India feel so much pressurize to make her marriage work and suffer all the misdemeanors by herself. The UN Population Fund states that more than 66% of married women in India, aged between 15 to 49 have been beaten, raped, or forced to provide sex and most of them do not report it because the women are legally and financially tied to their husband.
According to the NHFS survey of 2014-2015, it has seen that 5.4% of women has been a victim of the of marital rape. Since marital rape is not an offense in India so many cases go unreported and a very small number of cases get reported. Also, most of the cases which are reported are registered under the minor offense of cruelty because there is no such law that protects women from the heinous offense of marital rape.
Section 375 of IPC  https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/marital-rape-312955-2016-03-12  https://indianexpress.com/article/gender/national-family-health-survey-underscores-need-for-serious-discussion-on-marital-rape/