Short Essay on Marital Rape !
Rape is an offence worse than murder as it is an assassination of a woman’s dignity which she is destined to suffer throughout her life. Of late, a specific form of rape called as marital rape, is being recognised as a heinous crime in the western world, notably the US and some European countries.
Marital rape occurs when women’s bodies are outraged, regardless of their consent or willingness. However, women in Indian setting do not make it an issue of complaint because it is against social norms and considered acceptable for men to force their wives to sex as and when they wish.
The term marital rape may be defined as “unwanted intercourse by a man on his wife obtained by force, threat of force or physical violence or when she is unable to give consent for it.” The term ‘unwanted intercourse’ refers to all sorts of penetration whether vaginal, anal or oral, perpetrated against the wife’s will or without her consent.
It may be argued against ‘marital rape’ as an offence, that consequent to marriage between the spouses, the husband acquires an unquestionable right to intercourse with his wife and it is her duty to submit to his wishes. This right cannot be retracted by the wife as husband acquires it by mutual matrimonial consent. However, in US the women activists apposed this age-old traditional view and raised their voice for elimination of marital rape exemption clause on the ground of gender equality.
Marital rape, though a scar on the face of civilised society, has not been criminalised in India whereas US and other civil western countries have recognised at as an offence and the judiciary played an active role in providing relief to the women raped by their husband.
Though, the Indian law recognises domestic violence against women as an offence but it is mainly confined to physical harm or torture rather than the sexual abuse of wife.
Marital rape has broadly been sub-divided into three categories, namely (1) rapes involving a degree of violence (2) Rape involving force only and (3) Sadistic rape in which in addition to actual rape, the victim is forced to do acts designed to further humiliate herself. It is also known as “obsessive rape” or pornographic rape.