BY AASTHA NIRMAL
It’s a sensitive topic. Let’s talk about it!
What is Marital rape?
It’s when a man imposes sexual intercourse on his wife with threat, force, or without her consent. Some say, “Criminalising marital rapes would demolish the sanctity of marriage”. Let’s not romanticise the idea of marriage to an extent of overlooking the matter of rape concerns.
Marital rape is a very confusing concept, especially for Indian men (#notallmen). They don’t see the line that must not be crossed. Here’s the most bizarre reply you will get if asked about marital rape to men, “But If you are married, how is it rape?” The sacred institution of marriage somehow issues a licence where you don’t need the consent of your partner for intercourse.
There’s a tiny concept called “Tea Analogy”. If you ask a person, “Hey, would you like some tea?’’ And they say “NO”, then don’t make them tea. If they say “YES”, then you can. If they are unconscious, don’t force them to drink tea. EASY! The same goes for intercourse.
Social change will follow from the law or whether the law must follow social change?
In the Domestic Violence Act and under section 498A, sexual cruelty is a punishable offence. However, there’s no mention of the word “rape”. It’s under argumentation, whether marital rape should be criminalised or not when there’s already a mention of “cruelty” under section 498A. I believe that we have reached a standard of the jurisdiction where the lawsuit should be tested and backed up with solid proof. Moreover, the inherent basic human right has to come above the idea of “family”.
Rape means without consent. Consent is a simple yes or no. How does marriage or dating decide that consent ? If she says no, it means no. If he says no , it’s a no ! Consent is everything and cannot fall under the blanket umbrella called the institution of marriage.
It’s important to surface the subject of the social menace called “marital rape” and bring a law against it.