If you are wondering about the title of the post, My mind is perfectly healthy and the title is a volition. The word ‘rape’ may sound derogatory to some of you, but the IPC (Indian Penal Code) has defined it and since the post has a legal context, I have decided to use it. The most common and literal meaning of rape is sexual abuse and it is prescribed as crime under section 375 of the IPC , and has undergone many changes over the years , several amendments added to it, it has covered almost all possibilities of sexual abuse.Some of them are section 376 (A), 376 (B), 376 ( C & D), so on..I was right when said ‘almost all’, it meant ‘not all’ and that possibility of rape which is not condemned by the IPC , I choose to name it a ‘legal’ rape. It is all about the non-consensual sex in a matrimonial home. We generally commiserate when a stranger is associated in this form of abuse but its difficult to condone that we have blinded ourselves from women who suffer this form of violence every day of their lives, where the perpetrators are the spouses. Though many countries have recognised the act of spousal rape an illegal activity, it has to be simulated from our nation’s view point.
India as a nation has gone through a lot of changes over the last century but its importance for marriage remains undiminished. My mind wavers on being proud over this fact, and the reason for my confusion is not wrong. In an indian matrimonial home, the wife is thrown into self-abnegation. She works hard for her family, sometimes out of trepiditon, she loses all her individuality and now learns to live for her family forgetting herself. Yes, not all women but most of them in rural India still face this situation. Marriage is a squalor to many women in India already and upon this the vehement sexual abuse by her spouse is a turpitude. The torpor of many women who fear stricture has vitiated the society.The IPC was in no way able to alleviate this issue.
Section 376 of IPC imposes punishment for rape. According to the section, the rapist should be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than 7 years but which may extend to life or for a term extending up to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine unless the woman raped is his own wife, and is not under 12 years of age, in which case, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years with fine or with both.
section 376 (A) details that Intercourse by a man with his wife during separation is an offence.—”Whoever has sexual intercourse with his wife, who is living separately from him under a decree of separation or under any custom or usage without her consent shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.”
IPC section 498(A) deals with dowry related harrasements and the protection of women from domestic violence act 2005 has a very narrow scope.
The effect this abuse brings to the victim cannot be numbered, very few of them are
- Physical injuries to vaginal and anal areas,bruising.
- Anxiety, shock, depression and suicide tendency.
- Gynaecological complaints like miscarriage, stillbirths, bladder infections and infertility.
- insomnia, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, loss of sleep and guilt.
The above reasons makes us demand an immediate remedy to marital rapes in our country in which 1/4 th of all rapes come under this category.
None of the IPC sections has provided security to women against the horrendous act . The irony is that a women here has the right to life but not the right to defend her body from this brutal abuse. Her ‘no’ no more means a no to him. Dignity is something one would love to retain irrespective of their marital status and the court has offended itself by not giving importance to this exploitation of dignity .It is the duty of the court to defend the fundamental right of the citizens.
A habitat which is virulent and the idea to cohabit with a person who by all means demeans a women is greviously hurting. An immediate change is to be brought in ,a new legislation criminalising spousal rape is the need of the hour, only then can we fulfill the vision of making India -‘a utopia’.
(section 375: Rape.—A man is said to commit “rape” who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions:—First.— Against her will.Secondly.—Without her consent.Thirdly.— With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.Fourthly.—With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.Fifthly.— With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.Sixthly.— With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.)
- PowertoWomen.in: DNA: Sex Abuse By Husbands in Spotlight (frankpower2women.wordpress.com)