We live in a country where rape and molestation are making headlines. Some Indian cases have even sparked international outrage. But there is one kind of rape that it is apparently legal. And what’s more, it has long been doused in the name of culture and shame. In fact, it is considered to be the duty of good housewife to give in to it.
We are talking about the rape that might be happening right next door, within the confines of a home that you might feel is a safe haven. But the good wife, whom you meet every morning in the park, or the one who comes to do your daily chores, might not tell you that it turns into hell for her every night.
We are talking about Marital Rape. Like child molestation, this is one of the most heinous sexual crimes in society. And yet, it is taken lightly by the Indian society. It is the rape a married woman has to suffer silently at the hands of the man who is considered responsible for her safety.
By an outdated law devised during the British rule, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) does not identify rape by the husband as “rape” per se. In fact, it is only considered rape if the wife is under the age of fifteen and has been forced into a physical relationship.
This is indeed a sad affair because in India, a sexually frustrated country where marriage is only a license for men to have sex legally, the woman or wife is treated as an object to have sex with. A thing to use, rather than a human who has emotions, who feels pain and who deserves to be respected as a human being.
Most men do not tolerate their wife’s refusal to give in to their sexual needs. They feel it is their wives’ duty to have sex with them, as they provide money and food for them and their children.
Society has even driven women into believing that it is their duty to give in to their husbands. This has stopped many women from turning to the law for help. Even if a woman does turn to the law, it has no provision to safeguard the interest of a woman within her marriage. Once she is married, she is owned by her husband.
This glaring loophole implies that while a woman can protect herself against domestic abuse as well as violence and dowry with the help of the law, rape at the hands of her husband is not something that she will ever be able to protect herself against.
The attitude of the Indian Government, towards the act of making marital rape a criminal offence, comes as another shock. The bill was presented, but it was challenged on the grounds that it will stress the ‘I ndian family system’ . And that may be an injustice.
What seems to be the real injustice here is the fact that one half of ‘the family ‘ is being oppressed. It is that half of the family, which actually takes care of the rest. Isn’t the purpose of a ‘cordial family’ already defeated then?
For the cause of humanity, show your support by signing the petition to make marital rape a criminal offence in India. Share this with as many people as you can and make sure that no woman has to go through this silent suffering. Because no woman deserves to.