Why do some ‘rape victims’ fight to get married to their ‘rapists’?
1. Unfortunately ‘rape’ in legal terms is also used to describe consensual sex if the woman was promised marriage to get her to consent. The term here should be ‘cheating’ or ‘breach of trust’ not rape or sexual assault. In such ‘rape cases’ a ‘rape-victim’ might demand that the ‘rapist’ keeps his promise and marries her.
[This is one of the many reasons why child sexual abuse, sexual assaults, acquaintance rape (marital rape or date rape), sexual harassment and street sexual harassment should be clearly defined.]
2. The women perhaps feel that being married to someone who cheated them and clearly does not wish to marry them (probably someone they don’t love, like, respect or believe they would be happy with), is a ‘respectable’ thing to do.
Because, patriarchal societies allow (or tolerate) premarital sex for men. If these men intend to marry the women they have sex with, they are said to ‘respect’ them. All good women in patriarchal societies are expected to strive to earn Men’s (and everybody’s) Respect.
3. Marriage by any man is seen as the only way a dishonored woman can be redeemed.
And they fear that no other man would marry them (since they are not sexually inexperienced anymore) and they see Getting Married and Staying Married as their life purpose.
Would you call this a case of Cheating or of Rape?
“Singh had promised to marry her and so she agreed to sexual relations, as a result of which she found she had been impregnated.
She alleged that they had even married in a temple. However, subsequently, his parents were not prepared to accept her as a daughter-in-law ….
“She assumed he had no intention to marry her and hence initiated criminal prosecution against him,” the court noted. She filed a rape case under section 376 of Indian Penal Code against him and he was arrested by the Goregaon police. But Singh’s counsel said he had infact taken steps to marry her. He had on January 4, three weeks before her complaint, filed an application for registration of the marriage.” [Intention to marry ‘rape victim’ gets man bail]
Somebody asked in a comment: Why is this cheating? Couldn’t the man just change his mind about marrying the woman?
If the man promised marriage to get consent, he knew the power of the ‘promise to marry’, he obviously also knew how breaking that promise could affect the woman. [More here: Link]
If she needed that promise, she probably did not think that it was hypocritical and demeaning to women, to value sexual inexperience in women. A broken promise could force her to fight a fight she didn’t believe in, or was incapable of fighting or simply didn’t want to fight. The man in the case above, had committed a crime against Patriarchy and he was allowed to make patriarchal amends and thus turn a dishonorable act into a sacred one.
Would you describe his ‘dishonorable act’ as Rape?
The woman perhaps genuinely feared that she was on verge of becoming a Zinda Laash [Zinda Laash]. Many Indian women (and men) believe women should have only one sexual relationship, and that should be with the man they marry (preferably only after they are married to him). Indian women are denied education, freedom and opportunities; and are warned (and protected) against premarital sex. If the partners turn out to be abusive, incompatible or unwilling to marry them, they are warned, they would be ruined. [No second chances for an Indian daughter.] Suicide, stigma, social boycott, shifting to another place, marrying someone who doesn’t know about the ‘dishonor’, and honor killings have been the traditional methods for dealing with such ‘broken promises’.
So, the woman (and even the man) probably did not think she had the option of ending the relationship, claiming child support (if applicable) and moving on. Chances are that the man (and his parents) saw the broken promise as ‘ruining her life’ but also realised that they could get away with it.
So there can be no doubt that the man should have been held accountable. If he promised marriage in return of premarital sex, perhaps he should have been punished for Cheating. Maybe he could have been asked to keep his word. I agree that Consensual sex on false promise is cheating: HC.
But would you say he raped her?
Consensual sex, just because the woman was inexperienced (a virgin) should not be seen as Rape. This trivializes rape. This is also why many Indians confuse Rape with Sex. [How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?]
It is dangerous to allow marriages to make sexual assaults alright. [Five rapists in Patna want to marry gangrape victim.]
“The court said that after maintaining physical relations with the Muslim girl for over two years, Deepak Dogra refused to marry her. Moreover, to save himself from legal punishment, he went through “farce of marriage ceremony” despite knowing that it was neither lawful nor valid.”
Zinda Laash translates to ‘a living corpse’ or a lifeless person. Would you call a Rape Survivor a Zinda Laash?
Would you call a Rape Survivor a Zinda Laash?
When a rape victim chooses her life over her ‘Honor’.
What do dented-painted women and disco-going protesters understand about a rape victim’s loss of honor?
How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?
Irresponsible girls who throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person…