40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy

Here’s a simple answer to why India is so unsafe for women.

The way we define rape is wrong.

1. Rape for many Indians is – ‘sex with the forbidden woman’.

2. Many men (and women) have no understanding of  Consent (by women)

3. There is no effort to talk or understand – ‘Violation of a woman’s autonomy and bodily integrity’.

4. Most Indians can’t imagine (or understand or tolerate or permit) women owning their own bodies or their own sexuality.



1. A woman’s consent is seen as given (to her husband) by the society/family once she has been ‘married off’ (which is why marital rape is not a crime)

2. And if a woman is not married, then her Consent is seen as immoral, shameless, deserving of punishment via killing, sexual assault or violence, boycott etc.

Women’s safety for many Indians is ensuring they remain ‘pure’ (sexually inexperienced) till they are married.

And the biggest concern in case of violent sexual assaults for many is  – to ensure that the survivor’s identity is not revealed. Why? So they can pretend the crime never happened, which is essential for the survivor (and her siblings and cousins) to be ‘married off’.

So, when we are fighting for women’s safety – what exactly are we fighting for?

Do read,

Rape and Rakhi – Patriarchal-Communal Narratives: Kavita Krishnan

‘The recent research by Rukmini S of The Hindu, on rape trials in Delhi, found that some 40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy, very often from another caste or community.


In these instances, ironically, the girl experienced violence – abduction, confinement, beatings – at the hands of her own family, rather than at the hands of the alleged ‘rapist’.


And the violence may be at the hands of the State too. Policemen routinely abet the family’s violence towards such women. And in one instance studied by Pratiksha Baxi in her recent book Public Secrets of Law: Rape Trials in India, a woman who had eloped to marry by choice, was jailed for abetting her own rape and abduction.’


Related Posts: 

Is rape the worst thing that can happen to an Indian woman?

Where Consensual Sex is Rape, and Forced Sex a legal right.

Panchayat orders girl to marry her rapist because one way to make a Rape right is to make it Marital Rape.

Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor.

“Instituting the idea of marital rape raises the specter of a man going for long periods without sex even though he’s married!”

What do you think of these doubts regarding recognition of marital rape as a crime?

Forcible sex with wife doesn’t amount to marital rape: Court

7 things that can make ‘Rape sometimes right’.

Would this crime have been reported if he had mercilessly raped her but not sodomised her?

Here’s why a 6-year-old rape survivor was ordered to marry alleged rapist’s 8 year old son.

“…offenders who raped unmarried (and virginal) women got higher sentences in contrast to men who raped married women”

“Girls should be married at 16, so that they don’t need to go elsewhere for their sexual needs. This way rapes will not occur.”




15 thoughts on “40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy

  1. Recently, I’ve been hearing some worrying comments by people saying that rape allegations are being misused. An example is where the girl’s parents file for rape in cases on consensual sex. People also quote the case of live-in relationships when a woman claims rape if her boyfriend refuses to marry her.

    Of course, the investigations by Rukmini S have revealed that this does happen… However, the feeling I’ve been getting from talking to people and twitter is that women are crying wolf and a lot of ‘innocent’ men are being implicated.

    It’s an interesting response from a patriarchal society that suddenly finds men under attack. Surely, the focus should be on ensuring proper investigations to find the true culprit, rather than implying that rape cases don’t tend to be genuine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the first focus should be on defining rape accurately. If that doesn’t happen, and many absurd cases of “rape” are filed, it’s hardly surprising that there’s a backlash. In the interests of true non consensual sex being taken seriously, it’s vital that we do away with all these ridiculous side definitions that only serve to dilute the seriousness of rape.

      It’s sad that right now we have to use the word rape in quotes so many times. Because often, we all know it’s not actually rape but consensual sex under non-society approved circumstances. When this happens all the time, it’s not hugely unexpected to see people not viewing rape as the serious crime it is.


      • Completely agree. This whole business of filing rape charges against a daughter’s boyfriend leads people to assume that all rape is ‘an affair gone sour’ or somesuch instead of treating it as a crime.


    • There are definitely shockingly bad ways these cases manifest themselves. The problem is that I’m yet to hear of any sort of fair investigation in false dowy/rape cases.

      One of my friends had a false 401(k) dowry case filed on him, due to a marital dispute. He couldn’t return to India for a year, till his name is removed off the watchlist. His parents were arrested, and he had to legally disown them or something.

      I know of another situation where a girl filed a rape case on her boyfriend and the inspector thrashed him.

      Surely people hear about cases like this and get alarmed. I doubt people get bothered about true troublemakers getting punished.


    • May I ask why you put “innocent” in quotes? It is absolutely a fact that rape is endemic in India (and elsewhere), but it is also absolutely a fact that rape and dowry charges are sometimes misused to implicate innocent men. In that case, we should not only be concerned that the problem of rape is diluted in the public’s mind, but also be equally concerned that innocent men are being victimized. The fact that men are privileged as a group does not make it any bettter when individual men face injustice.


      • I put “innocent” in quotes to highlight that women in genuine rape cases may not be regarded seriously.

        I don’t mean to doubt the innocence of men implicated by fake rape and dowry cases.
        Agree with you that we should be concerned about this too.

        Of course most of the time, we don’t know the real story – But, what I was trying to get across was that I find it troubling when people mock such rape stories (yep it’s happened) and also point fingers at ‘those Indian feminists’.


  2. In current social structure there is no concept of consent. Not even for male gender, they are too harassed by the people who are above them in their hierarchy.

    Our social structure thrives on one single thing that is Getting Married and Staying Married by arranged marriage way.No accommodation of personal wishes is another characteristics. So Parents can not digest the fact that their children have taken a decision which does not suits their way. Then the starting using all the means of revenge.

    Using the strict laws made to protect women against her only.


  3. ‘And the biggest concern in case of violent sexual assaults for many is – to ensure that the survivor’s identity is not revealed. Why? So they can pretend the crime never happened, which is essential for the survivor (and her siblings and cousins) to be ‘married off’.’

    Even I had similar views. But today I read this:

    The article is written by a colleague of the Mumbai Shakti Mills gang rape survivor. Long but everyone should read it. It brought forth a new perspective about the need to hide rape victim’s identity – which is the whole vulture-like print and electronic media angle.


  4. Pingback: ‘Angry Mob cut off man’s sensual organ for attempting rape of a girl.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  5. Pingback: “What do you think, blogger why Sexual Violence have increased at home in a country like INDIA which has the most peaceful religion?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  6. Pingback: And here is why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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