Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court

How do verdicts and laws like this one influence the way sexual assaults are seen by most Indians?

Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court

A Delhi court has acquitted a man accused of raping his wife, stating that forced intercourse with a woman does not amount to rape if she is married to the accused.

“The parties being husband and wife, the sexual intercourse between the two does not come within the ambit of the offence of rape, even if the same was against the will and consent of the victim,”

So do sexual criminals feel safe when they are married to the people they assault? Is that why Five rapists in Patna wanted to marry gangrape survivor?

Is this how legalising marital rape prevents the Institution of Marriage from being destroyed? [link]

Since sexual assaults are not legally permitted to live in partners, then aren’t women safer from sexual assaults (and other things, like threats of divorce, dowry demands, pressure to bear male children etc) in Live in Relationships than in marriages?

But while the rest might be true – sexual assaults in Live in Relationships continue to be defined in Patriarchal terms. Meaning – a sexual assault in a Live-in Relationship continues to be seen, not as an assault on the person but as an attack on the rights of the future husband [link].

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

Related Posts:

Refusal to have sex during honeymoon is not cruelty: Bombay high court

Who will benefit from criminalising sexual assaults within marriages?

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

A comment- ‘Reverse the gender, and it is marital rape.’

Rapist groom should have waited a little to satiate his lusty desires without problems which he has got into.

For Victims and Survivors of Marital Rapes.

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

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



Couples who have premarital sex to be considered ‘married,’ says HC

I didn’t understand this verdict.

What is the difference between Premarital sex, Live in Relationship and Marriage?

Does this means breakups after any relationship become a legal procedure if the couple has had sex? Who benefits from this?

Link shared by Dr Arun

Couples who have premarital sex to be considered ‘married,’ says HC

“If any unmarried couple of the right legal age “indulge in sexual gratification,” this will be considered a valid marriage and they could be termed “husband and wife,” the Madras High Court has ruled in a judgment that gives a new twist to the concept of premarital sex.

The court said that if a bachelor has completed 21 years of age and an unmarried woman 18 years, they have acquired the freedom of choice guaranteed by the Constitution. “Consequently, if any couple choose to consummate their sexual cravings, then that act becomes a total commitment with adherence to all consequences that may follow, except on certain exceptional considerations.”

The court said marriage formalities as per various religious customs such as the tying of a mangalsutra, the exchange of garlands and rings or the registering of a marriage were only to comply with religious customs for the satisfaction of society.

The court further said if necessary either party to a relationship could approach a Family Court for a declaration of marital status by supplying documentary proof for a sexual relationship. Once such a declaration was obtained, a woman could establish herself as the man’s wife in government records. “Legal rights applicable to normal wedded couples will also be applicable to couples who have had sexual relationships which are established.”

The court also said if after having a sexual relationship, the couple decided to separate due to difference of opinion, the ‘husband’ could not marry without getting a decree of divorce from the ‘wife’.”

While any man (or woman) should be required to provide child-support to any children they have within or outside marriage, but does acknowledging paternity mean they are also admitting that they are married to the mother?

And should any child be seen as legitimate or illegitimate?

“In this case, the man had signed in the ‘live birth report’ of his second child and given his consent for a Caesarean section for its birth. As such, he had officially admitted that she was his wife.”

“It is not disputed that the petitioner has been a spinster before she gave birth and that the respondent was a bachelor before developing sexual relationship with the petitioner. Both of them led their marital life under the same shelter and begot two children. Therefore, the petitioner’s rank has been elevated as the `wife’ of the respondent and likewise, the respondent’s rank has been elevated as the `husband’ of the petitioner. Therefore, the children born to them are legitimate children and the petitioner is the legitimate wife of the respondent.”

And what about couples who are in Live in relationships? Are they going to be considered married too?

Who will benefit from criminalising sexual assaults within marriages?

“The government on Monday justified its decision not to include marital rape as a sexual offence in the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2013, saying that this could weaken the institution of marriage…”  [ Link ]

Why is it felt that allowing rapes within marriages strengthens the Institution of Marriage?
Then, what kind of marriages do marital rapes strengthen? And what kind of Institution is Marriage seen as?
Why do we need to protect and strengthen any Institution in ways that it puts innocent citizens at risk of being sexually assaulted?
Who benefits from an institution that is weakened without sexual assaults being permitted within it?

Why is there so much hesitation in understanding or acknowledging that women (just like everybody else) own their bodies; and that sex without consent is rape, no matter who does it?

It seems, once a man is married to a woman, even if she is legally separated from him, his sexual assault on her is seen as a lesser crime. How is this justified?

Here’s probably why raping a legally separated wife is seen as a lesser crime than raping other relatives, colleagues or neighbours:

1. Maybe it is felt that sexual crimes are assaults on a victim’s honor and not on the person; so if the rapist was once married to the woman, she can’t be ‘dishonoured’ by him. Same logic makes marital rapes impossible. If rapes are dishonour, how can a husband (Pati Parmeshwar) sexually assaulting a wife be seen as ‘dishonouring’ her?

2. Also, many Indians believe when an man marries a woman, he is entitled to Dowry, Male children, Sex on demand and an obedient care giver for his parents. Once an Indian woman is married to a man, consent is seen as given. Some commenters wondered why any man would ‘marry and maintain a wife’ at all if he needs to seek consent for sex from his own wife. [This doesn’t help: link, link.]

(This was one of the points raised during the walk organised for The One Billion Rising event in Gurgaon. I wonder if those listening were astonished to hear women convey that only Yes meant Yes.)

These are some concerns expressed by TOI commenters and many others, about criminalising Marital Rapes:

#How will such assaults be proven?

If a crime is difficult to prove should we refuse to acknowledge it? Does legalising a crime make the victims safer? The same logic can be used for Domestic Violence, and verbal abuse.

#What should be the punishment if the husband is convicted of sexually assaulting his wife? Shouldn’t the wife simply divorce such a man? 

The punishment should perhaps be same no matter who commits the crime? What do you think?

Consider this: In Saudi Arabia, a man raping, torturing and killing his own wife or child is taken less seriously than a man killing another man’s wife or child. It is believed that the crime is against the man (and his honor) [link].  The basic idea is the same: That some people have unlimited rights on some other people, or that some people own some other people.

#And who will benefit from criminalising sexual assaults within marriages and making Marital Rapes a criminal offence?

All these young women and children married to their rapists are amongst those who would benefit. It was understood and accepted in all these cases (and by many TOI commenters, Khaps, many Indian women and men) that husbands have a right to rape their wives. [Remember many Indians think rape and ‘sex outside marriage’ are the same link, link, link,link].

1. I have blogged about my maid who had run away from her marital home and then threatened to hang herself before her parents allowed her to stay back, she said her husband raped her brutally. [When life ends at twelve.] No attempts to report or seek justice, no action against husband. 

2. Another domestic helper used to beg her mother in law to protect her from her much older husband, and years later used to wish he would die because there was no other way she felt she could be free from his sexual assaults. [The Life And Times Of Another Indian Homemaker.] No attempts to report or seek justice, no action against husband. 

3. Another woman in Haryana was not only raped by her husband but the rapes were so brutal that it was feared that she may never conceive (a big concern in her second marriage, where she is still happy because, ‘atleast they give me food’) [LinkNo attempts to report or seek justice, no action against rapist/husband. 

4. Here’s another account from “The women who have to sleep with their husbands’ brothers: Shortage of girls forces families into wife-sharing” [Link]

‘They took me whenever they wanted – day or night. When I resisted, they beat me with anything at hand,’ … Munni, who has three sons from her husband and his brothers, has not filed a police complaint either.  [‘Four kinds of marriages in modern India. Which ones would you ban?]

5. Three of his sisters and six of his nieces eloped, so he decided to drill holes and padlock his wife’s genitals.

6. This is what Haryana Khaps are not saying.

7. I recently met a middle class, educated woman, now working and separated from her differently abled husband. She said they had no real communication, affection, or any relationship but she had to ensure the husband was ‘happy and satisfied’ (sexually). She said, the in laws were wealthy and did not ask for dowry, they just wanted to ensure that their son had a sexual partner and care giver. Although the woman is separated now, she did not even consider reporting or seeking justice, or taking action against the rapist husband.   She is just glad to be safe from his assaults and legally (and socially) he had committed no wrong.

I think it is also felt that ‘getting a man a wife’ ensures he does not rape other women.

Please do hear what Kavita Krishnan has to say.

Demand that Parliament Enact a Law Against Sexual Violence Based on Justice Verma recommendations! No to Eyewash Ordinance!

Do also read,

Justice Verma Committee Proposes A Bills Of Rights For Women, National Legal Research Desk

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

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