Rape refers to forcing or manipulating another person into unwanted sexual intercourse. It is sexual assault, even if it’s done by someone who is dating or in a marriage relationship.
Rape in a romantic relationship and marriage is considered intimate partner violence. This includes forced sex and sexual assault between spouses.
Sexual assault is not always overtly violent. This means that the use of force isn’t the only thing that makes this assault a violation of someone’s integrity. For example,
Sexual violence also includes situations where one is deceived or made to perform sexual acts without they wanting.
Intimate partner sexual violence does not only happen between spouses. It also applies to dating partners, whether in a live-in relationship or not.
Sexual violence includes acts of sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse.
The concept of marital rape in Indian context differs from the international as it is influenced by various factors e.g. level of education/illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament, etc.
Marital rape is not considered as an offence in India. India is one among the 36 countries which has not criminalised marital rape.
Exception 2 to Section 375 of the IPC states "Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape." In October 2017, the Supreme Court of India increased the age to 18 years.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 does not consider marital rape as a crime but does consider it as a form of domestic violence. Under this Act, if a woman has undergone marital rape, she can go to the court and obtain judicial separation from her husband.
Spousal rape and intimate partner sexual violence affect people across gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. A person of any gender can experience and perpetrate sexual violence.
One in every three women in India, between the ages of 15 and 49, stated that they had experienced some form of violence from their spouses, as per the latest NHFS data. Nearly 80 percent of women reported their current husband as perpetrators and 9 percent reported their former husbands as perpetrators.
Mental health impact of marital rape
Surviving experiences of sexual assault may have a big impact on how one sees their self, others, and the world.
Marital rape and sexual violence, in general, may also affect how one views sex, love, and relationships.
Many people face depression, anxiety and other physical and mental traumas. Emotional breakdowns are common in sexual assault survivors.
Last Modified : 10/31/2023