Can a husband be accused of raping his wife ?

“Yesterday, I was enjoying my late night supper at 1 am while watching trailers of movies that’d be coming this week, someone made a shrilled sound and I heard footsteps coming towards my apartment. After a few seconds, there was a loud bang on my door and a woman was screaming to help her and open the door. As I opened the door, she shut it immediately behind her back. She was almost frozen and I was shocked, I had no idea of what was happening.

I again heard footsteps moving downstairs in a hurry. This was husband of the woman standing beside me. Husband was calling her “Aruna, come back. I know you’re here somewhere”. The woman was shivering. Meanwhile, people of the society gathered around (they had heard Aruna screaming). Aruna slowly got downstairs and hid herself behind a woman (whom, she always admired as her best friend). The crowd started asking questions from the couple (esp. Aruna, with sympathy and concern in their eyes) and as it unfolded, her husband was trying to have intercourse with her without her permission, and was beating her up since she denied for the same. Everyone was silent for a moment as the people had to fight their patriarchal ego, their beliefs and the evolving society.

Police was called and Aruna’s husband was taken in custody for domestic violence and today morning, he was back and everything was alright between them.”

This incident is just one such example where the social norms are given privilege over human ethics. The questions that we all need to address on this must be :

Is it not rape or rape attempt when it is against the consent of the partner?

The thoughts are evolving and so are people, then why is there this awkward silence when it comes to actions against norms?

Aren’t the benchmarks set by our ancestors not valid anymore and they need change?

A patriarchal society nips the growth of women in general. Why must it still exist in our conscience?

We talk about change and equality and many more things but do we really look into our hearts to know the truth behind those speeches and discussions?

The incidents like these are actually ground realities that can’t be addressed without direct involvement of the society and people themselves. Beating someone for our pleasure is not only wrong when looked upon from moral perspective but it also demeans and deteriorates the surrounding for the generation to come.

What would the children from such families learn?

How can we expect kids of these families to form a future that will be positively different from our existing ambience?

Well, many such questions exist in the situation like this.

How can it be rape when a stranger does it, and not a crime when done by husband/partner ?

When we look at social polls from SocialE, we see that more and more people are accepting it to be rape, even when it there is marriage involved.

But, according to Indian Penal Code :

A man is said to commit “rape” who, except case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman in circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions:-

  • Against her will.
  • Without her consent.
  • With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt.
  • With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
  • With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
  • With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.

Explanation — Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape.

Exception -Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.

After reading this, you must be knowing now that marriage makes rape legal.

Many timeless debates and discussion occur around this topic and not only India but whole world is victim of this thinking of forceful intercourse not being rape when husband does it. Even developed countries have been in this phase. But when will India be free from the fetters that we’ve built?

Give it a thought and let us know your thoughts here coz your opinion matters.

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