The case of marital rapes: Number Story

swati

Swati Chandra | May 29, 2015


#marital rape   #rape   #crime against women   #marital rape statistics   #rape data india   #domestic violence  

While the word ‘rape’ is enough to fill one with rage, the term ‘marital rape’ is even more torturous and agonising as there is hardly any option to say no. Reason being the marital rape is not yet criminalised in our country. On one hand, the government in India believes that sexual violence is not prevalent here, countries in Europe and Americas have already come up with laws to put an end to the marital rape. Is it because marriages are 'sacred' in India but not in other countries?

Well, minister of state for home affairs Haribhai Chaudhary even went to the extent of saying, “the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, including level of education, illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament.”

The minister also cited the 172nd report on ‘Review of Rape Laws’ submitted by the law commission in 2000, which observed that the exemption of the spouse from rape charges should not be deleted since “that may amount to excessive interference with the marital relationship”.

However, the numbers don’t lie. Several studies suggest the prevalence of sexual violence within the institution of marriage.

The International Centre for Research on Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently conducted a study on 9,205 men and 3,158 women across seven states in India which reveals than more than one third of the men surveyed accepted having forced sex on their partners.

The study explores how the average Indian male interprets the idea of ‘masculinity’ on women.

Around 60 percent of men admitted to using violence to assert their dominance over their partner. While Odisha and Uttar Pradesh emerged as the states with the highest incidence of intimate partner violence at 75 percent, Punjab and Haryana followed at 43 percent and Maharashtra at 37 percent.

The National Family Health Survey (2005-06), conducted among 1,24,385 women in the 29 states, had 10 percent women reporting that their husbands had physically forced them to have sex.

The NFHS says that around 37.2 percent married women surveyed agreed to have experienced spousal violence (it may or may not include sexual violence). Out of these, 30.4 percent women were from urban belt while 40.2 percent women were from rural areas of the country. About 16.3 percent were educated. See here
 
Obviously, there is no available data of the number of marital rapes as exact, but a look at the increasing number of rape cases in which offenders were closed family members or relatives can give a vague idea of the sexual violence in marriages. Check here 
 
Another set of numbers that gives some estimation on the sexual violence in marriage is the increasing cases booked under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 1,18,866 incidents of cruelty by husband or his relatives (under section 498A of IPC) were reported in 2013. This was 89,546 in 2009; 94,041 in 2010; 99,135 in 2011 and 1,06,527 in 2012.

Comments

 

Other News

Making sense of the ‘crisis of political representation’

Imprints of the Populist Time By Ranabir Samaddar Orient BlackSwan, 352 pages, Rs. 1105 The crisis of liberal democracy in the neoliberal world—marked by massive l

Budget: Highlights

Union minister of finance and corporate affairs Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on Wednesday. The highlights of the Budget are as follows: PART A     Per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh in around

Budget presents vision for Amrit Kaal: A blueprint for empowered, inclusive economy

Union Budget 2023-24, presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on Wednesday, outlined the vision of Amrit Kaal which shall reflect an empowered and inclusive economy.  “We envision a prosperous and inclusive India, in which the fruits of development reach all regions an

Soumya Swaminathan to head M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan takes charge as chairperson of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) from February 1.   Founded by her father, the legendary agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, MSSRF was set up to accelerate the use of m

m-Governance: Key to Digital India

The digital revolution is being led by India. Digital governance is a key component of the government's ambition to transform India into a society where everyone has access to the internet. It includes both M-governance and E-governance, which are major methods for the delivery of services via mobile devic

A sacred offering of the beauty of ‘Saundarya Lahari’ – in English

Saundarya Lahari: Wave of Beauty Translated from the Sanskrit by Mani Rao HarperCollins, 218 pages, Rs 399 ‘Saundarya Lahari’, usually ascribed to Adi Shankaracharya, has a unique status among the religious-spiritual works of Hinduism.

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter