The problem of defining marital rape as Rape

Many women who are victims of marital rape have great difficulty in defining it as such. The traditional idea that it is impossible for a man to rape his wife and that somehow, in taking our marriage vows we have abdicated any say over our own body and sexuality, basically denied ourselves the right to say 'no', is still prevalent amongst wives as much as amongst their husbands. A wife being raped will often question her right to refuse intercourse with her husband, and while she may realise that legally it now constitutes rape, there are many reasons which may prevent her from perceiving it in such a light.

We prefer to see it possibly as a communication problem (did I make it clear enough that I did not want intercourse tonight), we may see it as an act for which the man is not fully responsible due to his nature (men have a biological need to have sex and if there is a woman next to them in bed when they are in the mood they just cannot help it), we may see it as a misunderstanding (although I told him I didn't want to, maybe I gave him the wrong signals somehow), we may have religious issues which question our right to refuse intercourse (I have got to submit myself to him and accept his will above mine as my Lord and Master).

Basically, as wives being raped by our husbands, we look for every reason, every excuse to deny it is Rape because we do not want to accept the alternative: it is Rape, he is hurting and humiliating us with intent, we can no longer trust him, turn to him in comfort, gain reassurance and protection from his company and our home is no longer safe.

Rape is rape, regardless of the relationship between the rapist and the victim. It can be a total stranger; someone you recognize by sight, but have never really communicated with; someone you know superficially, a neighbor or a colleague; a friend, a boy-friend or a former boyfriend; a live-in partner, or a former partner; someone you are married to or have been married to in the past.

Rape is a very personal and intimate traumatic experience. Our experiences of and reactions to rape may differ widely, and although there are many similarities in the way that we feel about being the victim of rape, regardless of the relationship between us and the rapist, there are differences between stranger and intimate rape, and in this section I am trying to describe and offer an understanding of some of the specific problems regarding marital rape (or rape by an intimate) as opposed to stranger rape.

In One of the study and Paper prepared for XXV International Population Conference Tours, France, July 18-23, 2005, shows all Indian men are rapist.

The findings presented in this paper draw from a study comprised of both survey and in-depth interviews conducted during August 2002 - October 2003. The respondents were young women who were married two years prior to the survey, young women who were pregnant for the first time, or first-time mothers up to 18 months postpartum. The study area included 24 villages in Gujarat (with a population of about 46,000) and 25 villages in West Bengal (with a population of 42,000). The respondents were identified through a rapid household listing in the study area and all eligible women identified at the time of the house listing were invited to participate in the survey. A total of 1079 women in Gujarat and 1036 women in West Bengal were interviewed.

The refusal rate was marginal in both the sites. A structured bilingual questionnaire was used to explore a wide range of issues including young women’s transition to marriage, livelihood experience, access to and control over resources, mobility, social connections, spousal communication and support, and reproductive health knowledge and practice. In order to gather additional insights about young women’s transition to marriage, partner relationships, exercise of sexual rights and level of agency/ autonomy in reproductive health matters, in-depth interviews were also carried out among 69 women (30 in Gujarat and 39 in West Bengal) who had participated in the survey.

To understand the nature of young brides’ relationships and the control they have over their bodies and sexual lives, questions were asked about a range of topics, including, the experience of first intercourse, physical abuse, decision making, and the degree to which married girls can express " and achieve " their will. In order to explore experiences of unwanted/ wanted sex, respondents were asked whether they tell their husbands when sex is not (and is) wanted and whether their husbands ‘always’, ‘sometimes’, ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ do what the girls/women wish.

In this paper, we examine the prevalence, experience and correlates of unwanted sex. This is sex that the respondent did not necessarily perceive as forced, but did categorize as against her will.

Two variables are constructed and considered: “routine unwanted sex,” i.e., women who report that their husbands rarely or never respect their wish when they deny their husbands’ sexual demands; and “occasional or routine unwanted sex,” i.e., women who report that their husbands sometimes, rarely or never respect their wish when they deny their husbands sexual demands. In this paper, we explore the issue of unwanted sexual experiences only among the sub sample of respondents who articulated their preference about when sex is not wanted to their husbands.

These girls constitute 70% of the total sample in Gujarat and 89% in West Bengal. We acknowledge that many women who never expressed their sexual preference may also have experienced unwanted sexual experiences.

If these women do not want to have sex once a week, and gives odd reason to avoid, then why they get marry Ask Rudolph Dsouza, a ITS Engineer for IBM Middle East.

These women organization just survey from women only without checking husbands situation; in same paper, they portrait man as rapist and always wanted to have sex, as per statements taken from these women below;

“Nothing happens [when I say no], he keeps ignoring whatever I say. He will listen to me only one or two days” [Recently married woman, Gujarat]

“He listens sometimes and he doesn’t listen sometimes” [First time mother, Gujarat]

"My husband sometimes listens to me when I say ‘no’ to him for sex and sometimes, he doesn’t listen. Very rare, once or twice in a month, he does sex forcefully” [Recently married woman, West Bengal]

“Not always, but rarely, once in 4-5 months he does that” [First time pregnant woman, West Bengal]

“He forces me often for sex. We have sex 3-4 days a week. In one month, he has coerced sex 4-5 days. I do not feel like having sex, it becomes painful, but he does not stop ” [First time mother, West Bengal]

Findings from the in-depth interviews in Gujarat also allude to the circumstances in which women have sex even when they do not wish to, but did not articulate their wish to their husbands for fear of abandonment or quarrel and in some cases, because of affection for their husbands.“I don’t like it …If I tell, then he won’t listen. My bhabhi [sister-in-law] didn’t allow her husband to touch her. He divorced her. I feel that if I don’t allow my husband to touch me,he may divorce me. That’s why I allow him” [First time pregnant woman, Gujarat]

“If he is interested and if I say no, how will he feel? He will think that my wife told me like this… I do feel scared because men these days are like that. They have sex with other women. That’s why I don’t say no [even when I don’t want to have sex]” [First time mother, Gujarat]

“[I do not say ‘no’ to my husband’s sexual demands]. What will I get after giving pain to his heart? If he likes it, then let him be happy and it does not matter even if I am not willing for it -- if he is happy, then I am also happy” [First time mother, Gujarat]

Mosy funny part is, in same report “He does not force me during my menstruation. When I don’t feel good or don’t feel like having sex, I say no to him. That time, he doesn’t listen to me. My husband comes home twice every month and if I say no, he does not listen to me. I accept whatever he says. I don’t get angry and I never tried to make him understand” [First time mother, West Bengal]. If women is not allow man to have sex once in a 15 days what he has to do; what is the use getting married and spending thousands of rupees on wives, or why these Indian women want to marry..?

The Law Commission in one of its Report dated March, 2000 had recommended that laws relating to rape (Sec 375 IPC) be made gender neutral.

It had deliberated upon widening the scope of offence under Sec 375 & 376 IPC, and also that it be made more comprehensive to bring it in tune with current times.

But the recommendation was not accepted. Why ? ; asks Swarup Sarkar of Delhi.

Sex or comment of sex, without mutual consent is termed as rape/sexual harassment as per LAW , then why it considered that men does not face the same situation?"

Can our Lawmaker will ever able to replace the word" Men/women" by the word " person" and "husband/wife" word by the word "Spouse"?

As per Indian law, if married women involved in sex outside marriage that will not be valid reason for divorce, but husband should not go to other women. Even women caught

Red handed, she will awarded alimony and child custody. Man  forced to pay, at the cost of her lust. for Indian judiciary Indian women always a victim even she involved in extramarital affairs. It means Indian law system support prostitution in married life, and trying to make bastard future citizen by awarding alimony to a women, even she has child from other man, when she is married to one [ Bombay High court verdict ]

If wife enjoys at night and next morning she will charge husband with marital rape; then how to judge between sex and rape ?

Who will decide how much sex is not rape ?

For Indian women sex is a bargaining tool to get things done from husband; if she withhold sex for no reason; when her desire is not fulfilled by husband, what husband has to do. In this situation man will not get Divorce as per biased Indian judiciary. And she cann`t be charged under breach of trust either. AS per TOI 10/09/07, 312, indian commit suicide everyday, Now you know why men commit suicide

As per constitute of India, in the eyes of Indian judiciary all citizens are equal and there is no difference in gender caste or colour, then  why this bias, why this step mother policy or partiality. Or its mockery of constitute. But i`m sure its sabotage of Institute of marriage and hidden agenda of women organizations to break family system.

Author : Rudolph Dsouza

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