TOPICS: Marital rape

Marital rape is one of the chronic forms of violence that a spouse suffers from as a result of non-consensual sexual intercourse.

In many countries, it is still unrecognized by law. Also, known as spousal rape, it started getting recognition during the second half of the twentieth century.

In Nepal where sex is still considered as a taboo, the spouses who have been raped by their own husbands have not come publicly to seek justice. Legally in 2006 A.D, the Supreme Court of Nepal declared that sex without dual consent is rape and punishable by law.

The punishment was three to six months’ imprisonment with bail. But with the amendment of the law last year the jail term has increased up to five years and is considered a non-bailable offence.

The main reason for the spouses becoming less vocal about the marital rape is their dependency on their husbands. The husbands are worshiped like gods and it’s the duty of the wife to fulfill every need of her husband whether she wants to or not.

Even if they share their problem with their family members, their voices are subdued as they concern the ‘prestige’ of the family in the society. Marital rape affects the victim physically and psychologically.

The sexual violence triggers a woman’s mind so traumatically that she cannot have a peaceful mind. Marital rape breaks the trust and intimacy in a marriage relationship.

Criminalization of marital rape is still not prevalent in most of the countries. In India forced sex in a marriage is a crime only when the wife is below 15. China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are some countries that do not criminalize marital rape.

Marital rape has not found the coverage it needs. The definition of rape is confined to only when the criminal is a stranger or an acquaintance.

Even if the criminal is the husband that doesn’t mean it is not rape.

Most of the women do not publicly speak about it even if they are affected as they believe it to be a part of their relationship with their husband.

The portrayal of the victim is also very much critical too. Those who are raped are presented as depressive, suffering weak persons who seek support. The boldness of the

women who are fighting for their right gets little coverage. The victim is usually reluctant to seek justice outside the home. Sex should never be forced.

It’s one’s personal choice whether to have sex and when to have.