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MARITAL RAPE: HOW BAD IS THE PROBLEM IN INDIA AND WHY

Author: Sameer Afzal Ansari, III year of B.A.,LL.B. from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University


In tIndia, ta tman traping this twife tis tconsidered tlegal. tThis tstatement tcan send tshivers tdown tthe tspine tof tany twoman tor, tin tfact, tany tperson twho cares tabout thumanity. tAccording tto tSection t375, tException t2 tof tthe Indian tPenal tCode t(IPC), t“sexual tintercourse tby ta tman twith this twife, tthe wife tnot tbeing tunder tfifteen tyears tof tage, tis tnot trape.”


India tis tone tof tthe t36 tcountries twhere tmarital trape thasn’t tbeen criminalised. tA tstudy tby tthe tUN tPopulation tFund tstates tthat tmore tthan two-thirds tof tmarried twomen tin tIndia, tbetween tthe tages tof t15 tto t49, have tbeen tbeaten, traped, tor tforced tto tprovide tsex. tNumerous tpetitions and tcases tover tthe tyears thave tbeen tdismissed ton tthe tground tthat tlaw shan’t tchange tfor tone twoman. tThe tissue tof tmarital trape thas tbeen tlong persistent tin tthe tcountry. The tpandemic, thowever, tjust tmade tit tworse.


Statistics show the real picture

Between tMarch t25 tand tMay t31, t2020, t1,477 tcomplaints tof tdomestic violence twere tmade tby twomen. tThe tNational Commission for Women (NCW) talone tregistered t587 tcomplaints tin tthe tfirst tthree tweeks tof tthe lockdown tperiod. tThis twas ta tsteep trise tfrom t396 tcomplaints treceived tin the tpast t25 tdays tbetween tFebruary t27 tand tMarch t22. tThe tthree tmonths of tlockdown tthis tyear trecorded tmore tcomplaints tthan tthose treceived tin the tprevious t10 tyears. tMost tof tthe tcases twere treported tfrom tthe tstates of tUP, tBihar, tRajasthan, tand tHaryana.


The tcoronavirus tpandemic tleft tpeople tconfined twithin tthe tfour twalls tof their thouses, taccompanied tby tthe tfear tof tlack tof tincome, tthe tgrowing threat tof thunger, tand tan tunstable tfuture. tWomen thad tto tdeal twith abusive tpartners tinside tthe thouse tand tthe tvirus toutside. tIt twas talso reported tthat t86 tpercent tof twomen twho texperienced tviolence tnever sought thelp, tand t77 tpercent tof tthe tvictims tdid tnot teven tmention tthe incidents tto tanyone. tThe tpandemic thad tput tall tsorts tof tconstraints ton women tto treach tout tfor tany tsort tof tsupport tfrom tanywhere.


Remember you are not alone

Domestic tviolence tis ta tworldwide tissue. tThere tare tvarious tways tto combat tgender tviolence tif tthe thome tis tnot ta tsafe tplace. tMake ta tsafety plan tin tcase tviolence tagainst tyou tescalates. tYou tcan tstart tby tidentifying and tconfining tin ta tneighbour, tfriend, tor tfamily tmember. tKeep tyour essentials tready tlike tdocuments, tmoney, tmedicines, tand tclothes tin tcase you tneed tto tleave tthe thouse timmediately tfortsafety. tThere tare talso tquite a tfew tNGOs tthat tprovide tsubstantial thelp. tIf tyou tare ta tvictim tyourself or tknow tsomeone twho tis, tyou tcan tcontact tthese tNGOs.


Guria India thelps tvictims twith trescue tand tlegal tintervention t tright from tfiling tan tFIR tto tfighting tthe tcase twith tevidence. Action Aid India’s Gauravi tis tthe t24x7 tone-stop tcrisis tcentre twhere tvictims tare tprovided with tcounselling, tmedical thelp, tshelter thome tas twell tas tsocial rehabilitation.


Sayodhya truns ta tshort tstay thome tfor twomen/young tgirls tin tdistress tand provides tan temergency tresponse tthrough tits t24 thours ttelephone thelpline.


The Urja Trust tis ta tnon-government torganisation tthat tprovides tshelter to women twho tare thomeless tor thave trun taway tdue tto tdomestic tviolence and thelps tthem tbecome tfinancially independent.


More tthan t50 thelplines thave tbeen tstarted tin tIndia tfor twomen tfacing domestic tviolence. tThese thelplines tare trun tby tthe tpolice, twomen twelfare departments, tand tNGOs, tand tare tset tup tat tnational, tstate, tand tdistrict levels. tUttar tPradesh tPolice tlaunched ta thelpline tnumber tfor tdomestic violence tvictims t t112 tand tthe tKerala tgovernment tand tthe tNCW thave launched ta tWhatsApp tnumber t t7217735372.


The tdomestic tabuse tnational thelpline tis t181 twhile twomen tpolice helpline numbers tare t1091 tand t1291. tState-specific thelplines tare talso available. tFor eg., tDelhi- tShakti tShalini- t01124373737, tMumbai Policewomen thelpline t- 022-22633333, tand tHaryana twomen tand tchild helpline- t0124- t2335100.


Conclusion

There tis ta thuge tstigma tregarding tmarital trape tor tdomestic tviolence tin general. tIn ta tsociety tlike tours, tvictim tshaming tis tcommon tand tthat’s one of tthe treasons twhy twomen thesitate tto treport tabuses. tThings tlike separation, tlegal tconfrontation, tand tdivorce tare tlooked tdown tupon tand most tof tthe twomen trefuse tto tleave ttheir tabusive tpartners. tInstead, tthey seek tadvice ton thow tto tmanage tthe tsituation. tStaying twith tthe taggressor and this tfamily toften ttakes ta ttoll ton twomen’s thealth tand tthis tneeds tto stop. tMarital tor tnon-marital, trape tis trape tand tthe tgovernment tshould deal twith tthis tissue twith tutmost turgency.