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Criminalize Marital and Male Rape

This petition had 6,458 supporters

In 2008, a 28 year old woman from East Delhi showed up at her employer’s home with cuts and bruises on her body. The previous night, her husband forced her into having sex even after she refused multiple times. She claims that in her locality, all the women undergo the same cruelty. She says there is nothing she could have done, simply because she was the woman in the marriage and in our country, women cannot file a case against their husbands.  She alleged that this was a regular happening, saying this happened to her and other women in her locality on a “daily basis.”[1]

This is only one of the several cases reported every day pertaining to marital rape. Married women in India at crippled and shunned at the hands of the law, which prohibits granting justice to women who are forced to participate in sexual acts by their husbands. This is because Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code provides an exception to conditions of rape which states Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.”

In a report prepared by the Parliament of India on the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, the Members of Parliament jointly stated that “for ages, the family system has evolved and it is moving forward. Family is able to resolve the problems and there is also a provision under the law for cruelty against women. It was, therefore, felt that if the marital rape is brought under the law, the entire family system will be under great stress and the Committee may perhaps be doing more injustice.”

Any form of sexual abuse, especially rape, in a marriage not only carries physical pain, but emotional repercussions as well. Punishing a marital rapist is nearly impossible in today’s law and this has to do with cultural attitudes towards such crimes. Marital rape could be happening to you, your sister, your uncle, your best friend, your maid and one day, probably even your child. Prosecuting a marital rapist doesn’t breakdown the institution of marriage. The very act of rape within the marriage does the deed. 

Futhermore, a rape victim is a rape victim regardless of what sex they are. Male survivors already face a massive lack of legal aid and are deafened by social stigma. The Indian Parliament has quite happily declared that women are incapable of being perpetuators simply because rape arises from pure patriarchy and male privilege. To basically sum it up, under present Indian law, a woman cannot be a rapist and a man cannot be a rape victim. Unless of course, a man rapes another man, in which case BOTH parties would be punished under the provisions of Section 377. Men can be victims and women can be perpetuators. It is intolerable to let our men hide in shame and terror with no legal recourse.



By singing this petition, you will be urging Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development,  to introduce a bill in either the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha that amends the Indian Penal Code and the Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to implement the following :-

1) Take immediate and effective action to criminalize marital rape in India by scrapping Exception#2 of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.


2) Provide ample provisions for victims to seek protection against their abusive spouses under the Indian Penal Code.


3) Make further provisions for punishment of perpetrators of marital rape.


4) Include a provision in the Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005 that acknowledges and recognizes marital rape as a form of domestic violence and abuse.


5) Further amend the wordings of Section 375, so as to remove the gender bias and acknowledge that any gender can be victims of rape and assault, and that any gender may be the perpetrator. 


By signing this petition, you will be changing the lives of several abused across the country, and uplift women development. All it takes is a click of a button and there will be #Justice

[1] Source: The Wall Street Journal Blog by Preetika Rana



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