This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Akshat Tyagi. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

A 14 Year Old’s Thoughts On Marital Rape: When ‘Sacredness’ Is The Reason Behind ‘Lawlessness’

More from Akshat Tyagi

By Akshat Tyagi

As the honourable Minister of State for Home Affairs stood up for ‘clarifying’ that the government did not host any plan to criminalise marital rape since India wasn’t prepared for it, where marriage is still a very sacred institution, he left everyone, from feminists to housewives, absolutely shocked about government’s stand on the subject. We hence chose to step backward on women’s rights.

What ‘preparation’ does law demand to come into force? And how can the ‘sacredness’ of an institution be the reason for lawlessness?

For Representational Purposes Only
For representational purposes only

The very approach of treating marriage and acts within marriage as sacred makes these visible atrocities invisible to law.

What about the thousands of untold tales of women where men became their worst nightmares? This may be one of the very factors of National Crime Records Bureau’s recent report indicating very worrisome levels of women suicide, more than half of which consisted of house-wives. Many cases of violence within marriage are never reported, and remarks like the Minster’s have the potential of swelling these latent domestic violence cases by massive figures.

In 2013, NCRB reported over 118,000 domestic violence cases, which made up a third of all crimes against women, far ahead of molestation (70,739) and rape (33,707). The number of reported domestic violence cases also shot up from a mere 50,703 in 2003 before the passage of the Domestic Violence Act of 2005.

In a country where it is believed that subtle beatings by husband are not domestic violence at all, it is hard to imagine the levels of disguised dangers threatening our women. “United Nation defines acts of physical violence by the husband against his wife as pushing, shaking, throwing something at her, slapping, arm twisting, hair pulling, punching, kicking, dragging, beating, trying to choke or burn her on purpose, and threatening her or attacking her with a weapon.

Marital Rape final
Illustration by Maitri Dore

Also, according to a report, “The United Nations Populations Fund study also found that 60% of men admitted to using violence—kicking, beating, slapping, choking, and burning—to establish dominance.

Again, do we excuse ourselves for not being prepared?

Two out of five married women have been subjected to spousal violence at least once. And most of these women suffer this violence in silence. Many Indian women do not even have the realization that any sexual act performed against her will, even by her husband, is ‘rape’.

Shouldn’t this be worrying us as a nation? How much longer can we let women suffocate in patriarchal domination that results in rapes and harassment till we acknowledge the problem?

Love can be sacred, marriage can be sacred, so can be sex. But violence or rape cannot.

You must be to comment.
  1. Batman

    Women like to withhold sex, and control it after marriage to treat their husbands like chattel and emotionally blackmail them to get things done.

  2. B

    Men are not seen as human beings in society, that is why we never talk about the biases that men face on a daily basis, women usurp half of men’s properties during divorces, courts give men stricter sentences for the same crimes that women commit, juries give verdicts against men in domestic disputes, women usurp half of men’s properties in divorce, men give alimony to women, misandry in the media, sexism against men, domestic violence against men, how men are locked up in false cases of rape, dowry, and domestic abuse, more than 3 times as many men die due to dowry harassment from women, domestic violence statistics do not take into account verbal and psychological abuse that men suffer from at the hands of their wives, yet we talk about violence being a woman’s issue.

    A man is assaulted by his wife/girlfriend every 14.6 seconds.

    When husbands are victims of domestic violence

    Why are so many MEN becoming victims of domestic violence?

    A Hidden Crime: Domestic Violence Against Men Is a Growing Problem

    Women More Likely to Commit Domestic Violence, Studies Show

    Male domestic abuse victim: men are scared to come forward

    More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals

    1. Shruthi

      Why is it that everytime there’s an article about problems that women face, there’s always somebody trying to derail that conversation by posting the problems that men face. This is frankly annoying. Nobody is saying that men don’t have their own set of problems. We all know men also get raped, assaulted, abused etc.

      BUT this is not the place to discuss those issues. You want to highlight men’s issues? Write your own damn article about it and post it. Don’t derail or shift the focus from women’s issues here. We have enough people denying or downplaying the severity of violence against women.

    2. Monistaf

      @Shruti, this article cries foul that marital rape is not covered under the rape law (section 375) and that it should be. When you consider that section 375 excludes half the population of India from being victims of rape (Men cannot be victims and women cannot be perpetrators), but are fighting for marital rape to be included, it sounds a bit absurd, especially in light of the “gender equality” hypothesis that feminists like to think they are fighting for. And, it is the feminists who are vehemently opposed to making section 375 gender neutral, but they want to push for marital rape to be included, in spite of the fact that it is already AGAINST the law, which the article conveniently ignores.

  3. Jigsaw

    If you watch Aitraaz, there are many women like the character played by Priyanka Chopra, who rape men, but it is not legally a crime.

  4. B

    According to NCRB Data, there were 2,22,091 arrests related to 498A in 2013 alone. A man is arrested every 3 minutes for dowry – 98% cases are false.

    From 2005 to 2008, as many as 22,000 men have ended their lives in reverse dowry harassment after allegedly being tormented by their wives. In contrast, dowry harassment has driven 6,800 women to suicide.

    Since the media is bigoted and biased, it shows women as dowry victims whereas more than 3 times as many men commit suicide due to harassment from wives. The number of men victims of 498A alone outweigh all crimes against women.

  5. Monistaf

    Marital rape IS against the law. It is one of the violations in the domestic violence act of 2005. It is not a violation of IPC section 375, which deals with rape, but it definitely violates one of the provisions of the DV act of 2005. Yes, it carries a lighter sentence than IPC section 375. How come we are all so concerned about marital rape, but have absolutely NO concerns whatsoever for the millions of boys and men who are victimized by rape? Does the UN only define domestic violence in terms of a female victim? Does anyone care about boys and men at all, in spite of the fact that they are the overwhelming majority of victims of violent crime?

  6. tyson

    Guys what is this, Defending men in comments? This post is to make an awareness about martial rape. Its not saying all men are evil.
    In today’s world everyone is equal, so treat them as equals.

    1. Monistaf

      “In today’s world everyone is equal”, except that some are “more” equal than others, and there in lies the problem. I am not saying that Marital rape is not a problem, it very much is and there is clearly a law against it. Look it up, page 64 of the Domestic Violence act of 2005. So, this article is not well researched at all.

More from Akshat Tyagi

Similar Posts

By Priyasmita Dutta

By Pratiksha Sharma

By Shraddha Iyer

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below