By:- Kumari Anshuka 

Student at integrated school of law Ghaziabad 


Marital rape is indeed a deeply troubling and widely spread problem that still harms many people in the world. Advertised as a form of sexual violence, it also often gets under this category or is simply disregarded because of overall taboos around the subject of marriage. In our blog post, we will be looking at the meaning of marital rape, what its survivors go through, legal position regarding it and why there is need to create awareness as well as taking action to stop this inhuman act.

Thus, the concept of marital rape has been denied at some point or another in many societies for different reasons stemming from cultural beliefs about the position of marriage and the rightful place of spouse. It has existed in a way that offers one partner Master Domination over the other partner regarding their body and sexuality through marriage. This detrimental cultural belief continued the tradition of regarding marital rape as unexceptional and mandatory because, after all, partners assume the role of a sexual partner for their spouse, meeting each other’s needs as required without consideration for consent.

  However, it is essential to recognize that consent is a fundamental aspect of any sexual encounter, including those within a marriage. The absence of consent, whether in a marital or non-marital context, constitutes sexual assault and is a violation of an individual’s bodily autonomy and dignity. Marital rape is a clear manifestation of this violation, as it involves one partner forcing the other to engage in sexual acts without their consent.

What is Marital Rape?

Rape in marriage which is also called spousal rape, is when a man forces his wife to have intercourse or do any other sexual act without her consent. It infringes upon an individual’s independence and physical wholeness within the relationship of marriage or the intimacy of a relationship. Opposite to the general opinion, marriage does not mean consent to sexual activity all the time and every sexual act without clear mutual agreement of both partners is considered .

Effect of marital rape 

Marital rape is a severe and enduring damage to those who go through it. It might cause physical harm, psychological shock, and a feeling of being betrayed and disenfranchised. These survivors often perceive themselves as shameful, guilty, and afraid, that dramatically influences their psychological and physical conditions. Likewise people should understand that it might also affect them in different domains like intimate relationships, employment or self-esteem in general.


The consequences of marital rape are profound and far-reaching. Victims of marital rape often experience physical, emotional, and psychological trauma that can have lasting effects on their well-being. They may struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and helplessness, and they may also experience issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. In addition to the immediate impact on the victim, marital rape can also have broader social implications, affecting family dynamics, children, and communities as a whole.

But it must be noted that the issue of consent plays a critical role in every sexual interaction, even in the marriage. Consent is therefore non-existent in the situation whether it is a marital or non-marital one, which makes it equal to sexual assault and a violation of a person’s integrity. The best example of this violation is marital rape, which is a situation whereby one partner in marriage takes advantage of the other, forcing them to have sex when the latter has no wish to do so.

How to deal with it?

There is a challenge in dealing with marital rape  – lack of legal base that can recognize and protect those survivors who undergo it. In several jurisdictions marital rape is not criminalized outright or not placed at par with other types of rape meted by non-spousal partners. This gap contributes to the continued culture of impunity on the part of the perpetrators and further silencing of the victims who may dread being revenged against or disowned by society since they dare not air their grievances. Sufficient dealing with this rape issue calls for a holistic approach

. prevailing falsehoods and viewpoints that sustain marital rape makes it important for awareness to be raised. It is false thinking to feel that in marriage one owns someone’s body or is entitled to it. Through advocating for consent, respect and gender equality within relationships, we can be able to promote a society that respects all individuals regardless of their marital status in which all people’s rights are respected.

It has shown that measures to eliminate marital rape need to be based on legal changes and adoption, propagation of appropriate message, support for survivors, and their advocacy. Legal frameworks must address marital rape as a crime and bring the offenders to justice for their violation of the victim’s rights. This needs a legal framework that for reels the concept of marital rape, for showing the path to report and prosecute cases and for extending legal support to the victims. This can also be prevented through education and awareness being created on the offences of marital rape. There are no valid reasons to explain the prevalence of rape myths and misconceptions that continue to undermine the contours of marriage, consent, and sexual violence today. This includes finding ways of educating young persons on ways of refraining from practicing marital rape, respect personal space and do more to helping those who have experienced forced marital sex.

In addition, some of the relevant services which need to be provided to the marital rape survivors include: Counselling services for the survivor who have been maritally raped are also important as it will enable them to heal from their trauma and start a new life. Some of these services may entail counseling, legal aid, treatment and refuge centers for survivors in distress. These services should be easily attainable, culturally competent, and stigma-free so that the survivors of human trafficking will feel the ability to get help or assistance.

However, these measures should also be complemented by identifying the underlying factors of the occurrence of marital rape, such as gender-based violence, differential power relations between spouses and traditional gender roles. It is only through questioning the patriarchal approach towards women and their attempts to change the society so that it recognizes the worth of women before the men as well as embrace women’s rights of any woman regardless of the status of marriage.


In the effort to combat martial rape, we can individually play a role in denouncing all forms of sexual violence, arising against detrimental attitudes as well as mindsets while backing up the recovery journey of affected victims. This will help in creating a society that is more just and secure for everyone through our supportive, educated and aggressive companionship. In summary, marital rape is a flagrant infringement on people’s entitlement which demands concerted effort towards its eradication. By raising awareness and challenging harmful cultural practices, we can work towards preventing gender-based violence.

Frequently asked questions 

Q. This paper will define marital rape with an emphasis on the following elements: depicts who marital rape is committed by, and who the victims are, describes the act of marital rape, and outlines the consequences of the current state of this type of rape.

A: Marital rape therefore means having sexual intercourse or other sexual activities with the spouse or the ex-spouse forcefully or when the partner is not in agreement. Domestic violence is a broader category under which domestic abuse falling under the category of sexual abuse.

Q: Uh, I actually am not very sure if marital rape is even considered a crime in many places in the world.

A: Legal provisions concerning marital rape remain to be a grey area in various systems of law in different countries and regions. Marital rape is unlawful in some regions; it is unlawful and co sansidered a criminal act in many states of the USA and in different countries. Nevertheless, there are still some countries where due to some of the act known as spousal immunity laws one cannot be prosecuted for raping his or her spouse.

Q: Marital Rape How frequently does it happen?

A: It is rather difficult to establish the frequency of marital rape owing to the aspects of underreported cases and the consideration of marital rape as ‘non-crime’ by some individuals. Research shows that it occurs more often than it is estimated hence, the many victims are normally reluctant to report incidences of such nature since they are afraid, ashamed or pressured by cultural beliefs or norms.

 Q: How can a woman who has been raped by her husband, get the help she needs? **

A: In case of marital rape, victim can approach such as hotlines for battered women, counseling centers, support groups, legal Offices, health care providers, police and more. Hence, one must not be shy in seeking help and assistance.

Q: What measures should a man take if he finds himself on the side of the perpetrator of marital rape?

A: Anytime someone is being subjected to marital rape, it becomes advisable that they consider their safety and safety first. For instance, they can talk about it to family and friends, call helpline centre or any support group, report the abuse to required authorities, or consult a lawyer.

Q: In general, what must society do in order to respond to marital rape?

A: Marital rape can be combatted by social awareness programmes, demystification, enacting better laws and providing shelter and psychological assistance to the victims, empowering survivors and raising the spirit of informed consent, providing awareness for law enforcement and doctors, nurses etc., encouraging healthy relationships among men and women.

Q: Does spousal rape affect marriage or any type of relationship? 

A: The effects of marital rape are way more serious and devastating to the union of marriage or relationship, as it may lead to lack of trust, failure of communication between the affected spouses, withdrawal, bitterness and total destruction of the relationship. This only stipulates that the community needs to get help and support for these problems to be solved.

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