By Kartavi Satyarthi, National Law University, Jodhpur.
“…… Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution…..”
~ British philosopher and political activist Bertrand Russell
Rape per se is an offence against women, violating her dignity and self-respect and when it occurs within the four-walls of a matrimonial home, it reduces the woman to the status of an object used merely for sexual gratification. Marital rape is possibly the worst form of offence that can be perpetrated on the body of a person as it scars the very soul of a person’s existence when the victim is supposed to live and lead a life with the perpetrator. Marital rape stems from the very root of sexual discrimination and gender bias. It is based on the notion that women are supposed to be subdued and submissive under the influence of men. Once married, a woman’s autonomy over everything she owns, including her body, transfers to her male partner, in the same way as all rights of use and enjoyment of property is transferred with the sale of an object. (more…)