Marital Rape


It is very regrettable that marital rape is still not deemed a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code. The Verma Committee, appointed in early 2013 to review the laws of the country for sexual crimes, strongly recommended that marital rape be included as punishable as a criminal offence under sections 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code. However, till date these amendments have not been made. There is a huge debate in the country for making marital rape a criminal offence. Of the laws in force, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence(PWDV) Act of 2005 gives certain protections.

Keep the following points in mind:

  • Memory: A traumatic experience can impact your memory. A victim may recall the event hesitantly, or may have accurate but fragmented memory of the event and experience difficulty recalling what happened in a linear fashion.
  • Emotions: In reaction to trauma, the victim may experience unexpected emotional reactions. While recalling an incident, they may remain unemotional or experience extreme emotional swings.
  • Physical response: Know that trauma can cause temporary immobility in a victim, that causes the body to freeze in situations that provoke extreme fear. Resisting or escaping for a victim experiencing this is not possible. At this point, a person experiencing trauma will not have full control over their muscle response. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT REACTING DURING THE INCIDENT.