Marital Rape: Time to Criminalize legally

Repoter : News Room
Published: 28 July, 2020 11:11 pm

Sadia karim & Dilruba Akter Toma:

When we heard the word “Rape” our mind subconsciously think that a man has constituted forceful non-consensual sexual intercourse with a woman. But when a husband constituted forceful non-consensual sexual intercourse with her wife then this is “ok” for us because they are married.

Although many people in Bangladesh have a rather oppressive understanding of rape — that it is only conceivable with an outsider, and thus do not consider it as a violation unless it happens inside a marriage relationship.In Bangladesh, rape in marriage is a phenomenon that obsesses a woman to the very heart. The terror of directly confronting it and go through it in silence is an intolerable feeling that influences the mind of women. This self-imposed isolation has a very damaging impact on women’s physical, social and behavioral health.Rape is certainly one of the most egregious offences against the human being, and Bangladeshi legislation is yet to criminalize the act of marital rape. Far from criminalizing it, the statute expressly exempts marital abuse from the crime of rape itself.[1]An exception can be used under Section 375 of the Penal Code, which is the primary framework regarding the concept of abuse, which outlines five circumstances that may lead to abuse. The paragraph is accompanied by a categorical exception for marital abuse from rape, which specifically specifies that ‘sexual activity between a man and his own child, a woman not under the age of thirteen, is not rape after this again, there is ambiguity as to the actual age at which a woman will be sentenced for marital rape, as the exception provision of section 375 specifies that she is under the age of thirteen, [2]but Section 376[3] notes that she is under the age of twelve. This, combined with the reality that penalty may at times only be a two-year jail term (or even a fine) demonstrates that only in the extremely limited context in which marital rape is criminalized, deterrence remains regrettably weak.Consent and maturity are the concerns illustrated in this segment. Exemption provision in this portion states that there is no rape if there is sexual contact between a husband and his own woman who is not under 13 years of age. This clause falls beyond the control of the Child Marriage Restrain Act, 1929. A 13-year-old child is not constitutionally allowed to marry under the Child Marriage Restrain Act, 1929. Section 4[4] of the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 explains that makes it plain that a person under the age of eighteen is not in a position to marry as a sexual assault is a serious offence.In a marriage, when a wife is being raped by her husband is called ‘Marital rape’ or ‘Spouse rape’. So, here in this section it doesn’t recognize rape in a marital bond or rape by spouse. As example, if you are above thirteen and a married women then if your husband without your consent forcefully intercourse with you this act won’t be rape because you both are in marital bond. Here marriage is becoming a defense for a husband against rape. When a wife is raped by her husband and for that if she has been abused sexually or physically or psychologically then she can seek remedy under Domestic Violence (prevention and Protection) Act, 2010 for her sexual, physical or psychological abusing but there is no remedy for rape. Bangladesh ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Types of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1984. The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is necessary to authorize national legislation aimed at eliminating gender inequality, along with the acceptance that freedom from abuse is a human right.[5]This international law allows for an autonomous entity, as well as fundamental rights and equality for all human beings, and the liberties of which are gender-neutral, meaning that all women and men are fairly protected by the Statute.The State has since passed laws expressly banning such types of violence against women, including the Anti-Dowry Prohibition Act of 1980, the Cruelty to Women Act of 1983 the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act of 1995, which was replaced by the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act of 2000.However, implementation of such laws is weak, especially in rural regions, and the government only prosecutes other cases that have been tried. According to a human rights organization, 7 government-funded and 13 privately operated major shelters are available for use by people who are victims of violence. Many smaller homes are often accessible to the victim of violence[6]. However, they are insufficient to fulfill the victims’ housing needs.Marital rape is as traumatic as general rape. It is not only involve sexual harm it also hamper a women physically and psychologically. Here a women is being raped in her own bedroom and the very next day she will have to start her day with making a cup of tea for her rapist. In the context of Bangladesh, most of they are unaware about the fact that her husband also can be her rapist. For them it is very natural that a husband will abuse or force their wife for instituting intercourse. It is high time where wives individual rights are violating and they are suffering silently with their frightful experiences. Now, things should be changed. Marital rape should be recognized as a criminal offence and it should give equal recognition as general rape. Marriage is a beautiful bond. In marriage though husband has the right to have sex with his wife but this sexual intercourse should be consensual also there must have the equal respect with other one’s sexual desire and their opinions.

Sadia karim & Dilruba Akter Toma: Student of Law

[1]Taqbir Huda , Why is marital rape still legal in Bangladesh?, Daily star

[2]section 375 , Penal Code 1860

[3]section 376 ,Penal Code 1860

[4]Section 4 , the Child Marriage Restrain Act, 1929

[5]Now Geranda ,Marital rape charge, the constitution and international conventions , 2019

[6]malenie , The right to no : The crime of marital rape and women’s human rights & International Law , 2015