Marital Rape - an Undefined Sexual Crime

(Musawir Ali, Karachi)

When I got married, it had been 3 months of my marriage and I could not initiate physical intimacy with my husband. Due to fear, I used to scream every time my husband came to touch me and my body used to shiver badly. In the beginning, when I discussed this with my closed ones, they laughed off and linking it with shyness. Later, I was questioned by my in-laws about why I gave my consent to this marriage if I didn’t like my husband. I then claimed that I love my husband and enjoy his company, but not when he got physically involved with me.

I was advised to visit a lady doctor, so, I consulted a gynecologist and explained my condition, she told me that it is not a new thing and she had observed a dire result of the lack of sex education and awareness. Gynophobia or a fear of being physically intimate is a typical condition which she commonly noted in her clinical practice and many patients are going through this condition even at such extreme level that it stops them from performing any physical activity through their entire married life.

My blog will explore the insight of marital rape which is a sexual assault. When you finish reading this article, you will get a clear perception of this topic, including the four different ways to take a strong stand against marital rape.

Marriage has got great importance in our culture. Our careers and whole choices of lives revolve around this so-called marriage. Mostly women in our society, are enforced to give up the dreams, overall all life goals and even their identity, only to get settled and married by a specific age limit. By considering all these facts, it is quite strange why sex education and pre-marriage counseling is not provided to women before they get married.

A concept of sexual assault by Marital Rape is not new and as old as the laws of marriage in the country. Marital rape or I would say sex without the consent of any of the partner leads to a serious kind of violation of human rights with the sexual abuse or domestic violence on the rape victim. In the abusive marriage where two people are living together, there is a huge misconception, rape cannot happen just because they are married, which is not true.

Since the concept is not new, it came into the spotlight when the group of cosmopolitan women took a stand against the injustice to the rights of married women and show criticism towards it. The issue was brought into the limelight internationally from the mid-20th century yet still in several countries marital rape is not considered under the criminal law or this is considered as illegal but broadly tolerated.

This concept probably originated from the “might is right” theory, where superior men believed that women are weak in this society. The cause of exempting marital rape from the laws of rape could be the regulation that a man cannot be charged or accused of raping his wife. The concept that through getting married, a wife gives an unchangeable consent to the husband to get physical anytime or it is believed to be less damaging as compared to rape did by the strangers.

These concepts indicate why the act of marital rape is an under-reported kind of crime. Also, this is a protected manner for married criminals to control and suppress the victims. There are only a few rape victims who report to the police and there are even fewer reports of the rape victims who are married.

It is necessary to take this ongoing marital rape discussion on the broader level; bringing this subject into the basic grounds, allowing the victims to understand their choices and identifying these about what they are – sexual assault. Giving support to the survivors and enabling them to understand that marital rape exists and they can reach help for that. Several bodies are providing emergency shelters, counseling, and advocacy.

Ways to Take a Stand for the Victims

Do you want to raise a voice against marital rape or any kind of sexual violence? Here are the few steps you can take:
• Facilitate OB/GYNs and health care providers in your society to monitor women for any form of sign related to sexual and physical abuse and inquire if they are in abusive or violent marriage during routine follow-ups.
• Demand the legislative bodies of the state to upgrade laws of rape to add marital rape instead of considering it as a less harmful crime.
• Operate with youth-oriented groups, religious groups, and local schools to provide awareness about healthy relationships and healthy sexual life.
• Ask the universities and local schools to cater to the problems of sexual abuse in the institutions and by the different programs and sessions of victim support.

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21 Aug, 2019 Views: 221


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