Tag Archives: marital rape

An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone…


This a re-post of the original article posted on May 13, 2012
 in 
The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker.

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Sharing an email from a father of an Indian daughter.

Dear Indian Homemaker,

After stumbling upon your blog accidentally, I read with interest your post created on May 10, countering the so-called advantages of arranged marriage.

Although I have been happily married for nearly thirty years now, I have seen my own daughter suffer terribly in the arranged marriage system. While some might say that it is our culture, and love marriages are a Western import, I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone who might be considering the idea of simply going along with what everyone is saying, and isn’t following his or her own heart just because he doesn’t want ill to be spoken of his family in society. It is painful for me to write this, but I thought that I must use the internet forum to let people know how the system works.

I am retired with two daughters and a son.

It is my older daughter who has gone through hell on account of this horrible system of in-laws and dowry, and it is her that I want to write about.

About three years ago, my daughter graduated with her masters degree. She has always been extremely hard-working and being from a top college, she secured a well-paying job. Like any father, I was very proud of her and was happy that she was on-track to do very well in life without any help from me at all. The only thing left was to find a good groom for her, we thought, and after that she would be completely settled.

As my daughter had not selected any boy herself, the search began. We went all out. We published ads in papers, asked family friends, looked on matrimonial websites. Eventually, we found a boy, in the same city where my daughter worked a that time. He was from a good, well-settled family which owned a chain of businesses. He was well-spoken, confident and seemed quite modern in his ideas. We were forthright about my daughter being career-oriented and told the boy’s family categorically that she would not leave her job after marriage. We were assured that it was not a problem as the other daughter-in-law was also working and most of the housework was done by maids in any case.

My daughter, docile as always, simply went along and said okay to the proposal after only a few visits.

Within one month, the marriage was finalized and the ceremony was held in 2010.

At this point, we made the mistake of paying out a hefty dowry. It sounds very naive now, but I am being candid with you; I thought this might making things a little easier for our daughter . How could I have known what monstrous characters these people were hiding behind their smiles and laughter?

From the moment my daughter entered the house, these people began plotting to get more. At first, they were nice and gentle, but soon they began to show their true colours. It started with small hints, then moved on to broad hints, taunts, fights and finally, physical assaults.

I had no idea all this was going on. My daughter never told me; I used to call up every week and she told me that all was fine. Then one day, she said that she did not want me to call her anymore. She gave absolutely no reason for this request. It was completely out of character, and I was a little hurt, but reluctantly agreed. In Jun 2011, on her wedding anniversary, to my utter shock, the ceremony was held without us even being invited! By then, I had come to the conclusion that something was definitely very wrong.

I made a surprise visit to my son-in-law’s place. I told their family that I was there on business and had decided to pay them a visit. What I saw at their place made my blood boil over. My confident, beautiful daughter was treated like she was little more than a servant. When I entered, she was rudely told to get some tea, and the same people who had been so bubbly and smiley treated me as if I was a social inferior. I called out to my daughter, refused the tea, and simply stated that I was taking her out to lunch. They tried to protest, but I ignored them. It was only in the car that the whole story came out.

I have already told you the broad incidents, I won’t bore you with gory details. This fiend who called himself a husband not only hit my daughter, but he actually forced himself on her sexually. Imagine! My daughter, who I have NEVER hit till date. My daughter, who I brought up as the apple of my eye. How could this man have the gall to lay his dirty hands on her? How dare this rapist, this creature of filth, force her to bow to his perverted whims and fancies? The poor girl was so traumatized that she could not even cry! It was like talking to a shell, a dry husk of a person. It broke my heart to hear her speak like that.

I took her back to her marital home, told her to pack all essential documents and objects in a bag and come back with me immediately. The boy’s family created a scene of course, but at this time, I was so angry that I did not even look at them, let alone respond to their nonsense.

To cut a long story short, I got my daughter home and helped her file divorce papers and supplementary charges against the boy’s family. Although this terrible chapter is over, I am committed to personally ensuring that this man goes to jail, and isn’t just let off with a fine. I will make sure that he faces the consequences of his sins.

The points raised by the newspaper article (discussed in that post) seem so very shallow to me! It was written by someone who has no idea of ground reality and is floating in the dreams of a yesterday that does not exist.

Let me consider each point:

1. in a negotiated marriage, family support is a given.

What decent parent would not support their own child? And if this parent does not want to support a daughter who had a love marriage, would he support her if her arranged marriage ran into trouble? What is the guarantee?

2.  If the marriage demands the girl to stay with her in-laws, it is more likely that they will make her feel comfortable as they have already ‘approved’ of her.

As you can judge from my story, the ‘approval’ is only skin-deep. There is no guarantee that these in-laws will ‘approve’ afterwards too. And because enough time is not usually provided, who knows what the in-laws are actually like? Serial killers can also seem very pleasant under normal circumstances, but they will show their true colours only after a certain time.

3. The process … involves understanding each other’s cultural interests apart from individual views and opinions about life in general.

Complete rubbish. The process only involves ticking off certain features, as if one was buying a car. This is not a feature of arranged marriage at all.

4.  Unlike a love marriage where financial security of the groom is not always a priority, in an arranged marriage, it is imperative that the bride’s family ensure that their would-be son-in-law is career-oriented and has a steady flow of income.

If financial security is not a priority for the couple, then how is it important in any case? If it is a priority, then the couple will ensure it.

5.  Each day is a surprise wherein the couple learn about the nitty gritty of the relationship and also take an effort to nurture it.

But are all surprises pleasant? Some things should not be a surprise. There are things that one must know well about one’s husband beforehand.

6. Once the alliance is arranged, the boy and girl are officially allowed to meet and know more about each other

I do not understand what this means. Are the girl and boy not allowed to meet otherwise? If not, then how will they get married in any case?

7. Ever heard of Swayamvar, an ancient Indian practice of choosing a husband from among a list of suitors?

Do all ‘Swayamvars’ turn out blissfully?

8. Since both the parties are way too involved in finding the right match and also the actual activity of marriage, it takes the load off the bride-to-be and gives her time to get comfortable in her new surroundings.

I can only laugh at this, seeing how things have gone with my own daughter.

I hope I’ve not made this overly long. I really wanted to share it, and I hope your find it useful.

Regards,

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Re-posted from The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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This Happens Only in India: Panchayat Orders Victim to Marry the Rapist


.Stop violence against women

Panchayat orders girl to marry her rapist

By Purusharth Aradhak

BULANDSHAHR: A panchayat in Bulandshahr passed a bizarre diktat on Thursday ordering a man to get married to the girl who was sexually assaulted by him three days ago. The girl had been alone when her neighbour’s guest entered the house, gagged and raped her. The victim later informed her family about the incident. The accused is a resident of Kasna in Gautam Budh Nagar district.

The victim’s family then approached the police. By then the accused went to the panchayat and asked them to hush up the matter. The panchayat ordered the accused to get married to the girl. They even threatened the girl’s family if they did not follow the diktat.

The family had approached the Bulandshahr SSP Gulab Singh but failed to get any respite. Later, after the matter came into the media, the accused was arrested and a FIR lodged under Section 354 of the IPC.

Re-posted from THE TIMES OF INDIA

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The Concept of Marital Rape Is Not Recognized in Indian Law


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

“Rape is rape regardless of the relationship between the rapist and the victim. It can be a total stranger; someone you recognise by sight, but have never really communicated with; someone you know superficially, a neighbour or a colleague; a friend, a boy-friend or a former boyfriend; a live-in partner, or a former partner; someone you are married to or have been married to in the past.” – What is Marital Rape ? (http://www.blessedmember.com)

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Raped wife

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Criminal law considers rape as sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person incapable of valid consent, such as being unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent.

In every contention of rape, the absence of consent of the victim to have sexual intercourse with the aggressor is extremely important. Consent does not need to be conveyed, and may perhaps be implied from the perspective, and from the rapport existing between the individuals. However, the lack of protest does not itself constitute consent to have intercourse. Consent can always be withdrawn at any time. So any further sexual activity after the withdrawal of consent is rape.

Lack of consent may be a result of either forcible compulsion by the aggressor or an incapacity to consent on the part of the victim like the person asleep, intoxicated or psychologically vulnerable.

Generally, we come across the following  categories of rape: date rape, gang rape, incest rape, child sexual abuse, prison rape, acquaintance rape, war rape, statutory rape, marital rape, etc.

Some research literature may extend the term spousal/marital rape to include divorced/legally separated ex-spouses, or unmarried cohabiting partners. However, current state laws often treat rape by ex-spouses or intimate partners as different from marital rape, and legally equal to rape, by a stranger. However, it does not seem to be so in India. Three days ago, I saw this news in hindustantimes:

PTI
New Delhi, December 04, 2012

A man has been discharged by a Delhi court of charges of raping his wife on the ground that having sexual relation with his spouse, even forcibly, does not amount to “marital rape.” District Judge JR Aryan let off accused Hazi Ahmed Saeed, agreeing with his counsel’s submission that the Indian Penal Code does not recognise any concept of “marital rape.”

Defence counsel rightly argued that IPC does not recognise any such concept of martial rape. If complainant was a legally-wedded wife of accused, the sexual intercourse with her by accused would not constitute offence of rape even if it was by force or against her wishes,” the court said.

The court remanded the case back to a magisterial court as rest of the alleged offences, including those of causing hurt, criminal intimidation and theft, for which the accused was charge-sheeted, were triable by a magistrate.

The case was committed to the district judge after the charge sheet was filed by the police as the offence of rape was tried by sessions court.

The woman had filed the case in 2007 alleging that after her first husband’s death, accused Saeed started visiting her and by expressing sympathy, he asked her to marry him.

She had told the court that she married Saeed in February 2006, but later she came to know that the accused had married her only to grab her property which was then sold by him and his four sons.

The police had said in its charge sheet that Saeed had maintained physical relations with the complainant after their marriage and it could be a possibility that those physical relations were against her consent and wish. (sic)

What a shame?

In a non-consensual sex offense, if the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse, we call it marital rape, spousal rape, partner rape, domestic violence, or sexual abuse.

Once widely condoned and ignored by law, international conventions now repudiate spousal rape and increasingly criminalize it. However, in present-day India, like in medieval Europe, a stranger can legally marry a woman with her parents’ consent and without hers. After getting married, she could no longer refuse to consent to sex. Her husband can force her to have sex with him at any time he has the urge since the society widely condones his wish, and the law does not consider it as an act of violence, but accepts it as a husband’s prerogative.

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