The wife of the 35-year-old man from Irinjalakkuda is 10 years younger than him. She used to complain to him about the difficulties and abuse she faced from her mother in law. Instead of solving the problem at home and explaining to his mother and his wife, he relied heavily on alcohol. Consumption of cigarette and Panparag intensified the intoxication. This made the wife more alienated from him. On one of those days, he raped her. He burnt cigarettes on her breast. During the violence of her husband who was addicted to alcohol and drugs, her nipple was cut off for which she sought a doctor's treatment. The violence was decreased after the doctor intervened into the issue. If it was a stranger who committed this atrocity, it would have been punishable by a severe prison sentence and a heavy fine. But here the incident was considered as a civil case and the husband received no punishment.
According to Sumita S Nair, the Superintend of Ashraya Bhavan, alcohol and drugs are major factors in 60 - 70 percent cases of domestic violence cases reported in the relief centre in Kozhikode. Where there is alcohol, there can be forced sex. Most women may not be interested in sex with a drunkard because of his toxic and stinking smell. Sumita, who has studied the cases in Kozhikode, says that forcible sex is more likely in such situations. The shelter for domestic violence victims was set up in Kozhikode in 2015. Of the 136 domestic violence victims reported here so far, 130 have been sexually abused by their partner more than once. Ramya, a counselor at the same shelter says that among the 110 incidents of sexual assaults reported here, most of them were triggered by husbands who were addicted to alcohol or other drugs. The National HHS Survey shows that in India 71% of women suffer physical or sexual violence from their alcoholic husbands, while only 22% of women face physical or sexual violence from their husbands who have never consumed alcohol. 10.6% women are abused by husbands who occasionally drink alcohol while 26.2% are abused by husbands who often drink.
The 34-year-old woman from Thrissur hails from a financially backward family. She has been struggling to survive the violence of her 40-year-old husband who is an auto driver. She was attacked in front of her 11-year-old son and her eight-year-old daughter in their one room house. Violence often turns not only physical but also sexual. Excessive drinking prompted him to commit such acts. He used to reach home at 11 pm, heavily drunk. He often sexually assaulted his wife in front of their children in their congested room. The daughter had once asked her mother about her father's awkward noise while forcing on her. Dr. Sheela, consultant psychologist in Kozhikode, says that 60% of the cases she dealt with were offenses against wives due to some form of intoxication.
Influence of Porn Movies in Bedroom
The 26-year-old lady from Thrissur lived with her husband only for four years after their marriage. The couple were from the IT sector. It was a love marriage. But the husband was a porn addict. He not only watched porns but also tried to imitate the scenes with his wife. When she went to see a lawyer for a divorce, the girl's body was full of injury marks of the husband’s violence. Since the marital rape was not considered itself as a criminal offense, she filed the divorce petition under domestic violence. Psychologist Dr. Sheela says that 25% of marriage related cases she attended were involving men who were influenced by pornography.
Pornography influenced the 46-year-old man from Kasaragod in a different way. He was not interested in sexual intercourse and forced his wife to do oral sex for a very long period in a year. The woman was fed up with unbearable, dirty and disgusting sexual activities of her husband.
Dr. Sheela adds that there is a growing tendency that most men take the domestic violence for granted as their right and they consider their wives whom they feed as their sexual slaves. Sheela opined that marital rape should be accounted as a punishable offense and the government should follow western countries that criminalize marital rape. In India marital rape can be just counted under domestic violence. The rape will be brutal and cruel with financially and physically disadvantaged women. No matter how cruel it may be, such cases often will be concluded with just a divorce or a stop-violence injection from the court. The men who marry again will get away with similar acts afterwards.
Relationship Obsessive–Comulsive Disorder and Revenge Rape
Counselor Ramya says that there was a woman in Kozhikode shelter who had been subjected to excessive sexual abuse due to husband’s “doubting disorder.” The husband, who is a central government employee, lives in fear that his wife will go with someone who has more sexual potential than him. Fearing this, he attached CCTV camera in various spots in their home. He would sexually abuse his wife even while coming for lunch. The woman, mother of two children under the age of six still lives with her husband. Her relatives justify her husband and urge her to endure the hardships citing that he provides the food, clothes and shelter for her.
Marriage as a Livelihood
According to Dr. AK Jayasree, an activist and health worker, the main reason for women being forced for marital rape is because in India marriage is a livelihood mechanism. “There is an ‘economy’ in the country where many women without any job are fed by their husbands. Marriage is a livelihood for the husband as well as he gets a woman to wash his clothes and cook food for him freely. Often, in our country, marriage is not performed as a choice to choose a partner to love and live with. Marital rape will be obvious in such a system. The government also takes it as a process to provide free livelihood for many women. The society demands from a woman only the role of a mother or a wife in the family. The extra glorification and exaltation of these force women to perform those roles with added pressure and compulsion. Often, they’ll have to quit their jobs for this. The woman’s acquired profession or her personality never get appreciated. Yet marital rapes occur with working women as well because of the social structure. Women are worried about the insecurity of their children that comes with the loss of a father. Moreover, society addresses divorce as a problem. Dr. Jayasree says that most of the people do not perceive divorce as a mechanism for women to escape from relationships in which harassment and torture prevail. She adds that she knows many women who turn to spirituality and do fasting to find refuge from marital rapes.
Sex Education is compulsory- CJ John, Chief Psychiatrist, Medical trust hospital(Box Item)
Sex education in our society is often limited to the awareness of sexual organs and sexual intercourse. The idea of sex education hardly talks about the concept of healthy sex. Sex education should inculcate a perspective to form healthy, respectful and constructive relationship between the partners. Sexual life should become a safe and pleasurable act, not a violent, discriminatory, or forced act. Selfish approach that emphasizes one’s misogynistic desires and mindset often lead to marital rape. The woman falls prey for the obsessive masculinity in marital life. Sexual rights both male and female partner should be respected. If the partner is not mentally prepared for sex, it should be duly respected. Only a person with no proper sex education will neglect the consent of his sexual partner.
For men with no proper sex education, the influence of pornography will add to the adverse effects. The sexual acts in porn movies are often not healthy. Moreover, pornography quiet often reduces women just as sexual objects.
Porn movies negatively influence the male chauvinists who do not have proper sex education or healthy sexual orientation. Pornography also encourages sexual inequality as men perceive bedroom sex only for his pleasure. Male consciousness with no concept of equality also contribute to marital rapes.
Tomorrow: Who is aiding injustice?