The IUP Journal of Law Review
Marital Rape: Causes and Consequences

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jan 2022
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Law Review
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJLR40122
Author Name : Avinash Singh and Jyoti Sharma
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 12



Marital rape has been one of the most debated topics across the world. Marital rape exceptions in penal codes deny the much needed legal protection to women who are married to their assailants. The present paper analyzes several key issues relating to marital rape, including factors such as societal, legal, cultural, and historical, among others. Cross-border experiences have also been considered to justify the need for criminalization of marital rape as a separate offense under the criminal law of the land. The paper also presents the findings of a World Bank study, which empirically studied the frequency distribution of various factors leading to sexual and physical violence based on the response of the women participants.


Sexual violence in marriage, termed marital rape,1 is often overlooked in contemporary society. Various scholars have justified the marital rape exception in the past and appreciated the disparity between men and women under criminal law treatment.2 The minimalistic nature of marital rape as a crime is evident from the data available on marital rape and rape by strangers; in the case of the former, there is a dearth of data due to the legal system that generally legislates in a diminutive manner.3

It was in the 1970s that, for the first time, issues like marital rape and wife battering were brought to light by feminist anti-violence and self-defense movements4 to understand the seriousness of the offenses and to seek criminal remedies against them.