Marital Sex with a Child equates Rape: Declares the Supreme Court!

On Wednesday the Supreme Court of India has passed its judgement, withdrawing the clause that allowed men to have sex with girls under 18 on the pretext of marriage. The court asserted that the clause is “discriminatory, capricious and arbitrary” that “violates the bodily integrity of the girl child”.

Marital Sex with a Child equates Rape: Declares the Supreme Court!

The age of consent in India for girls, which otherwise is 18 would be lowered to 15 provided the child was married, which would then follow long term mistreatment that was practiced on young girl children on the basis of their being susceptible to their husbands after marriage has finally been voiced against for good. This, rightly put in the words of Vikram Srivastava, the founder of campaign group Independent Thought as told to the BBC, “How could marriage be used as a criterion to discriminate against girls?”

 

HOW ARE YOUNG GIRLS FORCED INTO BECOMING VICTIMS OF RAPE IN THE NAME OF MARRIAGE?

For parents especially in rural areas, their young girl children become economic burdens to them and so they decide to marry them off in hope of them acquiring a financial security in their husband’s.

The girls are married off without being given proper education or training regarding the ways of the world and this naiveté is what is taken advantage of in order to exploit them for sexual pleasure.

Also often times fearing slander from society due to pre-marital sex, young girls are forced into marrying their rapists subjecting them to increased malice followed by torture and further sexual exploitation.

 

GIRLS UNDER 18 WILL NOW BE ABLE TO REPORT THEIR HUSBANDS FOR RAPE

Marital Sex with a Child equates Rape: Declares the Supreme Court!

Young girls have now been granted the right to lodge a complaint against marital rape within a year of it happening.

Girls shall now be liberated from all sorts of physical and mental abuse caused by sex without consent regardless of their marital status.

 “This positive decision by the Supreme Court will hopefully encourage the Indian government to protect all women by removing the marital rape exemption in all cases” was told to Global Citizen by Divya Srinivasan from women’s rights organization Equality Now.

THE RULING WILL ONLY GAIN MOMENTUM WHEN THE HIGH RATE OF CHILD MARRIAGES IN INDIA IS CHECKED

47 per cent of girls in India are married off before they attain the age of 18. Unless the parents cease to forcefully marry off their daughters before they come of age, the rate of marital rape involving young girls will not diminish.

The judgement of the Supreme Court in favour of girls shall only stand strong when measures are taken at home to uproot the source that triggers such criminality.

 

THE DEBATE IS ON WHETHER THE CRIMINALISING OF MARITAL SEX WILL DEFAME THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE

Marital Sex with a Child equates Rape: Declares the Supreme Court!

The Government has raised an opposition against the criminalisation of marital sex which questions the sacred institution of marriage. The Government worries that the wives may use this benefit as an excuse to hassle their husbands even when they are really not at fault.

…HOWEVER THE ABOVE CONCERN MUST ONLY BE CONSIDERED WITHOUT NULLIFYING THE OBJECTIVE OF GENDER EQUALITY!

While it is absolutely necessary to safeguard the rightful interests of the husbands it is also important to note that child marriage involves a whole lot of unfair sacrifices on the part of the girl child, who is not only deprived of proper education but of a proper childhood itself. She is burdened with domestic responsibilities when it’s her age to play and learn. She also suffers serious health issues from having to give birth at a young age. So what is important to consider is that the girl is entitled to her rights just as a man is. She must not fall prey to patriarchy.

The Supreme Court has hence made it clear that from now on, rape and the perpetrators of it will not continue to thrive in the garb of the institution of marriage and marital intimacy, subjecting innocent children to acute torture.