Marital Rape in Nepal; statistics and stories!

Familiarity with Marital Rape

The British jurist Mathew Hale’s said, “The husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual consent and contract, the wife hath given up herself this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract.”

I guess the saying is enough to prove the deep rooted situation of marital rape.

It’s not for the first time that I have heard about Marital Rape. There used to be Saathi Sanga Manka Kura (SSMK) listeners sharing their stories of getting raped by their spouse. And a few months ago, one of the popular social media pages shared an update about the issue. But the response and understanding of people regarding the issue made me agitated. Recently, I came across one story regarding the consequence of marital rape and I was deeply touched. So thought of sharing stories through this post.

Forced Sex

Similar reading: Saathi Sanga Manka Kura changing the lives of millions of young people!

Here’s a screenshot of the original post from the page:

Link to the post:
https://www.facebook.com/officialroutineofnepalbanda/posts/taplejung-ma-afnai-wife-lai-rape

Ignorant and Insensitive responses

Here are some of the comments from the post which are completely ignorant, insensitive and irresponsible!

Marital rape in Nepal
Marital Rape
Spouse Rape
Rape in Nepal
Marital Rape Nepal

What is Marital Rape?

According to the dictionary meaning, marital rape is a rape committed by the person to whom the victim is married.

Unwanted sexual activities by a spouse without the other person’s consent is marital rape. Marital rape is done using threats, physical, emotional or mental force. Spousal rape is another common name for marital rape.

Marital Rape and Global Scenario

Turning back the history, the cases of marital rape existed centuries ago but were strongly protested during the second wave of feminism. In the last 2-3 decades, such cases have been brought into legal actions. More than 140+ countries have already recognized marital rape as a criminal offense. However, countries like India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Maldives, Bangladesh, Afghanistan among many other countries in Africa and Asia haven’t criminalized marital rape. Similarly, Malaysia, Singapore, Lebanon do not have a concrete law and is confusing when it comes to marital rape.

Laws regarding Marital Rape in Nepal

Nepal is among notable countries which identify marital rape as a crime. The criminal law of Nepal has defined marital rape as a criminal offense. Under Nepal criminal law, sub-section 4 of section 219 states “If a man rapes his wife when he is still in a marital relationship with her, he shall be sentenced to up to five years in Jail.”

Spouse Rape

Marital Rape Statistics in Nepal

12 years of the formulation of law against marital rape in Nepal already. Still, the reported cases are far too less. In 2014, a survey was conducted among 362 married women going to the health post for their checkups. Among them, 56.6 percent of women were facing spousal rape on a daily basis or frequently. They were raped by their husbands even during the time of illness, pregnancy, right after delivery and menstruation. Miscarriage (spontaneous abortion and pregnancy loss), vaginal tears and unwanted pregnancy were some of the staggering consequences of the marital rape among those women surveyed.

There are far too many unreported cases of spousal rape. That’s the problem. Most of them are unaware of this issue.

One major reason why this prevails is because of the continuation of such practices for a long time. And no one goes against it!

Further reading: Manisha Koirala and her inspiring book HEALED!

Stories of Marital Rape

Story 1

“She shared about her marital relationship. Some of the stories and incidents which she shared completely shook me and I was disgusted. Here are some of them:

“My husband is in Dubai currently and it is way better because there is a strict rule regarding prostitution. Before that, he was in Malaysia and he used to be in a sexual relationship with a lot of girls. “Malaysia ma ta paisa tiryo vani gharmai kt bolauna milne raicha ni” (In Malaysia, if we pay money, we can invite the girls in our own house) is what he used to say.  He almost got married to someone else whom he met through Facebook but later the girl came to know about me and so, she left.”

Out of curiosity, I asked her how she was able to find out this story. Guess what it’s her husband who told her. To my disbelief, I again asked if she protested about it. She did but every time, it went in vain. He would ignore and walk away.

She was married to him when she was only 17 and even during that time, he had many girls but she was happy that he chose her to marry. At times, she thinks of separating but they already have a son and it has not been easier for her to decide.

She is uneducated, has difficulty finding right Nepali words while speaking but her eyes don’t lie. The deeper wounds are left unhealed. She worked as a house helper since her childhood and doesn’t have any relatives except her husband.

Though her husband without any guilt, would sleep with lots of women paying them for sex, she was tortured doubting her all the time asking details of her day every time and even forcibly has the password of her Facebook account.

She continued further mentioning that she has an irregular menstrual period. Last time during her menstruation, she bled for 8 months and I asked her if she went to the doctor for the checkup. She didn’t and opines it’s because of the abortion and she has aborted many times already. Her husband came 8 months back, she got pregnant and had to abort. I asked her why they did not use any precaution. She said her husband will never agree to use a condom despite knowing all the consequences she might have to go through.

She said, “There are countless incidents of forced sex.”

I was disgusted, horrified and frustrated. Damn, where are we? This mindset is difficult to change in years!!

I remembered another story told by one of my neighbors. The very night of marriage, a girl was rushed to the hospital and was admitted in an emergency section. The reason for her suffering was because of the forced sex in the very first day of marriage and she had continuous bleeding.

I cannot imagine how that girl in her early 20’s must have felt when our society officially gives the right to a stranger to play with her body even if it is against her will, even if she is in pain and bleeding.

What surprises me is the fact that they are still married and pretend to know nothing about the past at all.”

Spousal Rape

Another story of Marital Rape!

Story 2

They had a love affair before and their relationship turned into a successful marriage. Everything is going well. They are happy with how life is treating them. Except for one thing!

The husband loves his wife but doesn’t compromise at all when it comes to sex. If he asks for it, she has to be ready any time of the day. It’s been years of ongoing process. No excuse if she’s on her periods or preparing for exams. He doesn’t care if she is late for her work or unwell. Doesn’t care if she’s hanging out with her friends; she has to go home as soon as possible and fulfill his desire. When he wants sex, he f*****g WANTS it.

(Fast forward to 16:00 onward if you directly want to listen to the story)

Further reading: Toxic Masculinity!

Shocking Facts about Marital Rape

The victims of marital rape are more likely to be raped multiple times

According to research conducted by the Wellesley Centers for Women, marital rape victims are more likely to be raped multiple times compared with stranger and acquaintance rape victims. The survey found out that at least one-third of the women respondents reported being raped more than 20 times during the course of their relationship.

I am sure the reality is alarming in case of Nepal.

Rape

Domestic Violence is closely related to marital rape

If domestic violence is a part of the spousal relationship, the wife is likely to suffer from rape by 70%.

Reinforcing power, anger and control

According to the study conducted by the Wellesley Centers for Women, most husband- rapists assaulted their wives to reinforce their power, express anger and control over their wives.

No Specific Social Characteristics

According to the National Online Research Center on Violence Against Women, almost 2/3rd of the wives are first raped by their husbands when they are under the age of 25.

One of the recent stories I came across was in “The Storytellers”. She was sharing her marital rape story which in turn led to a miscarriage.

Further reading: Let’s talk about DEPRESSION!

Conditions of marital rape; How to know if someone is being raped?

Forced Sex

Just because someone is married doesn’t mean he has all the rights to impose his wife for sex whenever he wants. There is something called “CONSENT”. Marriage is a bond and it doesn’t change the rule of consent. How can he love someone if he forces the counterpart for his momentary pleasure?

Physical, Verbal and Mental threat

Having sex through verbal, emotional and mental threat is a rape. Threat of harming physically is another example. How can one expect a consensual sex if he thinks of harming his partner? And aren’t women compelled to obey their husbands rather than being hurt?

Manipulative Sex

Accusing wife of not being an ideal wife, emotional blackmailing, threatening to have sex with outsiders if she doesn’t obey him, blaming her for not being good in bed, threatening to abandon family and kids if she doesn’t comply with his demands for sex etc. are some of the pertaining issues that fall under this category.

Manipulative Sex

Sex when the wife is asleep, intoxicated or unconscious.

Control over all the family matters and then compelling wife to have sex. Taking control over all the possessions and not letting wife any of them means the wife is a prisoner in her own home. So she is compelled to offer whatever her husband asks for. Sex is no exception.

In the end!

Sex is all about CONSENT. And consent means MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING not a one sided decision.

As a wife, how would it feel to have a rapist husband? Getting raped time and again! Devilish attitude from her own life partner. Real man doesn’t aspire to become one, does he?

About the author

I come from the land of Gurkhas; the brave soldiers who fought tirelessly and didn’t let any countries rule Nepal. Because of those Gorkhalis, the Nepalese are proud to call “Nepal has always been an independent nation so far.” Nepalese Flag is the world’s only non-quadrilateral national flag; red color symbolizing the bravery and blue symbolizes peace and harmony. What a proud thing. Also, Nepal was the Hindu Kingdom in the past and now a secular state welcoming people from all the religions. Nepal is a country of living heritages and Kathmandu a city of temples. All in all, Nepal is a country with Unity in Diversity. Thank you for reading the boring random shits. These things don’t relate to me in any way. And those are not the things that describe me. If I introduce myself with the common voices of any nationality, group or community, it’s nothing but sheer stupidity. A part of it can be a shared introduction but not fully. So who am I? I don’t know who I am. It’s been years of SEARCH but nothing has been excavated yet. And also, I am not the right person to describe who I am. It's you who know me and whatever I say about me makes no sense. You tell me who I am ;)

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