The case for marital rape is usually framed as wife having the right to say ‘no’ to husband and her consent being essential even within marriage. That ‘marriage is no license to rape’.
The central argument that an offence remains offence even within marriage, sounds commonsensical. Just because marriage is a private affair, the offences against wife cannot be considered such. Based on this argument, feminists throughout the world successfully lobbied to recognize ‘domestic violence’ as criminal offence as against private, civil matter earlier.
So far, so good. But here begins the story.
That ‘marriage is no license for rape/violence/cruelty etc’ is perfectly fine on paper. But ‘domestic violence’ by its very nature has to occur within closed doors where third-party witness can hardly be expected. An objective evidence of harassment, isn’t possible in these cases. Except in cases of murder or physical violence, its highly improbable that evidence to nail husband beyond reasonable doubt is procured.
To combat this, the feminists had insidiously lobbied for claims to be substituted for proof. In India, the burden of proof has been shifted to the accused, the husband. In total contravention to criminal laws, the onus to prove is now on accused, not accuser.
Under the expanded definition of domestic violence, physical violence isn’t its only form. Among them is also ‘psychological violence’, which in practice means any dissatisfied wife can claim to be subjected to it, without needing to show any evidence. Given the intangibility of accusation, the husband has no means to disprove it (and the burden is on him).
When attention is drawn to wife misuse of the earlier women-empowerment laws, namely 498A and PWDVA, we’re asked to prove it. So ironically, evidence is asked of the misuse of laws which are inherently designed to bypass the need of evidence from women.
Only after facing the pre-trail terror of 498A does evidence finally come into picture. The husband after undergoing trail for 4-5 years may finally be acquitted. But acquittal doesn’t absolve him of providing maintenance, despite the fault lying with wife and not him. In DVC, women are almost always given interim maintenance and only in stray cases where the misuse is too blatant to ignore is it refused.
Feminists would want us to believe that legal retaliation for false case is possible when it is proved false. Pursue perjury, they suggest. Let us get this correct: Wife requires newly drafted draconian laws which can send husband/in-laws to jail immediately without providing an iota of proof. But husbands should fall back on outdated, tedious, toothless provisions to fight back.
And this after fighting 4-5 year long legal battle? And if acquittal is contested, this could go up to 10 years or more. So husbands should, after long years of harassment, try to invoke some obscure laws to get justice. Whatever happened to ‘justice delayed is justice denied’! Unfortunately, even this is hardly viable as we shall shortly see.
We’re told, the high rate of acquittal doesn’t imply false cases. True, inadequate evidence to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt can lead to acquittal. Except that the high rate of acquittal (around 85%) means that at least those many husbands/in-laws were harassed without proper supporting evidence.
When at this point it is accepted that proving these cases is hard, why were the laws made criminal and draconian in first place? When it is known that successful conviction is highly difficult and bound to be rare, why were they implemented at all? What purpose did such a law serve at all, except stripping men of their basic rights and making them extremely vulnerable to ‘legal terrorism’ by their wives.
Further, by feminist logic, acquittals aren’t false cases, so the question of perjury doesn’t arise. Acquittal, by their own admission, doesn’t naturally imply that the case was false. Even assuming that after an exhausting battle spanning years, a husband is still inclined to spend some more years in courts to seek justice, it is highly unlikely that it can convincingly be established as a case of perjury (given no-evidence zone of the whole matter).
The marital rape law can hardly be expected to be any different from these laws in design and intent.
Yes, she can say ‘no’. Problem is when she first says ‘yes’ and later says ‘it was actually no last night’. How do feminists propose to legally differentiate between the two scenarios? By taking the word of wife for granted, and discarding what the husband has to say as in previous laws?
Once accused, under no circumstances can a man get true justice (legal retribution). The best he can expect is acquittal after torturous legal process. The woman, of course, can never be touched.
Once accused, forever damned. Can feminists cite a scenario where once accused, a man is considered totally innocent, both legally and morally?
Seen in this light, it very clear that feminists want to ensure that men have no ability to defend themselves against women under any circumstances. Their aim is to have a legal system in place that makes it easy and safe for women to abuse men.
PS: This shouldn’t be taken as endorsing marital rape. Opposing a vaguely worded ‘anti-terrorism law’ that makes innocent citizens vulnerable to abuse, isn’t same as endorsing terrorism.