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The recent past has seen a rise in the number of rape cases around the world, although some countries hardly witnessed a rise in rape cases; some countries have seen a very drastic rise, this is causing fear and unrest in societies ; mostly faced by the female part of society. Most people believe that in a rape case the rapist and the victim didn’t share a sexual relationship, let alone the fact that they might be rather close to each other, however this isn’t the case often; sexual violence also exists in marriages. Different countries and therefore different constitutions view marital rape in different ways; thus resulting in them punishing the offense(s) in a different way; comparing this with non-marital rapes might produce an interesting pattern.
The rise in rape cases have shot up, and is rising at epidemic levels; “one out in ten women” (Abraham, 2017) have suffered sexual abuse at least once in their lifetimes, it is important to discover the reason behind men raping women. Men who are guilty of raping often act under the pressure of having sex, the situation might heighten if the person is an alcoholic or enjoys himself while watch rape porn, it is also interesting to see that people who are empathetic don’t tend to attempt sexual assault(Murphy, 2017). A rise in sex imbalance is another cause that leads to an increase in rape rates (Dang, Kulkarni, & Gaiha, 2017). The effects that rape have physically and mentally can be horrific and often traumatic; however the mental toll that rape has on women outweighs the physical effects by a significant margin: it involves Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression which can then lead to suicidal thoughts and may even lead to suicidal attempts. A rape victim may feel disorganised, lost and often has problems in trusting other people, this can lead to drug and alcohol abuse which can make a victim’s situation even worse (Effects of Sexual Assault and Rape). So a rise in rape levels can lead to a large chunk of the population with such problems; this can prove to be disastrous for the stable growth of a country both economically and socially, thus quick actions are required to control this epidemic. Most First World countries have strong and just laws punishing marital-rape or spouse-rape quite severely, but unfortunately women in some countries don’t share the same fate.
There are 36 countries around the world that legalize spouse-rape, these countries include: India, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania, etc. The most disturbing fact amongst this is that in 4 of these countries it legal to rape your spouse even if she is still a child. For example, the Ghanaian constitution states that: “consent given by husband or wife at marriage, for the purposes of marriage, cannot be revoked,” (Shugerman, 2017). Let us use the example of India, the Indian constitution considers sexual assault to be an act of domestic violence and so it is punished under the Domestic Violent Act, 2005, and the rapist is only punished if the sexual act is very hurtful or in case it is life threatening (Rath, 2007). Furthermore, India is one of the few countries that punish sexual assault (non-marital) with the death penalty, so the bitter truth is that marital-rape is not nearly as severely punished as non-marital rape in countries like India. One-Third of Indian men admit of having intercourse with their spouse without them giving their consent (Shugerman, 2017).
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