Consent: A topic of concern

Consent means an unequivocal voluntary agreement when the woman, by words, gestures or any form of verbal or non-verbal communication, communicates a willingness to participate in the specific sexual act. - Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.

Consent is a small word with deep meaning. Every individual has boundaries, and those who intervene in those boundaries without permission are no lesser than criminals. One should never force someone to do something that they do not agree upon. Consent is verbal communication between two people before starting something. It can be accepting someone as a friend, touching, hugging, kissing, or any sexual activity. Even your social media platform takes your permission before sending you a notification or accepting friend requests.

Thumbs up and down shows whether it is a yes or no. Hands Showing Yes and No. Consent: A Topic of Concern.


Why is consent necessary?  

Let's take an example to understand the concept of consent.  Suppose you are going to the office, and suddenly it starts raining. So, you cover yourself with an umbrella to get protection from the rain. But when you go to a resort, you enjoy the rain dance. And you love it.



Understanding relationships with Consent

Consent is necessary even when you are engaged or committed to someone. Be it your friend, boyfriend/ girlfriend, husband/ wife, or relative. Consent is required even in a parent-child relationship.

Tensions between husband and wife.


Taking someone's permission when they are vulnerable cannot be considered consent. Consenting is not like a password that is needed only once. It is like a one-time password (OTP) that you have to ask for every time. Communicate with your partner and understand if they feel the same way you feel for a moment. After marrying a person, another person starts thinking that his/her partner is their property and starts to dominate them. This domination can be mental pressure or physical abuse.

Marriage is not a license to have non-consensual sex with your wife/ husband. I have mentioned husband because men are also a victim of marital rape or non-consensual behaviour. To consider women as the only sufferers or survivors of Marital Rape is only one side of a coin. There is always another side that presents this horrific crime.

Women crying.
 Let us understand, 

Why consent is necessary even after MARRIAGE?

Marital rape is often not talked about. Added to it is the lack of awareness among the people. Most of us do not know about forceful SEX. And SEX without consent after marriage is called MARITAL RAPE. Yes, even after marrying that charming, handsome/ beautiful, understanding young lad/ lady, the spouse is raped. Not by someone else but by their partner. Mostly they keep their mouths shut. Not because they cannot fight back. But because our so-called society cannot accept the fact that a married partner can be raped by their spouse. Marital rape is a matter of domestic violence within the family. Most importantly, this is a theme that shows aggression against one gender. There has been increasing awareness among people worldwide about Marital Rape since the mid-'90s.

However, in a few nations, Marital Rape either stays outside the criminal law. It is a very awful thing that the World's Largest Democracy, India, is one among those 32 countries that did not criminalise Marital Rape. Laws are seldom being imposed, because of factors ranging from the unwillingness of governments to prosecute this crime, to lack of common knowledge that sex in marriage without permission is illegal. Know that RAPE is always RAPE whether married or not.

Man asking to stop.

Laws against Marital Rape or Non-consensual behaviour

Many people go through marital rape, where they feel distraught, lost and almost suicidal. But believe me, taking action against any such behaviour is very necessary. Some do not even think it is important to have CONSENT even in marriage. Sometimes it's better to let the rockfall down the hill because if you don't let it go, it will take you down too. 

A drunken man harassing his wife.


Poland, in the year, 1932 passed a law making marital rape a criminal offence, becoming the first country to do such. The second wave of feminism in the early-mid '70s in Australia made the country pass reforms in the year 1976 that made marital rape a criminal offence. Communist blocs have passed laws that criminalise spousal rape. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the former Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia are those countries. In the United States, between the '70s and the early '90s, all 50 states declared marital rape a crime. Countries that abolished Marital Rape through Law include South Africa, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Ghana, and Israel.

Law books

Law: Section 61I of the Crimes Act 1900 of New South Wales, Australia

Sexual intercourse without consent is an offence.

Punishment: This law carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment of up to 14 years.

Law: Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code

Women can file complaints about cruelty and harassment against their husbands.

Punishment: The accused shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine The offence under Section 498A is cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable. 

Law: Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code

A man is said to commit “rape” if he had sexual intercourse without her consent. And with or without consent if she is under the age of 18.

Consent means an unequivocal voluntary agreement when the woman by words, gestures or any form of verbal or non-verbal communication, communicates a willingness to participate in the specific sexual act. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.

Section 375 of Indian Penal Code. Consent Matter. Marzi ya Mazboori

 To watch the full movie, click here - Section 375 - Marzi ya Zabardasti?

Punishment: Imprisonment of the rapist for a term which shall not be less than ten years, which may extend to imprisonment for life, and also be liable to fine. 

Criticism of the Law:

  • It is gender-biased as it contains provisions for women only.
  • Only penetration (not just penis, but anything) and Oral sex are considered sexual activity.
  • If a man gropes a woman or vice-versa, it would not be a crime under this section.
  • The word Consent also includes gestures. And gestures can be interpreted differently.
  • Also, one cannot prove what happened between the partners in their bedroom very easily as there is no other eye-witness.
  • More scope for false allegations.


Law: Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

Considers marital rape as a type of local violence.

Punishment: Under this Act, a lady can go to court and get a legal partition from her husband for marital rape.

Criticism of the Law: A man does not have a say to get divorced if he goes through Marital Rape. 

To say it in brief...

I've heard couples complaining about their partners saying how toxic their partners are, how fierce they become in bed, and they don't feel like having it and refuse. This attitude makes them angry, and they start torturing them. Instead of respecting the boundaries, they receive comebacks like "Don't you love me?", "Have you lost interest in me?", "I am your husband, I own you." When NO MEANS NO, then why every time we have to explain the reason behind NO. Does forceful sex give pleasure to them? I wonder.

It's like you are trapped in your mind, your heart burns, you can't breathe, but you just want to run away.  More than half of the people stay in this vicious cycle of marital rape because they are not aware of the laws against marital rape. And to that extent that some do not even consider Marital Rape as RAPE. You should understand that you are not a slave to your spouse or your relationship.

A relationship is supposed to be the union of two people and not the domination of one. If you feel trapped and harassed, do not hesitate to reach out for laws and take action.

"No one has the right to invade your boundaries." 

Stay cautious, Stay informed, Stay HAPPY!

Written by Debika Bandopadhyay

The Author recommends the following books.



Fact File:

Post a Comment


  1. You penned it nicely 👌👌👌👌

  2. This is brilliant. I read the article. And many don't know about the marital rape. You portrayed the whole thing so beautifully with information. Everyone should read this.❤️

  3. This is extremely informative for the ones who are not much familiar with the idea of consent and also it has been beautifully written. Good work ❤

  4. A full combination of knowledge and understanding ...felt great after reading this article and a great applause for the writer who depicted such an crucial topic 👍👍

  5. Debika ur write ups are really enlightening
    Ek Naya perspective milta hai situation ko dekhne ka❤️

  6. Damn.. I loved itt.. there was eagerness to read more.. very to the power infinity sundor hoyeche❤️❤️

  7. Khub bhalo hoeche��

  8. Bro♥️
    You've written so well
    Bro you're so talented��
    Beautifully penned

  9. Shundor
    well put!

  10. Khub sundor likhe6is❤️

  11. This is brilliant. I read the article. And many don't know about the marital rape. You portrayed the whole thing so beautifully with information. Everyone should read this.

  12. Beautifully written! Very informative✨

  13. Really impressive ����

  14. I am proud to have a friend like you who have such deep insights on things which are least discussed about.. really proud of you debu beb❤️

  15. I felt this would be a normal article on Consent. But this is something very informative and educative! Keep going. Good work guys.


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