The world we are living in
is very dynamic. People change and so does the society and its interests. The
history of blood and war are well known, studied and discussed but the same is
not the case with sexual assaults. This concept is seldom discussed and often
enshrouded out of ignominy by both men and women. The stories of ADOLF HITLLER,
KING ASHOKA and ALEXANDER THE GREAT are well known and their administration, war
policies, governance etc are a part of the school curriculum as well. But how
many of us know the actual reason behind the downfall of the Roman Empire? The
rape of the prefect’s daughter Lucretia by the King’s son Sextus Tarquinius was
the precipitating event which led to the end of the monarchical roman rule.
This incident is considered as the first ever rape issue to be recognised. However
it doesn’t mean that the concept of rape was rare. Historical tales that lead
to dark truth are often concealed.
While considering rape,
the foremost thought that comes into every mind is that a woman has been raped
or a man has raped someone. It is almost unimaginable for the society to accept
that a man can also be raped, that he can also be traumatised as much as any
other women and in many cases more than women after being raped. Such thoughts
have made the life of a male rape survivor miserable. There have been number of
situations where neither the society nor the police have come to the rescue of
the male victim and all in all have refused to believe in the happening of the
same. Yet again such attitude shouldn’t be much of a surprise for us since this
is the same society where even if a woman is getting raped on the middle of a
road the society would rather record the incident for pleasure rather than fight
for the modesty of the women. Thus it is very unlikely for the very same
society, who consider male child crying as shameful and unmanly to come to his
Going hand in hand with
our society, our laws have also made the term ‘raped’ synonymous to women. The
legislators considered it biologically impossible for the victimisation of man
in such offences. Thus according to our laws, Rape is considered to be an act
that can only be done by man.
thoughts do not allow us to think rationally. Various social experiments have
been conducted by various private organisations, individuals and to some extent
our survey has also been instrumental in disproving such stereotypes. Man gets
raped and not just by another man but also by women. These statements were
verified by an experiment conducted by United States on 3000 adults. According
to the research about 10% of the surveyed males had been raped during their
adult years, among the college students these numbers raised to 16%. However,
this might probably be an underestimate as men usually neither report their
assaults to authorities nor come out open in the public regarding the same.
It becomes very difficult
to explain their experience of rape for male survivors as they have always been
taught that men cannot be victims of sexual assault. Also some victims consider
the rape only as a physical assault and seek assistance for physical injuries,
seldom seek counselling to deal with the emotional after effects. Also, the fear of their sexual identity being
questioned prevents them from reporting.
According to the survey
conducted by NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, indicating the
victims of the adult sexual assault, in South Wales 17% are men, and out of it
50% of them are aged between 16 and 24 years. Additionally one in every prison
inmate under the age of 25 years has been raped while in prison.
In 2017 a South African
police official during the investigation of abduction and rape case filed by a
resident, confirmed that out of the total number of rape cases being reported
20% are of the male population. In this case a middle aged resident was
kidnapped and gang raped for 3 days repeatedly by three women. This case can be
termed a milestone in the South African investigation which led to the breaking
of the stereotypical thinking and eventually the society started accepting the
fact that a man can also be raped. Soon after the revelation, there have been
many organisations set up for the relief of the victims.
India is no different, when
it comes to neglecting the vital issues. Ideally, India alone would be able to
provide the authentic data for the statistical comparison of the rape
survivorship between men and women. However, as the legal definition of rape in
India does not cover the one committed against men, there is no proper way to
determine how many male survivors exist in India. But the child sexual abuse
survey conducted by the Indian government in 2007 showed alarming results. Out
of those surveyed 57.3% boys and 42% of girls reported experiences of sexual
assault including rape or sodomy. Most recently, in a survey conducted by Delhi
based centre for civil society, it was found that approximately 18% of Indian
adult men are sexually abused. Out of these 16% alleged a female perpetrator
and 2% claimed a male perpetrator. But our nation still refuses to believe the
existence of such occurrences despite many PILs filed in the courts on their
behalf and Reports submitted suggesting such changes. With 2013 Amendment in
IPC the definition of rape has been further narrowed now, limiting it only to
cases of penetrations.
Assault is the most deplorable offence
to be committed on a person. It is more awful than murder. Commonly rape is depicted as sex with
a lady without her assent by power, dread or misrepresentation. Section 375 has
seen an Amendment in the year 1983, which updated the meaning of assault and
furthermore rolled out improvements to the disciplines that were stipulated
under the S. 376. This was made through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of
1983. The Section 375 influenced it to clear that intercourse would record to
assault only in the absence of the women’s consent. In this Amendment enhanced
sentences were presented in the legislature in 1983, whereby the Legislature
showed that it considers exasperated assault meriting higher punishment.
Likewise it is to be noted that in prior cases the Supreme Court has decided
that the expression ” adequate and special reasons”.
The very meaning of Rape (S. 375
of IPC) requests change. The restricted definition has been scrutinized by
Indian and International organisations, who demand that including oral sex,
homosexuality and penetration by foreign objects inside should be of equal
importance of rape and wouldn’t be in conflict with our constitutional
provisions of natural justice or equity. even International laws now says that
assault might be acknowledged a s the “sexual penetration, as well as
undermining, powerful, coercive force of power against the victims, or the
penetration by any objects, however slight would amount to assault.”
Article 2 of the Declaration of the Elimination of Violence against Women
incorporates marital assault in the meaning of violence against women.
Accentuation on these provisions isn’t intended to tempt, but to give the
victim and not the criminal, the advantage of benefit.
Prior to the revision of 2013, sex was interpreted
as meaning the penetration of the male genital organ into the female genital
organ as it were. The courts translated the term sex as “insignificant
smallest or halfway entrance of the male organ inside the labia majora or the
vulva or pudenda is adequate to constitute ‘sex'”
Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013 was brought into impact after the horrendous
Delhi Gang Rape case which stunned the entire country with the fierceness of
the act perpetrated. Far reaching challenges and fomentation constrained the
council to contemplate the changing of the common assault laws. The essential
thought was to make them more stringent and present harsher disciplines other
than expanding the ambit and meaning of the term assault.
Justice J.S.Verma, Gopal Subramaniam and Ex-Justice Leila Seth included the
fairly renowned ‘Justice Verma Committee’ which was made to gather proposals
and make proposals for the council to make a law to battle rape and different
violations against women.The specialized committee was so proactive with its
working that amid its brief length it got upwards of 80,000 recommendations
over which considerations were finished. These proposals were sent by different
activists, attorneys, NGOs and different people speaking to the ‘common
society’. Since the assembly was dismissed and there was no session, the
committee’s suggestions were presented by means of a statute.
offense assault was currently revised or given a more extensive significance
which was sufficiently exhaustive to incorporate any sort of infiltration and
furthermore in anyone a player in the lady or young lady. This was the most
critical change on the grounds that prior segment 375 of the IPC just
stipulated the Penile Vaginal infiltration as assault. The fact that the new
proposals included that any entrance would be considered as assault was the
most effective apparatus in enlarging the ambit of the term assault which was
being requested before based on the suggestions of the fifth law commission
report. There was additionally the incorporation of enrolling protests and medicinal
examination. The report completely specified, “Any officer, who neglects
to enlist an instance of assault answered to him, or endeavors to prematurely
end its examination, submits an offense which should be culpable as
following recommendations were made for amendments in law with regard to rape:
‘Rape’ should redefined as ‘sexual assault’.
‘Sexual intercourse should include all forms of penetrations.
In the light of Sakshi v. Union of India and Others ‘sexual assault on any part
of the body should be construed as rape.
Rape laws should be made gender neutral.
Unlawful sexual conduct should be added in section 376E
Severe punishment for offence under S.509 if committed with sexual intent.
Marital rape: explanation (2) of section 375 of IPC should be repealed.
Constrained sex by a spouse with his significant other ought to be dealt with
similarly as an offense similarly as any physical savagery by a husband against
the wife is dealt with as an offense. On a similar thinking, area 376 A was to
Under the Indian Evidence Act (IEA), when claimed that a casualty assented to
the sexual act and it is denied, the court should assume it to be so.
Thus Law and dictionary talk only about rape of
woman and not of men. In a manner it implies that women can only be a victim
and man the victimiser. The definition of rape was subjected to consecutive
changes over the past decade, evolving from penile-vaginal to penile-orifice
and then to penetrative-orifice, within the non-consensual context. The
physical assault with sharp objects suffered by Nirbhaya on the fateful night
of December would also be falling under this categorization of rape.
LAW (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE 2013
However in the wake of Nirbhaya’s
gang rape in 2012, an ordinance was introduced by the Central Government which
shifted focus of the country towards the offence of Rape. It has passed the
Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, which has substituted rape for sexual
assault and had made the offence gender neutral.
However this could not
stand the test of time. As a result of full-throated and emphatic lobbying
force, both the changes have been countermanded in the very same year. The main
argument of these forces was that the offence of rape was an explicitly
patriarchal crime, which has sprung from abuse of male privilege and power. Therefore
only the members of one gender can rape and only the members of one gender can
Thus once again the
government has landed at the conventional definition from which it started.
Hence, for the requirements of the offence to be met, male must be the
perpetrator and female the victim. However the only exception to this rule being,
the concept of gender-neutrality for the perpetrator has been adopted for
offences like gang rape.
OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT
However it doesn’t mean
that we are completely blind towards recognising man’s right. There are provisions
in Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and other acts which
recognises and punishes child abuse in both sexual and non-sexual manner. The recent incident of murder of a 3 year old
boy in the Ryan International School, was revealed by the police to be the
aftermath of the boy’s refusal to the sexual advances made towards him by the
driever. This incident has certainly convulsed the entire country As a matter
of fact, such cases with respect to children are dealt gender neutrally within
the meaning of the above mentioned act. However if the child was victimised by
a female, the PCSOA would allow for a charge of sexual assault and not
penetrative sexual assault which is codified as male only. It surely is high
time India recognises that man can also be raped and woman does not always have
to be the victim.
a better understanding of the public opinion regarding this topic, we have
conducted a survey by circulating online forms among 100’s of students,
professionals etc. However only 34 of them attempted the survey and the participation
from the aged community was quite negligible. These incidents clearly stipulate
the taboo surrounding the topic. A few government officials have shown keen
interest in helping us with the topic. Their valuable insights have been
included in the result.
` Through our survey we were able to
realise that the present generation seems to be aware and accept the fact that
a man is also ill-treated, abused, eve teased, sexually harassed or assaulted
and discriminated. Researches have revealed that 1 out of 5 men have been
subjected to stalking and eve teasing. Majority of the responses were received
from students, who have either experienced or witnessed such incidents.
Adolescent Education is a relatively
new subject added to the course curriculum in India. After years of tireless
efforts in the year 2015 it was finally implemented and made a mandatory subject
in the syllabus. The National Council of Educational Research and Training
initiated to include the teaching of good touch and bad touch in the syllabus
As the name suggests it has nothings abusive in it, but still neither the
teachers nor parents accept it as a course to be taught to children. Even more
our society refuses to even speak about it in front of children. As a result
most of the children do not realise what exactly is sexual harassment, eve
teasing and sexually abuse. In our survey we were able to observe that only
half of the responders have actually been taught the difference between good
touch and bad touch. And without knowing what actually constitutes harassment,
assault and discrimination it is indeed difficult to actually know whether or
not they have actually suffered it or not.
After assessing the lack of proper
awareness among the people about the various sexual offences prevalent in our
society, we have moved on to the next question on our list. When enquired about
who can rape a man the feedback was quite surprising as majority of the public
were actually aware that both the genders can indulge in the offence. Thankfully
none have said that a man cannot be raped at all. While 6 % of the population
have claimed that only another man can rape a man 84.8% have accepted that a
man can be raped by either gender. No matter who rapes or harasses the
psychological impact over the victim will remain the same. Just like how any women would go through the
rough patch of trauma, embarrassment etc a man’s life is no easy. In addition
to this, to win the trust of society, family and friends and most importantly
to get justice are the bigger roadblocks ahead.
A report of the survey is as follows. More than half of them
have chosen the option to console him and help him report it to the police
officials, whereas 24% have responded that they would console and advise him to
forget about the incident and 21% would require them to report to the police
station. It is indeed an assuagement to know that only 1 out of 34 have responded
to the first option i.e. laughing at him.
We then inquired about the reportable nature of the
incidents. We are talking about the time when the police officials have been
showing reluctance in registering sexual assault cases of women, it is
unimaginable and next to impossible for them to register such cases when the
victim is a man. According to the report only 18 % have responded that the
officials would register the case. On the other hand almost 50 % of them have doubtful and
confused. On the other hand 35% have responded by stating a complete no to it.
When we enquired with the police officials as to the root cause of reluctance
in registering such cases , we have been informed that the police themselves
are unclear under which provision the
case can be filed. However some of them
has revealed that they have tried to provide the necessary support without
actually filing the case.
The next question is regarding the pubic awareness of laws for the safety and protection of the
public. According to which almost 85% of them are ignorant of any such laws for
the safety of man. No effort has been made to make rape and other sexual
offences gender neutralised. As a result 88% of the total population agrees on
the fact that the laws discriminates the population of the basis of gender. In
every manner it is against the principle of EQUALITY, a fundamental right
provided by the constitution.
When asked about the existing laws and need for amendments
the responses have been satisfactory. he knowledge of people on commission
reports and recommendations are deplorable. Only 18% of the responders tend to
know about the report. This report is very important as it was anticipated to
bring out a major reformation in the history of law and justice in India by
criminalising marital rapes and gender neutralisation. Many matters are still
in consideration for the amendments.
boasts of having the largest written constitution in the world and of providing
millions of rights in general and six fundamental rights in particular to its
citizens. One of the key fundamental right falling under Article 14 of the
constitution is the Right to equality. It is considered to be one of the
magnificent linchpins of the Indian democracy. This right, puts the state under
the obligation to take every possible step so that equal respect is given to
every individual which he is entitled to, irrespective of the gender.
as how the term Rape has become synonymous to women, the term equality has also
turned out to be a term to indicate the right of women alone. But this was not
the intention of framers of the constitution.
We have the right to equality so women should be paid equally, we have
the right to equality so seats should be reserved for women so on and so forth.
In the process, we have forgotten that that there is every possibility of
discrimination and exploitation of the male counterpart as well.
the scenario of past few decades the credibility of rape, violence and
molestation cases framed are at stake. Some women are misusing these powers
given to them, thus resulting in fake cases of 498a, domestic violence act.
There are a number of men who are getting mentally harassed by such acts of
women. Isn’t there any protection for them? Why shouldn’t there be gender
neutralized definitions for all sexual offences including rape, outraging
modesty etc. By not having gender-neutral rape laws, we are denying a lot more
men justice than is commonly thought. Rape law in 63 countries is written in
gender neutral language
it is the duty of the state to draft legislations catering to the changing
interests of the society. The Indian laws relating to rape have remained
virtually unchanged since 1862. Though minor amendments have been made, they
have not made much of a difference. Thus it is necessary to review the law,
time and again with the latest developments in the pattern of sexual assault
and the severe trauma it inflicts on victims. This must be done in a humane and
after spending considerable time advocating making rape a gender-neutral crime,
it is important to note that i am not claiming that both the genders suffer
rape in equal proportion, or that men and women commit rape in equal numbers,
for they do not. And lastly the phenomenal job by the feminist groups in
keeping rape in the national discourse is not disputed, for they certainly
have. But to view rape exclusively that
of a man violating a women does an injustice to those whose own rape stories do
not fit the typical mould that is easiest for us to understand.