Data

Marital rape: the numbers don’t lie

Numbers clearly show that sexual violence within marriages is common.  

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The data assumes more importance since household-level data on the nature of human relationships is rare in India and the National Family Health Survey being famously delayed.



The International Centre for Women (ICRW) and United Nations Population Fund’s (UNPFA) new study provides some insight into societal expectations of masculinity, son preference and the impact on violence against women. Among the findings is some data on sexual violence within relationships. The data assumes more importance since household-level data on the nature of human relationships is rare in India and the National Family Health Survey being famously delayed.

The study was conducted in eight States only: Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. It covered 9,205 men and 3,158 women aged 18-49, and the sample was representative across caste, religious and income groups.

Now for a little more on the key data on violence.

The last NFHS showed that the vast majority of sexual violence reported by women was within the marriage; just 2.3 per cent of rape that women reported to the NFHS interviewers was by men other than the husband, researcher Aashish Gupta found.

The ICRW-UNFPA study does not ask questions about non-partner sexual violence. Here’s a look at the marital status of their sample:

These are the questions they asked on sexual violence:

Here’s what they found on the prevalence of sexual violence within relationships, which, as the relationship status data suggests, is largely marriages:

A third of men in these States admitting to having forced a sexual act upon their wives/ partners at some point in their lives (note the far lower proportion of women who admit to the experience). That is significantly higher than what Mr. Gupta found from the NFHS (6.6 per cent of women said they had experienced sexual violence by their husbands), but the NFHS is both pan-India and globally recognized as robust.

Between them, what these numbers clearly show is that sexual violence within marriages is undeniably common.

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Printable version | May 23, 2017 8:31:56 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/data/statistics-on-marital-rape/article6586829.ece