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My Screams Against Marital Rape: A Marital Rape Survivor’s Diary

“But the husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given herself up in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract.”  – Sir Matthew Hale


I was standing in the hotel room, watching my distorted bridal reflection in the window when another figure joined me in the glass. As I turned to look at the ghost who had suddenly appeared behind me, I found the man I loved, the man I had married, the man I had taken for a husband – wearing a smile that had something sinister about it. And before I knew it, my arms were twisted behind my back and my hair pulled by its roots. His rough hands were pawing at my clothes, tearing them off the body he craved so much – the need shot right through his eyes and spread as a smile that brought me tears. I let out a yelp and tried to wriggle free of his arm but my retaliation was too weak against the weight of his tall frame.

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A feeble ‘why’ had only escaped my lips when the words ‘coz your body is mine to use now, wife’ were hurled right back at me. And I realized, in the ensuing moments of futile retaliation to the way my husband ravaged my body – that I was just that to him – a body. A body he’d call his wife outside the bedroom and ravish as an asset within it. As I struggled under his enormous weight, he kept pounding against the bed between my thighs – until he felt he’d claimed me as ‘a body that was his to use.’ I lay there, weak and defeated, a sharp, stinging pain shooting within my abdomen. The pain throbbed inside me, as if someone had their hands inside me, squeezing my organs. When it waned, I tried to move but it returned at my movement, punishing me for something I hadn’t even been a willing participant of.  So I waited until the sun rays streamed in through the windows where I had seen my reflection as a bride.


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Now I saw a raped bride, a raped wife. I saw the blood-sullied sheets lying in a crumpled mass on the floor as a post-wedding trophy of my torn hymen and myself lying in a corner on the floor, half-covered by my bloodstained dress, a raped bride, a raped wife. I also saw my rapist husband sound asleep on the bed as I writhed in agony on the cold floor. My mind was whirring with disbelief. I was unable to process that the man who had vowed to be by my side in sickness and health the very same day spewed disgust when he wasn’t satisfied with the way he poured his ‘sickness’ in the chamber between my thighs. ‘I cannot believe I waited three months for THAT,’ he’d spat after he’d finished. ‘I could have just f**ked a w**re.’ As his filthy voice echoed in my brain, I dragged myself on the floor until I reached the bathroom to clean my wounds. But even as I sat on the cold marble floor rinsing them, memories of my marital rape kept replaying themselves in my head.


Speak up against marital rape

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I had hardly scrubbed my wounds clean when I felt his brutal touch again. ‘How about a shower together, huh, wife?’ he laughed. And I felt a pang of hurt, more intense than any physical pain, sear my insides. The way he called me ‘wife’ betrayed any meaning of the word I knew. It wasn’t hard to guess I wouldn’t have a choice in the matter. I had little energy left after the violence of last night and gave myself up. He spent the next hour nailing me to the wall, feasting on me, as the water pouring down camouflaged my tears and failed to wash his filth. After he was done, he left me on the bathroom floor, a dead, wet mass who he averred would have to learn to ‘do this’ better.

I lay there for over an hour when he commanded that I come out. I willed myself to dry myself quickly lest he hurt me again but realized I had nothing to wear save a semi-wet blood-stained bridal dress. It hurt me to even look at the dress – so I wrapped the towel and tiptoed outside. He seemed pleased to see me that way and was by my side in a flash. As he whispered ‘nice’ against my wet hair, I felt the warm stench of alcohol on my neck. It was still pretty early in the morning and he was drinking! My body recoiled at his touch and my mind shuddered to think I was ‘married!’ Married to this beast!

marital rape

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He pushed me on the sofa again, undid the knot that held my towel and bit my breasts like they were food he’d just learnt to chew. Intent on taking his time this session, he got up for a brief second and took out some things from his briefcase I trembled at the sight of. A dog collar, a whip, a handcuff, rope, duct tape, and a few metal balls. As he returned to the sofa, he bid me to go down on all fours! Scared for my safety, I pleaded with him to not do this – but this only brought on the worst. Not only did I feel choked when he held on to the dog collar on my neck, but stuffed those metal balls deep inside before whipping me hard. He tied me up to the bedpost and raped me several times – before leaving the room in anger. ‘Don’t do this, don’t do this, huh? I didn’t marry you to not ‘do this,’ he grunted, before leaving the room, trapping me inside.

Suggested read: Why is marital rape an oxymoron in India?

I wasn’t allowed a choice to move out of my room, for my husband wasn’t interested in exploring the place he’d chosen for our honeymoon. What he was interested in was to explore the ‘body’ he’d chosen to wear the sash of ‘his wife’ ever-so-proudly in public. And that he did. Several times again that night. Whenever I was on the verge of passing out, he’d order some food and force-feed me. He’d stuff food inside of me just like he’d stuff his manhood inside me until I had the energy to take his assault again!



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It was the sixth and final day of my husband’s honeymoon. My life as a newlywed, on the other hand, was slowly turning into a dark abyss I wanted to escape from. Only, I couldn’t. You see, when there’s a hand around your throat, it only takes a second not to breathe. And yet, for all my respect for the life God had given me, I contemplated if death was a better alternative than this miserable life. I had stopped fighting for the most part – as I lay there numb, bracing my hands behind my head, as if involuntarily and willing my head in place so as to not slam into the heaving, thrusting monster atop me. He would thrust harder each time, with a force that ripped my insides. As the pain tore at my heart, I decided to retract the million pieces he’d smashed it into. My body could be his; but my heart I’d keep. Even if it was comatose!

In that moment, as I was raped, for the fortieth time in six days, I decided to take my life back too. I could do it when I got home, nearer to loved ones.

Only, I couldn’t.


Six months into my marriage, the same monstrous brutality continued. Back home, I had some intermittent bouts of courage strike me. On this night, I screamed and yelled and banged on the doors and walls for the neighbors to call the cops or inform our folks – but nothing happened. Instead, I ended up having necks of beer bottles stuffed inside of me for trying to ‘involve’ people. The violence didn’t stop there. I was kicked, beaten, battered, and abused until everything became a blur. I remember vague echoes of ‘you want to involve people, huh, you b**ch- I will give you that,’ resounding all about me until my eyes shut close in pain.


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I woke up in our bedroom – with five other men. My husband was there too. And yet, he seemed to be unaffected by the fact that I – his wife – howsoever he meant it – lay there naked and tied to the bed. As these men got emptied bottles and spoke of my body in the filthiest most vile terms ever, my husband guffawed and sipped on his favorite tipple, savoring every passing moment along with his drink. And then, it happened. They raped me. All of them – sometimes in turns, sometimes two people at once – with a few sets of hands feeling me wherever they pleased! And most times, with my husband pouring drink on me!

To think back on the day gives me shivers like none else. That day, I’d had it. I was going to leave.

Suggested read: Why your relationship after a failed marriage has a better chance to succeed


As I managed to sneak out of the wretched house, I called my parents and told them I was going to be home in two hours. As I took a cab, I received a call from a friend who had last spoken to me right after I had checked into my honeymoon hotel. She was a dear friend who couldn’t make it to the wedding but called and congratulated me. Like any new bride who chirped and dreamt of a ‘happily ever after,’ my voice seemed to her a cue-card for a ‘good night.’ I felt no reason, then, to correct her coz I was sure I’d have one! But now, what was I to tell her? After a few seconds of tossing things in my brain, I decided to stop by her place to talk. She is a lawyer.


Marital Rape

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As of today, I am still fighting for divorce – and ohh, under the pretext of incompatibility. Because marital rape is not a thing in my land. And while I want to end this crisis of silence around any act of sexual violence that takes place without consent, within or outside of marriage, I am forced to keep mum by the laws of the land that deem a husband ‘entitled’ to sex. Well, if a marriage certificate = a free pass for rape, then I’d want to speak up against marriage as a giant monolith that is divesting women of their voices.

I screamed for days, for months even. And my voice didn’t reach a single ear.

I guess it’s time my screams rend the vacuum surrounding marital rape – so they can reach other marital rape victims and cause them to transition into survivors. But most of all, so it can weed out this evil forever.

First, because it’s not our fault. It is never the victim’s fault – do you hear me, world? Non-consensual sex is rape. I said NO. She said NO. We all said NO. And NO really means NO.

And second, because marriage does not give you an undeniable right to exercise the inviolable rights of your male libido against us! Any non-consensual act is rape. Even when it is happening within the ambit of an arrangement you sealed with an ‘I do!’ A marriage does NOT give you an excuse for marital rape – because an ‘I do’ never translates to a free-form ‘do it.’

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Article Name
My Screams Against Marital Rape: A Marital Rape Survivor’s Diary
Marital rape is not rape, they say. But will you say so even after you read my story?
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."