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Marital rape is an ugly reality

Alcohol an important factor in violence against women by their husbands.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Updated: April 15, 2014 5:41 pm

EVEN AS we debate marital rape,a new study has revealed 26 per cent of women in Pune,23 per cent in Bhubaneswar and 16 per cent in Jaipur often have sex with husbands against their desire.

The findings by International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS),Mumbai,show drinking to be the biggest reason for rampant and largescale victimisation of urban poor women in marriages.

“This is marital rape. Overall,2 per cent of women in Bhubaneswar and 6 per cent in Jaipur and Pune said their last sexual intercourse had some component of alcohol. The use of alcohol was three times higher in slum areas as compared to non-slum areas in cities. Twelve per cent of women in Pune slums,5 per cent in Bhubaneswar and 9 per cent in Jaipur slums reported use of alcohol during their last intercourse,” said S K Singh,who headed the research.

One-fifth of women across the cities said their husbands were often drunk.

“The figures are always higher in slum areas. In Pune,for instance,31 per cent of women living in slums said their husbands were often drunk as compared to 12 in non-slum areas. Alcoholism is an important factor in violence against women by their husbands,” he said.

A women’s leader in Pune said there was a high percentage of alcoholism among men.

“Most slum dwellers are daily wage workers. This leads to unnecessary expenditure. Alcohol is prepared locally and is cheap. This is the reason alcoholism is rampant. Alcoholism has increased cases of domestic violence,” said the 45-year-old.

A private factory worker in Jaipur said everyone in her community was addicted to alcohol and spent a “substantial proportion” of earnings on alcohol. “In fact,it is as if they earn to spend on alcohol,” said the 37-year-old.

The study showed education has made women aware of their sexual rights in all three cities. “The issue of violence and coercive sex can be addressed by sensitising young men about rights of women in terms of equality in sexual relations,” it said.

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