Victims of gender or sexual violence are often unaware of the various options they can exercise to put an end to their suffering. Many who wish to fight back are hindered by ignorance, lack of legal awareness, advice and assistance. Thus, we decided to put together a list of the fundamental gender based laws that each Indian Citizen has the right to exercise if required. The knowledge, we believe, is empowering for all readers and not just victims of violence. Hence, we would encourage you to browse this page yourself and spread the information to others as well. We have not used legal jargon and terminology. The language is kept simple and reader friendly.
However, if you require more detailed information you can access the Indian Law by clicking on https://indiankanoon.org/. You may also contact us if you are in need for further legal information, legal advice, or legal assistance regarding any form or degree of gender and sexual concerns. All our services and facilities are free of cost.
We would be happy to help!
Legal Facts For You
Sexual abuse and harassment
- Rape is non-consensual, forced sexual intercourse. Rape is punishable under law. Gang rape is punishable by law. This law applies to all genders and can be called upon, in case of rape, by any person irrespective of gender.
- Penetration is sufficient to constitute rape.
- Forms of penetration other than peno-vaginal penetration are recognized as criminal acts under law.
- Sexual intercourse with a woman who is under intoxication amounts to rape.
- Intercourse with any girl under eighteen years of age, with or without her consent, amounts to rape.
- Obtaining a woman’s consent to sexual intercourse by intentionally giving her the false idea that she is married to her perpetrator amounts to rape.
- Obtaining a woman’s consent to sexual intercourse by using fear by putting her or anybody she has interest in under threat of hurt or danger amounts to rape.
- A person who assaults or uses criminal force against a woman is punishable by law.
- Any word, any gesture, any sound, or the display of any object intended to be seen by a woman, or invading her privacy is harassment and can be legally registered.
Marriage and Domestic Violence
- Rape in marriage is NOT punishable under law.
- Sexual intercourse by a man of his wife is illegal only if the wife is below fifteen years of age.
- If a married woman is subject to any kind of cruelty by her husband or his relative (s), the victimizer is punishable under law. ‘Cruelty’ in this case may include driving a woman to suicide, causing grave injury to her life, limb or health, mental trauma and demands for property or valuable security from the woman or any person related to her.
- If a woman dies within the first seven years of her marriage due to burns, injury, or under any unusual circumstances and it is found that she was subject to harassment by her husband or his relatives with regards to insufficient dowry or demand for dowry, the perpetrators of the death are heavily punishable.
- Domestic violence is punishable under law. In the case of domestic violence a woman may be given protection, provided residence, provided monetary compensation for all monetary losses incurred by her, provided maintenance for herself and her children.
Child Birth, Pregnancy and miscarriage
- It is a crime to intentionally cause a miscarriage in a pregnant woman in order to kill her child, with or without her consent.
- It is illegal for a woman to cause a miscarriage to herself
- Causing the death of a woman, whether knowingly or accidently, while attempting to make her have a miscarriage is punishable under law.
- Any action that prevents a baby from being born alive or causes the baby’s death after birth, not done in good faith to save the mother, but to kill the baby is punishable under law.
- Attempting to secretly dispose the dead body of a baby who died before, during or after the birth, in order to conceal the baby’s birth is punishable under law.
Adultery and Bigamy
- It is illegal to marry a second time if one is already married to someone who is alive. A subsequent marriage is legal only after a court has declared a previous marriage void.
- It is legal to marry another person while in an existing marriage only if one’s spouse has been absent for seven years and there is no information regarding his/her being alive. In such a case, the new spouse to be must be informed of the prevailing circumstances.
- It is punishable to have a consensual sexual relation with another man’s wife without the consent of that man. The wife is not punishable.
Non-hetero Normative Sexuality
- Non-heterosexual sexual intercourse or sexual relationship is illegal.
Sexual Relationships of Minors
- Consensual sex between two people below the age of 18 is criminal.
- One may legally fight for child custody.
- Sexual abuse of children is criminal.
- Abetting child sexual abuse is criminal.
- Watching or collecting pornography involving children is illegal
- A guardian leaving or exposing a child below twelve years of age with the intent of wholly abandoning the child is punishable under law.
- It is illegal to cause bodily pain, disease or infirmity to another person.
- Causing any grievous hurt to another is illegal. This includes emasculation, permanent privation of the sight of either eye, permanent privation of the hearing of either ear, privation of any member or joint, destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint, permanent disfiguration of the head or face, fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth, any hurt which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to be during the space of twenty days in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his/her ordinary pursuits.
Bestiality and Necrophilia
- Bestiality and necrophilia are illegal.