Civil laws against Marital Rape


  1. First and foremost, the law makes it clear that the victim cannot be made to leave her home even if she files a report. In other words, if you file a report against your husband, he cannot force you to leave the house.
  2. Anyone can file a complaint if they think that a case of domestic violence is taking place, or is imminent. This person will not have any civil or criminal liabilities for reporting in good faith.
  3. This is a civil law and will be tried in a civil court.
  4. The law says that a protection officer should notify the magistrate and the first date of hearing should be within 3 days of filing the report.
  5. The protection officer should also help you to attain a lawyer for the trial. Under the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 (Chapter IV, section 12) you are entitled to free legal services.
  6. The magistrate decides whether a protection order should be given , or a fine paid. Sometimes, individual or family counselling will be ordered. The protection officer should be responsible for the order being carried out.
  7. In case of violation of the order, the aggressor is charged under criminal and criminal preceedings will start – this could lead to imprisonment for upto 1 year and/or fine of upto 20000 INR. Also, if a protection officer does not do his/her duty, then the person is to be tried under criminal law and could be imprisoned.
  8. The law states that the magistrate should try to close the case within 60 days from the date of the first hearing. In case the magistrate recommends counselling, there could be a delay of at most 2 months.

* Since this is quite a strong stance against domestic violence, there has to be a safeguard against false reporting. False reports result in jail term or fineas described by the Act. However, this is not to deter women from reporting genuine cases, as the named person is considered an aggressor until proven otherwise.

Please read about what is defined as domestic sexual abuse under Indian law, how to report at a police station, and some important things to rememberduring the legal and recovery process for the victim.