INTRODUCTION the rescue of the male victim and

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The world we are living in
is very dynamic. People change and so does the society and its interests. The
history of blood and war are well known, studied and discussed but the same is
not the case with sexual assaults. This concept is seldom discussed and often
enshrouded out of ignominy by both men and women. The stories of ADOLF HITLLER,
KING ASHOKA and ALEXANDER THE GREAT are well known and their administration, war
policies, governance etc are a part of the school curriculum as well. But how
many of us know the actual reason behind the downfall of the Roman Empire? The
rape of the prefect’s daughter Lucretia by the King’s son Sextus Tarquinius was
the precipitating event which led to the end of the monarchical roman rule.
This incident is considered as the first ever rape issue to be recognised.
However it doesn’t mean that the concept of rape was rare. Historical tales
that lead to dark truth are often concealed.

While considering rape,
the foremost thought that comes into every mind is that a woman has been raped
or a man has raped someone. It is almost unimaginable for the society to accept
that a man can also be raped, that he can also be traumatised as much as any
other women and in many cases more than women after being raped. Such thoughts
have made the life of a male rape survivor miserable. There have been number of
situations where neither the society nor the police have come to the rescue of
the male victim and all in all have refused to believe in the happening of the
same. Yet again such attitude shouldn’t be much of a surprise for us since this
is the same society where even if a woman is getting raped on the middle of a
road the society would rather record the incident for pleasure rather than fight
for the modesty of the women. Thus it is very unlikely for the very same
society, who consider male child crying as shameful and unmanly to come to his

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Going hand in hand with
our society, our laws have also made the term ‘raped’ synonymous to women. The
legislators considered it biologically impossible for the victimisation of man
in such offences. Thus according to our laws, Rape is considered to be an act
that can only be done by man.

These stereotypical
thoughts do not allow us to think rationally. Various social experiments have
been conducted by various private organisations, individuals and to some extent
our survey has also been instrumental in disproving such stereotypes. Man gets
raped and not just by another man but also by women. These statements were
verified by an experiment conducted by United
States on 3000 adults. According to the research about 10% of the surveyed
males had been raped during their adult years, among the college students these
numbers raised to 16%. However, this might probably be an underestimate as men
usually neither report their assaults to authorities nor come out open in the
public regarding the same.

It becomes very difficult
to explain their experience of rape for male survivors as they have always been
taught that men cannot be victims of sexual assault. Also some victims consider
the rape only as a physical assault and seek assistance for physical injuries,
seldom seek counselling to deal with the emotional after effects.  Also, the fear of their sexual identity being
questioned prevents them from reporting.

According to the survey
conducted by NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, indicating the
victims of the adult sexual assault, in South
Wales 17% are men, and out of it 50% of them are aged between 16 and 24
years. Additionally one in every prison inmate under the age of 25 years has
been raped while in prison.

In 2017 a South African
police official during the investigation of abduction and rape case filed by a
resident, confirmed that out of the total number of rape cases being reported
20% are of the male population. In this case a middle aged resident was
kidnapped and gang raped for 3 days repeatedly by three women. This case can be
termed a milestone in the South African
investigation which led to the breaking of the stereotypical thinking and eventually
the society started accepting the fact that a man can also be raped. Soon after
the revelation, there have been many organisations set up for the relief of the

no different, when it comes to neglecting the vital issues. Ideally, India
alone would be able to provide the authentic data for the statistical
comparison of the rape survivorship between men and women. However, as the
legal definition of rape in India does not cover the one committed against men,
there is no proper way to determine how many male survivors exist in India. But
the child sexual abuse survey conducted by the Indian government in 2007 showed
alarming results. Out of those surveyed 57.3% boys and 42% of girls reported
experiences of sexual assault including rape or sodomy. Most recently, in a
survey conducted by Delhi based centre for civil society, it was found that
approximately 18% of Indian adult men are sexually abused. Out of these 16%
alleged a female perpetrator and 2% claimed a male perpetrator. But our nation
still refuses to believe the existence of such occurrences despite many PILs
filed in the courts on their behalf and Reports submitted suggesting such
changes. With 2013 Amendment in IPC the definition of rape has been further
narrowed now, limiting it only to cases of penetrations.   

In countries like India
where discussion on sexual intercourse is considered to be a taboo, courses on
bad touch and good touch is an alien concept.

Considering the scenario
of past few decades the credibility of rape, violence and molestation cases
framed are at stake.


definition of prior to 2013

definition after 2013 Amendment

recommended definition of rape by the commission


The literal meaning of
rape is “act of sexual intercourse without the consent of the woman”. According
to the English Law, rape means “forceful sex”. Law and dictionary talk only
about rape of woman and not of men. In a manner it implies that women can only
be a victim and man the victimiser. The definition of rape was subjected to
consecutive changes over the past decade, evolving from penile-vaginal to
penile-orifice and then to penetrative-orifice, within the non-consensual
context. The physical assault with sharp objects suffered by Nirbhaya on the
fateful night of December would also be falling under this categorization of


However in the wake of Nirbhaya’s
gang rape in 2012, an ordinance was introduced by the Central Government which
shifted focus of the country towards the offence of Rape. It has passed the
Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, which has substituted rape for sexual
assault and had made the offence gender neutral.

However this could not
stand the test of time. As a result of full-throated and emphatic lobbying
force, both the changes have been countermanded in the very same year. The main
argument of these forces was that the offence of rape was an explicitly
patriarchal crime, which has sprung from abuse of male privilege and power. Therefore
only the members of one gender can rape and only the members of one gender can
get raped.

Thus once again the
government has landed at the conventional definition from which it started.
Hence, for the requirements of the offence to be met, male must be the
perpetrator and female the victim. However the only exception to this rule
being, the concept of gender-neutrality for the perpetrator has been adopted
for offences like gang rape.


However it doesn’t mean
that we are completely blind towards recognising man’s right. There are
provisions in Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and other
acts which recognises and punishes child abuse in both sexual and non-sexual
manner.  The recent incident of murder of
a 3 year old boy in the Ryan International School, was revealed by the police
to be the aftermath that boy’s refusal to the sexual advances made towards him
by the driever. This incident has certainly convulsed the entire country As a
matter of fact, such cases with respect to children are dealt gender neutrally
within the meaning of the above mentioned act. However if the child was
victimised by a female, the PCSOA would allow for a charge of sexual assault
and not penetrative sexual assault which is codified as male only. It surely is
high time India recognises that man can also be raped and woman does not always
have to be the victim.





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