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CAN A MAN BE A VICTIM OF RAPE?

By Santhiya V, Ramya.S.R, and Priyadharshini.P

The word ‘rape’ is derived from the Latin word rapio, which means ‘to seize’. Rape literally means a forcible seizure. Rape signifies the ravishment of a woman against her will or without her consent or with consent obtained through force, fear, or fraud. During the Medieval English period, the same term could refer to either kidnapping or rape in the modern sense of “sexual violation”. Unlike England, women in India cannot be held liable for rape to the same extent as a man. The offence of rape requires both mens rea and actus rea. It may be done with physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent. In India, the sexual offences are described in the Indian Penal Code under section 375 to 376E. All these sections describe women as the victim and men as the accused.
Section 375 of IPC defines the offence of ‘rape’ and Section 376 provides punishment for rape. The mere interpretation of rape is that it is “against her will” and “without her consent”. This means only women can be the victim of rape, and the word ‘rapist’ is generally stereotyped towards men. This stereotyping hinders the fact that men are also the victims of rape. It is the duty of the state to protect the people for being discriminated on the basis of their gender, but due to laws like section 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860, the state too discriminates people on the basis of their gender. The authors will be analyzing these two sections in this research paper.

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