What is Forceful Sexual Behaviour?

Last updated on May 11, 2022

[Trigger Warning: This explainer contains information on physical violence, sexual violence, abuse and slurs which some readers may find disturbing.]

There are many forms of forceful sexual behaviour that a person might encounter. Some of them are:

Forcefully Removing Clothes 

Whenever someone forcefully removes or tries to remove a person’s clothes, it is a crime. Even if there is any intention(( Sunil Kumar Mishra and Ors. v. State of Orissa and Ors  119 (2015) CLT 396.)) or behaviour where a person thinks the perpetrator is going to or might remove their clothes by hurting them, it is a crime. For example, if someone forcefully tries to remove a person’s clothes in a secluded place, it is a crime.

This crime is commonly known as disrobing. Under the law, only a man can be punished for the crime.(( Sunil Mishra v. The State of Jharkhand  2016 (1) J.L.J.R.279.)) The punishment for forcefully removing someone’s clothes is jail time of minimum three year and maximum five years with a fine.(( Section 354B, Indian Penal Code, 1860.))


Rape(( Section 375, Indian Penal Code, 1860.)) is a forceful act committed when the perpetrator penetrates their body parts into someone else or applies their mouth on someone else’s body parts.  Further details on this crime are available in our explainer on Rape. The punishment for rape is jail time anywhere between ten years to life imprisonment with a fine.(( Section 376, Indian Penal Code, 1860.)) If a person rapes a child below the age of 14, then they can be punished with death penalty.(( The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.))


Marital rape is not an offence in India and a wife cannot file a complaint against her husband if he has raped her. However, a wife can file a complaint against him for domestic violence(( Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.)) and seek immediate protection for herself or her children. Further details are available in our explainer on Domestic Violence.

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