Times are changing and so is the law. The government in India recently ruled that a man who takes an under-aged wife (between 15-18) and has sexual intercourse with her could now be charged with rape.

The country’s top court ruled last Wednesday that the laws regarding marital rape are shifting and the age of consent is 18 for a bride. These changes can and will affect the millions of child brides that currently exist. This ruling gives the child bride a voice to speak out and bring charges against her husband.

The Supreme Court has reportedly ruled that: “Sexual intercourse by a married man with their minor wife below 18 years is rape.”

The legal age of consent for both men and women in India is 18 and 21, respectively. The percentage of underage men and women being married has declined marginally within the past 10 years. Although the percentage rate has dropped of child brides since 2001 to 0.3percent in rural areas, it has increased to 0.7 percent in urban areas.

India is among the top ten countries that continue to allow its citizens to have and acknowledges child marriages. Other countries believe in the culture are Niger, South Sudan, Guinea, Chad and Burkina Faso.