The Downside of Marriage: An Insight Into Marital Rape

Marital rape is taken lightly by governments all over the world, from first world states to the worst of the third world. In an attempt to wrap my head around this controversial topic I decided to do a little research of my own  and something in a blog post  I read caught my attention particularly.

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Image Courtesty: bubblews.com

“Criminalizing marital rape is a no brainer. There’s no need for even the phrase “marital rape” to exist. We don’t have “marital murder” after all. It’s just murder. The relationship of the victim to the perpetrator is completely irrelevant”.

While I do understand the concern with trying to accuse a husband of raping his wife, I do have to agree with the sentiment above, that rape is rape no matter who the perpetrator may be. It’s easy for people to dismiss this issue. Often, people and even women I’ve spoken with cite that there’s nothing wrong with a husband wanting to sleep with his wife, while the wife may be unwilling to for reasons revolving around laziness and pure lethargy. This is true and I agree fully. However, what these people fail to recognize is an implicit notion of consent despite the woman being tired.

Therefore, under any circumstance the above-mentioned example wouldn’t amount to rape anyway. Why? Because in order for someone to be raped or sexually assaulted, there cannot have been consent from the victim in the first place. Of course, consent is not considered real consent if it is obtained by force, intimidation or by deception. Women often choose not to resist a rape in order to survive. This does not mean however that she consented to what happened.

Having said that, let me just put it plainly: marital rape is wrong and there should be legal repercussions for the perpetrator. Not only can marital rape occur in relationships but, the scars left on marital rape victims are often more traumatizing than other rape victims, not that I’m keeping score, because any situation involving rape is devastating. However, according to the Rape, Abuse, Incest & National Network’s research, women who are victims of marital rape are more likely to experience repeated assaults than other rape victims. In fact, among battered women, sexual assault may be a routine part of the pattern of the abuse.

For example, a Nigerian lady named Temilade Temisan was a victim of routine physical, verbal and sexual abuse – that is too brutal to even put into writing – by her husband for years, all because she exerted her right to say no.

There is also an underlying pressure to stay with the perpetrator. A victim with children who lacks outside employment may be financially dependent on her spouse and feel there is no way to leave the situation.

Lastly, and most significantly, a victim may have difficulty identifying what has happened to them as ‘rape’ or as a crime for that matter. For many cultures, defining the other spouse’s conduct as rape or identifying someone she married and loves as a “rapist” can have negative repercussions that the victim may not have the capacity to deal with. This has resulted in cases of marital rape being one of the most rarely reported crimes, even today.

Having said that, I hope I have convinced you that marital rape is a serious issue and crime. The fact that countries like Singapore, marital rape is not a legal offense is rather disheartening to me. Not only does it send the message that women’s rights are not valued but it sends the more offensive message that women’s rights are valued less than a man’s rights.

What are your views? Do you guys believe that marital rape is a crime? If so, how can we change mindsets of governments to  ensure proper legislation for women around the world?

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7 thoughts on “The Downside of Marriage: An Insight Into Marital Rape

  1. Pingback: I Am Being Raped By My Husband - Parenting And Mental Health

  2. Pingback: Marital rape still somewhat legal in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. You know what, I completely agree on the point that marital rape is wrong. Sex as an act really has the potential to humiliate and violate a person in more ways than just physical, and reduce them. “Putting a ring on it” is not a license for free fucks at one’s disposal.

  4. If ” marital rape ” was a crime, it would be easy for any woman who hates her husband to claim that he raped her. Now the problem is, how would you prove marital rape in court? All men would claim it was no more than a normal sexual intercourse that happens between any married couple. The case is closed!

    • What if the man admitted that he raped his wife? Shouldn’t he go to jail at least then? As of now, the law doesn’t allow it. We’ll think about finding the evidence later. First and foremost the law has to state was is right and what is wrong.

    • I appreciate your comment. But, making statements based on hypothetical scenarios dilutes the entire concept of rape. If a woman hates her husband, in a court, I beleive it would be the lawyer’s duty to prove her hatred. Also, in many cases of marital rape, violence is a key ingredient. Scars and beatings on a woman’s body can be proven by forensic analysis, and a case for rape can be made.

      However, I am not a lawyer and it isn’t my duty or responsibility to prove marital rape. The issue still remains that marital rape is still rape. It’s still wrong and should be criminalized so that men who continue to abuse their wives know they can be prosecuted. The first step is criminalizing it. The rest, we can figure out later.

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