Unabashed Emotions

What Is Marital Rape- Reasons & Seeking Help

By unabashedemotions


marital rape

Table of Contents

What Is marital rape?

Marital rape is a form of sexual assault that takes place in marriages. It is a sexual act in which one spouse forcibly rapes the other. The definition of what is marital rape has been debated for centuries, but most experts agree that it refers to a sexual act perpetrated by a husband or wife against another spouse.

Is spousal rape still rape?

Are you wondering, “Can your husband rape you or can your wife rape you?”

Marital rape is illegal in most countries, but marital rape is not recognized in the United States. Despite the fact that it is not a criminal offense in the United States, marital rape is a very real issue, and it can have devastating effects on victims. 

In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 5% of women have been raped in their marriage or by their husbands or boyfriend at some point in their lives.

“The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey”[2] found that approximately 7.7 million women are victims of sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. Roughly 3 million of these women reported that they were raped within the past year. These statistics are alarming; it is essential that we do more to raise awareness of this issue and encourage those who are experiencing this violence to come forward and get the support they need.

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence[3] Survey, 1 in 4 women report being physically forced to have sexual intercourse against their will. In addition, more than 1 in 6 women are sexually abused during their lifetime. Women are at increased risk of being sexually assaulted and abused because many of the perpetrators are someone they know and trust.

Why does marital rape happen?

Now that you have understood what is marital rape, know why it happens. Sexual assault and marital rape are two of the most serious crimes a person can commit. 

  • These crimes are committed when someone, without the consent of the other person, has sexual contact or intercourse with them against their will. 
  • Men commit marital rape[1] for a number of reasons, including anger, to assert their dominance, power and control over their wives and families, because they think they can get away with it because their partners will not report it to the police, or because they don’t care about hurting their wives. 
  • Women commit marital rape for the same reasons as men, but they may also do it because they want to punish their husbands for sleeping around with other women, to punish them for not providing[2] enough sex, or because they feel trapped. 
  • Both men and women can be victims of spousal rape; however, women are more likely to experience this type of abuse because they are more likely to be attacked in the privacy of their own homes. 
  • In many cultures around the world, men do not regard their wives as equals and do not expect them to have sexual relationships with other men. Because of these cultural and religious influences, women often feel that they have no choice but to submit to their husbands’ demands for sex.
  • Men who batter their wives are more likely to justify their violence by pointing to their wives’ “unwifely” behavior, such as not keeping house or[3] wearing make-up. 
  • Some of these men also believe that it is acceptable for them to sexually assault their wives because they are not attracted to them. 
  • In addition, some men who engage in domestic violence see their partners as objects that are to be used and abused rather than human beings with feelings and desires of their own.

Types of marital rape

Sexual assault in a marriage is committed by one spouse against the other. Here are types of marital rape:

1) Physical rape: This is the most common form of marital rape. It involves physical coercion, such as hitting, slapping, punching, or kicking.

2) Psychological rape: This form of marital husband or wife rape involves psychological coercion such as threatening to tell the victim’s employer if she doesn’t comply with his demands, telling her he’ll leave her if she refuses to have sex with him, or threatening to kill her and her family.

3) Financial rape: This type of marital rape involves forcing the victim to perform sexual acts by threatening to take away her money or her access to money.

4) “Force only rape” is a type of marital rape that involves a husband who uses force and intimidation to force his wife to have sex with him but stops short of actually raping her. This is a common legal defense for a man accused of this type of marital rape.

5) Social rape is the act of sexually assaulting a spouse in front of the family, or other people whom the rapist believes will see the act and approve of it.

Also read: What Is Sexual Coercion- Common Tactics & Dealing With Coercion

Seeking help in marital rape

Marriage is a sacred institution in which two people pledge to love and care for each other. It is a commitment to build a life together, sharing happiness and pain.

If you have faced marital rape, you might feel as though there is no way out. You may think that because you entered into marriage willingly, you deserve to be assaulted and that you are somehow at fault. But this is not the case. 

Spousal rape is not your fault, and it is not something you deserved or chose. It is a crime of domestic violence, and it must be dealt with as such.

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