Survive / Marital Rape

Marital Rape

Marriage is a contract based on mutual love, consideration and respect. Both partners have a right to their own body, and while consideration for each person’s sexual needs is normal, forced sexual acts are not. They aren’t an expression of love. They are a purposeful betrayal of the respect and trust which form a solid marriage.

Sexual abuse within marriage leaves the victim very confused. We all accept that when someone is attacked and sexually assualted by a stranger while out on the street, it is called rape, and that it is wrong and a crime But, often when a man rapes his wife it is not seen by either as a crime, or even described as rape.

Many women accept that once they are married they can’t deny their husband sex. They see it as a wifely duty to have sex whenever it is demanded. When they have been raped they take on the guilt because they may have said no, and they think thats a sign of a bad wife. It can make them feel very worthless and diminsh their levels of self confidence.

If no violence has taken place the man will often see it as consensual, as a joint decision. He denies it was rape. This adds to the confusion of the woman who starts to question the reality of what happened.

Up until 1991 there was no such crime as marital rape, however since then law agencies do take claims of it seriously, and do take action.

Protection while you and your partner reside together

If you are in danger from a non-resident parent or an ex-partner

If you decide to leave, before you go…

Think about a place you can go where you will be safe, or where the abuser will not know to look for you, such as to a friend or relative (only if it is safe), to a hotel, or refuge, or to another town or city. You can also ask the Housing Department (or Homeless Person’s Unit) or Social Services for help. Get legal advice.

If possible:

Put some money away in a safe place a little at a time. Move some of your things out a little at a time (for example, identification and other things that may not be noticed). Keep a diary and record the abusive incidents (only if you can do this safely).