Spousal Rape Essay

1072 words - 4 pages

Can a husband rape his wife? I find myself amazed by the number of people who believe that they can’t. It seems, the common mindset is that when a man and woman marry, the woman somehow become the man’s property, for him to do with what he wants, whenever he wants, regardless of her feelings. Well, I disagree completely and feel it is my duty as a past victim of spousal rape, to set the record straight that rape is rape, regardless of marital status just as murder is murder regardless of marital or relationship status. I will define the legal definition of spousal/marital rape, briefly discuss the history, point out the differences in requirements and punishments for rape vs. spousal rape, and finally describe the effects spousal rape has on its victims.
While the legal definition varies by state, spousal rape can be defined as any unwanted intercourse or penetration obtained by force, threat of force, or when the wife is unable to consent (crisisconnection.org). Shockingly, though, many states don’t recognize the last part of that definition in their laws. Some states only consider it spousal rape if force, threat of force, use of a deadly weapon, or bodily injury occurred during the offense. If this criterion isn’t met, the act is not considered a crime; it is considered the husbands contractual right per the marriage agreement.
Until the late 1970’s, most states didn’t consider spousal rape a crime at all. Typically, spouses were exempted from the sexual assault laws (ncvc.org). The traditional definition of rape most commonly used in the United States up until this point was, ‘sexual intercourse with a female who is not his wife without her consent’ (Barshis, 1983, p. 383). Sadly, this thinking remained mostly unchallenged until the 1970’s when the women’s movement argued for equal protection regardless of marital status. As a result of the women’s movement, on July 5, 1993, spousal rape became a crime in all 50 states, under at least one section of the sexual offenses code (crisisconnection.org). In 17 states and the District of Columbia, there are no exemptions from rape prosecution given to husbands (crisisconnection.org). However, in 33 states there are still exemptions given to husbands from rape prosecution which demonstrates that rape in marriage is somehow still considered a lesser offense than other types of rape.
Some examples of the differences in treatment of rape of a spouse from that of a non-spousal rape include: a shorter reporting period for spousal rape (depending on the state, 30 days, 90 days or 1 year, as opposed to at least 3 years for non-spousal rape), the previously mentioned requirement of the presence of force or injury, and in some states, the requirement that the victim must be living separate from the offender for it to qualify as a crime. Not surprisingly, the punishment for a spousal rape also differs from that of a non-spousal rape. For example, rape of a spouse by force or deadly...

Find Another Essay On Spousal Rape

Violent Crime in the United States, Explanations of Violent Crime, Rape and Violent Crime, Murder and Violent Crime, Controlling Violent Crime in America

590 words - 2 pages aspect of murder is that the victim and the accused often know each other. Like rape, the murder rate and the number of annual murders is in decline (Siegel, 2008).Assault and Battery are two more serious interpersonal violent crimes. These can often occur in the home in the form of child abuse and spousal abuse. Under modern law assault and battery can occur even if no injuries result from the blows. Battery can also involve offensive touching

Gender inequality Essay

723 words - 3 pages developed and the developing world, violence against women in the form of rape, spousal abuse, child abuse or spousal killing is such routine behavior that it rarely even makes the news anymore. In conflict zones, rape of women and children is increasingly used as a weapon of war. In other countries, marital rape is condoned, and some countries have laws that require a certain number of male witnesses to testify before a court will acknowledge that a

Review of a Sex Difference in the Context-Sensitivity of Dominance Perceptions

1050 words - 5 pages cause physical harm to another is useful for our society where there is so much violent crime. In terms of choosing a potential mate, a woman or a man can use these cues to determine if potential partners should be pursued or avoided. This could assist in avoiding potential rape, spousal abuse and any other acts of violent nature. There were two hundred participants that took part in this research, one hundred males and one hundred females were

Domestic Violence

3516 words - 14 pages rung of the abuse ladder. If there is sexual abuse in a relationship, one can then assume that other types of physical and emotional abuse also exist. Legal definitions are still being determined. For the first laws that considered marital rape an assault was not passed in the United States until 1975, the first state being Oregon. Until very recently in most states had rape statues that included a spousal exception, making rape by a husband legal

John Locke's Belief That People Are Born with Rights

1385 words - 6 pages addressing rape and sexual violence, like the establishment of a special court dedicated to cases about gender and sexual violence, spousal rape is not criminalized (Liberia Human Rights). The president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is part of the Unity Party and has made many improvements to women’s rights in her country. Sirleaf is the first woman to be elected as a leader in an African country (“Liberian President”). Sirleaf’s election to

Discussion of Ciminological Theories: Trait Theory & Developmental Theory

2242 words - 9 pages tendencies, such as aggression, impulse control, bullying, and violence can be passed from fathers or mothers down to children as genetic traits. Bullying and spousal abuse may only be slight examples of criminal and antisocial behaviors enforced by criminal trait theory. One might draw the conclusion that gang violence, murder, and rape fit here as well. Gang violence because there can be safety in numbers; that is those within a pack have a better

Sleeping With The Enemy

1343 words - 5 pages of these experiences often become suppressed because of the personal humiliation and shame women feel about the situation. Notice that, in the movie, Laura never seeks legal retribution for Martin's abuse, all she wants to do is escape. Sexual abuse and spousal abuse are psychologically devastating for women because these are acts that inflict feelings of guilt upon the victim. It is too often that a female rape victim will do nothing because she

Discrimination Against Men

1640 words - 7 pages with frequently being denied custody of their children, men also suffer from more discrimination by the justice system. Men make up the majority of the prison population in all of Canada and also get different sentences than women for doing the same crime. “Women are acquitted of spousal murder at a rate 9 times that of men” and when women actually do get sentenced, “men are sentences 2.8 times longer than women for spousal murder “(Bureau

Family issues

1273 words - 5 pages rape victims are raped by their fathers or step- fathers, and another 16 percent are raped by other relatives while they are children. In many cases, the child is in fear, that if they say anything it will disrupt the balance of the family. They often blame themselves for what has occurred, instead of the person who is supposed to love and protect them. Survivors of incest are affected in numerous ways; popularly known are low self-esteem

The Causes of Low Conviction Rate for Sexual Offenders

3199 words - 13 pages given case. In one such case, a woman was capable of recording her husband, Shawn Michael Harris, during several occasions of sexual abuse (The People, 2012). Even though the tape was played in court, jurors found Shawn Michael Harris guilty of only forced oral copulation; the jurors deadlocked on the charges of sodomy by force and forcible spousal rape (The People, 2012). This may have been caused by two factors: the reasonable doubt stance by

Abortion Restrictions are Unconstitutional

1000 words - 4 pages reaffirmation of Roe v. Wade. Last also claims that if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned about 20 states would end up with laws restricting abortion without an exception for rape or incest. He also believes about 20 states would have abortion laws with some restrictions, including a rape or incest exception, waiting periods, and parental or spousal notifications and about 10 states would have more liberal laws on abortion (2006).References:Abortion

Similar Essays

Domestic Violence Counseling Program Specializing In Spousal Rape

1760 words - 8 pages "Marital Rape Rescue" By Jamie Beals Proficiency Project: Victim Services Submitted in Fulfillment of Requirements for Victim Services - CVSS 1113 Submitted to Ann Lowrance Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City April 17, 2014 Introduction This program will focus on D.A.R.T, a Domestic Violence Counseling Program, who specializes in spousal rape. Victims of marital rape may find themselves left helpless and unaware of their options to

A Definition Of Rape In The United States

919 words - 4 pages underage. An underage that gave consent is not considered consent ,because they are a minor and it is not legal (hg.org legal resources). If two people are together and are having sexual intercourse and their partner is older than the other , that is consider a minor it is considered statutory rape (hg.org legal resource). Marital rape is when a woman is married and their partner forces them to have sex with them (hg.org legal resources). Spousal rape

Marital Rape: A Worrying Trend Essay

604 words - 2 pages IntroductionRape is a form of sexual assault where an individual forces another to have sexual intercourse against that person’s will. It is a heinous crime which affects its victims both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, most of these victims can never recover from the traumatic experience caused by this form of assault.Marital rape, also known as spousal rape, is a form of rape committed by the victim’s own spouse. It is far

The Degradation Of Wives In The Victorian Period

2515 words - 10 pages marriage” (Hellerstein176-79). Rights and privileges of marriage are euphemisms for brute sex, which was advocated by Dr. William Acton and Dr. Auguste Debay, both influential writers of their time. Thus was the male mentality throughout the nineteenth century, reinforced by medical professionals it laid the foundations for spousal rape, a condition not yet fully resolved. French surgeon Auguste Debay, in his best selling marriage manual