Marital Rape

marital rape

What is Marital Rape?

Marital rape is often misunderstood because many women feel they have no voice when it comes to their husband or long-term partner being the perpetrator. The truth is, we always have a voice. If you ever feel like you’re being forced to engage in sexual acts against your will, it is rape, whether it’s a stranger or the man living in your own home. By definition, marital rape is the term used to describe non-consensual sexual acts between a woman and her husband, ex-husband, or intimate long-term partner. It is rape if your partner uses force, threats, or intimidation to get you to submit to sexual acts.

These sexual acts can include:

  • Intercourse
  • Anal or oral sex
  • Forced sexual behavior with other individuals
  • Other unwanted, painful, and humiliating sexual activities
  • It is illegal in all 50 states for a husband to force his wife to commit sexual acts.

Types of Marital Rape

  • Battering Rape – Involves forced sex combined with beatings. This type of sexual assault is primarily motivated by anger toward the survivor.
  • Force Assault 919-870 – Only Rape – Husbands use only as much force as necessary to coerce their wives into sex. This type of sexual assault is primarily motivated by the need for power over the survivor.
  • Obsessive Rape – The husband’s sexual interests run toward the strange and perverse, and they are willing to use force to carry these activities out.

Myths and Facts

Myth: “Marital rape isn’t as serious as rape by a stranger; it’s just one spouse not being in the mood and the other spouse insisting.”
Fact: Marital rape is just as violent, just as degrading, and often times, more traumatic than rape by a stranger. Sometimes it is perpetrated with knives, at gunpoint, repeatedly, brutally, and in front of others. Most often it is the final violent act in a series of physical abuses.

Myth: “Marital rape isn’t offensive. After all, they have had sexual intercourse before. What’s one more time?”
Fact: A person raped by a stranger has to live with the memory of that experience. A person raped by a spouse has to live with the rapist. Many survivors are trapped in a reign of terror; experience repeated sexual assaults over a number of years. The trust and intimacy in a marriage is destroyed when the person who has promised to love and protect, and on whom one may be economically dependent, commits such a brutal and violent crime.

Myth: “When someone marries, consent to sexual intercourse is part of the marriage contract.”
Fact: Sexual expression of love is one thing. Forced brutalized sex is another. No one consents to violence by marrying nor do they wave their right to protection. Sex on demand is NOT part of the marriage contract in the United States.

Myth: “Marital rape is simply one spouse’s word against the other. It would be difficult to prosecute and hard to prove.”
Fact: Difficulty in prosecution should not determine whether something is a crime. Marital rape cases can be and have been successfully prosecuted in the United States.

If you feel like you are in a marital rape situation and you are a Haywood County citizen, call the REACH hotline immediately at (828) 456-7898.

Support REACH

REACH of Haywood County, Inc. serves survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, community outreach and prevention education to empower individuals to live a self-sufficient life free of violence.

LEARN MORE

How Can We Help You?

How can we contact you?




dvpo

Domestic Violence Protective Order?

Do you feel as though you or someone you love is being abused? If so, the solutions are multi-layered. First and foremost, you must consider […]

Recovery is Possible for Everyone

By Marie Romeo, Meridian Behavioral Health Services, with the Haywood County Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Task Force   Six months ago, when Anthony (not […]

marital rape

Marital Rape

What is Marital Rape? Marital rape is often misunderstood because many women feel they have no voice when it comes to their husband or long-term […]

safety plan

Creating a Safety Plan

If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship, it’s important to create a safety plan to keep you and your family safe […]

REACH to hold volunteer training January 23rd

REACH of Haywood is seeking volunteers to assist with the our Helpline phone services, and to participate in other ways through Friends of REACH committees. […]

April 13th, 2016 – REACH sponsors free movie screenings in April

Article also available at The Mountaineer.   April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Haywood Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task force is sponsoring three free […]

May 25th, 2016 – Balsam Range holds REACH benefit concert June 8

Article courtesy The Mountaineer.   The historic Colonial Theater in Canton will come alive with the music of America’s leading bluegrass band, Balsam Range, in […]

How to Help a Friend Who is Being Abused

by Anna Denson Article also appears in The Mountaineer. Domestic violence. Dating violence. Sexual assault. They are uncomfortable topics, to say the least. Often, we […]

August 3rd, 2016 – Local Columnist Highlights REACH

Thanks to local columnist Paul Viau for taking the time to come in and learn about our organization. Read his article below, also available at […]

October 20, 2015 – Local Quilters Provide Comfort to Survivors

by Anna Denson In the last year alone, REACH of Haywood County, Inc. has provided emergency shelter to 84 people – 32 of whom were […]