Marital rape is a form of domestic violence. It makes no difference if the person who rapes you is your spouse. Rape by a spouse is still rape and it is illegal.
Researchers believe that marital rape does as much, if not more, traumatic damage to the victim than rape by a stranger. While any case of rape is traumatic, when the perpetrator is a trusted spouse, the effects of the rape go very deep. When rape caused by a spouse, the violation goes beyond a physical and sexual violation. It makes the victim question her own sense of judgment and value as a lovable individual.
Many women who are the victims of marital rape are raped repeatedly by their spouse. This leaves them to question if they have the right to report the rape, as it may appear that they condoned the rape, or that is was a part of sexual play.
Defining Marital Rape
It is sometimes difficult for a woman to define what takes place in her marital bed as rape. She may feel that since the rape is taking place by someone with whom she genuinely loves and interacts with on a daily basis, she may question whether it is truly rape. However, if a woman is being forced by her husband, manipulated or coerced into sex acts that she is not comfortable with, that is marital rape.
Marital Rape Can Occur in Many Different Forms
- Marital rape may be very violent and be accompanied by much physical abuse.
- An abuser may require that sex be a part of the “make-up” process after he has physically or emotionally abused his partner.
- Marital rape may consist of coercion where the man may physically hold his partner in a particular position during sexual intercourse so his partner cannot move.
- Marital rape can become very sadistic. This is when the spouse will force his partner to submit to acts which are meant to degrade and humiliate her.