Marital Rape

Topics: Rape, Sexual intercourse, Marriage Pages: 3 (1151 words) Published: February 8, 2011
Marital Rape When she says NO, it's rape... even when she's married to him Every woman has the right to control her own body and to make decisions about having sex, using birth control, becoming pregnant and having children. She does not lose these rights if she marries. These quotes were taken from Stopping Sexual Assault in Marriage published by the Center for Constitutional Rights Much of the attention that has been given to marital rape has emerged from the legal community. This has occurred because throughout the history of most societies, it has been acceptable for men to force their wives to have sex against their will. The traditional definition of rape in the United States most commonly was, sexual intercourse with a female not his wife without her consent Many have argued, this provided husbands with an exemption from prosecution for raping their wives-a license to rape. The foundation of this exemption can be traced back to statements made by Sir Matthew Hale, Chief Justice in 17th century England. Hale wrote, The husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract, the wife hath given herself in kind unto the husband which she cannot retract. This established the notion that once married, a woman does not have the right to refuse sex with her husband. This rationale remained largely unchallenged until the 1970's when some members of the women's movement argued for the elimination of the spousal exemption because it failed to provide equal protection from rape to all women Approximately 10-14% of married women are raped by their husbands in the United States. In the city of Charlotte, the statistics are rising every year. The following statistics reflect ONLY those spousal rapes that were reported. Keep in mind that most married women do not know about the spousal rape laws. In 1997 the statistics were 1%, 1998, 1.1% and in 1999 1.8%. Historically, most rape statutes red...
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