What You Need to Know About Spousal Rape

When the term spousal rape is brought up, many people simply scoff thinking it is a joke. It is commonly believed that within a marital relationship, rape is not a possibility. Up until approximately 20 years ago, marital rape was not considered a possibility. Even today, many states do not hold marital rape to the same standards as other forms of rape.

Fortunately, for married persons experiencing this crime, marital rape is finally being considered a legitimate form of rape. This is largely due to an increased awareness that the manner of the relationship does not matter: forcing sex on a nonconsenting partner is always considered rape.

Much of the past rape culture can be largely attributed to faulty belief systems. Due to the implied assumption that marriage should and does include a sexual relationship, many felt that it was therefore inconceivable to consider marital rape a legitimate violation. This false assumption as been disputed as modern research repeatedly proves that rape has very little to do with sex and is typically perpetrated as a desire for power and control over the victim. Thus, simply viewing the sexual aspect of marriage as an acceptable reason to force someone to have sex is a dangerous and incorrect belief. For this reason, the law defines rape under the same terms whether describing a married person or not.

Furthermore, many people want to deny the possibly of spousal rape as they assume marriage equates partners desiring sex with one another. While this rather naïve view of marriage is certainly ideal, it is not the reality for many couples. Many marriages are filled with abuse whether in the form of emotional, sexual, and/or physical abuse. Thus, spousal rape will often go hand in hand with an abusive relationship as such relationships are characterized by the desire to control their spouse. This can certainly manifest as a desire to control their spouse sexually.

Since spousal rape is a rather new classification, many spouses who are accused of this form of rape will not even be aware it is a realistic possibility. Within the scope of this needed legal protection, it is always possible a person will be falsely accused of this crime. Thus, the accused may be completely blindsided and confused about how this could happen.

If you find yourself in this situation, it will be paramount to obtain competent legal counsel. A rape attorney will be valuable to your case for several reasons. A rape attorney will be of particular importance as someone who has extensive knowledge of the laws regulating spousal rape, in addition to changes in the law regarding this issue. Moreover, the accused can be convicted on the accuser’s testimony alone, without the inclusion of any evidence to support such claims. Thus, it is even more likely that some will be falsely accused. A rape attorney will be crucial to providing a powerful defense that creates reasonable doubt to the jury regarding the consensual nature of the marital sex.