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= See also =
= See also =
*[[Rape]]<font size="7" class="Apple-style-span"
*[[Rape]]<font size="7"class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 25px"> </span></font>
= Comments =
= Comments =
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Latest revision as of 14:20, 8 September 2011
Spousal rape or marital rape can be defined as non consensual sex in which the raper is the victim's spousal.
It is often assumed that real traumatic rape has to be committed by a stranger as a one-time event. On the contrary, since spouses have been sexually intimate, marital rape should not be considered as a real rape, or should be considered as far less traumatic.
Then, marital rape is likely to be part of an overall abusive relationship. Thus, the history of the relationship affects the victim's reactions. The rape's trauma adds to the effects of other abusive acts from the raper. Furthermore, marital rape is rarely a one-time event, but more likely a repeated if not frequent one.
An original impossibility
Many cultures throughout history have considered sexual relations as the spouse's conjugal right. In Common law, the idea of marital rape was treated as an impossibility. Thus, Si Matthew Hale in his 1736 treaty Historia Placitorum Coronae, History of the Pleas of the Crown wrote that marital rape could not be recognized since the wife "hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract."
As the human rights developped, the belief of a marital right to sexual relations had become less widely spread. In December 1993, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women which consider marital rape as a human rights violation.
In 2006, it was estimated that marital rape could be prosecuted in at least 104 countries. Other western countries outlawed it much later, mostly in the 1980s and 1990s. Other developping countries outlawed marital rape in the 2000s. However, in many coutries it is not clear wether or not marital rape can be prosecuted under ordinary rape laws. In many countries marital rape is either legal, or illegal but widely tolerated as the husband's prerogative.
Difficulties in prosecuting marital rape
Firstly, the prosecution of marital rape is confronted to the reluctance of various legal systems to recognize it as a crime.
Secondly, the prosecution of marital rape meets with problems on the procedural level. When the case comes the Court, there are difficulties in proving that the rape took place. The reason is that sexual relations are to be expected in a marriage. Thus, if the defense claims consent from the victim, the evidences are very difficult to provide.