Myia S. New York

Marital Rape

Marital rape seems to be an issue in all 50 states. There have been many women that are married or have an ex-husband, who may have been raped by their spouse. The government treats marital rape and outside-marriage rape differently and blames this issue on the wife.

Dear Mr.President,

We live in a culture where male actions are normalized and accepted whether or not they are right or wrong. Rape culture is “a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women”, states Emilie Buchwald in her book called "Transforming a Rape Culture".

You may not be aware of this, but in 1989, our soon to be president Donald Trump was accused of raping his ex-wife, Ivana Trump. Ivana Trump claimed that she felt “violated” and they got a divorce as a result. However , this issue of marital rape has happened in all 50 states. Marital rape is defined as sexual acts committed without the wife's consent. Mr.President, help others to see that marital rape is rape and must be illegal in all states.

Marital rape is extremely common and often women think about leaving their spouses. However, oftentimes they think about the wellness of their kids. According to the article, “ Wife Rape is Semi-Legal in 8 States,” “if a woman has children, her ability to leave is complicated…”. Mothers are afraid of humiliating or interfering with their kids social and mental life. Some mothers may also not be financially stable to move with their kids.

Some states, specifically Ohio, tend to deal with marital rape differently, compared to rape outside of marriage. Ohio handles marital rape adversely from outside-marriage rape, according to Allen. Raping a significant other is put under “different section of criminal code, restricted to a shorter reporting period, held to a different standard of coercion and force…”.  Also, the Ohio state law requires that the offender has to have used some type of “drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance.” This means that the wife needs to be intoxicated by the rapist. This just shows us that even states such as Ohio do not take marital rape as serious as we need them to; having very high requirements in order to even have a case against rape.

Other states even require something that can cause death in order to be seen as rape. According to the article, “Marital Rape is Semi-Legal in 8 States”, it states “...South Carolina state code goes so far as to feel necessity for ‘the threat of use of a weapon’... in order to prosecute what it terms ‘spousal sexual battery’ “. States like these have made it extremely difficult punish those accused of marital rape. They are only making it easier for men to mistreat and plunder their spouses.

Some people may argue that marital rape is incomparable from outside-marriage rape because you and your spouse are married. A British law requires that “a woman’s unconditional sexual consent was considered to be part of the marriage contract”. However, if that is your husband, he should esteem your judgement, instead of molesting you in your sleep. “... an anonymous woman describes having woken up finding her pants ripped off and semen on her genitals after she had already explicitly asked her husband to stop this behavior”. How can a man, or “husband”, even dare do this to his wife? That doesn’t make that husband a husband at all.

Marital rape should continue to be illegitimate everywhere, it shouldn’t be seen different from regular rape and it is a frequent situation for some women. Rape is rape, not matter who is doing it. This is critical because women deserve their regard, justice, and rights to their personal space. Just because they are married, doesn’t give them the right to destroy and take advantage of her. Treat a woman like a woman.


Myia Swift