Mya A. Michigan

Marital Rape

Victims of marital rape are not obtaining justice, and their perpetrators are vanishing without receiving any type of punishment.

September 22, 2016

Dear President of the United States:

Marital rape is non-consensual sex where the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. Considering the victim is married to the abuser, some people believe it should not be classified and punished as severely as non-marital rape. This is absurd; regardless of the relation between the victim and abuser, rape should still be considered and prosecuted as rape. This type of rape still happened without the consent of the other person and should not receive any less of a punishment as non-marital rape.

Marital rape meets the legal criteria for criminal sexual conduct. Even though this is true, many rapists are considered immune to persecution. In some cases, when a spouse is intentionally drugged or intoxicated, it is legal. This is because of the victim’s unstable conditions. Since the victims are not in the correct mental or physical state, they are supposedly giving consent to the perpetrator, according to law. These circumstances are why marital rape is rarely qualified to be properly prosecuted. Another section of the law states that spouses rooming together must show force or threat of force before rape legislation will even apply.

Many states in the United States treat rape and marital rape differently. In one state, it may be more difficult to obtain justice for the victim compared to a victim of the same case in another state. Continuing to treat marital rape differently than rape will only allow perpetrators to continue to abuse spouses. Only six out of every one thousand rapists will end up in prison for rape in general.

Victims of rape suffer long after the incident happens. Physical effects are not the only effects the victim undergoes. In addition, psychological and mental conditions haunt them in the same fashion.Some of the conditions included are depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-harm, substance abuse, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and flashbacks. Many people who have been raped will have difficulty adjusting or coping with his or her past. The memories trouble the victim because of what they endured.

With this, I ask that marital rape cases be taken with a larger amount of seriousness. Allowing perpetrators to avoid prosecution is unacceptable and should be dealt with promptly. Out of the daily abuse that victims endure, only few cases are reported due to feeling ashamed or embarrassed. These people should not have to endure the pain along with not obtaining justice in court.