04 Mar Marital rape in the US- How Far government is concerned?
Are you a person who can accept no? A human mind is supposed to make rational decisions. Law abiding citizens display knowledge, etiquettes, and an underlying sense of moral wisdom. Then how can a phenomenon like marital rape even exist? When we talk about millennial relationships, marriage is the first mutual equation between a couple who set no boundaries for each other, which tends to make everything transparent. However, the illusion of this rare phenomenon in adult marriages often leads to disastrous and disturbing outcomes. Usually, it starts with mental insecurity towards the spouse and the equation between couples, takes an ugly shape via domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Recent data indicates that out of all the married couple in San Francisco 8% of married women experienced sexual abuse leading to an aggravated sexual assault in the shape of marital rape. It is not a small number in terms of the married population of this place. Switching to Boston, 10% of married women have experienced abuse wherein the perpetrator is not a stranger but their own spouse. This if to be seen mainly as a country, approximately 10-14% of married women are allegedly raped by their husbands. Surprisingly this is not limited only to women, this phenomenon extends to men as well. Even married men have experienced marital rape. A statistical data made by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Justice indicated that 1 in 71 married men have been either raped or became the target of attempted rape.
So, a general query to go after will be – What is considered as rape in a marriage? Well, one thing is for sure that marriage does not mean an apparent consent for everything sexual between a couple. Anyway, there are many definitions to go by in the US laws, but the general description is non-consensual sex with your spouse. So basically, No means NO.
Let us also consider the rest of the world’s outlook towards this gruesome crime. If we talk about other countries and their conduct towards marital rape – in France, Rape of any kind is punishable from 15 years to life imprisonment depending on the intensity/sexual aggression. In fact, on sexual assault (without forced intercourse) can lead to 5 years imprisonment. Some countries have laws which are considerate and serve equal right to women who are married then there are some countries like India, China, and Indonesia where marital rape is not even a criminal offense, and then there are some countries (like Japan, Poland, and Kazakhstan) who have enacted the laws by falling into the rat race but couldn’t make it big in the long run.
The US had made marital rape a criminal offense a long time ago in 1993, but the point of concern is mainly the punishments. Various states treat marital and non-marital rape differently. The standard rule for punishing Rape victims (depending on circumstances mentioned under US federal law) goes from 0 to life imprisonment and even fine of an unlimited amount. However, the verdict is issued after considering various aspects of case scenarios. When it comes to Marital Rape, over the time the definitions have been modified so that now whether male or female, the legal procedures could become easy for every individual. But then aggression and abuse continue to intensify in a relationship. It is an essential factor to consider martial Rape punishments.