Can Husbands Rape Their Wives? Exploring Martial Rape

“When it is the person you have entrusted your life to who rapes you, it isn’t just physical or sexual assault, it is a betrayal of the very core of your marriage, of your person, of your trust.”

One form of rape that is rarely discussed it marital rape. Just because two people are married it doesn’t mean that they have the right to use, abuse or violate one another. We as wives need to meet our husband’s sexual needs. Husbands need to be sensitive, patient and understanding towards their wife’s feelings, desires and needs also. Sex should never be forced in marriage. Please read this article and share your thoughts.

Also to celebrate Restoration Week for my blog, please click the link below to read a woman’s testimony of how she survived years of spousal rape.

If you have been a victim of spousal rape, please seek help from your pastor, doctor, a social worker or the police. No one has the right to force themselves on you. No means no!

Marital Rape was only made a criminal act in the UK in 1991? Up until then it was considered impossible for a man to rape or sexually assault his wife. To quote: “A husband cannot rape his wife unless the parties are separated or the court has by injunction forbidden him to interfere with his wife or he has given an undertaking in court no to interfere with her.” (The Law Made Simple, The Chaucer Press, 1981)

Rape is rape, regardless of the relationship between the rapist and the victim. It can be a total stranger; someone you recognise by sight, but have never really communicated with; someone you know superficially, a neighbour or a colleague; a friend, a boy-friend or a former boyfriend; a live-in partner, or a former partner; someone you are married to or have been married to in the past.

The main differences between stranger rape and marital rape

Stranger rape is usually a one-off, someone you don’t know, with whom you don’t share any experiences or history. When the assault happens, there can be no doubt as to what is happening: that it is Rape (though even in such situations the victim will often wonder what she has done to precipitate the assault and will blame herself). In marital rape the circumstances are very different. It is – quite apart from a physical and sexual violation – a betrayal of trust. Here is a person whom you thought you knew intimately, with whom you share a history, a home and quite often children. Here is a person whom you have made love to on a frequent basis often over many years, with whom you have shared your most intimate secrets and fears, and whom you believe to love you, want the best for you, who would never intentionally hurt you. Marital rape is so destructive because it betrays the fundamental basis of the marital relationship, because it questions every understanding you have not only of your partner and the marriage, but of yourself. You end up feeling betrayed, humiliated and, above all, very confused.

Another problem victims of marital rape face is that such instances are rarely a one-off, but a repeated if not frequent occurrence. This can be a huge issue to the victim, because she will feel as though she has somehow ‘asked for it’ by staying or putting herself in the situation where it can happen again. Also, once it has been tolerated on a number of occasions, she may question her right to then act upon it.

The problem of defining marital rape as Rape

Many women who are victims of marital rape have great difficulty in defining it as such. The traditional idea that it is impossible for a man to rape his wife and that somehow, in taking our marriage vows we have abdicated any say over our own body and sexuality, basically denied ourselves the right to say ‘no’, is still prevalent amongst wives as much as amongst their husbands. A wife being raped will often question her right to refuse intercourse with her husband, and while she may realise that legally it now constitutes rape, there are many reasons which may prevent her from perceiving it in such a light.

We prefer to see it possibly as a communication problem (did I make it clear enough that I did not want intercourse tonight), we may see it as an act for which the man is not fully responsible due to his nature (men have a biological need to have sex and if there is a woman next to them in bed when they are in the mood they just cannot help it), we may see it as a misunderstanding (although I told him I didn’t want to, maybe I gave him the wrong signals somehow), we may have religious issues which question our right to refuse intercourse (I have got to submit myself to him and accept his will above mine as my Lord and Master).

Basically, as wives being raped by our husbands, we look for every reason, every excuse to deny it is Rape because we do not want to accept the alternative: it is Rape, he is hurting and humiliating us with intent, we can no longer trust him, turn to him in comfort, gain reassurance and protection from his company and our home is no longer safe.

To read this article in full and learn more about spousal rape, checkout this link. http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/Articles/maritalrape.htm

To read a woman’s personal journey of restoration from marital rape, checkout this link http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/Personal/raperecovery.htm

Restoration Week: But God Update

In four days, it will be the 10 year victory anniversary of the sexual assault that I survived. For the days leading up to the 9/4/10 celebration of the victory,  I will publish post about God’s restoration power.  Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. The devil thought he had me BUT GOD!!

Regarding the format of the book, originally I was composing a women’s testimony book and collecting testimonies surrounding several different topics. I thought that by collecting several different testimony topics, women all over the world could relate and be blessed. I promoted the books and requested testimony submissions and was blessed to collect 40 testimonies!!

Kim Brookes, author of several books including, He’s Fine But Is He Saved, blessed me to go to The Anointed Pen Seminar earlier this year. At the seminar I met many awesome, anointed, talented and wise authors, including Versandra Kennebrew, author of Thank God For The Shelter.  I signed up for Versandra to be my book coach and the rest is history! Kim and Versandra continued to encourage me to pray about narrowing down the topic of my book to make it organized and geared towards a more target audience. After praying and learning more about book writing and marketing, I have decided to focus my first testimony book on rape, attempted rape, incest and sexual abuse.

The purpose of the book will be to shed the light on the sexual assault epidemic. To educate, encourage and empower women. To let women know that they can and will get through the after effects of rape, incest or sexual abuse. To let women know how God sees them and that He is not to blame but He is there to heal and restore and rebuild. The book will be a Christian resource, self-help, and motivational book. Resources will be provided at the end of the book (websites, hotlines, books, healing ministries)

I want to explore stats, preventative steps and what to do if you or someone you know has been assaulted. I want to explore the importance of seeking counseling, medical and legal help if you have experienced any of the mention situations.

How you can help

Before the resource chapter, I want to include 5-10 short testimonies of women who have experienced, survived and overcome rape, attempted rape, incest or sexual abuse. 

If you are a rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse or incest survivor and would like to have your story in the book (all testimonies will be brief and anonymous) please contact me with regards to further details. I have a few ladies already who are willing to write on these difficult topics. More women than you all care to know have suffered in silence regarding these topics and I say no more!! I want to shine a light on the truth and bring healing and wholeness by introducing people to the ultimate healer and restorer, Jesus Christ!!

If you or someone you know would like to share their short testimony to stump on the devil’s head, give God ALL the glory and encourage other women, I ask that you email me at butgodbook@yahoo.com All testimonies that are selected will be published anonymously to protect the identities of the survivors. The deadline for submissions will be 9/25/10 but please contact me ASAP to let me know that you would like to be apart of the book. Please share this post with other women that may be interested as well.

I have written out my new plan of action and I am praying, writing and meeting with Versandra. She is one of my accountability partners throughout this journey. I will keep you all posted as I go alone. I am sorry for not being able to include all of the testimonies in this first book but I feel that the book will be more organized, focused and affective this way. As the Lord leads, I would like to use the other testimonies for future projects and I would of course seek the permission of the writers before doing anything with their testimonies.

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