Marital Rape is Still Sexual Assault

Marital Rape Is Still Rape

It's time we start prosecuting rapists of all varieties because nonconsensual sex is rape and rape is a crime.

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Hello friends, I'm back again with another heavy topic, but I think it's one that isn't publicized as frequently as it should be: marital rape. Never heard of it? Well, let me give you a brief rundown because it's real and it needs to be discussed just as much as other kinds of rape.

At this point in the United States, at about 10-14% of married women have experienced marital rape, and about a third of women report having unwanted sex with someone they're married to or dating. This doesn't include the marital rape that happens outside of the U.S. on a global scale and, as you can probably guess, those numbers are far from better.

Morally, there is absolutely nothing that justifies rape either in a marriage or outside of it. Looking at our current laws, marital rape is considered a crime in all 50 states. This sounds pretty good, but if you look at some of the laws of individual states, there are at least 30 states in which husbands can get away with this if he didn't have to use force. These situations include mental or physical impairment, the wife being asleep, and coercion. Ladies, if your husband is trying to have sex with you and doesn't get your consent (or gets it reluctantly), you are experiencing rape and it's absolutely not okay.

If you don't think that the physical and mental consequences of marital rape aren't the same as for victims of rape outside of a marriage, you're just plain wrong. Some of these consequences include lacerations, soreness, vomiting, PTSD, anxiety, sleeping disorders, depression, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation. The consequences for the victim are the same regardless of whether the crime happens inside or outside the marriage. Consequences for the perpetrator should be too.

If you are in a situation where you have been raped, regardless of marriage playing a role, I want to first tell you that you are an amazing human being for having survived this and continuing to live your life. I want to follow that by saying, if you're in a situation where it's still happening, I plead with you that you leave this situation as soon as possible. There is no acceptable way to validate staying in a relationship where you are being abused. And that's what rape is, plain and simple.

If you're in this situation and don't know how to leave it, there are so many resources available to you (less than I would like, but they're still out there). I would start by looking at health care providers and local advocates if you can find them. You did nothing to deserve this, and marriage to a man does not make it okay for him to force sex on you. You know what you get to do with as you please? Things you own. A woman, in no sense, is the property of her spouse, and she should not be made to believe that. If you're in this situation, the best choice for your health is for you to leave as soon as you can and seek help. While issues of rape are hard enough to get publicized and taken seriously, it's time we start taking marital rape just as seriously both in our minds and in the legal system. To those of you who have experienced this, I support you, and you are not less because of this. Until you're able to stand up for yourself, I'll do my best to stand up for you.

**Disclaimer: I would like to note that marital rape is possible within any relationship. I've used the term husband and wife here because heterosexual relationships make up the vast majority. However, regardless of the sexuality of the partners in a relationship (married or otherwise), unwanted sex is rape and rape is a crime.

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A Letter To Every 'Pro-Lifer' That Wants To Control What Women Do With Their Bodies

Freedom of religion means that you have the right to practice your religion. Not forcing one's religion on somebody else. However, with this anti-abortion bill, that is exactly what is happening.

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The Alabama abortion ban has been all over the news and all over social media. The controversy surrounding abortions has been all the talk recently. Namely, the 11-year-old rape victim who is forced to carry out her pregnancy full term and denied an abortion. This news is atrocious and deeply saddening. Not to mention, it is also unconstitutional. This is an open letter to all Pro-Life people.

Dear pro-life people,

I understand that you have the right to your own opinion. I respect that. But now when you are forcing your opinion upon another woman's body, listen to mine.

Freedom of religion means that you have the right to practice your religion. Not forcing one's religion on somebody else. However, with this anti-abortion bill, that is exactly what is happening. Because one religion does not believe in abortions, anti-abortion is being imposed on everyone else, regardless of what religion the person associates themselves with.

If you do not believe in abortions, THEN DON'T GET ONE. It is as simple as that. Mind your own business and leave other people alone. You are nobody to judge what somebody else needs to or should do. People who get an abortion have their own reasons. Maybe they can't financially/medically handle it, or maybe they are just not mentally ready. Regardless of the reason, a woman has a right over her own body. It is her choice what she does. It isn't an easy decision to get an abortion. It requires a lot of thinking and time.

However, if a woman decides to come to the conclusion of getting an abortion it is because she believes it is right. She knows her personal situation and considered all factors before making that decision. And unless it is you who is pregnant, you do not get to make that choice for anyone else.

You call yourself pro-life? Then what about the actual living, breathing human that is carrying this unborn fetus? Why don't you try to focus on banning the monster of a machine that actually snatches lives with one pull of a trigger and has been responsible for hundreds and thousands of deaths through school shootings and other mass shootings? Why not focus on fixing the health-care system in this country or doing something for the millions in adoption agencies or the foster care system? Focus on immigration reform. What about the young little children getting torn from their families every single day at this country's border... are they not life? Focus on climate change because if we don't look after this Earth one day there will be no more life to control.

It is funny how a gun has more protection in this country than an impregnated rape victim. The argument for not banning guns is that it won't actually stop gun violence. Well banning abortions won't actually stop abortions from occurring. It'll just force women to resort to other unsanitary and life-threatening methods. This "pro-life" stance of yours is just taking away more lives.

It is funny how one fertilized egg has more rights than a living human being. You call yourself pro-life, think about the lives of the children who the women are forced to give birth to. So many of them will not be able to have proper resources, a healthy life, a loving family because their birth mother was forced to have a child when she wasn't ready.

And the fact that rape victims are no exception is ridiculous in itself. I shouldn't need to comment on that. But even more than that, the fact that a doctor serves more time for performing an abortion than the actual rapist themselves... I am speechless.

Please explain to me how that is in any world, in any sense logical? Please do explain because I've tried hard to understand this but I can't.

Please explain how a doctor helping a rape victim get rid of the physical marker of her trauma must serve more time than the rapist that stole the life out of a living, breathing girl and left her with absolutely nothing.

How does punishing the doctor more severely than the rapist help anyone? The doctors would be there to provide a safer and more sanitary method for the girl to get rid of something that was forced upon her without her consent or desire. But now you are even taking that away from a victim of monstrous abuse who already had so much taken from her.

By being pro-choice I'm not imposing my opinion on anyone. I'm just respecting the fact that everyone has the right to their own body and their own decision. You don't want an abortion then don't get one. Let people make their own decisions with their own bodies. You don't know what you are taking away from a girl when you are forcing her to go through with something she doesn't want and can not afford. Don't take away the right of a woman to control her OWN body.

"No uterus, no opinion" — Rachel Green, from "Friends."

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To The Ex-Best Friend Who Made Everything A Competition, I'm Done Playing Your Game

And I'm doing OK without you.

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Dear Best Friend,

We were inseparable, attached at the hip, and I always thought that you would be in my life for forever. We did everything together: ate the worst food possible, watched the newest crappy Netflix film, cried over the boy that constantly broke our hearts, and laughed at the things that made us seem the most stupid. I loved you like a sister, and I would do anything for you, but everything started to change quickly, and it didn't make sense for me to stay.

As close as we were, things started to become a competition: who could be the happiest? Who could be the best in school? Who could find the "one" first? Even now, I sit and question why we thought that these things were supposed to strengthen our friendship when they only destroyed it. I felt like I had entered a toxic relationship, trapped in the constant annoyance that I felt in your presence, and I hate that I felt this way. But, here's the thing, you were so wrapped up in your own life and making yourself happy that you had totally forgotten that I had a life of my own. I wanted to be successful, too. I wanted to have a shoulder to cry on when I was hurt, too. I wanted to have my best friend on my side, too. But I didn't have the luxury that you did; you were my best friend, but I wasn't yours.

After months of just being there at your disposal, I finally learned what life would be like without having my best friend around, and that really sucked, if I'm being honest. Every time you called, I was there. Every time he broke your heart, I was there. Every time you needed to cry, I was there. I was behind you every step of the way, that even when my day was horrible, I made sure to answer when you called. But, when I needed you, the conversation was spun into your mandala of life, and my problems were thrust outside the lines. I was tired of being taken advantage of.

After all the ignored advice given, I finally gave up. I couldn't sit back and watch you ruin your life over a guy that obviously didn't care about your well-being or our friendship. I watched our friendship turn from something once great, something I couldn't live without, into something toxic and something I wanted no part of.

Because I knew that I had lost you a long time ago, I've spent a lot of time thinking about how I could live a happier life without you in it. I wanted to make sure that the days of being in this crazy competition were over for me, and that I could look back on this last year and know that, no matter what, I was the winner of my own happiness. And I look at you, and I truly feel sorry for you because you've spent so much time trying to give someone else your happiness. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm sorry that this happened. I'm sorry we grew apart. I'm sorry I wasn't able to be the friend that you needed. I'm sorry that I won't be the girl who hides behind one of her friends. I'm sorry that I have my own life, one that I'm proud of.

I'm glad we had laughs that we did. I'm glad we cried together. I'm glad that we have the amazing memories that we do.

You were my best friend, and I'll always be there for you. Just remember why I left.

With love,

Your Ex-Best Friend

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