A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.

11/16/2010

Marital Rape


Sex should not be by force. It must not be under duress never give room for 'marital rape.' You can encourage each other, you can influence and seduce, but never have sex by force.

Married? Rape happens within marriages also. For many years women were expected to put up with it simply because it was not against the law. Our archaic laws actually stated that it was not illegal for a male to rape his wife.  In many countries, this law still stands.  But  rape is rape, regardless of the relationship between the rapist and the victim. It can be a total stranger; someone you recognize by sight, but have never really communicated with;  a neighbor or a colleague; a friend, a boy-friend or a former boyfriend; a live-in partner, or a former partner; and, yes, someone you are married to or have been married to in the past.  Ask yourself the following:

Has your partner ever made you have sex when you didn’t want to?

Have you ever been uncomfortable with a sexual request from your partner, but did it anyway?

Have you ever had sex with your partner because you were afraid Have you ever given into sex because your partner would not stop harassing you about it? 


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.  Of all sexual assaults, marital rape is the most under reported. 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 realize that legally it now constitutes rape, there are many reasons which may prevent her from perceiving it in such a light.

The loss of control over her life becomes an issue. If forced sex becomes an ongoing pattern the feeling of powerlessness becomes intense and being able to feel safe in the confines of the home is totally shattered.

In marital rape, the short-term effects can include the following:
  • Feelings of betrayal
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Humiliation
  • Denial

Longer-term effects can include:
  • Inability to trust
  • Flashbacks
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Nightmares
  • Acute fear of being assaulted again
  • Sexual dysfunction 
Healing begins with having a safe place or person to talk with about the sexual assault. Since victims may not recognize the assault as "rape" and may be confused by their feelings, it is important to open a line of communication.

5 comments:

  1. I can remember the fear I felt if I didn't ....put out.
    And the eeeeeek that would escape my lips as I tried to keep from screaming at the repulsiveness of having sex with a man I no longer loved.

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  2. I can certainly identify with that one. Your body is no longer your own. I remember dissociating and going elsewhere until he was done.

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  3. I remember sex was a chore...I put out because he wined about it. Why? No idea--he was sleeping with other women during our entire relationship.

    After we broke up, I tried to stay friends. At a bar with mutual friends, I had one drink and was apparently acting very drunk. He had drugged me, then raped me in a motel room...and I only remember leaning on a friend's friend for balance, then waking up in my ex's car the next morning in front of my house.

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  4. It must have been awful for you. I was living with a man who was a sex addict for awhile. I didn't know it at first, but then he started staying out all night long and coming home with love bites on his neck. It went on and on at least 5 nights a week. I hated sex because I always had a fear he would bring something home to me. One day I had enough and told him to leave. He cried, but I didn't break down. I had to let him go.

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  5. Ahhh, this makes my heart hurt so much...I had forgotten this I had buried it so deep and now I almost feel like vomiting.

    At the time it happened I had decided I was going to divorce my one and only husband and when he forced me to have sex he told me it wasn't against the law because I'd been withholding sex from him...he had an attorney who told him so. That was in the 70's. I couldn't believe it and after that left him lock, stock, and barrel. This has struck a chord deep within today that I really need to deal with. Oh God, why today? Shit!!!!!!

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