One of the least discussed types of rape/sexual assaul is spousal rape. This is mostly due to the fact that many people do not view the assault of a spouse as rape. Up into the 1990’s there were laws which said as much, stating that a person may not be prosecuted for a rape offense if the perpetrator is the victim’s legal spouse.
The fact is, rape is rape no matter what the legal title of the offender is.
Rape laws vary by state, but generally acknowledges that forced sexual acts on an unwilling participant will be defined as rape. These days rape laws cover both spouse’s and non-spouse’s rights against sexual assault. Unfortunately, society has been slow to catch on to these developments. Some of the road-blocks that victims of spousal rape run into include:
- Society’s antiquated standards for what constitutes rape
- Shorter window to bring up the charges (within 30 days)
- A short period of time to reach a hospital for a rape examination and evidence collection (72 hours)*
*Note: Rape examinations are a very emotionally trying part of a rape investigation, but they are also one of the best things you can have on your side when seeking a felony conviction of the perpetrator. For more information on what a rape examination includes:
Remember, no means no, no matter who you are speaking to. Society hasn’t completely caught up with the modern definition of rape, but the only way that will change, is if those who have been victimized come forward and speak out on their own behalf.