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Marital rape: It’s not complicated

By Alychia Cole | Staff Reporter
On January 12, 2019

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Let us say that one day in college a woman meets a man who will potentially be the “love of her life.” Then boom, several years later she's married and has to deal with marital rape by her husband.

Marital rape is without a doubt never OK. It is also illegal in the United States. What a lot of people fail to realize is that the window for an accusation of rape to be made is dauntingly narrow, especially when it involves a married couple.

Cases dealing with marital rape that led to convictions began being noticed a quarter-century ago. These cases rely on a substantial amount of evidence that has to depict a definite sign of a violent attack.

In some states, it is even OK for a husband to have sex with his unconscious wife, even if she was drug-induced. If these same actions were to take place with a single woman, the man would likely face criminal charges.

Despite knowing that rape is never OK, some people believe a husband really cannot technically rape his wife.

Kameron Lewis, a senior civil engineering major at FAMU, believes that rape can occur in the bedroom of a married couple.

“No always means no. There's no other alternative meaning in any different language,” he said. “Why would you violate the space of someone you love, respect and cherish? It is something today’s generation has to be more cognizant of is respect for not only yourself but for those who you care about.”

Despite the law, some think it is not possible for a husband to rape his wife. When a bride is saying “I do” at a wedding, who would have thought they would be consenting to marital rape?

People need to understand that you do not have to threaten, kidnap, beat or verbally abuse someone for forced sex to be considered rape. If you try to have sex with someone and they say no, or that person isn’t openly consenting to have sex, it is still rape.

“Marriage does not mean that now you are someone’s property. That is what people need to take into consideration. It is not even just that, you always have to be your own devil’s advocate. I would not want my wife to consider me as just her property. That’s just disrespectful,” said Barry Davis IV, a graduate student at FAMU.

Of course, we know that both a wife and a husband have obligations to their marriage, but who are you to tell someone that they have to endure unwanted and forceful sex due to marriage obligations? It is just not ethical at all.

No means no, not try harder. If people are justifying marital rape through wedding vows, then is it safe to say that for you to be able to get a divorce is illegal?

Margaret A. McDonald, a senior psychology major said, “Growing up and watching my mom and dad who have been husband and wife for more than 15 years, I understand that it will be my responsibility as a wife to make sure my husband is happy but what about the happiness of a wife? Whose responsibility is it to make sure a wife is happy? Is it not the husband? If she’s being forced to have sex by her husband shouldn’t that be unlawful if it makes the wife unhappy?

“My dad has always made sure the feelings are mutual at the end of the day with any situation between himself and my mother,” she added.

Traditionally, the vow states that you are to stay with one another for better or worse, till death do you part, through good times and bad. So, technically we should not be able to even legally divorce. Where does that leave us?

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