Sexual Assault Awareness: Intimate Partner Rape

Intimate Partner Rape is one type of sexual assault.

Rape by an intimate partner is a an abuse of power by which one spouse attempts to establish dominance and control over the other. Marital rape is a form of intimate partner violence.

• Results of a large study showed that more than 7 million women have been raped by their intimate partners.
• Women who are victims in physically abusive relationships are especially vulnerable to rape by their partners, and rape in marriage may occur more often than has been estimated.
• Women who are marital rape victims are more likely to experience repeated assaults than other rape victims; in fact, among battered women, sexual assault may be a routine part of the pattern of the abuse.
• Women who are raped and battered by their partners experience the violence in various ways. Some are battered during the sexual violence or the rape may follow a physically violent episode where the husband wants to “make up” and force his wife to have sex against her will.

The traditional definition of rape in the United States most commonly was, “sexual intercourse by a man with a female not his wife without her consent” which meant that a husband was allowed to rape his wife without fear of legal consequences. By 1993, largely in response to the women’s rights and equality movement, every state and the District of Columbia had passed laws against marital rape.

However, Marital Rape is one of the least reported crimes. A victim may find it difficult to define what happened as rape, or to identify someone she is married to as a “rapist.” And it’s often still harder for a spouse rape victim to prove that she didn’t consent to her husband than it would be to prove non-consent with a stranger.

Victims of domestic violence, including marital rape, in Northeast Colorado can get help by calling toll-free 1-877-867-9590.

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