What is Spousal Rape?
Spousal rape, also known as marital rape, occurs when spouses engage in sexual activity without the consent of one of them. It can be a tricky legal matter. Firstly, it is easy to believe that the parties engage in consensual sex all the time because they are a couple. Secondly, the first reason will make it harder to prove that a sexual activity has been non-consensual, especially when compared to rape charges against strangers.
According to the website of Horst Law, spousal rape is considered a Class B Felony, with a maximum fine of $25,000 and prison time of about 8 to 30 years. This is just for Tennessee, but it gives you a clear idea on how jurisdictions handle spousal rape cases.
Stranger rape is often a one-time non-consensual sexual activity, but you cannot say the same for spousal rape. Usually, spousal rape is a repetitive occurrence. Below are some of the instances where spousal rape can occur:
- Sex because of force – It doesn’t matter whether you are spouses or not, because if you force another person to have sex with you, it is considered rape, whether it involves direct violence or not.
- Sex because of manipulation – If you directly or indirectly manipulate your spouse, like when you lie of him or her being bad at bed or being a bad partner just to get more sex, you may be raping your spouse because he or she may just be forced to have sex with you for your own satisfaction only.
- Sex because of threats – If you threaten your husband or wife for sex, like when you claim that you are going to hurt him or her or destroy something he or she cares about, it can be considered spousal rape, because your spouse is just complying to avoid harm.
- Sex without consent – The main idea behind rape is that it is non-consensual, so if your partner does not have the ability to give his or her consent, like when he or she is intoxicated, and you force yourself into him or her, it can be considered spousal rape.