The New York Times
Marital rape is a social issue that has been existent in the contemporary American society for quite a while, but has only started receiving increased recognition in the recent past. The laws in the US define marital rape as non-consensual sex carried out by the spouse to the victim. It is considered as form of domestic violence or sexual abuse. Currently, marital tape is illegal in all the states in the US. A look at the legal history of marital rape identifies that the criminalization of the issue began in the 1970s. By 1993, marital rape was considered as a criminal offence in all the states in the US. However, during this period, numerous states shared differences on how they treated marital rape and non-marital rape. Over the years, the laws concerning marital rape have changed and evolved to adapt to the beliefs of the 21st century.
One of the most recent discussions concerning marital rape has been based on the question whether this form of domestic violence should be classified and punished in the same manner as non-marital rape. Numerous groups have raised their opinions on the questions, with some supporting the consideration and punishment of marital rape similar to non-marital rape, while others disagree. Non-marital rape refers to non-consensual sex perpetrated by an individual who is not the spouse to the victim. In my opinion, I think that marital rape should be punished in the same way to non-marital rape. The truth of the matter is whether the one perpetrating the act is one’s spouse or a stranger, the fact does not change that the action they have carried out is rape. Therefore, just as a lesser evil and a great evil are both considered as evil deeds, marital rape or non-marital rape are also classified as cases of rape.
The law needs to ensure that individuals who rape their partners with the mentality that the law cannot punish them are taught a lesson. If an individual engages in marital rape and does not get punished, they might turn the act into a habit. The law needs to consider the damage and trauma that victims of marital rape have to undergo. It is much easier to psychologically deal with non-marital rape compared to marital rape. Therefore, if the punishment for marital rape is made as severe as that of non-marital rape, this will deter individuals from engaging in the act. If an individual is aware that if they engage in marital rape they face the threat of a serious sentence, they will totally refrain from any forms of domestic violence or sexual abuse that might be classified as marital rape.
Therefore, it is necessary for enough pressure to be placed on legislators and the government to take up this view, and enforce it. The marriage institution is meant to be a pillar of strength and happiness, not to portray the exact opposite. Individuals who are in married need to understand that they are not allowed to rape their partners and get away with such inhuman acts. A married couple should always seek to make each other better and improve each other, not be the reason for their victims or agony. Organizations that fight against domestic violence and sexual abuse need to work with the media to ensure that the legislation that will consider marital rape similar to non-marital rape is made into law, and enforced across the states in the nation.
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