Argyll & Bute Rape Crisis
 
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Rape in Marriage

Rape in marriage was criminalised as recently as 1982 in Scotland. Before these dates, a woman had no legal protection for the crime of rape perpetrated against her by her husband.
Marital rape is any unwanted sexual acts by a spouse or ex-spouse, committed without consent and/or against a person’s will, obtained by force, or threat of force, intimidation, or when a person is unable to consent.

These sexual acts include intercourse, anal or oral sex, forced sexual behaviour with other individuals, and other sexual activities that are considered by the victim as degrading, humiliating, painful, and unwanted.

A woman should always have the right to say no to sex, regardless of whether she has previously had consensual sex with the man or not. Many women who are victims of marital rape have great difficulty in defining it as rape, because of the idea that it is impossible for a man to rape his wife. Society believes that in taking our marriage vows we have abdicated any say over our own body and denied ourselves the right to say ’no’, this belief is still prevalent amongst wives and their husbands. A wife being raped will often question her right to refuse intercourse with her husband, and while she may realise that legally it now constitutes rape, there are many reasons which may prevent her from perceiving it in such a light and actually doing something about it.

It can be hard to believe that a person who cares for you can do such a thing!
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