Rape is an act against the individual at it’s very center but also an act against humanity. Is marital rape becoming a growing scourge? We have seen the recent waves of rape accusations leveled against random individuals and celebrities by victims. Some of these victims have battled with themselves for weeks, days and years before coming forward with their accusations.
However, there is also another category crying out for help but no one seems to be listening. They are the category who under the union of marriage are getting raped daily. Spousal or Marital Rape is a thing these days as many wives (and husbands too) are getting violated but feel silly and embarrassed complaining about this.
This is a concept i personally would have written off myself 4 years ago but for the fact that every month i now have at least 2 cases of spouses feeling sexually violated by their partner. Some legal factions are calling that this be labeled a crime but it has met with a lot of resistance on the grounds that it’s hard to prove. Unfortunately, a crime too hard to prove is still a crime
MY PERSONAL STRUGGLE ON THE MATTER
I struggled within myself if this scenario qualifies as rape. A woman having sex with her husband not because she wants it but simply because it’s her duty as a wife or because her religion commands it so. Logically, if a woman (or man) feels violated after coitus, it means something about the act did not go down well with . Emotionally, if a spouse feels devastated after coitus then it points to deeper problems. However, when it comes to what Religion dictates, it becomes a totally different scenario.
This led me to researching and speaking to both an Islamic scholar and pastor.
ISLAM: Post research and discussions, i found out that Islamic scholars actually believe marital rape to occur when a husband asks his wife to engage in sexual intercourse in an abnormal sexual position, within fasting hours or when she’s menstruating. If the husband then forces himself on her, he has legally sinned and his wife has the right to take him to court. Secondly, i found out that the wife also has the rights to refuse her husband sex if he’s contracted an infectious disease or is being violent with her leading to hurt during sex. On this premise, i personally added a little clause. Violence isn’t always physical so if emotional violence is to be considered here, it simply means that sleeping with a woman who isn’t emotionally in tune with you is a form of rape. I was given a quaranic quote that supported this.
“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take (back) part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them n kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good – Quran 4:19
CHRISTIANITY: Marriage by itself is symbolic of the love Christ has for his church. This love had certain guidelines it was to follow and most of them were highlighted in 1st Corinthians 6. The sexual urge is a strong desire the bible supports 110% within boundaries of marriage as i discovered in 1st Corinthians 7:7-9. This desire within marriage should be fully expressed except there is mutual consent by couples to abstain for health reasons or fasting (even in fasting, the bible says that if your partner cannot hold themselves anymore, Giddem tha thang). Christianity highlights the fact that no one has authority over the other when it comes to your spouses body and so at no time should one person feel like they have an advantage over the other. During my research, many Christians including close friends (predominantly male with some females too) threw a popular verse at me. Epehisians 5:”22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Their chests heaving up and down like movie lead characters that just fought and killed an entire infantry. This is the same verse that has kept many women quiet in abusive marriages and given men a false sense of righteousness to employ all manners of unnecessary brute force when they need to explode sexually. I dug deeper and not too far away from the Ephesian verse i saw another verse that laid my turmoil to rest.
“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does – 1 Corinthians 7:4
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RAPE TRIGGERS (Discussions with Clients)
Sitting across women and in some cases men who feel violated but cannot express it because it happens under the confines of marriage is one of the most human moments in a psychotherapist’s life. Individuals who can neither talk to their spouse about the way they make them feel nor speak to friends who would simply wave off the discussion as absurd or silly. Speaking to clients these past years, i have started noticing some patterns to what triggers spousal rape and here are some of them.
- Alcohol: This is not a campaign against alcohol. That would not be helpful for many including my humble self. A significant portion of the complaints came from women who felt abused after their husbands came home from a night-out where they had been drinking. This simply means that self-control is paramount if men (and some women) are to avoid this trap of raping a spouse. Alcohol by itself isn’t a bad thing but the amount of the substance you decide to pump into your system determines the amount of control you can wield on yourself.
- Pornography: Many clients who have sought assistance as it pertains to porn addiction said that one of the things they hated most about this addiction was it’s tendency to make them sexually aggressive. Secondly, they seemed to try out impossible positions, feats and more with their partners who a few times seemed to enjoy it but most times were left confused and felt physically abused. This was simply because they have no idea of what their partner was trying to achieve.
- Socially Incited Generalization: Many men and women go out and have discussions with friends who tell tales of great sexual feats.Others stumble on some content on the internet that supplies information that feeds into an innately desired fetish of theirs. The individual assimilates every aspect of the story and then rather than discuss this with their partner, they try out these same feats with partners who are left confused and struggling with self-doubts as to where or how their partner learnt about that. Good old communication and honesty will solve this problem for you and your spouse.
- High Acceptance of Nudity: This point is a touchy one but i decided to still talk about it. I have spoken to over 70 rape victims and a handful of individuals who their sexual habits were leading them down a path to becoming full blown rapists. One of the major things i learnt was that when people (especially celebrities) who an individual respects carry decide to go nude(semi or full), it either makes them (the follower) dis-respect the person or lower their resistance to the act. Many clients mentioned that when resisting advances from their would-be rapist, statements such as “Even so and so does not hide their body as much as you do” or ” Are you even sexier than xyz”. This point is especially important for celebrities. I understand you are a human being and have the rights to your life but please understand that loosing extra pieces of clothing every time you take a photo-shoot encourages someone following you to further lower their perceived inhibitions around nudity. This act does not make you in any way more desirable than you already are (well maybe to people who desire you physically. Why go nude trying to say something that could be said in other ways and then spend many years afterwards trying to clean up your image and perception. Nudity when fed upon (by a fan) over an extended period of time will express itself in a lot of deviant ways with RAPE being one of the channels and for the celebrity expresses itself as “NARCISSISM”.. have you ever wondered why you still take nude pictures of yourself despite knowing that you run the risk of having it being found on your mobile device? This is not a topic for today but this is a habit that has you and not the other way round. Celebrities are pillars of the entertainment sector. Your role is way too important than nudes because without knowing it, you feed the same thing (rape) you speak out against.
YOU MAY BE INFLICTING OR EXPERIENCING SPOUSAL RAPE IF..
- After a night out of heavy drinking with a group (either socially or commercially) & you wake up the next morning knowing you made love to madam or oga but can’t remember how it went down
- When one of the ways your dealing with work pressures requires that you make love to madam or oga just to release some pressure.
- When You have non-consensual sex with little or no input from your partner e,g having a partner who turns away from you during intercourse or prefers any position that wouldn’t have to involve looking at you.
- After making love to your spouse, the ensuing hours continue without any form of emotional vulnerability or purring (meow-like intimacy) from their end.
- Coitus becomes a friction-prone affair where your wife is mostly dry or your husband can’t get it up. (this is mostly caused by underlying health conditions or other reasons but from experience, it’s also one of the major signs of spousal rape).
- You are someone who watches a lot of porn and then tries out what you see on other people’s children who you did not have prior discussions regarding your freaky intentions with.
- You have friends who trade stories of their sexual exploits when they are together.
If one of the points above check out for you, the solution would be to have a heartfelt discussion with your partner. There is no other way to begin the abused partners healing process but to have an honest discussion about it. A few clients plagued by this who i have been opportuned to speak with said a simple “I am sorry for the hurt and my insensitivity towards you” would be a good place for them to begin their healing journey. Having said this, you can begin solving this issue by;
1)Asking your spouse to honestly tell you how you’ve truly treated them with regards to love-making as you have been thinking that you may have been a bit of a brute or selfish with the act.
2) Requesting for a bit more sensitivity towards you, your moods and more before initiating sex to enable you enjoy this more and not feel objectified.
The almost non-existent literature on spousal and marital rape when compared to other forms of rape almost suggests that the topic is not perceived as a crime. It’s perception as a crime is something i would leave for the legal experts but in my opinion, it is a crime against humanity at large regardless of the circumstances it was perpetrated under.
After speaking to lots of clients who have raped or were raped, here are some facts i can confidently mention regarding this issue that’s fast becoming an issue in our African and world-wide society;
The small amount of literature on marital rape compared to the rather large amount of literature on stranger rape suggests that the former is viewed as a less serious crime. This conclusion is supported, in part, by the way marital rape is minimized by the law. This paper is a review of the existing literature on marital rape. It combines the material on the history of marital rape, the legal issues involved with marital rape, when marital rape is likely to occur, the effects of marital rape, and societal views of the marital rape victim in a single comprehensive paper. The intent is to provide a synthesized examination of marital rape, as well as to encourage research on marital rape. It is concluded that marital rape is a pressing problem that tends to be minimized by society and researchers need to devote greater attention to marital rape issues.
As always, i hope this piece on “Marital Rape, the growing scourge” helped someone. Knowledge they say is power but i say in it’s right application lies real mastery.
Written by Obike Temple.
Temple Obike is a licensed marriage and family therapist, speaker, author and psychotherapist who has counseled over one thousand, two hundred clients comprising of couples, individuals, abuse victims (substance, physical, emotional and sexual) and grief-stricken clients. With over 70,000 in-counseling minutes (1,000+ hours) accrued in practice. He runs his private psychotherapy & counseling practice out of Lagos, Nigeria and has counseling centers in Abuja and Port-Harcourt. His practice also provides options for both online and on-site services.
His private practice has positively empowered lives through his online counseling, podcasts, free advisory services and free online materials. Readership of his articles also receive a growing number of visitors alongside subscriptions to his email newsletter at templeobike.com. His passion for empowering and uncovering the secrets to lifelong marriages and personal development led to his new book titled “Soul Bodega” available on amazon and across other online and traditional stores.
Never give up on yourself! You are a journey happening through various destinations.