Marital Rape: Conflicting Constructions of Reality

Women Against Violence: An Australian Feminist Journal, Vol. 3, pp. 23-30, 1997

8 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2010 Last revised: 18 Jun 2018

See all articles by Patricia L. Easteal

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 1997

Abstract

Marital rape is one manifestation of violence in the home. It involves more additional injuries than sexual assault by any other type of perpetrator. Yet, there is a dearth of literature in Australia – a silence that appears to have continued despite recent legislative changes that have abolished the immunity of husbands from prosecution for rape.

The current article examines three dimensions of the crime and how they are experienced by the victims and constructed within the courts: incidence, the dynamics or nature, and the effects. Differences are apparent with few rapes prosecuted, the nature of coercion interpreted narrowly by the court without a recognition of the range of duress that can be a part of a violent marriage, and the harms often minimized by judges who see the rapist’s marital tie to his victim as a mitigator. These examples indicate the need for women’s experiences to be validated and their reality reconstructed in the society and in the law.

Keywords: marital rape

Suggested Citation

Easteal, Patricia L., Marital Rape: Conflicting Constructions of Reality (1997). Women Against Violence: An Australian Feminist Journal, Vol. 3, pp. 23-30, 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1534357

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
8
Abstract Views
527
PlumX Metrics