Month: May 2013

Can A Husband Rape His Wife?

Yes. While many people mistakenly believe rape cannot occur between married parties, a husband can rape his wife. Unwanted sexual contact of any kind is sexual assault, even if the attacker is your husband.

Edwards Pottinger LLC understands the unique challenges that come with filing a sexual assault claim against your spouse. We will do our best to make sure that the court takes your case just as seriously as other rape cases.

How Can a Husband Rape His Wife?

Rape is sexual intercourse or sexual penetration without consent. The relationship between the two parties is irrelevant. A marital relationship does not mean that the wife must have sex whenever her husband wants.

What Are the Different Forms of Marital Rape?

When most people think of rape, they think of the attacker using physical force. However, there are other forms of rape that may not seem as violent, but are equally violating. Some of the most common forms of rape include:

  • Forced Sex: When a husband forces his wife to engage in sexual activity with physical violence (e.g., pushing, hitting, holding her down).

  • Sex with the Threat of Force: When the husband threatens to hurt the wife or the people she cares about, using intimidation.

  • Sex Without Consent: When the husband takes advantage of the wife while she is asleep, unconscious, impaired by drugs or alcohol, or otherwise unable to consent to sexual activity.

Filing Suit Against Your Husband for Rape

In 1993, marital rape became an enforceable crime in all 50 states. Your husband may face rape and other sexual assault charges in criminal court. However, this does nothing to compensate you for the injustice and pain you suffered. Rape victims can file civil suit against their rapists for damages. The civil suit filed will be separate from the criminal trial.

Generally, a civil lawsuit for rape will involve an intentional tort claim. The main intentional tort claims we allege in your marital rape case will likely be one or more of the following:

  • Assault: Your husband makes a legitimate threat (can be physical or verbal) to commit a violent act against you.

  • Battery: Your husband intentionally touches you without consent and causes you harm.

  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress: Your husband commits an extreme or outrageous act that causes severe emotional distress.

  • False imprisonment: Your husband (forcibly, by threat, or secretly) restrains or imprisons you against your will.

Proving Marital Rape

Marital rape can be difficult to prove in civil court. Many cases end up being a “he said, she said” between the husband and the wife. However, our attorneys will investigate your claim thoroughly and gather as much evidence as possible to show what happened to you.

We will talk to your family and friends to find out more about your relationship and any past instances of abuse. We will speak to experts regarding rape trauma syndrome and get them to testify about the devastating physical and psychological effects of marital rape.

We may also prepare your treating doctors and counselors to provide a post-rape health assessment detailing your ability to function in society and your relationships. Our attorneys may ask you to testify as to what happened and how you have been coping afterwards.

Your attorney will also be well prepared for your husband’s defense, which may rest on the issue of consent. Some people mistakenly believe that sexual contact is a requirement of marriage and that a husband is entitled to sex whenever he wants it.

Married couples must adhere to the same consent laws as everyone else. Without explicit approval, no one can, by law, touch you in a sexual manner. However, your husband may argue that you consented to the sexual activity and therefore were not raped. Our team will be ready to refute his claims with evidence and testimony.

What Are the Effects of Marital Rape?

While all forms of rape can be physically and psychologically damaging, marital rape has especially devastating effects. On a physical level, marital rape victims have likely been raped numerous times; these rapes take a toll on their bodies. These women may be subject to sexually transmitted diseases, gynecological consequences, and other physical ailments.

Severe emotional damage is also prevalent among marital rape victims. It is likely that if the victim married her attacker, she trusted and loved him, at least at some point in time. Having someone you cared for so deeply violate you in that way is extremely painful. As a result, many marital rape victims also have long-term psychological issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.

We can help you recover compensation for these and other issues.

If You Have Been Raped by Your Husband, We Can Help

Under Florida law, all victims of sexual assault may recover economic and noneconomic damages. These damages will pay for your psychological treatment, medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Being raped by your husband can upend your entire life. The attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC are here to support you through this difficult time. You deserve justice and we can help you get it. Our staff has handled cases for countless Florida rape victims and will fight for your compensation. Contact us to find out more: 954-524-2820.