South Asian communities may instill in women the idea that their husbands can have sex with them whenever they want after they get married. Women may feel as if marriage denies them the power to have any say in their sex life. This is not true: marriage does not take away your right to have control over your body. If a woman’s spouse is using threats or intimidation to obtain sex, this could be considered marital rape.
We often think of rape as a one-time, violent occurrence, but this is not always the case. In instances of marital rape, it can be a repeated event that may not be as outwardly violent. Rape—in any shape or form—is highly traumatic and psychologically damaging. Although the legal definition of rape varies from state to state, rape usually implies non-consensual penetration of a victim’s vagina, mouth or anus. Marital rape may not be recognized as a crime in other countries, but it is illegal in the United States.
For more information about rape or sexual assault, visit Was it Rape?
Last reviewed: 2012
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For more information on relationship abuse, including where to turn for help, try the Websites below:
- Rights and resources for non-citizens.
- Maitri (support for South Asian women).
- Santa Clara County, San Mateo, and San Francisco relationship abuse resources.
- The South Asian Women's NETwork.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline.
- Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness
- National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, 1-866-331-9474