Let's talk about Marital Rape
I was recently reading an advice column and I saw something that made me pause. The writer told the columnist that his wife was not interested in having sex with him. In explaining his frustrations, he pointed out that he "forced her a few times" but she just lies there and this is unsatisfactory to him. I was appalled at how nonchalant he was about what he just described but even more so because the columnist did not address the fact that he admitted to repeatedly raping his wife.
Absence of Consent
Marital rape is still a hot button issue in modern society because there are still people who believe that rape cannot exist in a marriage. So let me start by defining rape: "forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will" - in other words, sexual intercourse without consent.
Personally, I do think that rape can happen in a marriage because the consent is the deciding factor. Some will argue that once a person is married, he/she gives her/himself fully to their spouse and therefore the spouse "owns" them, so no consent is necessary for sex.
In Jamaica the Sexual Offences Act allows a wife to charge her husband with marital rape but under very limited circumstances. For example, if the couple lives separately or if there's a court order already against him, if he knowingly has an STD and still forces himself on her. Typically, even if she decides to report him, proving rape is tedious and the shame that most victims feelings prevents them from reporting the incident.
My Christian colleagues will jump to defend the man's right to partake of his wife's body and the woman's duty to submit to her husband. I am sure they can also site many verses to prove why marital rape does not exist. But as most persons know, I personally do not depend on the Bible for my guidance, so any reference to the "holy" book will be completely disregarded on my part. Ultimately, I believe that every individual should have autonomy over what happens to his/her body. It's not a religious, social, legislative, or marital issue - it's a personal one. A woman should have to right to decide if she wants to have sex without worrying that her husband is legally able to rape her, and vice versa.
However you feel about this issue, it is important to note that rape is, in my opinion, the most humiliating offence that can be inflicted on any person. Regardless of how you may feel religiously, morally or otherwise, think about what it feels like to be on the receiving end of rape. If you and your partner are experiencing sexual issues, contact a professional to assist you and do not use force as an option.