Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Marital rape (also called “wife rape” or “spousal rape”) is forced, nonconsensual sex in which the perpetrator is the victim's spouse. Marital rape was criminalized in all U.S. states by 1993 with the deletion of the “spousal exemption” that had defined rape as forced intercourse without the consent of the woman other than one's wife. However, the spousal exemption remains in effect in most non-Western countries. Marital rape is the form of violence against women with the greatest cultural and legal support, and it is not recognized as a social problem in most of the world. Marital rape prevalence rates indicate a global epidemic of sexual violence within ...