Myths of marital rape

by aisha on December 3, 2017 - 9:10pm


This article argues that the myths regarding marital rape should not be considered in Canadian law. Some of the myths stated in the article are that women cannot claim to have been raped if they had consensual sex with their spouse after the assault happened, or that women can invent stories that their spouse raped them to gain more chances in custody and to access disputes. These myths have been declared to be wrong since they are from an old fashioned mindset that women are men’s property. They are not permitted in our society where women are protected along with their rights. Marital rape has been considered a crime since 1883. Though recently in Ottawa, an incident occurred where a man was accused of sexually assaulting his wife. It was estimated that the man possibly had sex many times with his wife without her consent, since they both believed he had the right to, although she has admitted to telling her husband to stop many times. Apparently, the accused man did not comprehend the law of consent. Justice Smith seemed to believe some of the myths about marital rape in the case of this couple, since the wife did not complain until the couple had a fight, implying that women may cry rape to strengthen their position when it comes to family-law disputes. Though since the law was changed in 1983, women don’t necessarily need to cry rape as soon as the assault happens in order for it to be credible. Furthermore, women may be in dependent relationships with their spouses which will make it dangerous to complain until the relationship is over. Justice Smith also believed another myth on the topic of dependency. The myth is that the woman continued to have sex with her husband for another 11 years. This is is a myth because it contradicts the Canadian Law’s definition of consent. Furthermore, Justice Smith added that the couple was Palestinian and in an arranged marriage, and that the wife seemed to believe that it was permitted for her husband to have sex with her whenever he wanted. This does not mean however, that cultural norms can overpower legal norms. Any woman who gets sexually assaulted is entitled to complain no matter the circumstances are. This article goes against Justice Smiths considerations on this case. It states that judicial education should include the myths of marital rape and explain how they are false and how they go against women’s rights. I agree with the argument made by this article, that there are many myths regarding women and marital rape. In any circumstance, wether a woman cries rape years after the incident or wether she continues to have sex with the man after the incident has nothing to do with the fact that she got raped regardless. 


Should certain situations regarding women crying rape be considered credible depending on the circumstances, or should they all be considered credible?