SY220_TermPaper

SY220_TermPaper - Sociology 220 Dr Palileo Term Paper Why...

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Sociology 220 Dr. Palileo Term Paper – 7/18/2007 Why the Criminal Justice System Should Treat Marital Rape as Being as Serious a Crime as Stranger Rape Marital Rape is defined as any non-consensual sexual activity in which the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. Because there is a widely held view that women surrender consent to their husbands when they get married, the law has been slow to criminalize this form of rape. Due to popular stereotypes of "real" rape, it is often assumed that if a couple has been sexually intimate, marital rape is not as traumatic as other types of rape. My goal in this paper is to prove that this is not the case, and that the criminal justice system should treat marital rape as being an equally serious of a crime as stranger rape due to its many serious effects. Until the 1970’s, no man had ever been convicted of raping his wife. The most frequently cited source of this exemption was British Chief Justice Matthew Hale, who wrote that husbands could not be guilty of a raping their wife because "by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract”. The arguments for using this exemption included: (a) keeping the marital relationship private, (b) protecting husbands from vindictive wives, (c) because it is nearly impossible to prove, and (d) because a charge of rape would discourage reconciliation between husband and wife. In 1984, New York’s highest court struck down this exemption and currently, marital rape is a crime in every
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state. However, it remains one of the most underreported crimes in the country, and is often treated less seriously then stranger rape. Stranger rape usually involves someone you don't know, with whom you don't share any experiences or history. When the assault happens, there can be no doubt as to what is happening: it is rape. In marital rape, the circumstances are very different. It is – more than a physical and sexual violation - a betrayal of trust. Here is a person whom
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course SY 220 taught by Professor Palileo during the Spring '08 term at S. Alabama.

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SY220_TermPaper - Sociology 220 Dr Palileo Term Paper Why...

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