To love, honour, and be violated

All Woman

To love, honour, and be violated

By CANDIECE KNIGHT

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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“WIVES, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord,” is the command given to women in Ephesians 5:22 in the Holy Bible. While this scripture goes on to instruct men to “love their wives as their own bodies”, it is usually only the first verse that is extracted and used to validate the barbaric act of marital rape. Believe it or not, there are still people in 2020 who believe that being married to someone grants them indefinite and automatic consent to sexual intercourse.

A Joint Select Parliamentary committee in 2018 recommended that Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Act be reviewed. The section contends that rape can only occur within the context of a marriage under circumstances such as when couples are living apart, when a divorce proceeding is pending, a restraint order has been issued, or when the man knowingly suffers from a sexually transmitted infection.

But many wives confess that the violation of their person within marriage also occurs outside of these contexts.
“The most egregious violation happened when we were not really talking to each other; I don't even remember what the argument was about,” 30-year-old TW, a sales agent, explained. “I think I was more distressed by this one than all the others, because he had tried to justify his behaviour before by saying that he knew that being dominated was part of my fantasy. But this time was different, as we weren't on speaking terms.”

She said she was half asleep when her husband cornered her from behind, and, “savagely groped me, and when I tried to resist, held my hands and used his leg to pry mine open”.

“It was a sweltering hot night and he is twice my size and weight so after a while I just stopped fighting. He violated me in the worst way possible, and when I brought it up a few days later he refused to apologise and said I was unfair because I had indicated before that I liked when he took charge in bed!”

Until the Sexual Offences Act is amended, marital rape continues to be a burden to many women, including the others who share below:

AH, 34, stay-at-home mother:
I got married to my husband at 19. This was two years after he got me pregnant with our first child, causing me to drop out of school. He took care of us and insisted that I stay home with the baby, which became four babies in seven years. By this time I found out that he was unfaithful and had outside children, and I started trying to go back to school so I could get away from him. That is when it started. He never hit me or directly threatened to hit me if I didn't have sex with him — he would just take it. He started becoming very rough and uncaring during the act, and made it clear that he would not set appointments for him to have his wife.

K W, 29, office attendant:
He usually comes from work late at night and I would just wake up and feel him inside me, or trying to get inside me. I am a heavy sleeper so sometimes I would wake up and realise what was happening and start to panic, and he would just tell me, 'Shhh, let me finish'. I tried talking to him about it but that only made it worse, and he started doing it more often. It's like it's a fetish for him, but it makes me feel so violated.

S J, 38, educator:
My ex-husband did it all the time, and he was a church deacon. I didn't even try to report it because it sounds ridiculous telling people that your husband forced himself on you, let alone the insensitive police. Automatically they start asking if he beat you to get it, or why I don't want to give my body to my husband. I had to secretly go on the injection to prevent him from getting me pregnant again, because that seemed to be his intent.

AL, 26, nursing student:
I think it's some sort of sick fetish for my husband — some sort of way to control me because he probably sees me as more successful than him. But he will, most times, not be keen on lovemaking when I want to, but when I'm tired or busy or even sick, that seems to be the time he is most interested and my protestations seem to, if anything, get him more excited. He will even want to use objects, and want to slap me, and I have learnt that it's better not to try to fight back because even the bruises on my body and me crying out in pain doesn't seem to deter him.


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