Submission to sexual contact is not the duty of a good spouse

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How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious, practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Do you believe that sexual intercourse without consent within a marriage or co-habitation doesn’t constitute rape? Think again. In 1993, marital rape became a crime in the US.

Marriage or co-habitation does not free a person’s from seeking permission for sexual intercourse and it does not relinquish a person’s right to say no to the inquiry for sexual intercourse. The expectation to comply to sexual demands is more commonplace then you might imagine. 29% of all reported sexual assaults of adult women were perpetrated by a husband or lover and when domestic violence is part of a relationship, the chances of spousal rape occurring rise by 70%. Because the experience of rape by a partner that you share a bed with often occurs repeatedly, it is confusing to understand or admit that it is rape.  Sex without consent is rape.

Are you someone who is being raped by someone who is suppose to love and care for you? Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist at has challenged herself in 2016 to post weekly about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at

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