Spousal rape is an issue that is surrounded by a lot of misconceptions and misinformation. Many victims do not speak out against spousal rape, as they believe they do not have the same rights since they are in a relationship with the perpetrator. Others feel that they are somehow to blame. If you are a survivor of spousal rape, learn your rights and how to seek justice for the crime committed against you.
Is it Really Rape if We’re Married?
Yes, it is still rape even if you are married to the person who sexually assaulted you. Under Kansas Revisor of Statutes Section 21-5503, the definition of rape is to knowingly engage in sexual intercourse with a victim who does not consent. This includes if the victim is overcome by force or fear or is unconscious or physically powerless.
The definition of spousal rape is unwanted, nonconsensual sexual intercourse with a spouse, such as a husband, wife, domestic partner or romantic partner. Spousal rape is just as much a crime as rape involving two strangers or people who are not in a romantic or intimate relationship
While survivors may question whether the sexual assault they experienced within the context of a marriage or relationship is considered rape, it is essential to understand that any nonconsensual sexual encounter constitutes rape, regardless of the relationship between the two parties. You do not have to accept nonconsensual sex with a partner. Keep in mind, if this happened to you, contact our Kansas sexual assault lawyers.
Was This My Fault?
No, you are not to blame for being sexually assaulted by a spouse. Victims are never responsible for the crimes committed against them. While it is normal to grapple with feelings of self-blame, guilt, shame or embarrassment, know that spousal rape is not your fault. The responsibility for this heinous crime lies solely with the perpetrator.
Should I Report the Rape to Law Enforcement?
Deciding whether or not to report spousal rape to law enforcement is a complicated and deeply personal decision. It is up to you as the victim to consider the potential ramifications of going to the police vs. the consequences of not reporting the crime. If your life is in danger, report it to law enforcement immediately.
If you are concerned about your spouse facing criminal charges or your family’s privacy, however, you may be able to find a way forward without involving the police. Support from spousal rape advocacy organizations, such as the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, can help you navigate this decision.
What Are My Legal Options?
You have the right to seek justice through both the criminal and the civil justice systems in Kansas as a spousal rape victim. You can tell the police about the sexual assault and cooperate with them to bring criminal charges against your spouse for rape. This could lead to a conviction and a criminal sentence, including jail or prison time.
You can also file a civil sexual assault lawsuit against the perpetrator to pursue financial compensation for your related losses, such as your medical bills, therapy costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Discuss your situation with a rape victim attorney at DRZ Law for more information about a potential case.
Where Do I Go From Here?
If you have been raped by your spouse, get medical care for any injuries you sustained. Consider getting a sexual assault forensic exam, which is a special medical evaluation used to collect evidence of sexual assault. To protect yourself from future harm, you may need to file for an order of protection, also known as a restraining order. An attorney can help you with this process.
Take care of your mental and psychological health following the incident. Seek professional help from a counselor who has experience in spousal rape cases. A therapist or psychologist may recommend healthy coping mechanisms and prescribe medications that can help you. You may also wish to join a support group for rape survivors. Help is available if you have been raped or sexually assaulted by your spouse.