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Marital rape in the news

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1994
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry
Journal number3
Volume5
Number of pages11
Pages539-549
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Legal recognition of marital rape as a crime occurred in England and Wales in 1991. A study of nine newspapers during the first complete year of operation (1992) indicates that media coverage of marital rape cases has been muted. Six cases were reported in 1992 illustrating a wide range of contexts of marital rape. Only cases where the husband with a drink problem threatened his estranged wife with a knife before raping her resulted in a prison sentence. The notion of estrangement accompanied by violence seemed usefully to endorse the traditional stereotype of rape, so these cases appeared non-contentious. The other cases which were more challenging as cases of marital rape produced outcomes which seemed unsatisfactory for the women involved in a variety of ways. Surprisingly, there is no evidence of any marital rape cases being mentioned in The Times in 1993 which suggests either that the new crime of marital rape is not being much used or that there is now an avoidance of potentially contentious cases coming before the courts