Letters to the Editor

November 20, 2012

Why is marital rape still legal in S.C.?

Let me begin by telling you what you already know. Rape is a horrible crime, and it has been unlawful in every society for thousands of years. The most intimate act of love is a gift. It cannot be demanded or taken by force. And everyone agrees that a person’s body is her or his own, that no-one can violate another person’s body. So the law has always criminalized and punished rape, with one shocking exception: marital rape. Until very recently, husbands in the U.S. have been legally free to rape their wives. That is, a husband could physically force his wife to have sex against her will. This is called spousal immunity.

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