Marital rape

In this article, a woman in India confided to her mother that her husband has forced her to participate in sexual activities, and eventually filed a complaint with the police. The judge dismissed the complaint saying that marital rape isn’t recognized as a crime.

In our proposed framework, the woman’s husband violated her right to dignity, and that has nothing to do with their marital status. Furthermore, in our proposed framework the state would only track partnerships and not be involved in marriage, so peculiar exceptions like marital rape not being recognized as a crime would be removed.

People in a partnership should be protecting and defending each other. Being in a partnership is definitely not a reason for the state to excuse a crime, it’s the opposite — it makes the crime so much worse. The state has no moral authority to forgive a crime merely because it was done between partners.

However, if something is going to be forgiven, it can only be forgiven by the affected partner. If the crime resulted in the partner’s death, the victim’s forgiveness becomes impossible and the state must prosecute for justice. If the crime did not result in death, but it seems that the victim is not competent to forgive — maybe because of the nature and extent of abuse, or coercion — the state should enforce a one year separation to allow the victim to heal away from the other partner and then decide what to do. If there are children in the household, they should be placed with family or in foster care until the case is resolved, and then placed where it makes sense based on the outcome of the case.

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