Marital Rape

23 Juli 2012 - 11:31:00 | admin

Violence has become one of the main concerns of many societies around the world at the present time. Sexual violence has occured at all levels of society and culture, not only to women but also men. However the tendency of sexual violence to women is higher than that of men. It usually includes the negative values that sex is a means of sexual satisfaction and that a sex partner is an instrumental object to get sexual satisfaction. This research reflects on how wives have been sexually abused by their husbands, known as marital rape.

Buginese married women in South Sulawesi who have been raped by their husbands at some time in their lives was the criterion informants, determined by snowball sampling. They were classified based on their level of education, social-economic status, and employment status. In-depth interviews, with interview-guides and pointers, were conducted in order to understand their perceptions of marital rape, its causes, and their reactions and impact of marital rape in their lives. In addition, their life history was used to better understand the background of their sexual lives. Focused Group Discussion, with four informants who had shared similar experiences of marital rape, seemed to be effective in obtaining more detailed information.

The cases indicated that marital rape consisted of forced intercourse, threatening behavior, forced sexual style, and deliberately becoming intoxicated in order to prolong sexual intercourse. The many factors contributing to marital rape were found clustered in two broad categories, namely direct and indirect causes. Direct causes comprise imbalanced libido, wife refusal, and intixication. These factors also serve as the impetus of the existence of marital rape. While the background factors of this incidence involve independence and economic hardship, violent socialization, and arranged marriage. Indirect factors include lack of communication and the existence of other women in the marriage. Wives reacted in two paradoxical ways, refusing and accepting, which occurred on emotional and behavioral reactions. In fact, the data shows that direct causes have greater influence on the incidence of rape in marriage than indirect causes. Marital rape not only causes physical, but also psychological consequences.

The results showed that marital rape occurred mainly because of male domination rather than sex alone. The cases were exposed as physical violence rather than sexual violence. The wives tended to keep problems to themselves and were convinced that reporting marital problems was a matter of a ‘shame culture.’ More than that, the research also suggests the need for a particular institution for women to openly share their problems. The institution should reflect their needs more than being a way to solve general problems.