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No To Rape in the weekend papers

As we mentioned a short while ago, No To Rape has been in the papers again. Those interested can follow up on the coverage here:

The Straits Times, 15 Aug 09: “‘Rape within marriage is still assault’”

The Straits Times, 16 Aug 09: Forum letter by Osman Sidek, “Marital rape: Law should protect abused wives”

Thank you to Osman Sidek for supporting the abolition of marital immunity for rape. We would like to highlight one particular point he makes. He writes that marriage entails mutual sexual obligations, before asking what should happen if those obligations are not fulfilled:

The question is whether an aggrieved party should be allowed all means to seek redress – including the use of force – or should the means of redress itself be defined by law so as to be commensurate with the loss of sexual gratification.

By comparison, even in the case of murder, an aggrieved family will not enjoy legal immunity should the members resort to physical violence as a means of recourse.

In fact, in no other situation will a victim be allowed to take justice into his own hands.

So why does sexual gratification occupy such a lofty space in our law that physical coercion becomes fair recourse when it is deprived?

Marital counselling, sexual therapy or even termination of marriage are fair and civilised means of recourse to conjugal deprivation.

This is consistent with what we have said before. People may disagree about the nature and extent of any sexual obligation implied by marriage. But whatever one’s views on this point, the physical invasion of a human being against their wishes is unacceptable. Someone frustrated about the state of sexual relations in their marriage can and should seek peaceful options to resolve the problem. If they choose instead to use force, the law should hold them accountable for this choice.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 6:59 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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