STATE LAW CHART
© National Clearinghouse on Marital & Date Rape, May 2005
"MORE THAN 1 IN EVERY 7 WOMEN WHO HAVE EVER BEEN MARRIED
HAVE BEEN RAPED IN MARRIAGE!"
--Diana Russell, Rape in Marriage, Indiana University Press, 1990
|In the states directly below, a wife has the
right to control her own body, and to make her own decisions about
sexual access. Her ability
to say "NO" makes her "YES" choice real. Marital rape is a crime: a husband may be prosecuted for a
rape he committed on his wife while he was living with her. In some of these states, although the degree of additional
violence used may define prosecutability, her relationship to him does
not (these states have no asterisk, c.f. box).
*DIST. OF COLUMBIA
•In any state (federal crime)
military courts repealed
|*Here husbands have NO EXEMPTION from rape
prosecution. Married women
have protection equal to that of other victims.
the states directly below, a wife does not
have the right to consent, to say "YES" or "NO",
to control her own body unless others (e.g. a court or society in
general) give her permission. Marital
rape is not a crime. Definition
of "not married" makes possible prosecution only when they
live apart or have filed for divorce or have an order of protection or
have a court ordered legal separation. The 17th c. English chief justice’s definition of
"married"- a wife gives up her right to consent- is thus
reinforced in these states. He
has "free" rapes until she takes action; the burden is
on her to risk her life by leaving, instead of the state to
remove him, due to his acts.
NO MORE STATES
|July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in all 50 states, in at least one section of the sexual offense codes, usually regarding force. May 2005! New stars: AZ/VA. 30 states still have some exemptions from prosecution for rape, e.g. when the husband does not need to use force because the wife is most vulnerable (temporarily or permanently, physically or mentally legally unable to consent)! Such marital privileges are also extended to unmarried cohabitants who sexually attack their partners in CT, DE, IA, MN & WV.|