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Is Marital Rape Domestic Violence?

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2015 | Domestic Violence

Is Marital Rape domestic violence is quite a question and is answered by our Gainesville and Lawrenceville Family Law attorney, Jennifer Thuy-Tien McCall.

Donald Trump has been all over the news and all over my Facebook newsfeed lately. In one of the more recent controversies, a reporter uncovered that Donald Trump’s wife Ivana Trump had used the word “rape” in legal proceedings with him.*

Michael Cohen, attorney and special counsel at The Trump Organization, responded furiously to the allegation. He went on a tirade that would make even the outspoken Donald Trump blush. Among the statements Mr. Cohen made, one was particularly troubling to me: “And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”

He went onto say, “It is true. You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

Mr. Cohen later apologized and said that he had made an inarticulate comment as he backtracked his assertion that rape cannot occur between married parties.

As a woman and as an attorney, I cringe at these statements. Marital rape is a very real and very scary thing. The fact that an attorney would make such a claim makes me wonder if people still believe that marital rape is non-existent. I would hope that gone are the days when husbands saw their wives as property over whom they can assert any control, including rape.

All states recognize marital rape. Georgia law defines rape and its punishment in O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1. This statute clearly states, “The fact that the person allegedly raped is the wife of the defendant shall not be a defense to a charge of rape.”

You can’t beat your wife.  You can’t rape your wife.  Domestic violence is domestic violence – period!

If you have experienced marital rape, I hope that you will reach out to law enforcement or a local battered women’s shelter for assistance. Do not let anyone belittle the trauma you have experienced. The law is on your side and rightfully so.

Jennifer Thuy-Tien McCall

*No criminal charges were brought against Donald Trump related to this allegation. Ivana Trump backtracked on her statement and said that she did not mean to use the word in its criminal sense