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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127402 Find in a Library
Title: Marital Rape (From Case Studies in Family Violence, P 329-355, 1991, Robert T. Ammerman and Michel Hersen, eds. -- See NCJ-127384)
Author(s): H S Resnick; D G Kilpatrick; C Walsh; L J Veronen
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A review of the literature and two case studies demonstrate the variety of characteristics that may be observed in marital rape.
Abstract: In one case, the woman was married and had children, and the rape occurred in the context of an ongoing marital relationship. In the second case, the rape occurred following the breakup of a live-in relationship. Although both cases consisted of forced vaginal penetration, only in the second case was the crime subjectively defined as rape by the victim. In both cases, nonsexual violence was present in the relationship, and the women were not interested in maintaining the relationship following rape. Both women feared they might be killed or injured during the assault, and both met criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder following the assault. In other cases, threatening or pressuring may be less overtly violent, victims may not acknowledge or identify the incident as rape, and victims may not be at a decision point with regard to their relationships. These factors highlight the need for clinicians and researchers to assess both objective and subjective factors involved in individual cases and to obtain accurate prevalence rates of marital rape. Literature indicates that marital rape may be the most frequent type of rape, that it is often associated with nonsexual violence, and that it is subjectively perceived by victims as dangerous or threatening. Research on the effects of marital rape indicate that such rape is associated with increased levels of psychological distress and violence comparable to that observed in stranger rape victims. Stress inoculation training (SIT), a learning theory-based treatment approach, may be useful in ameliorating psychological reactions associated with marital rape. 35 references and 4 figures
Main Term(s): Marital problems; Spousal Rape
Index Term(s): Female victims; Sexual assault victims; Victims of violent crime
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