Reforming Rape Laws

It was till late 1970s that in many of the states spouse rape was not considered a crime. The law has implanted 'marital rape exemption' in the sexual assault law. This means that a husband cannot rape his wife legally. The philosophy behind this exemption was that when husband and wife accept the marital contract, a woman has consented to sexual intercourse any time her husbands demanded for it. This law of exemption has been taken from the 18th century law proposed by English jurist Matthew Hale which says "the husband cannot be guilty of rape…for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract, the wife has given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract" (Russel, Diana E.H. 1990).

The advocate of women rights have protested the law on marital rape exemption and in the year 1976 Nebraska was the first state that...
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