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Mental Health Impacts of Marital Rape

Mar 25,2023

What is Marital Rape?

Rape is defined as coercing or persuading another person into engaging in unwelcome sexual activity. Even if it is committed by a person you are dating or married to, it is still sexual assault. Further, if a woman is raped by her husband, it is called Marital Rape. Intimate partner violence is defined as rape in love relationships and marriage. This includes coerced sex and intimate partner violence. Not all sexual assaults are openly violent. This proves that this assault violates someone's integrity in more ways than just the use of force. An example of a sexually violent exploit or rape is the use of drugs to render you unconscious so that sexual actions can be performed on you.

Sexual violence also includes making threats to hurt you or someone you care about in order to get you to engage in sexual activity. Sexual assault also encompasses circumstances in which you are tricked or forced to engage in sexual activity with your spouse or another person against your will. Not only do spouses experience intimate relationship violence. Whether you reside with them or not, dating partners are equally subject to this rule. Sexual abuse, rape, and assault are all examples of sexual violence.

People of all genders, races, ethnicities, and financial positions are affected by spousal rape and intimate partner sexual assault. Sexual violence can be experienced by and committed by people of any gender. In the United States, roughly 19.3% of women and 1.7% of males have reported being raped at some point in their lives, according to a 2014 survey by Trusted Source. About 45.4% of females and 20% of males had intimate partners who were rapists, accomplices, or enablers. In general, rape by an intimate partner has happened to 8.8% of women and 0.5% of males.

Women who had been raped by an intimate partner made up 11.4% of the population; non-Hispanic whites made up 9.6% of the group, non-Hispanic blacks made up 8.8%, and Hispanics made up 6.2%. Before the age of 25, about 71.1% of women and 58.2% of men reported having been the victim of intimate partner violence.

Effects of Marital Rape

The idea that marital rape is less severe than other types of sexual assault is untrue. Marital rape can have a wide range of negative physical and psychological effects: Injuries to the vaginal and anal regions, lacerations, discomfort, bruising, torn muscles, exhaustion, and vomiting are among the physical repercussions. Another kind of effect includes broken bones, black eyes, bloody noses, and knife wounds are common injuries sustained by assaulted and raped women.

Vaginal stretching, pelvic inflammation, unintended pregnancies, miscarriages, stillbirths, bladder infections, STDs, HIV, and infertility are just a few of the gynecological complications.

Psychological side effects that manifest quickly include PTSD, anxiety, shock, extreme terror, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Disordered sleeping, disordered eating, depression, relationship issues, bad self-images, and dysfunctional sexual behavior are examples of long-term psychological impacts.

Mental Impacts of Marital Rape

From a psychological standpoint, marital rape victims' self-image is severely damaged; it manifests as anxiety about sexual activity and partners, and in some cases, it causes mental illness that necessitates the administration of medication and psychiatric monitoring, such as panic attacks, neurosis, and depression.

When a woman engages in non-consensual sexual activity, she often faces physical and psychological abuse, including mockery of her capacity for intimate relationships. Sexual assault experiences can have a significant impact on how you view yourself, other people, and the world. Your perspective on sex, love, and relationships may also be impacted by marital rape and sexual abuse in general. When an intimate partner commits sexual assault, there is no one right way to respond. With the tools at your disposal, you're doing the best you can. You might experience the following as a result of the nature of this attack: Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety (PTSD) After experiencing marital rape, it's not unusual to feel isolated in your experience or to consider harming yourself. Other symptoms include:

You could suffer the following symptoms after being the victim of sexual assault and rape in marriage: headaches insomnia, panic disorders, digestion problems, hypervigilance, and rumination and invasive ideas. Any of these symptoms may or may not be present for you. Other symptoms not mentioned here could also occur.

Seek Help 

You could feel a range of emotions and find it perplexing when someone you care about violates you. It's normal to feel whatever you do. You deserve a safe place to process your experience and receive assistance because you are not broken. Your feelings are all legitimate. And things may improve. Seeking the assistance of a mental health professional is highly advised since they can help you process these feelings and create a plan to start feeling better. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) might assist you in reframing your thoughts. It can also give you useful coping mechanisms for times when you're sad, uneasy, or going through the phases of grieving. According to many survivors, persons who have experienced intimate partner violence may benefit particularly from somatic therapy. Another name for this therapy is somatic experiencing. By assisting your body in "releasing" the trauma, it helps. It also helps your nervous system get back into balance.