United Kingdom, anti-discrimination law, sexual abuse, marital rape, bill of Rights, domestic abuse, human rights, sex discrimination act, Equality Act, women's rights
According to the Sexual Offences Act of 2003, marital rape can be defined as a sexual act that was committed by a person without the consent of his/her spouse or ex-spouse. Marital assault can legally fall under the category of domestic violence. According to the domestic Act Abuse of 2021, domestic abuse can be constated if a person has an abusive behavior against another person. The two persons should be aged 16 or over and should be personally connected to each other. The act presents possible behaviors that can be qualified as abusive, for instance, abusive behavior can be any " physical or sexual abuse; violent or threatening behaviour; controlling or coercive behaviour; economic abuse ;psychological, emotional or other abuse".
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales in a 2022 study, women are two times more likely to be victims of domestic abuse than men. This number equates to an estimated 2.4 million adults, according to the office of national studies.
[...] How does Anti-Discrimination Law Applies to Women, Especially When it Comes to Marital Rape ? "The husband of a woman cannot himself be guilty of an actual rape upon his wife, on account of the matrimonial consent which she has given, and which she cannot retract" affirmed in 1736, a former Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench in England. This statement, was considered as the oldest legal base of marital rape and its legality. Therefore, any forced sexual activity during wed locks was considered legal and exempts the rapist of any charge. [...]
[...] According to the judicial secretary, as stated one week ago, many judicial procedures and legal aspects are going to be impacted regarding women's rights and safety. In fact, women's rights have been a huge controversial topic in the United Kingdom, especially after the killing of Sarah Everard by a police officer. These reforms will add a layer to the complexity of the actual legal systems. Therefore, it is necessary for the United Kingdom to adopt a bill of Rights, more elaborated to ensure better antidiscrimination regulation. Bibliography: https://www.noblesolicitors.co.uk/about/a-guide-to-marital-rape.html#:~:text=Marital%20rape%2C%20also%20known%20as,does%20so%20against%20their%20will [HYPERLINK: https://www.noblesolicitors.co.uk/about/a-guide-to-marital-rape.html]. [...]
[...] In fact, by agreeing to marry each other's, spouses have passed a contract, therefore they have obligations and they manifested a clear consent. Implicitly this consent implies sex consent. According to Sasha Hart, the logic is based on property and not consent. A woman and a man, when they agree on marriage become one, therefore "rape" doesn't not exist. The legal aspects changed in a landmark decision of 1991 called vs. R". Five Law lords have issued a decision overturning the actual precedents and case law. [...]
[...] It is until 2010 that was enacted The Equality Act guaranteeing antidiscrimination laws. This single Act reflects different antidiscrimination measures to be applied in the work place and in wider society. This lack of consistency regarding human Rights and anti-discrimination laws can explain why it took almost 100 years for Lords to consider marital rape as a crime. It is notable to say that, the criminalizing of marital rape was enforced by the European Court of Human Rights, proving that Europe integration has a huge impact on the anti-discrimination legislation. [...]
[...] These affirmations lead us to question ourselves : How does antidiscrimination law applies to women, especially when it comes to marital rape ? Are women legally protected against potential threats ? To answer these multiple questions, we will dive in the actual situation of women in the United Kingdom by analyzing the legal status quo, to finally propose our own legal recommendations. First of all, it is necessary to track the history of marital rape's legislations. As mentioned before, it was considered legal for a man to rape his wife as long as they are married. [...]
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