What is Sexual Abuse in Relationships?

Sexual abuse in relationships refers to a series of behaviors used to manipulate or influence an intimate partner. Typically, these behaviors are designed by the perpetrator to gain control over another person sexually. This may involve acts of physical abuse, but it may only involve mental and emotional manipulation.

Relationship sexual abuse can refer to any unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact between a person and their romantic partner. This type of abuse involves pressuring, coercing, or forcing someone to perform a sexual act that they do not want to perform.

Sexual abuse I relationship

Can Your Partner Sexually Abuse You?

Yes, you can be sexually abused by your partner. Sexual abuse is a crime , if it takes the form of domestic abuse or violence between two partner (including in a marriage). Definition of sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual act, including sexual touching, fondling or rape.

You might be the victim of sexual abuse by your partner if you did not give your consent, you were under the age of 18, you were intoxicated, or you were manipulated or threatened into the sexual activity. Your partner might also be guilty of committing sexual abuse against you in conjunction with other forms of abuse, including physical or mental abuse.

Signs of sexual abuse in a relationship

Sexual abuse and harassment can happen in a relationship , and it’s more common than you think. Here are a few signs of this behaviour that are important for you to know.

1* They abuse your trust

If you are dating someone, there is a certain level of trust involved. However, a clear sign of sexual abuse is when your partner abuses the trust you have in them for their own pleasure. This can include them violating your boundaries when you aren’t fully aware, such as if you are sleeping, or if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is a very serious act of sexual abuse.

READ ALSO: 13 SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN RELATIONSHIP: WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE

2* They pressure you to do things

The first sign of sexual abuse in a relationship is if your partner pressures you or is overly pushy when it comes to sexual acts. This can be done in an aggressive way, but it can also be done in a subtle way such as making you feel guilty or ashamed for not engaging in certain sexual behaviour.

This can include pressure to perform sexual acts you aren’t comfortable with or it can involve non-physical acts such as pressuring you to sext them. Agreeing to date someone does not mean you’ve consented to any sexual act – Remember to be clear about what you are comfortable and uncomfortable with and be careful around anyone who pressures you to change your mind.

3* They disrespect your privacy

There are many ways in which a partner can disrespect your privacy. This can include sharing or threatening to share private photographs or videos of you with their friends or classmates, or online.

Your partner is also disrespecting your privacy if they speak about private details of your intimate life with others, without your consent. Remember that you have a right to privacy regarding your sex life and body and your partner should respect that.

Examples of sexual abuse in relationship

Unwanted touching

Demanding sex

Forcing sex

Name-calling with sexual epithets

Demanding sex after a violent incident

Forcing you to engage in prostitution or pornography

Forcing you to have sex with others besides your partner

Insisting on anything sexual that frightens or hurts you

Refusing to use safe sex practices

Withholding sex as a form of control

Videotaping or photographing sexual acts and posting it without your permission

Alleging that you have a history of prostitution on legal papers

Examples of sexual abuse

What is considered sexual abuse in a/relationship marriage?

It’s a legitimate question. But what most people don’t realize is that sexual abuse in marriage is both a form of domestic violence and rape.

Rape is about consent, nowhere in any law does it say that being in the institution of marriage is a form of exception. There is a religious law that does allow it, but we will not discuss that further.

Marriages are about partnerships, not sex. Sex, even in a marital environment, is still consensual. Married couples chose each other as lifetime mates. They are expected to have and raise children together.

That doesn’t mean that baby-making is allowed all the time. But what is considered sexual abuse in marriage? Where does the law draw the line between legal and illegal?

In reality, even if the law is clear about the need for consent, in practical application, it is a vast grey area.

First off, most cases are unreported. If it does get reported, most local law enforcement tries not to interfere with marital affairs, knowing it is hard to prove in court. That is why most of the work saving women in such situations are done by NGOs focused on women’s rights.

READ ALSO: 23 COMMON SIGNS OF VERBAL ABUSE IN RELATIONSHIP YOU MUST KNOW

The impact of sexual abuse in relationshp/marriage

Sexual abuse has devastating impacts on a person, and those impacts are compounded when the abuse occurs in a marriage. Two of those impacts — faith struggles and shame — leave a victim confused and often silent.

Statistics reveal that sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40 to 45 percent of marriage relationships that have involved verbal or physical violence. Marital rape occurs in 10 to 14 percent of all marriages.

Women often don’t reveal sexual abuse in marriage — not even in counseling. Shame is a contributing factor to this, but victims often also experience confusion about what’s happening to them. Over the years, I’ve had hundreds of conversations with women who are being sexually abused by their husbands but don’t realize it. They know something is wrong but don’t know what it is.

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