Women’s Aid responds to judge’s comments in court that it is a “fundamental human right” of a husband to have sex with his wife

 

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

 

Women’s Aid responds to judge’s comments in court that it is a “fundamental human right” of a husband to have sex with his wife, as reported in the Guardian.

 

Nicki Norman, Acting Chief Executive at Women’s Aid, said:

“Rape in marriage has been illegal since 1991. The judge’s comments in court that it is a “fundamental human right” of a husband to have sex with his wife are outdated and misogynistic, showing a complete disregard for women’s rights. The judge’s primary consideration in this case must be the woman’s safety and the protection of her basic human right to live free from degrading treatment such as rape as set out in the 1988 Human Rights Act.

“Research shows that women with a long-term illness or disability are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse compared with those without a long-term illness or disability (ONS, 2018). While one in five women supported by domestic abuse services have experienced sexual abuse as part of a pattern of domestic abuse (Women’s Aid, 2019). We know from our work with survivors that a woman may be experiencing control, threats and intimation from her partner which makes it difficult, if not impossible, for her to consent to sex in that relationship. The public’s outrage at the judge’s comments in this case clearly show that some judges are out of step with wider public opinion on cases of violence against women and girls. These judges must be held to account for their old-fashioned and deeply sexist attitudes and there must be investment in training to ensure that everyone within the justice system has stepped forward into the 21st century.”

 

If you are worried that your partner, or that of a friend or family member, is controlling and abusive, you can contact the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk.

 

For more information, please contact the Women’s Aid press office: 020 7566 2511 / [email protected]

© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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