Intimate Partner Sexual Assault
What is intimate partner sexual assault?
Sexual acts may be accomplished against a person’s will by:
- Physical force.
- Threats of force to the victim or a third person.
- Implied harm based on prior assaults causing the person to fear that physical force will be used if she or he resists.
The person does not need to resist for it to be rape. People in violent relationships often know what will result from not cooperating with their batterers’ wishes. Some may have suffered physical abuse or psychological abuse, had money or other necessities taken or withheld from them. The resulting assault may be more harmful to her or him if she or he tries to resist.
Why would someone rape their partner?
It is a form of control and a way of breaking down a victim’s sense of self worth and will. It is also a difficult crime for an individual to report. Still, it is against the law.
Why would someone stay with a person who has raped them?
People stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. Often they believe they are to blame for the pain they are suffering and want to make things work. Many people cannot leave a relationship because they do not have the financial resources to do so. If there are children involved, the problem is compounded by custody battles, childcare expenses, and the exhaustion of handling the demands of children on a daily basis. People stay with their abusers because they love them and have planned a future with them.
Focusing on “Why does someone stay?” and not asking its’ important counterpart “Why do people sexually assault?” is called “victim blaming”. This is reinforcing the idea that people are responsible for the violence that is perpetrated against them. NO ONE deserves to be mistreated or made to do things against one’s will. Leaving someone who is abusive can be a complex and dangerous process.
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