CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"In the Maldives, a right to rape your wife"

Eugene Volokh has this piece at

The Maldive legislature tried to criminalize just some narrow categories of spousal rape — “while a case for dissolution of the marriage is in a court, while the divorce filed by either husband or wife is pending a court, sexual intercourse to intentionally transmit a sexually transmitted disease, and during a mutually agreed separation (without divorce).” But even that was too much for the President, who vetoed the bill . . . .

American law generally didn’t treat spousal rape as rape — though it might have been treated as a lesser crime, such as battery — until the 1970s and 1980s, which was of course appalling, too. Indeed, to this day South Carolina seems not to criminalize spousal rape absent “the use or the threat of use of a weapon or the use or threat of use of physical force or physical violence of a high and aggravated nature,” which should be mind-boggling to Americans today.

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