Sexual Abuse in Marriage: Georgia Divorce Lawyer

What is sexual abuse in marriage?

Sexual abuse in marriage is a serious and widespread problem in Georgia. It is prevalent and underreported, according to recent data. Sexual abuse within marriage encompasses a broad spectrum of coercive and non-consensual behaviors that violate the autonomy and dignity of a spouse. Sexual abuse in marriage can lead to protective orders, divorce, and criminal prosecution.

It happens a lot. It’s a far bigger problem than most people realize. And it cuts across all aspects of the population: rich and poor; every race and every religion; urban, suburban, and rural.

As for it being a widespread phenomenon: over one-third of married people report being a victim of sexual abuse. Some would call that an epidemic.

Don't be ashamed or embarrassed!

Many people feel ashamed and embarrassed by it. But there is no reason to feel shame or embarrassment if you are the victim of sex abuse. Sadly, for many people, marriage can become a painful arena where sexual abuse lurks in the shadows.

At the Sherman Law Group, we believe that every individual deserves to live free from the torment of sexual abuse, regardless of the context. Today, we delve into the often overlooked and deeply troubling issue of sexual abuse within the confines of marriage, shedding light on its prevalence, the legal ramifications, and avenues for seeking justice and protection.

Understanding Sexual Abuse in Marriage

Sexual abuse within marriage encompasses a broad spectrum of coercive and non-consensual behaviors that violate the autonomy and dignity of a spouse. It may manifest in various forms, including but not limited to:

  1. Coerced sexual acts without consent.
  2. Persistent sexual harassment and degradation.
  3. Intimidation or threats to compel sexual compliance.
  4. Manipulation through emotional or psychological coercion.
  5. Withholding affection or using sex as a bargaining tool.

Contrary to common misconceptions, marriage does not exempt individuals from experiencing sexual abuse. No one should endure the trauma and anguish inflicted by such reprehensible conduct, regardless of their marital status.

Legal Protections and Remedies

Victims of sexual abuse in marriage have legal rights and avenues for seeking protection and recourse. In the state of Georgia, laws recognize the gravity of domestic abuse, including sexual abuse, and provide mechanisms to safeguard victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

  1. Protective Orders: Victims of sexual abuse can seek a protective order, also known as a restraining order, to prohibit their abuser from contacting or coming near them. These orders offer immediate legal protection and can include provisions for staying away from the victim's home, workplace, and other designated areas.
  2. Divorce: In cases where sexual abuse persists despite efforts to address the issue, victims have the right to pursue divorce from their abusive spouse.
  3. Criminal Prosecution: Perpetrators of sexual abuse may face criminal charges and prosecution under Georgia's criminal laws.

If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual abuse in marriage, we urge you to break the silence and seek help. Remember: You are not alone, and there is hope for a brighter future free from the shackles of abuse.

Sexual abuse in marriage is a grave violation of human rights and dignity that demands urgent attention and action. At the Sherman Law Group, we stand unwaveringly in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse, offering compassionate support, unwavering advocacy, and steadfast legal representation.

Statistics on sexual abuse in marriage

Statistics on sexual abuse in marriage can vary due to underreporting and the sensitive nature of the topic. However, research provides insights into the prevalence and impact of sexual abuse within marital relationships:

  1. Prevalence: According to recent statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 35.4% of women and 3.1% of men in the United States have experienced sexual violence, including rape, by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. This includes incidents that may occur within marriage.
  2. Underreporting: Sexual abuse within marriage is often underreported due to fear, shame, stigma, and concerns about retaliation. Many victims may hesitate to disclose their experiences or seek help due to societal norms, cultural beliefs, and emotional dependence on the perpetrator.
  3. Impact on Victims: Sexual abuse in marriage can have profound and long-lasting effects on victims' physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. It can erode self-esteem, undermine trust, and lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues.
  4. Risk Factors: Certain factors may increase the risk of sexual abuse within marital relationships, including unequal power dynamics, lack of communication and consent, substance abuse, previous history of trauma or abuse, and societal attitudes that condone or minimize marital rape and sexual coercion.
  5. Legal Challenges: Despite legal advancements and efforts to address domestic violence and sexual assault, barriers to justice persist for victims of sexual abuse within marriage.

Challenges may include lack of awareness, inadequate legal protections, biases within the        criminal justice system, and social norms that prioritize marital harmony over victims' rights and safety.

  1. Intersectionality: Marginalized populations, including women of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, and persons with disabilities, may face heightened vulnerability to sexual abuse within marriage due to intersecting forms of discrimination, systemic barriers, and limited access to support services.

It is essential to recognize that behind these statistics are real individuals whose lives have been profoundly impacted by sexual abuse within marriage. By raising awareness, promoting education, advocating for survivors, and challenging societal norms that perpetuate violence and coercion, we can work towards creating safer and more equitable relationships and communities.

Examples of sexual abuse in a marriage

Sexual abuse is a common form of domestic violence. Usually, but not always, if someone is being sexually abused, there are other forms of abuse involved as well – maybe verbal, physical, or financial. And unwanted sexual contact doesn’t have to be just vaginal, it can be anal or oral, it can be fisting or facials.

As with other types of abuse, sexual abuse is about one spouse having power, control, and dominance over the other – this can be done physically or subtly through intimidation and manipulation. We’ve seen both types when sexual abuse occurs.

Here are some examples of sexual abuse in a marriage:

  • Manipulation is utilized to have sex with you
  • You are made to do things sexually that you do not want to do
  • You are called degrading or explicit names or criticized in a vulgar, crude, and sexual way
  • You partner forces themselves on you, holding you down
  • Uses objects that hurt you during sex
  • Makes you watch or make porn
  • Sexual activities occur without your consent, because you can’t give consent – you are sleeping, intoxicated, sick
  • Hits, slaps, chokes, or restrains you during sex without your consent
  • Won’t let you use proper lubrication products
  • Brings other people into sexual activities without your consent (friends, neighbors, strangers, prostitutes, escorts)
  • Posts porn videos of you on the internet
  • Posts nude or semi-nude pictures of you on the internet
  • Your partner insists you dress a certain way that makes you uncomfortable
  • Refuses to practice safe sex

Your local divorce attorneys

Addressing sexual abuse within the context of marriage is a critical step toward fostering healthier relationships and ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals. It requires a collective effort to break the silence surrounding this issue, providing survivors with support, resources, and avenues for seeking help and justice. But most of all: You should not be ashamed or embarrassed to be a victim!

By promoting open communication, mutual respect, and consent within marriages, we can work towards creating environments where all individuals feel empowered to assert their boundaries and live free from the devastating impacts of sexual abuse.

When you need a real divorce attorney who is truly on your side, call attorneys Valerie Sherman and Bill Sherman immediately!

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