If you want to save your right to refuse sex, you should not get married. Rape is not conceivable in a marriage. Stay single if you want to keep your ability to refuse sex. The Bahamian government should repent for “making a mockery of God” by proposing criminalizing marital rape. Rape should never be spoken in the same breath as marriage, because married women are expected to submit to their husbands, and married men are expected to wait for their wives. Rape should only be considered when an individual in a marriage has been beaten and injured before having intercourse with the other person. When a woman marries a guy, she loses the right to change her mind at any time. It is her obligation to submit gladly when the time for loving calls, and he must submit to the partnership in the same way. Having sex with one’s legal partner whether willingly or unwillingly is not a breach of the partner’s rights. In fact, there is very few studies that have reported that this partner would suffer any physical or mental consequences as a result of the incident. It is abusive and humiliating if a married partner refuses to have sex with their spouse without good cause. Many parts of the world used to consider rape to be a crime or a tort of stealing property from a man in the family (usually the father or husband). Property damage in this case did not pertain to the victim’s property, but to the property’s rightful owners, her father or husband. A husband cannot rape his wife by definition. In his posthumously released piece, Sir Matthew Hale (1609–1676) claimed that a husband cannot be convicted of raping his lawful wife since his wife had emancipated herself in this fashion unto her husband, which she cannot repudiate (Freeman, 2018). In addition, both American and English law accepted the theory of coverture, which states that when a woman marries, her legal rights are incorporated into those of her husband (Bailey, 2019). This paper has highlighted some reasons why a husband cannot be convicted of raping his wife. Some of the reasons include; Bahamas is a majority Christian country and there’s is no marital rape in Christian marriage, legal marriage legitimizes conjugal rights, and Bahamas has set clear grounds for divorce hence if a spouse is not comfortable having sex with their partner, they can file for a divorce.
Firstly, Bahamas is a majority Christian country and Christian values on marriage dispute the existence of marital rape. Although the Bahamas does not have a state religion, they do adhere to Christian principles and the rule of law. The majority of Bahamians see this as a declaration that the Bahamas is a Christian nation. Bahamians, according to the 1990 census, are 88 percent Christian, which is in line with this statement (Laing, 2020). Religious arguments are common in the Bahamas, and Biblical arguments and Scripture citations play a significant role in the debate over the legislation prohibiting marital rape given the country’s large Christian population. The Christian Council of the Bahamas (BCC) is one of the most vocal opponents of the legislation (Munnings, 2020). There are many churches and denominations represented by the BCC. The BCC’s opposition to the bill is therefore significant. Marital rape has been denied by the Bible in several places. According to verse four of Corinthians 7:4, a wife is expected to cede authority over her body to her husband (Chimoga, 2019). Furthermore, as the verse continues, the husband too doesn’t hold right over his body, but rather gives it over to his wife. According to the Bible, unless one is fasting, a couple shouldn’t deny each other sex during their marriage. Wives ought to submit to spouses as unto the Lord, as indicated by Ephesians 5:22. Considering sexual urges as one of a man’s needs, women should always submit to their husbands’ authority, just as Christ did for the church. According to 1 Corinthians 7:1–5, a husband should satisfy his wife sexually, and a wife should satisfy her husband sexually. As a general rule, wives and husbands have no authority over their own bodies. They are a part of one another. Can a husband use this as an excuse to impose his will on his wife? Yes, without a doubt. These bible verses teach us that each spouse should willingly submit to each other’s sexual needs hence no such thing as marital rape.
Secondly, Bahamas culture consists of legal marriage that legitimizes the conjugal right. An interesting blend of African and British and American influences have formed the foundation of the Bahamas’ culture over the years (Nevins et al., 2019). This has resulted in a distinctive and colorful way for Bahamians to display their culture and identity. It’s common practice in the Bahamas to have legal marriages. It is a contradiction in terminology that “marital rape” can exist in a marriage that is legally recognized. A spouse can be accused of assault, but the delegitimization of marriage as rape is not permitted in law. As a result, marriage should not be viewed as a “exemption” from rape, but rather as a “contradiction.” Only a private Act of Parliament can dissolve a marriage, hence a spouse cannot cancel their conjugal rights as a result of their marriage, and so no rape occurred between them. Even the minority Islam marriages in the country do not recognise marital rape. It is unlawful for women to abstain from their marital duties in Islam unless they have a compelling health reason (Myrne, 2018). However, the man should also be kind to his wife when she is exhausted. One Imam recently stated that criminalization of marital rape is something been advocated by westernized individuals. According to him, if a woman refuses to sleep with her husband, she is a cursed woman, and her husband has the authority to discipline [punish] her for it after advising and divorcing her. She should give him his dowry and divorce him if she doesn’t want to sleep with him. All this evidence shows that the institution of marriage contradicts with the statement that there is such thing as marital rape.
Thirdly, Bahamas has set clear grounds for divorce hence if a spouse is not comfortable having sex with their partner, they can file for a divorce. The Bahamas Matrimonial Causes Act lays forth the reasons for divorce in the Bahamas (Shavanya, 2019). The husband or wife may file for divorce if he or she has been cruelly treated by the spouse since marriage was consummated, as specified in Section 16 of the Act. A marriage can be characterized as cruel when a partner engages in voluntary conduct that is reprehensible in character or even when he or she departs from the standard conduct of conjugal kindness. The other spouse could suffer an injury to their health as a result of cruelty or be reasonably fearful of it as a result. If all the circumstances of the case are considered, cruelty might be regarded as being of a grave and weighty nature that could lead to conviction of the other spouse. These grounds protect the spouses against cruel or violent partners. If one has not filed for divorce, then it means that they consent to having sex with their spouses. It means that they are comfortable hence saying that ‘marital rape’ exists within marriages is hilarious.
Media attention has recently focused on marital rape. It has been urged again and again that a public “discussion” be held on the subject. Despite the media’s seeming anger over rape, many Bahamian adults do not believe the notion that rape may happen within marriage. In an Internet survey performed by the University of Bahamas in the Fall of 2021, responses from roughly 1,500 adult Bahamians revealed that the majority believed marital rape could not occur (Fielding, 2021). A total of 46.2 percent strongly disagreed, with another 19.3 percent disagreeing that a man could rape his wife (Fielding, 2021). This result was in line with earlier research. Although marital rape doesn’t exist in marriages, there are situations when a husband should understand her wife’s situation and refrain from coercing her into having sex with him. These situations may include but not limited to: when the wife is unwell, when she is menstruating, and when she is heavily pregnant. This paper has highlighted why there is no such thing as ‘marital rape’. Some of the reasons include; Bahamas is a majority Christian country and there’s is no marital rape in Christian marriage, legal marriage legitimizes conjugal rights, and Bahamas has set clear grounds for divorce hence if a spouse is not comfortable having sex with their partner, they can file for a divorce.
Bailey, J. (2019). Favoured or oppressed? Married women, property and ‘coverture’in England, 1660–1800. Continuity and Change, 17(3), 351-372.
Chimoga, F. V. (2019). Sexuality in Marriage: A Case Study of 1 Corintians 7: 1-9. Journal of Health and Medical Sciences, 2(2).
Fielding, W. (2021). Attitudes towards marital rape in The Bahamas.
Freeman, M. D. (2018). ” But If You Can’t Rape Your Wife, Who [m] Can You Rape?”: The Marital Rape Exemption Re-examined. Family Law Quarterly, 1-29.
Laing, A. N. (2020). Exploring the Relationship Between Loss of Resources and Posttraumatic Growth When Moderated by Religious Coping in West Grand Bahamians Three Years Following Hurricane Matthew.
Munnings, J. (2020). “Smile For Me, Sweetie!”: An Analysis of Contemporary Gender Based Violence and Discrimination in The Bahamas.
Myrne, P. (2021). GENDER AND SEXUAL RIGHTS IN EARLY ISLAM. Islamology, 11(1), 24-37.
Nevins, D., Barlas, R., & Yong, J. L. (2019). Bahamas. Cavendish Square Publishing, LLC.
Shavanya, E. R. (2019). What are the GAPS in the current matrimonial laws of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas?. In Право, общество, государство: проблемы теории и истории (pp. 226-228).