Intimate Partner Rape

Rape can happen to anyone by anyone. This means that people in relationships, of any gender configuration, can be raped by their significant others and spouses.

This type of rape goes by many names: marital rape; spousal rape; and intimate partner rape.

“Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime,” according to the World Health Organization.1

“According to the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, approximately 10 to 14 percent of married women are raped by their husbands in the United States.”2 “Research has shown victims of wife rape are more likely to be raped several times in comparison to stranger and acquaintance rape victims, as researched by the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center.”3

Some countries believe that a man cannot rape his wife because all sex within marriage is acceptable, but rape, as defined by the FBI, is rape even if the perpetrator is a husband or a wife.

The sourced articles below should provide you more information on intimate partner rape.

Footnotes: 1. “Violence Against Women,” who.int, 11/29/2017; 2. “Understanding Marital Rape,” liveabout.com, 4/20/2018; 3. “Understanding Marital Rape,” liveabout.com, 4/20/2018


  1. Intimate Partner Sexual Violence

    “There are many different terms to refer to sexual assault committed by a person in a relationship with the victim, including: intimate partner sexual violence, domestic violence, intimate partner rape, marital rape, and spousal rape. No matter what term is used or how the relationship is defined, it is never okay to engage in sexual activity without someone’s consent.”

    Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), rainn.org, accessed on 10/10/2018

  2. Intimate Partner Rape

    “3 types of Partner Rape:
    [1.] Battering rape- the experience of both physical and sexual violence within a relationship. Some may experience physical abuse during the sexual assault. Others may experience sexual assault after a physical assault as an attempt to “make up.
    [2.] Force-only rape- motivated by a perpetrator’s need to demonstrate power and maintain control. Therefore, he/she asserts his/her feelings of entitlement over his/her partner in the form of forced sexual contact.
    [3.] Obsessive/Sadistic rape- involves torture and perverse sexual acts. Such rape is characteristically violent and often leads to physical injury. …
    Research indicates that survivors of partner rape are more likely to be raped multiple times when compared to stranger and acquaintance rape survivors. As such, partner rape survivors are more likely to suffer severe and long-lasting physical and psychological injuries.”

    Rape Crisis & Sexual Assault Services, rapecrisisaugusta.org, accessed on 10/10/2018

  3. Sexual Violence Myths And FAQ’s

    “Partner Rape is defined as sexual acts committed without a person’s consent and/or against a person’s will when the perpetrator is the individual’s current partner (married or not), previous partner, or co-habitator.”

    Center Against Sexual Assault (CASA), swcasa.org, accessed on 10/10/2018

  4. Marital Rape

    “Types Of Marital Rape …
    [1.] Force Only Rape: The term ‘force only rape’ describes a husband who uses threats and violence only to the degree necessary to coerce sex. This type of rape usually occurs in relationships where violence is predominately verbal, and/or in relationships where violence occurs only/primarily in sexual interactions. …
    [2.] Battering Rape: When beatings and rape are combined, it’s referred to as ‘battering rape.’ The sexual abuse is part of the general pattern of psychological, verbal, emotional, economic, and physical abuse. Often the rape occurs as a continuation of the physical assault. In some cases, the physical violence continues during sex, and the sexual act is also violent. …
    [3.] Obsessive Rape: The most openly sadistic form of rape is called ‘obsessive rape.’ The abuser seems obsessed with sex, and the act itself is violent. In these relationships, the abuser may use violence to become aroused. …”

    Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault (INCASA), rainn.org, accessed on 10/10/2018

  5. Understanding Marital Rape

    “Marital rape is defined by any unwanted sexual acts by a spouse or ex-spouse, committed without consent and/or against a person’s will, obtained by force, or threat of force, intimidation, or when a person is unable to consent. There are various types of rape, including battering rape, force-only rape, and obsessive/sadistic rape. Learn about other types of non-consensual acts, how to get support and more about the crime and statistics of marital rape. … According to the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, approximately 10 to 14 percent of married women are raped by their husbands in the United States.”

    Sheri Stritof, liveabout.com, 4/20/2018

  6. Shocking Facts About Marital Rape

    “It wasn’t until the 1970s — during the second-wave feminist movement — that society began to acknowledge rape in marriage could actually occur, according to the National Online Research Center on Violence Against Women. For this reason, the best information on marital rape to date has come from interviews with women about their experiences, as well as Diane E. H. Russell’s book ‘Rape in Marriage.'”

    Rebel Circus, rebelcircus.com, 1/17/2018

  7. Violence Against Women

    “Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.”

    World Health Organization, who.int, 11/29/2017

  8. Understanding Intimate Partner Violence As A Sexual And Reproductive Health And Rights Issue In The United States

    “Intimate partner violence (IPV) is undeniably a public health crisis in this country—one that disproportionately affects women and has profound implications for their sexual and reproductive health and autonomy. Large proportions of U.S. women have experienced forms of violence by an intimate partner: nearly half have experienced psychological aggression, approximately one in four have been subjected to severe physical violence, and nearly one in 10 have been raped.”

    Kinsey Hasstedt, Guttmacher Institute, Andrea Rowan, guttmacher.org, 7/6/2016

  9. Marital Rape, Spousal Rape

    “Marital rape, also known as spousal rape or partner rape, is a type of rape that happens between two people who are married or in another type of intimate relationship.”

    Natasha Tracy, healthyplace.com, 5/26/2016