• Marital Rape as a Violation of the Fundamental Human Rights of Women. The case of Hawassa city

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Helen Abelle has obtained her LLB in 2008 and M.A in Human Rights in 2011. She has worked as Assistant Judge, Defense Attorney, Expert in the Constitutional Inquiry, and Facilitator of Children and Women Project in the Supreme Court (SNNPRS). Currently she is a researcher at Justice Organs Professionals Training and Legal Research Center.)


Despite its both physical and psychological harm, marital rape has not obtained recognition as a social, legal or institutional problem in some countries. In many cultures, sexual relation is part of marriage setup. It is considered unnatural for a woman to refuse to have sex with her husband creating a misunderstanding that marital rape is impossibility. Stereotypes about women and sex such as women “enjoy forced sex,” women say ‘no’ when they really mean ‘yes’, and the wife has the ‘duty’ to have sex continued to be reinforced in many cultures. Such messages not only mislead men in to believing that they should ignore a woman’s protest, they also mislead women in to believing that they must have ‘sent the wrong signal’, blaming themselves for unwanted sexual encounters, or believing that they are bad wives for not enjoying sex against their will. So apart from its economic and cultural significance, the special ‘contract’ called marriage grants husbands impunity for the crime of ‘raping’ their wives. True most countries have abolished the long lived exemption of marital rape but there are countries like Ethiopia where the exemption is still alive. This book shows the way forward

MATERIAS: women, Human rights, Marriage, rape