Sexual Abuse and Marital Rape

By Mark Dratch

JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment, April 24, 2006

Marital rape, a common form of sexual violence, accounts for approximately 25% of all rapes and is experienced by 10-14% of married women. How does Jewish law define the violations of rape, marital rape and other forms of sexual assault? Sexual relations are meant to be an expression of love, intimacy and sanctity. They are an interaction between two people that finds them at their most vulnerable and exposed --physically and emotionally. It is for these reasons and others, that while respect and dignity should define all human dealings, they are essential in sexual interactions. Judaism came to elevate and sanctify the sexual act with the institutions of marriage and taharat ha-mishpahah (family purity). Nonconsensual and forced relations degrade and defame sexual intimacy as well as the partner whom one is obligated to love and respect.

Topic: Halakha, Jewish Law, Violence, Abuse, Jewish Text, Marriage, Women, Sexuality

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Genre: Report

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Dratch, Mark. Sexual Abuse and Marital Rape. JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment. 24 April 2006:


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