Domestic Violence: Can A Wife Be A Victim Of Sexual Abuse?

For years no one ever spoke about sexual abuse in a relationship. What went on between a man and a woman when it came to their sexual habits was between them. Years ago, it was impossible for a woman to actually claim sexual abuse against her husband. Today, however, sexual abuse is recognized as a form of battering. Most of the time, sexual abuse will go hand in hand with other forms of abuse such as physical violence, emotional abuse, verbal abuse and even spiritual abuse.

The problem with sexual abuse is that most women will not come forward and discuss this subject because of the basic stigma connected to the sexual nature of the crime. Women need to be aware that sexual abuse, even by their own husband, is indeed a crime. Men also need to be aware that this is a form of domestic violence and that the behavior does not conform with society. Men who are physically abusive to their wives are often sexually abusive as well, although again, this aspect of the crime of abuse is often not discussed.

Sexual abuse can take many different forms. Like all other forms of abuse, the basic component of the abuse is control. The desire for the one partner to control the other is key. In the case of sexual abuse, the perpetrator uses sex to control the victim. This can be done by coercing the victim to performing acts that they do not want to do to rape. Any time someone has sex with another person without their consent, this is considered to be rape, thus sexual abuse. However, most women will not report this type of behavior by their own husbands, even if it is repeated, because of the sexual stigma.

The more people are aware of sexual abuse between a husband and wife being a crime, the more help that can be given to the victims as well as the perpetrators. Men who feel that this behavior is acceptable should be entered into a battering intervention and prevention program (BIPP) so that they can understand the impact of what they are doing and stop their behavior. Many men, because of the way they were raised as well as the way that they view society, do not feel that they are doing anything wrong by forcing sex on their wives. However, the more men understand that this is a crime, the more they can get proper intervention and learn to modify their behavior. Women who are the victims of sexual abuse, even by their own husbands, suffer the same as those who are the victims of sexual abuse by strangers. They feel fear, a lack of control over their bodies and a sense of shame that this is somehow their fault.

Domestic Violence Institute of Texas offers Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, Texas.

For additional information please call 281-970-6611 or visit our website

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Domestic Violence Institute of Texas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s