Continental woman advocates for end of spousal rape loophole

May 3—CONTINENTAL — Sarah Tucker reported her husband to legislation enforcement and prosecutors. She acquired the identical response every time.

“‘I believe you, but there’s nothing I can do,'” Tucker remembers authorities telling her. “At the time, I didn’t realize there was this loophole in Ohio — that marital exception, that archaic loophole.”

What Tucker did not know is that Ohio legislation shields spouses from prosecution for rape and different intercourse crimes, except the partner makes use of drive or is separated from their companion.

Tucker is one of dozens of girls and sufferer advocates who testified in assist of House Bill 161 to remove the so-called spousal rape loophole.

The invoice, which now awaits Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature, permits companions to testify towards their partner and removes spousal exemptions from rape and different intercourse crimes corresponding to sexual battery, illegal sexual conduct with a minor and importuning.

“Rape is rape,” Tucker stated. “Victims should be given the same justice, married or unmarried, and that’s not the case.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in 10 girls within the U.S. are raped by an intimate companion of their lifetime, however many survivors don’t report rape or sexual assault to authorities.

The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network estimates 310 of each 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police.

Only 50 of these studies result in an arrest, whereas 28 instances lead to felony convictions and 25 perpetrators are incarcerated, based on RAINN.

Tucker testified earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee in April that her husband repeatedly raped and abused her all through their nine-year marriage.

She began sleeping on her daughter’s bed room flooring or the sofa towards the end of the wedding, at occasions locking the door to maintain her husband away, based on testimony.

Once, when her kids weren’t dwelling, Tucker stated her husband “forced his way into the bedroom” and demanded she have intercourse. When she declined, Tucker instructed the committee that her husband cornered her, masturbated and ejaculated in her face, based on testimony.

“When I would say ‘no’ or try to resist, I was continuously told ‘it’s not rape because you’re my wife,’ and if I would ever tell anyone what he did he would say, ‘it’s your word against mine,'” Tucker testified.

The spousal rape exception dates to the English Blackstone commentaries, which noticed girls because the “property of their husbands, subject to ‘couverture’ which gave women protection from others at the expense of autonomy and safety in her home,” Stefan Tucker, RAINN’s interim vice chairman of public coverage, instructed the House Judiciary Committee final June.

State legislatures began to take away spousal privilege for forcible rape within the Nineteen Seventies, Tucker stated, however Ohio preserved the privilege for “everything but forcible rape.”

“That means the most common types of partner rape, like drug-induced sexual assault, remain completely legal,” he stated.

HB 161 gained near-unanimous assist within the House and Senate — the only real “nay” vote got here from Xenia Republican Rep. Bill Dean. The invoice’s destiny now rests with DeWine.

“I felt like I was let down by elected officials who were supposed to protect, to serve and protect people like me,” Tucker stated. But she’s optimistic HB 161 could give future survivors a shot at justice.

“It’s going to give Ohioans equal rights, married or unmarried.”

Need assist?

Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)

Crime Victim Services 27/4 Crisis Line: 877-867-7273

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