‘One in 12’ women raped by husbands


Tribune Chief Reporter


A NEW University of The Bahamas study has found that one in 12 or an estimated 4,000 married women have been raped by their husbands.

The study suggested that around 6,000 wives claimed being victims of sexual abuse. This would be any sexual activity that occurs without consent and refers to a sexual assault or sexual violence, including unwanted sexual touching, forced oral sex, and rape, among other sexual acts.

Overall, married women were more likely to be sexually abused than a single woman by an intimate partner, researchers found.

Between mid-September and mid-October of this year, some students at the university collected data from 1,700 women. Of this number, 455 were married and were asked about their experiences of rape and sexual abuse in their current relationships.

The study sought to quantify the extent of the issue against the backdrop that there has been increased outcry for the criminalisation of rape within marriage since the offence does not exist in Bahamian law.

“The results indicate that around eight percent, or one in 12 married women, reportedly have been raped by their husband,” William Fielding said of the study in a letter to The Tribune.

Mr Fielding is an adjunct faculty member of University of The Bahamas. He told this newspaper the study has yet to be published, however, he released some of its findings to The Tribune for discussion.

“This means that around 3,600 married women have been raped by their husbands. The corollary of this is that one in 12 husbands have had sex with their wife against her will.

“Admitting to rape requires courage, so we might validly interpret this figure as ‘at least eight percent’ and so estimate the figure as being in the region of 4,000 women.

“Further, 13 percent of married women, or about one in eight, indicated that they had been sexually abused by their husband. This would translate to about 6,000 sexually abused wives.”

He noted that sexual abuse “is any sexual activity that occurs without consent. Also referred to as sexual assault or sexual violence, it includes unwanted sexual touching, forced oral sex, and rape, among other sexual acts,” according to Psychology Today.

“Overall, a married woman was 1.6 times more likely to be sexually abused by her husband than a single woman by her current intimate partner,” he added.

Mr Fielding went on to note: “What might be overlooked in a discussion on rapists is that men who rape their wives are typically violent persons.

“In our research, 44 percent of married women who had been raped had also been physically hurt by their husband, compared to 13 percent percent of married women who had not been raped. Our data indicate that rape is associated with not only violent behaviour, but also psychological abuse of women.

“Therefore, there is a need to protect married women from behaviours of concern connected with rape. Other University of The Bahamas research, by Dr Elizabeth Williams and others, demonstrates the often-ignored long lasting detrimental effects suffered by women as a result of even a single experience of rape. As with all mental health and psychological issues, these can be downplayed because they are less visible than physical wounds.”

He said if the country is willing to project the results of this study onto the wider population, the question that may be considered is “should the country change a law to provide legal protection to around 4,000 women who have been raped by their husbands?”

Mr Fielding said the last census indicates that 44,464 women over the age of 15 are married and so by definition cannot be raped by their husbands.

“So approximately 45,000 women are not protected by the law should their husband force them to have sex against their will,” he noted.

The study comes as the government has said it intends to criminalise spousal sexual abuse.

The proposed Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act was last month presented during the Ministry of Social Services and Department of Gender and Family Affairs’ sexual offences legislation one day symposium.

The draft amendment to the Sexual Offences Act seeks to criminalise marital rape and redefine what consent is.


birdiestrachan 1 year, 9 months ago

Now that the problem
has been identified what are the solutions , what are these women to do?..?

ohdrap4 1 year, 9 months ago

UB will just discredit themselves with this study. I can smell the lack of scientific method from here.

A survey is not a damn study.

Topdude 1 year, 9 months ago

This “study” is a joke and probably funded by the LGBTQ community. When a real woman gets married she promises to honor and obey her husband. Correct? Enough said.

Bobsyeruncle 1 year, 9 months ago

I think the "obedience" part of the old vows are now considered an anachronism by many pastors and marriage counselors. The vow of obedience was based on Ephesians 5:22, when the position of a wife was considered the same as the children. Different times mate, so move your fat misogynist ass into the current times.

Topdude 1 year, 9 months ago

You are definitely someone who believes the filth being spewed by the LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 community. The laws need to be changed to outlaw these immoral practices. A wife belongs to her husband just like a husband belongs to his wife. Notice HER and HIS. Not SHIM and SHER. The Lord made man and woman.

Bobsyeruncle 1 year, 9 months ago

You have just proven my point. I challenge you to ask any of your friends or even your pastor what their position is on the 'obey' part of the vows. Personally, I respect and honor my wife's wishes, and my stance has nothing to do with LGBTQ. Your response says everything we need to know about the type of person you are.

John 1 year, 9 months ago

DISGUSTING and DISGRACEFUL! Basically UB is saying more married men are raping their wives than are there single men raping strangers. The person responsible for these figures have prostituted tge students if that institution and tarnished the name of the University. Definitely NOT one in 12 married women in this country have been raped by their husbands. Doesn’t worth the paper it is forged in. Most likely the number is less than four, else the divorce rate would be much, much higher . But not long ago UB then CoB also did a survey that revealed ( falsely) that one in every three students had AIDS or HIV. The person responsible for this survey should be fired and given 24 hour to leave the country. even if they Bahamian. The Tribune should hang their head in shame for publishing such garbage.

sheeprunner12 1 year, 9 months ago

Govt does not take UB research seriously. If it is not from "across the bar", it's not valued.

This study will be no different.

hrysippus 1 year, 9 months ago

A very interesting survey that UB has done, It is, of course, nothing more than a survey but it may trigger some interest and further exploration of a very complex subject. Kudos to the researchers, you have the courage that should be expected from the young.

joeblow 1 year, 9 months ago

... strangely, this "study" does not mention how many males in the sample were sexually touched etc without giving consent to their wives! Not to ask this question is to have an inherent bias in the process, making this "study" invalid!

carltonr61 1 year, 9 months ago

Quantity of of husbands and wives who submit willingly to sex is about 98%. The questions point to all forms of arousal it seems verbal and physical during romance as coercion against someone's will. In that respect 100% of marriages would have encountered rape of some quality. Unwanted touching or feeling up should be replaced by what? Single women who invite a friend over or visits a friend's house oftentimes know the sexual arrangement Marriage is a handcuffed caged match with few exits out of the ring with both partners sleeping naked. You trust to sleep naked with someone for decades where Noone is the bedroom bully just love and fun but now they want a police in the bedroom.

carltonr61 1 year, 9 months ago

Baptists Preachers, and all are married I think had better become Catholic Priests in order not to touch the flesh always with permission. The parameters that determine a husbands sexual pressure demands depends on whether he has a sweetheart and just takes a drive to more inviting territories. Guess doctor Pinto who advises men to ejaculate at least two to three times a week for prostrate health needs to advise against marriage. Women sexual safety against rape upon marriage- make sure he is over 70 and unhealthy. Don't marry radio talking Sparky cause you would be in plenty problems and he nearly 80.

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