Developing Global Perspectives on Rape in Marriage

Professors Torres and Yllo recently brought together an international, interdisciplinary group of scholars to begin to address rape in marriage. Marital rape is a widespread form of violence that remains legal in many countries and culturally condoned in most. Yet, it is the most understudied form of violence against women. The high rates of sexual violence against wives constitute a significant human rights and public health crisis. The continuing legal sanctioning of this form of violence, combined with serious social suffering and health consequences (including its role in the HIV/AIDS pandemic), make marital rape a topic that demands urgent attention. In bringing together social scientists, public health and human rights advocates, and legal scholars for the first international meeting on this issue, we began to address legal and theoretical questions about the complex legal and cultural meanings of marital rape, its consequences for women’s health, and the challenges posed by international efforts to criminalize this form of violence and insure justice for perpetrators and victims.

Professors Torres and Yllo will provide an overview of the issues and detail their efforts to advance research on marital rape. There will be an open discussion following the talk and your participation is welcome.

The talk is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. in President’s Dining Room.