Marital rape refers to the non-consensual vaginal, anal or oral penetration of the body of another person where the penetration is of a sexual nature, with any bodily part or with an object, as well as to any other non-consensual acts of a sexual nature, by a spouse or ex-spouse or by a former or current partner with whom a victim of rape is or has been living in a partnership recognised by the national law. Causing a spouse or ex-spouse or a former or current partner to engage in non-consensual acts of a sexual nature with a third person is also considered as marital rape.
Consent refers to voluntary agreement as the result of a person’s free will.
According to the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, the intimacy and trust connected with the relationship makes rape between such current or former intimate partners an aggravating circumstance that must be considered in the determination of the sentence.
See also: victim; survivor
Council of Europe (2011). Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and its Explanatory Memorandum. Council of Europe Treaty Series No 210.