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For this reason, in many cultures there was a conflation between the crimes of rape and adultery, since both were seen and understood as a violation of the rights of the husband.
Rape as a crime was constructed as a property crime against a father or husband not as a crime against the woman's right to self-determination.
The issues of sexual and domestic violence within marriage and the family unit, and more specifically, the issue of violence against women, have come to growing international attention from the second half of the 20th century.
Still, in many countries, marital rape either remains outside the criminal law, or is illegal but widely tolerated.
The property to be withheld in a female was her virginity; this was the commodity (Bergen, 2016).
Following this line of logic, a woman was (and still is in many cultures across the globe) first the property of her father, then, upon marriage, the property of her husband (Bergen, 2016).
In a case of Lord Audley's (1488-1544), for instance, his citation of the jurist Bracton (c. 1268) supports this rule, said to have derived from laws of King Æthelstan (r.
Also, American and English law subscribed until the 20th century to the system of coverture, that is, a legal doctrine under which, upon marriage, a woman's legal rights were subsumed by those of her husband. 455 (1981), a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held a Louisiana Head and Master law, which gave sole control of marital property to the husband, unconstitutional.This concept of women as property permeates current marital rape ideology and laws throughout the globe.In some cultures, marriage is arranged for the purpose of creating access to procreation (Yllö, 2016).Most countries criminalized marital rape from the late 20th century onward—very few legal systems allowed for the prosecution of rape within marriage before the 1970s.Criminalization has occurred through various ways, including removal of statutory exemptions from the definitions of rape, judicial decisions, explicit legislative reference in statutory law preventing the use of marriage as a defense, or creating of a specific offense of marital rape.Marital rape is often a chronic form of violence for the victim which takes place within abusive relations.It exists in a complex web of state governments, cultural practices, and societal ideologies which combine to influence each distinct instance and situation in varying ways.In English customs, "bride capture" (a man claiming a woman through rape) was thought to be stealing a father's property by raping his daughter.Therefore, rape laws were created to "…protect the property interests men had in their women, not to protect women themselves" (Schelong, 1994).The reluctance to criminalize and prosecute marital rape has been attributed to traditional views of marriage, interpretations of religious doctrines, ideas about male and female sexuality, and to cultural expectations of subordination of a wife to her husband—views which continue to be common in many parts of the world.These views of marriage and sexuality started to be challenged in most Western countries from the 1960s and 70s especially by second-wave feminism, leading to an acknowledgment of the woman's right to self-determination (i.e., control) of all matters relating to her body, and the withdrawal of the exemption or defense of marital rape.