Presentation on theme: "NCADV’s 16th National Conference on Domestic Violence Preserving Our Roots While Looking to the Future Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse: The Hidden Dimension."— Presentation transcript:
1 NCADV’s 16th National Conference on Domestic Violence Preserving Our Roots While Looking to the Future Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse: The Hidden Dimension of Domestic Violence Lynn Hecht Schafran, Esq. Director National Judicial Education Program July 24, 2012 Denver, Colorado
2 Graham BarnesTeam LeaderTraining and ResourcesThe Battered Women’s Justice ProjectMinneapolis, Minnesota“Until I had worked with men who batter for three to five years, I had no idea that the level of sexual assault within domestic violence relationships was so high. I had to hear these stories from the facilitators of the women’s partner group before I realized that most of the women partners are also being sexually assaulted.”
3 "[M]arital rape…should be treated differently and more severely than similar crimes committed by strangers. As a result of its unique relation to personal life, sexual assault is far more likely to be repeated when it is committed by partners and almost always occurs amid other forms of violence, intimidation, and control. The level of unfreedom, subordination, dependence, and betrayal associated with marital rape has no counterpart in public life."-Professor Evan Stark, COERCIVE CONTROL (2007), at 388.Evan Stark is a law professor and leading researcher and lawyer in the field of domestic violence. This is a quotation from his book Coercive Control, about the numerous ways batterers overtake their victims’ lives to the point that victims are so conditioned to anticipate violence against themselves and often their children that offenders don’t even have to be overtly violent to get exactly what they want.Stark writes: READ QUOTEThis is a very important point because often there is confusion about what is consent in these cases. In 2007, a Baltimore pediatrician named Amy Castillo was divorcing her violent and increasingly abusive husband and trying to get him mental health assistance. He was furious and threatened their children’s lives. Dr. Castillo sought an Order of Protection to keep her husband away from her children and herself.At the hearing the defense attorney raised the fact that Dr. Castillo had sexual relations with her husband shortly before seeking the order.The judge could not understand that this was not a romantic reconciliation but a women acquiescing to the sexual demands of a violent man to spare herself and her children further violence. The judge denied the order. The father had full access to the three children and drowned all three in a hotel bathtub a few months later.
4 A batter who subjects his partner to forced sex in addition to physical violence is seven times more likely to kill her than a batterer who subjects his partner to physical violence only.-Finding from Professor Jacquelyn Campbell, Assessing Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicides, Vol. 250 NIJ JOURNAL 15 (2003)Jacquelyn Campbell is a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a preeminent researcher in the field of intimate partner lethality and risk assessment.From her studies she concluded READ QUOTE.The factor of forced sex is ahead of factors such as escalating physical violence and partner's drug abuse.And remember that force often does not mean gun to the head. It is often part of the coercive control pattern Professor Evan Stark describes.
5 -David Adams, WHY DO THEY KILL? (2007) at 171-172. “There was no greater divergence in what victims and perpetrators reported than in the area of sexual violence. If we are to believe the killers, none of them had ever been sexually violent or even coercive to the women they killed…The victims of abuse painted a very different picture. Nearly three-fourths of the women [who survived a near-murder] said their abusive partners had raped them.”-David Adams, WHY DO THEY KILL? (2007) atDavid Adams is a psychologist and one of the first researchers in the field to try to reform batterers. For this book he conducted in-depth interviews with 31 incarcerated wife murderers, 20 wives who survived attempted homicide and 19 additional women who were victims of potentially life-threatening intimate partner assault.He found that READ QUOTE.
6 Why is the Sexual Abuse Aspect of Domestic Violence so Hidden? Because until recently, marital rape was completely legal in every state;Because no one wants to talk about sexual abuse and assault in any context;Because as soon as a woman charges a man with any type of sexual misconduct, she loses credibility, and women know thisWhile no state now has a complete marital exemption for criminal sexual offenses, as of states continue to permit some degree of marital immunity, and some have extended immunity to cohabiting non-marital relationshipsFor example: Idaho Code § Rape of spouseNo person shall be convicted of rape for any act or acts with that person's spouse, except under the circumstances cited in paragraphs 3. and 4. of section , Idaho Code.Therefore, marital rape is exempted if, for example:The female is under the age of eighteen (18) years;Where she is incapable, through any unsoundness of mind, due to any cause including, but not limited to, mental illness, mental deficiency or developmental disability, whether temporary or permanent, of giving legal consent;Where she is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, e.g.:Was unconscious or asleep;Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred.Michigan and Minnesota:A person may not be charged or convicted solely because his or her legal spouse is under the age of 16,mentally incapable, or mentally incapacitated______Service providers, prosecutors, law enforcement and judges don’t know how to elicit this information and many victims feel that it’s too personal to disclose.This is such a huge problem that victim advocates and prosecutors often advise domestic violence victims not to talk about sexual abuse because it will undermine their credibility.
7 What is Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse? Sexual abuse in the domestic violence context encompasses a wide range of coerced sexual activityVictims may be coerced into sexual activity or denied control over their reproductive health through verbal coercion, threats against the themselves or others, financial manipulation or physical violence
8 Manifestations of Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse It is important to be aware of all the manifestations of intimate partner sexual abuse and to understand them as:an aspect of domestic violencean assertion of power and controlfactors for risk assessmentbehaviors to be addressed in prevention education, batterer intervention programs and sex offender treatment
9 Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse Includes: Insensitive, critical or degrading behavior relating to sex and sexualityUsing sexually degrading namesCriticizing victim’s physical features/attractiveness/body imageMaking victim feel cheap or dirty for wanting sexUsing sex to prove faithfulness
10 Insensitive, Critical or Degrading Behavior Relating to Sex and Sexuality (cont’d): Withholding affection or accusing her of being sexually abusive for denying sexBlaming victim for not being satisfiedComparing to othersFlaunting affairsFlaunting sexual abuse of children
11 Insensitive, Critical or Degrading Behavior Relating to Sex and Sexuality (cont’d): Accusing victim of having affairs, flirting, dressing provocatively, or coming on to othersPressuring or forcing her to dress a certain way to please/attract other menPunishing her for attracting attention of other men; checking her underwear for signs of sexStalking to ensure fidelity
12 “A lot of times it [rape] happened because he was so jealous “A lot of times it [rape] happened because he was so jealous. He always thought that I was looking at other men. Like the time my brother and his friend—who I grew up with—were over, and he though I was looking at his friend, and he was really mad. He started hitting me and then forced me to have sex.”- Natalie, quoted in Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE (1996) at 22
13 Insensitive, Critical or Degrading Behavior Relating to Sex and Sexuality (cont’d): Coercing pregnancy:“Most of the time he would force himself on me [A]fter my fourth child, my sister’s friend suggested I go on the pill but my husband was reluctant to buy them. He himself never wanted to use condoms or anything and by making me pregnant time and time again, he was trying to tie me down to him.”-Zarina, quoted in Margaret Abraham, SEXUAL ABUSE IN SOUTH ASIAN IMMIGRANT MARRIAGES (1999) at 606Coercing abortion
14 Making victim view, imitate, or participate in pornography: Trying/Making Victim Perform Sex Acts Against her Will, When Not Fully Conscious or When Afraid:Making victim view, imitate, or participate in pornography:In a sample of rural Ohio women sexually assaulted by their partners, 30% said pornography was involved in their sexually abusive experiences. The researchers report that Danielle, a woman from this study, “knew that she was particularly at risk for being sexually assaulted after her husband watched pornographic movies, so she made extra efforts to avoid him at these times.”-Walter S. DeKeseredy, et al, Separation/Divorce Sexual Assault: The Contribution of Male Support (2006) at 242
15 Forcing her to have sex with others or in front of others: Trying/Making Victim Perform Sex Acts Against her Will, When Not Fully Conscious or When Afraid (cont’d):Forcing her to have sex with others or in front of others:“He wanted me to have sex with a few people and I didn’t want to. . . And, uh, I finally did. And then I got beat for it because I did. I tried not to, but then when we did, I got beat.”-Walter S. DeKeseredy, et al, Separation/Divorce Sexual Assault: The Contribution of Male Support (2006) at 242
16 Forcing vaginal, oral or anal sex Forcing sex in front of children Trying/Making Victim Perform Sex Acts Against her Will, When Not Fully Conscious or When Afraid (cont’d):Forcing vaginal, oral or anal sexForcing sex in front of childrenForcing sex with childrenForcing sex with animals
17 Trying/Making Victim Perform Sex Acts Against her Will, When Not Fully Conscious or When Afraid (cont’d):Coerced prostitutionCoercing sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections“Apologizing” after a battering incident by coercing sexForced physically painful sex
18 Hurting the Victim in Relation to Sex Battering before, during or immediately after sex:“Sometimes I was able to fight him off, and I would fight like wild, and he wouldn’t be able to get it in. But usually he would [succeed in penetrating her], and he put me in the hospital a lot. He broke my nose and my jaw and cut my wrists.”-Barbara, quoted in Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE (1996) at 16
19 Hurting the Victim in Relation to Sex (cont’d) Hurting her physically during sex, such as inserting objectsAssaulting her breasts or genitalsBondage
20 Hurting the Victim in Relation to Sex (cont’d) Sadistic acts:When the wife of a physician returned home after a cesarean section he forced her to have oral intercourse and sodomized her. She reported:“I told him [my husband] I couldn’t have intercourse, and he told me ‘Skin heals in 72 hours’.”-Quoted in Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE (1996) at 21
21 Blackmailing or Extorting Sex Refusing to pay child support without sexRefusing essential medical transportation without sex:A rural woman in labor was dependent on her husband for the half-hour drive to the hospital. Despite her pleas that she was in acute pain, he refused to drive her until she had intercourse with him.“‘Please, W., take me to the hospital,’ I begged as another contraction stormed across my body. ‘Not until we have a screw,’ he insisted.”-Diane Russell, RAPE IN MARRIAGE (1990) at 338.
22 Pregnancy as a Risk Factor Pregnancy places women at a high risk for both physical and sexual assaultSexual assault often begins during pregnancy:“It started right before the baby was born. When I was pregnant, the doctor said not to have relations, but he kept wanting it. I had hard pregnancies.”-Delilah, quoted in Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE (1996) at 23For women raped while pregnant there is the additional trauma of fearing for their unborn babies’ lives
23 Offenders“If a partner is controlling, abusive, and violent in the kitchen, the living room, and in public, why would he stop the abuse at the bedroom door?”-Hon. Jeffrey Kremers, Chief Judge, First Judicial Administrative District, Milwaukee, WI
24 Offenders (cont’d)Perpetrators are often described as feeling a sense of entitlement to have sex with their "property““I remember one time he [her husband] told the judge, ‘That's my wife, you can't tell me what to do with her.’”-Quoted in Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE: UNDERSTANDING THE RESPONSE OF VICTIMS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS (1996).
25 Offenders (cont’d) Intimate partner sexual abuse as “punishment” : "Several of the women in my sample believe that the sexual abuse was their partners' attempt to punish either their loved ones or the women themselves."-Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE: UNDERSTANDING THE RESPONSE OF VICTIMS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS (1996).
26 Statistics on Prevalence Study of Men in a Batterers Intervention Program in a Northeastern City*229 diverse menMen completed a questionnaire thatincluded specific behaviorally-basedquestions53% answered “yes” to questions about conductthat met the legal definition of rape or sexualassault in the program’s state*Raquel Kennedy Bergen & Paul Bukovec, Men and Intimate Partner Rape: Characteristics of Men who Sexually Abuse Their Partner, Vol. 10 JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE 1375 (2006)
27 Study of Men in a Batterers Intervention Program in a Northeastern City (cont’d): 7% had threatened physical harm if their partner did not have sex14% had used physical force to compel their partner to have sex against her willAmong husband rapists the figure was 28%
28 Study of Men in a Batterers Intervention Program in a Northeastern City (cont’d): 17% had sex with their partner when she was unable to consent (e.g., asleep)6% forced their partner to view pornography4% forced their partner to enact pornography40% pressured their partner emotionally to have sex against her will
29 Study of Men in a Batterers Intervention Program in a Northeastern City (cont’d): Some men used weaponsSome men forced their partner to have sex with other people, animals or objectsMany men engaged in several forms of sexual abuse and assault
30 Study of Men in a Batterers Intervention Program in a Northeastern City (cont’d): 15% of the entire sample and 25% of the husband rapists said they frequently forced their partner to have sex after a fight, using sex as a way to “repossess women after a confrontation or to illogically try to ‘make things better’.”
31 Study of Men in a Batterers Intervention Program in a Northeastern City (cont’d): Even though 53% of these men admitted to at least once engaging in behavior constituting intimate partner sexual assault, only 8% answered “yes” to the question that put a label on their conduct: “Have you ever sexually abused your partner.”
32 Assessment and Treatment of Offenders Assessments of batterers often fail to assess for intimate partner sexual abuseMany batterer intervention programs do not address intimate partner sexual abuseMany sex offender treatment programs do not address sexual abuse in the domestic violence context
33 Studies of Physically Abused Women Houston Study*A diverse group of 148 physically abused women seeking orders of protectionResearchers used a conservative definition of sexual abuse and asked only behaviorally-based questionsThe five questions were:*Judith McFarlane & Ann Malecha, Intimate Partner Sexual Assault Against Women: Frequency, Health Consequences, and Treatment Outcome, Vol. 105 AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS 99 (2005)
34 During your relationship, did (name of abuser) Houston Study (cont’d):During your relationship, did (name of abuser)Make you have sexual intercourse against your will?Physically force you to have sex?Make you have oral sex against your will?Make you have anal sex against your will?Use an object on you in a sexual way?
35 Houston Study (cont’d): Results:68% of the 148 women reported sexual abuse in addition to physical violence15% attributed sexually-transmitted infections to the sexual abuse20% had a rape-related pregnancy
36 Houston Study (cont’d): High levels of posttraumatic stress disorder“Sexual assault is experienced by most physically abused women and associated with significantly higher levels of PTSD compared with women physically abused only.”
37 Study of 159 abused women in a midwestern city Midwest Study*Study of 159 abused women in a midwestern city45.9% reported sexual assault as well as physical violence*Jacquelyn C. Campbell & Karen L. Soeken, Forced Sex and Intimate Partner Violence, Vol. 5 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN 1017 (1999)
38 Duluth, Minnesota Study* In a study of female partners of men in the Duluth, MN batterers programs, 70% had been sexually as well as physically abused*Domestic Abuse Intervention Project of Duluth, Minnesota
39 Who Are the Victims?"Any woman is a possible object of violence. What differs is not the woman, but the man. If the man is sexually abusive, he will victimize any woman with whom he lives or has lived."-Walter S. DeKeseredy & McKenzie Rogness, Separation/Divorce Sexual Assault: The Current State of Social Scientific Knowledge, 9 AGGRESSION AND VIOLENT BEHAVIOR 675 (2004)
40 Who are the Victims? (cont’d) Vast majority of victims are womenAfrican-American women are subjected to marital rape slightly more than white, Latina or Asian womenMarital rape occurs at the same frequency regardless of economic class or urban or rural setting
41 Who are the Victims? (cont’d) Same-Sex Couples:In a study of people who identify as GLBTQQI, 52% reported at least one incident of sexual coercion by their same-sex partner*Victims of Teen Dating Violence:Report the same rates of co-occuring physical and sexual violence as adult victimsChildren:May witness or be forced to take part in violent acts*Kim Fountain & Avy Skolnik, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES IN 2006: A REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COALITION OF ANTI-VIOLENCE PROGRAMS 46 (2006).
42 What is the biggest myth about marital rape? Victim ImpactWhat is the biggest myth about marital rape?
43 Victim Impact: Psychological "When you're raped by a stranger, you have to live with a frightening nightmare. When you're raped by your husband, you have to live with your rapist."-David Finkelhor & Kristi Yllo, LICENSE TO RAPE: SEXUAL ABUSE OF WIVES (1985)
44 Victim Impact: Psychological (cont’d) “Courts in many states continue to set higher standards of proof in sexual assault cases involving husbands or partners than when strangers are charged…[But marital rape] should be treated…more severely than similar crimes committed by strangers... The level of unfreedom, subordination, dependence, and betrayal associated with marital rape has no counterpart in public life.”-Evan Stark, COERCIVE CONTROL: HOW MEN ENTRAP WOMEN IN PERSONAL LIFE (2007)
45 Victim Impact: Psychological (cont’d) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Flashbacks, hypervigilance, difficulty eating and sleeping, nightmares, loss of trust, intense fear and suicidal thoughts are all common reactions among victims of marital rapeRevictimized Victims: Intimate partner sexual abuse victims who were raped as children or adolescents suffer especially severe emotional consequences
46 Victim Impact: Physical Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STIs)PregnancyBruising, broken bones, burns, internal injuriesLong-lasting physical consequences because of repeated assaults, including internal injuries and chronic pain
47 Repeated Sexual Assaults are Typical The National Institute of Justice found that just over half of women raped by an intimate partner said they were victimized repeatedly by that partnerThe average was 4.5 rapes by the same partnerIndividuals have reported 20 and more rapes by the same partner
48 Risk Assessment Related to Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse Assessing likelihood of continued and escalating physical and sexual violenceAssessing possible lethalityAssessing risks to children when making custody and visitation decisions
49 Risk Assessment - Lethality Risk assessment in domestic violence cases is traditionally thought of as assessing the risk that a batterer will kill his victimThere are actually six types of risk to be assessed:
50 Six Types of Potential Lethality Femicide: Will the abuser kill his victim?Child Murder: Will the abuser kill the couple's children?Third Party Lethality: Will the abuser kill a third party?Suicide: Will the victim kill herself?Suicide: Will the abuser kill himself?Will the victim kill the abuser?
51 Risk Assessment – Lethality (cont’d) 1. FemicideOn average each day in the U.S. more than three women are murdered by their current or former husbands or boyfriendsResearch documents that sexual assault in an intimate partner relationship is a leading indicator of potential lethality11-city study of actual and attempted domestic violence femicides found that in 57% of these cases there was intimate partner sexual assault**Jacquelyn Campbell, et al, Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multisite Case Control Study, 93 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH 1089 (2003)
52 Femicide (cont’d)According to Professor Jacquelyn Campbell of Johns Hopkins University, a leading researcher on intimate partner violence risk assessment, a physically-abused woman also being subjected to forced sex is over seven times more likely than other abused women to be killed**Jacquelyn Campbell, Assessing Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicides, Vol. 250 NIJ Journal 15 (2003)
53 Femicide (cont’d)In the Houston study cited previously in which 68% of the women were being both physically and sexually abused, the sexually-abused women reported more of the risk factors for femicide, such as strangulation and threats to children, than did those being subjected to physical abuse only**Judith McFarlane & Ann Malecha, Intimate Partner Sexual Assault Against Women: Frequency, Health Consequences, and Treatment Outcome, 105 AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS 99 (2005)
54 2. Child MurderNewspapers frequently report incidents of men murdering their children in the context of killing the mother or as punishment for their mother’s attempt to leave the abusive relationship
55 2. Child Murder (cont’d)Any situation that heightens the risk of lethality for the mother heightens the risk of lethality for her children. In such instances there are few source materials apart from newspaper accounts because few of these cases will come to court. Examples from 2009:New York man killed his wife and two daughters before killing himself in April*Florida man murdered his wife and five children under the age of ten in September***California man killed his two children and himself in September*****Hotel Dead Were NY Family in Murder-Suicide, WASHINGTON POST, April 22, 2009,**Eric Barajas, Friends Speak on Alleged Killer, ABC 13 HOUSTON, June 16, 2009,****Catherine Salliant, In Thousand Oaks, A Father Does the Unthinkable, L.A. TIMES, September 18, 2009,*Examples from Casey Gwinn’s Blog, STOP Family Violence List Serv
56 3. Third Party LethalityNewspapers frequently report instances of abusers, in the course of trying to kill their wives/partners, killing third parties: relatives of the woman trying to leave, individuals coming to her aid, bystanders or court personnelExample: North Carolina Man Kills his Daughter and Two Others When his Wife Decides to End Thirty Years of Abuse (The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC 8/23/06).
57 4. Suicide: Will the Victim Kill Herself? Sexual violence in intimate partner relationships is more psychologically damaging to victims than physical violence aloneIn one study, 22% of sexually assaulted battered women reported suicide threats or attempts within 90 days of applying for a protection order*In another study more than half the women said they considered or attempted suicide at some point***Judith McFarlane & Ann Malecha, National Institute of Justice, Sexual Assault Among Intimates: Frequency, Consequences and Treatments (October 2005)**Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE: UNDERSTANDING THE RESPONSE OF SURVIVORS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS (1996)
58 5. Suicide: Will the Abuser Kill Himself? According to the National Institute of Justice, it is commonplace for abusers to perpetrate murder/suicide in which they first kill the woman trying to escape them and then themselves30 % of femicides are murder-suicides**National Institute of Justice, Intimate Partner Homicide, Vol. Issue #250 National Institute of Justice Journal (2003)
59 6. Will the Victim Kill the Batterer? The first major study of battered women who kill their abusers found that three-quarters reported having been raped at least once by their abusers*In a study of 40 victims of intimate partner sexual assault more than 50% had thoughts of killing their abusers.***Angela Browne, WHEN BATTERED WOMEN KILL (1987)**Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE: UNDERSTANDING THE RESPONSE OF SURVIVORS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS (1996)
60 Violence Often Escalates When Women Try to Leave“Any time I would try to leave him, the beatings or the rape would come, he would threaten my family and friends and my silence was bought once again.”-Excerpt from Aphrodite Wounded, a support website for survivors of marital and partner rape, Froggie’s Story,
61 Violence Often Escalates When Women Try to Leave (cont’d) Marital rape victim testified her husband told her “the only way to get out of our marriage…is through death and I would have to die.”-Jones v. State, 74 S.W. 3d 663, 667 (Ark. 2002)
62 Violence Often Escalates When Women Try to Leave (cont’d) Widespread but mistaken belief that if women in abusive relationships would just leave, the violence would endBattered women often stay with their abusers because they are terrified by the escalation in violence whenever they try to escape
63 Violence Often Escalates When Women Try to Leave (cont’d) Leaving is the most dangerous time for a battered woman because the batterer is outraged that he is losing control over herMost of the worst physical and sexual violence and most murders occur at or after separation
64 Separation Sexual Assault An impending separation or divorce often prompts renewed or first-time intimate partner sexual abuseOne researcher found that 20% of the women in her sample were raped during or after their separation*A 2000 National Institute of Justice survey found that 24.7% of women raped by a former spouse or cohabiting partner said they were raped before and after the relationship ended***Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE: UNDERSTANDING THE RESPONSE OF SURVIVORS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS (1996)**Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Department of Justice, EXTENT, NATURE, AND CONSEQUENCES OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: FINDINGS FROM THE NATIONAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN SURVEY, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE (2000)20% of Raquel Kennedy Bergen’s research sample for her 1996 book Wife Rape reported being raped during or after their separationIn their 2000 National Institutes of Justice survey, Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes found that 24.7% of women raped by a former spouse or cohabiting partner said they were raped before and after the relationship ended
65 Risk Assessment (cont’d) Intimate Partner Sexual Assault Presages LethalitySexual assault co-occurring with physical abuse heightens the risk of escalating violence, femicide, child murder and victim suicide when the victim tries to leave the relationshipIt is essential to know whether there is sexual violence in an abusive relationship in order to undertake informed risk assessment, provide appropriate services for victims and intervene appropriately with offenders
66 Risk Assessment: Custody and Visitation Implications "[A] history of sexual assaults against the mother…[is] linked to increased risk of sexual abuse of the children and increased physical danger."-Lundy Bancroft, "Assessment of Risk to Children from Visitation with a Batterer," UNDERSTANDING THE BATTERER IN CUSTODY AND VISITATION DISPUTES (1998).
67 Risk Assessment: Custody and Visitation Implications (cont’d) "[T]he sexual abuse of a parent has been seriously neglected – despite its potentially severe traumatic impact on children and association with greater risk to the safety and well-being of children and adult victims."-Kathryn Ford, Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Sexual Assault, 3 SEXUAL ASSAULT REPORT 15 (2007).
68 Risk Assessment: Custody and Visitation Implications (cont’d) Vast research documents that children living in homes where there is domestic violence suffer serous physical and psychological harmBatterers are more likely than other fathers to seek custody, manipulate the court system to control their partners, and yet be awarded custodyIntimate partner sexual abuse in the parental relationship heightens all risks to children
69 Risk Assessment: Custody and Visitation Implications (cont’d) Children themselves may be witnesses to or involved in a forced sex act.Study:115 women in a domestic violence shelterAll raped by their male partners18% reported children had witnessed at least one sexual assault5.2% reported partner involved children in a forced sex act**Jacquelyn Campbell & Peggy Alford, The Dark Consequences of Marital Rape, 89 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF NURSING, 947 (1989).
70 Barriers to Reporting Fear of the abuser Overwhelming trauma Shame DenialCredibility concernsIgnorance of the law
71 Barriers to Reporting (cont’d) Legal IssuesThe elimination of the marital rape exemption is far from complete. While no state now has a complete marital rape exemption, some states still permit some degree of marital immunity, such as very short reporting periods and minimal sentences.Idaho Code § Rape of spouseNo person shall be convicted of rape for any act or acts with that person's spouse, except under the circumstances cited in paragraphs 3. and 4. of section , Idaho Code.Therefore, marital rape is exempted if, for example:The female is under the age of eighteen (18) years;Where she is incapable, through any unsoundness of mind, due to any cause including, but not limited to, mental illness, mental deficiency or developmental disability, whether temporary or permanent, of giving legal consent;Where she is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, e.g.:Was unconscious or asleep;Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred.Michigan and Minnesota:A person may not be charged or convicted solely because his or her legal spouse is under the age of 16,mentally incapable, or mentally incapacitatedVirginiaSentence for marital rape may be suspended “upon the defendant's completion of counseling or therapy…if, after consideration of the views of the complaining witness and such other evidence as may be relevant, the court finds such action will promote maintenance of the family unit and will be in the best interest of the complaining witness.”Source: American Prosecutors Research Institute, COMPENDIUM OF SPOUSAL RAPE LAWS (2006)
72 Barriers to Reporting (cont’d) Religious Constraints: Some religious sects persist in the view that a man has absolute right of access to his wife’s bodyReligious leaders may pressure abused women to stay in abusive relationships.
73 Religious Constraints (cont’d) "Being Catholic, I talked to a priest who said I should go back if he [her husband] says he's sorry…You feel compelled to keep the marriage together, and yet his behavior really dissolves [sic] you of that responsibility because he raped you.“-Quoted in Raquel Kennedy Bergen, WIFE RAPE (1996).
74 Religious Constraints (cont’d) “Violence in marriage is generally condemned, but when it does happen, the religious community offers no clear consequences for the abuse. Furthermore, the Islamic religious community tends to condemn any woman who seeks legal protection from an abusive spouse. Her actions are considered disloyal to the husband and the family."-Ruksana Ayyub, “Many Faces of Domestic Violence” ed: Shamita Das Dasgupta, Body Evidence: Intimate Violence Against South Asian Women in America (2007)
75 Barriers to Reporting: Racial and Cultural Issues "Issues of race and culture can impact the victim's decision because she may be more worried about how the police will treat a man of color than she is about her safety. Victims of color report being forced to choose between gender and race in deciding whether to use the criminal justice system for relief. Most feel that their survival dictates siding with race...”-Professor Sarah Buel, Fifty Obstacles to Leaving, a.k.a. Why Victims Stay, THE COLORADO LAWYER 19 (October 1999)
76 Issues for ImmigrantsMany immigrant populations in the U.S. retain the cultural and religious practices of their homelands. Because of strong gender role ideologies, marital rape may be more acceptable in other world cultures.Language barriers and problems with interpreters
77 Issues for Immigrants (cont’d) Deportation ConcernsRape is a deportable "crime of domestic violence," a "crime involving moral turpitude" and an "aggravated felony" under the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952.Immigrant victims of intimate partner sexual abuse often fear that they must choose between staying in abusive relationships or losing their legal immigration status if they leave their partners.
78 Barriers to Reporting (cont’d): Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Concerns Services are based on a heterosexual conception of relationship violence and traditional gender rolesConcerns about homophobiaNot wanting to promote negative stereotypesFear of not being believed
79 Barriers to Reporting (cont’d): Inadequacy of Victim Services Sexual assault and domestic violence victim service agencies often view themselves as serving distinct populationsFew shelters and rape crisis centers provide specific training on marital rape and intimate partner sexual abuse to advocates and volunteers
80 Inadequacy of Victim Services (cont’d) 2005 study of battered women’s shelters*:Only 31% of battered women’s shelters and 49% of rape crisis centers provide training on marital rapeOnly 55% of battered women’s shelters and rape crisis centers ask about victims’ experiences with intimate partner sexual abuse*Raquel Kennedy Bergen & Elizabeth Barnhill, Marital Rape: New Research and Directions, VAWnet (2006).A 2005 study by cited in Raquel Kennedy Bergen and Elizabeth Barnhill’s Marital Rape: New Research and Directions, on VAWnet shows that Only 31% of battered women’s shelters and 49% of rape crisis centers provide training on marital rape and only 55% of battered women’s shelters and rape crisis centers ask about victims’ experiences with intimate partner sexual abuse.
81 Inadequacy of Justice System Lack of training for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and court personnel on intimate partner sexual abuse, e.g., prevalence, impact, and implications for risk assessmentHostile environment discourages disclosure
82 RecommendationsUrge state lawmakers to repeal the remaining marital rape exemptionsWrite to media professionals who mistakenly use the language of consensual sex to describe sexual assaultA Nevada judge created a guide for the media re how to cover domestic violence cases
83 Recommendations (cont’d) Victim Services Agencies:Increase cross-training opportunities between organizations that serve battered women and those that serve rape victimsEnsure that intake forms and risk assessment instruments used with domestic violence victims include behaviorally-based questions about intimate partner sexual abuse
84 Recommendations (cont’d) Justice System Employees and Judges:Education programs for court personnel and judges who handle domestic violence cases should ensure that all are aware of:The high incidence of intimate partner sexual abuse in the context of domestic violence;the many forms intimate partner sexual abuse can take;the implications for victim trauma;the implications for risk assessment;the services victims need;the interventions necessary with offenders.
85 Recommendations (cont’d) Justice System Employees and Judges (cont’d):Create a court environment in which victims perceive they will be respected if they disclose intimate partner sexual abuseEnsure that court intake forms and risk assessment instruments used with domestic violence victims include behaviorally-based questions about intimate partner sexual abuseMaintain a secure waiting area for victims in the courthouse outside of the courtroomUse behaviorally-based questions to ask domestic violence victims about intimate partner sexual abuse
86 Recommendations (cont’d) Use creative methods to secure all information necessary to make informed pretrial release and dispositional orders and to enhance victim safety:“As a judge, when I assess lethality, my assessment is only as effective as the information that I receive…And my orders are only as good as the information that I receive.”-Judge Janice Martin, Jefferson District Court, KentuckyJudgesAs Kentucky Judge Janice Martin explained to me, “As a judge, when I assess lethality, my assessment is only as effective as the information that I receive….And my orders are only as good as the information that I receive.” She mandates information at every step of the court process not only from state records, but also, for example, the Department of Transportation, to get information on DUIs and other risky behaviors. She also insists that victims be interviewed by an advocate and a prosecutor, specifically to elicit information about prior incidents that may not have resulted in criminal charges, but police runs, or incidents. I also want to know how many times that victim has left the home, or fled for safety, or removed her children for safety, or if there have been relatives in that household who have left because of the violence in the household.
87 Recommendations (cont’d) Justice System Employees and Judges (cont’d):Allow a thorough voir dire to identify and excuse jurors who cannot deliberate fairly in a case involving marital rape or intimate partner sexual abuse.Admit expert testimony when neededWork with Department of Corrections and Probation and Parole to ensure that treatment programs in prison and in the community address the intersection of sexual abuse, physical violence and coercion and control
88 Registration is free and open to all This presentation is based on the National Judicial Education Program’s Web course and resourceIntimate Partner Sexual Abuse: Adjudicating This Hidden Dimension of Domestic ViolenceRegistration is free and open to all