When many of us think about sexual assault or rape, we think of strangers grabbing women in the street or breaking into women’s homes at night. However, the truth is that most sexual assaults don’t occur between strangers. The even sadder truth is that a significant number of sexual assaults take place between spouses or partners.
Domestic violence does not just consist of physical abuse and verbal abuse – many victims of domestic violence also endure sexual abuse. This type of abuse can be extremely traumatic, physically painful, and psychologically damaging.
Signs of Possible Domestic Violence Sexual Abuse
• Your partner forces sex or sexual acts.
• Your partner forces you to dress in sexually suggestive ways.
• Your partner engages in unwanted touching.
• Your partner coerces you into sex after physical or verbal abuse.
• Your partner ignores your feelings regarding sex.
• Your partner shows no interest in your sexual needs.
• Your partner does not listen to the words “no” or “stop” during sex.
• Your partner harms you physically during sex.
• Your partner makes unwanted sexual remarks or gestures.
• Your partner criticizes you sexually.
• Your partner accuses you of being promiscuous or cheating.
• Your partner controls how you dress or isolates you from society.
• Your partner sexually assaults or rapes you.
It is extremely important to understand that just because you have had consensual sex with someone in the past, or just because you are married to someone means that sex is always consensual – or that your partner has the right to sexually abuse you for any reason.
Just as with other forms of domestic abuse, sexual abuse is often used by the perpetrator to make his or her victim feel powerless, ashamed, and controlled.
If you believe that you are being sexually abused in your relationship, know that there is help for you and your family. Please take advantage of Washington State’s domestic abuse resources.