Rape in marriage becomes illegal in South Australia

Rape in marriage becomes illegal in South Australia

In 1976, for the first time in the English-speaking world, rape in marriage became a criminal offence.  Changes were made to the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 of South Australia that made rape within marriage an offence and extended the definition of rape to include penetration of the anus of a man or woman without his or her consent. Current law includes penetration of other parts of the body and covers oral and anal rape. Although, in recent times, the law in relation to rape has changed, many myths and misconceptions are still widely held. For example, victims/survivors do not need to demonstrate physical resistance for the assault to be legally defined as rape, but many people may think that “she didn’t fight back, so it couldn’t have been rape”, or “he didn’t have a weapon so it can’t be rape”.

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