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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Conceived out of Marital Rape?

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Author Topic: Conceived out of Marital Rape?
breath
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Hi,

I'm 23 years old and come from a South-Asian culture that is very hush-hush and does not have any vocab or even courage to really address and work with sensitive issues. Same goes for my family.

I have know that I was conceived out of a rape (marital rape -rape in a marriage) since I was very young. I saw that man for the first time when I was age 10. I never said hello or anything nor did he asked me anything like How I was doing etc.

My mother was married in an arrange marriage to him, and then after 3 years or so of a lot of abuse and fraud--he was married to another person too and had 4-5 kids prior that he didn't tell the family during the marriage arrangments----(again due to a host of reason we havenot explicitly talked about it) but I know that there was alot of abuse, including strong economic/financial abuse which is why she left mainly.

When I was 10-ish, due to immigrante and mom was in a confused spot and decided to stay try and stay with him for sometime. during the 3 months we stayed there, again a lot of abuse, but I didn't even talk to him or say hello .. After 3 months, when we left -- i later found out that my mom got an abortion. I am sure that that sexual act was NOT consentual.

i am also pretty sure in my heart, that it was during marital rape that I was conceived and similar to my bro (but that's up to him to realize and not my problem).

I am looking for some technical information: ie. is that correct? It really helps me to put correct terms to describe this.

I know that I'm worth more more and not the act. This kind of issue has been on my back of the mind since I was like 6 years old. I'm 23 now and want to come to terms and openly accept it and put a label to it.

Kindly let me know if I am interpreting this correctly ie. the defination of marital rape

[ 04-05-2011, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: breath ]

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coralee
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The definition of marital rape is, like you write, when one member of a married couple rapes the other. It is a sad fact that marital rape is often taken even less seriously than rape outside of a marriage. However, the definition stays the same whether it happens within a marriage or not.

In abusive relationships, such as your mom experienced, it would not be uncommon to be sexually assaulted/raped as part of the abuse. However, in my opinion it is ultimately up to the survivor of abuse (in this case, your mom) to call their experience rape or not.

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breath
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I'm interested in hearing some other's thoughts no this matter....
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eryn_smiles
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I'm sorry that your family has been through these traumatic experiences and I don't think that your personal worth is at all related to how you were conceived.

I had never really heard the expression 'marital rape' until I got a little involved in migrant womens activism and then I realised how common it was and how difficult it can be to prosecute, even in countries where spousal rape is considered a criminal offence.

I agree with coralee in that it is up to the survivor to determine whether their sexual experience was consensual or not. Sometimes, it can be difficult when people don't have the language to describe this, as you say.

If you're interested in some academic reading in this, you might look up the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It mentions marital rape specifically. Sadly there are still many countries which don't consider it a criminal offence.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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breath
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"I agree with coralee in that it is up to the survivor to determine whether their sexual experience was consensual or not. Sometimes, it can be difficult when people don't have the language to describe this, as you say. "


My mom does not have vocab, emotional strength / intelligence or the cultural background or support to help her 'label' it or speak about it.

BUT I want to know to resolve this "issue that has been lingering' over my head for a long time. I need to have a term that describe what happened and based on what I know (AS the child) I know that that is what it is. PERIOD.

I need it to clarify things for myself to help me understand things and why this woman (mother) is the way she is.

While I understand how it's important for us to respect the persons' own autonomy and how they want to label "it"....
I think that in reality, consent or not consent is PRETTY clear, regardless of how people label it , determine it or not.

[ 04-23-2011, 04:09 PM: Message edited by: breath ]

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Heather
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You know, I'm not sure if it'll help you out or not, but in case it does, I wanted to link you to a piece where I talk about some of my own hard feelings around the cultural limitations of my mother's choice with my conception and my birth.

They are not the same issues, and are issues she herself acknowledges (as does history, very clearly due to legal changes having dates affixed, so there's not the murkiness you're dealing with), but they might help as one version of a blueprint for processing the feelings YOU have, which are your own and don't hinge on the feelings she has.

Here that is: http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2011/01/22/its_a_powerful_thing

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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