German Law Criminalizes Marital Rape

A law approved on June 13th in Germany makes marital rape a crime punishable by up to five years in jail. Female ministers and women’s rights activists have lobbied for over 25 years to get the law changed; previously rape was a crime only when the woman was not married to her attacker. Legislators were successful in dropping a clause from the legislation which would have allowed for withdrawl of the woman’s charges. Critics charged that the clause weakened the law because it allowed the husband to pressure his wife into dropping the charges. A study conducted by German authorities shows that, since 1993, 350,000 men have raped their wives.


Associated Press - June 16, 1997

Support eh ERA banner