Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Marital Rape Is Still Rape

[Ed. Advisory: As you can tell from the headline, today's column deals with a very controversial subject that may not be appropriate for all readers.]

Dear Tazi:

My husband raped me. I told him I wanted a divorce and he forced himself of on me. My precious cat "Sam" tried to stop him, but Sam is declawed and could not do much to hurt my husband. I feel so empty and I don't know who to turn to or what to do now. Please help me. My husband says he was taking what was rightfully his as my husband.

Wishing Sam Wasn't Declawed

Dear Wishing Sam Wasn't Declawed:

I am not declawed. This is for your husband:

Your husband had no right to violate you like he did. Marital vows speak of loving, honoring, and cherishing your spouse, not of forcing them to supply sex on demand. Furthermore, rape is not a crime of passion but of anger and power; its purpose is to demean and humiliate the victim. If your husband were to lose his temper and severely beat you he would be held criminally responsible; just because he chose to use sex as his weapon does not mean what he did to you was any less of a crime, regardless of whether you decide to pursue legal action.

Since your letter just arrived yesterday (I pushed it to post today because it is an emergency situation) I am going to assume that there is still evidence of an assault - bruising and tearing, if not bodily fluids. If you are too embarrassed to go to the emergency room and get examined you should go to your personal physician; if you are too embarrassed to go to your personal physician, you should go to the emergency room. Either way, you should get medical attention. A medical report showing an assault occurred will be of assistance to you in your divorce proceedings, and will help you to receive a police escort if you choose to leave your home, or police assistance in making sure your husband moves out and does not come around uninvited.

If you decide to leave your home, look for a hotel or motel that accepts pets - take Sam with you! - and allows you to pay in cash. If you pay with a credit card, make sure it is one in your name only, so your husband cannot trace you through your credit card activity. If you have not done so already, contact an attorney who can handle the issues you are not ready to deal with yourself (specifically the issue of joint financial accounts).

I strongly urge you to call your local rape crisis center. The National Sexual Assault Hotline number is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). They will be able to provide you with immediate counseling and step-by-step instructions on how to care for yourself. If ever you start to doubt yourself, remember that your cat knew what your husband was doing was wrong; trust Sam's instincts if you cannot trust your own.

Extra snuggles and cuddles,

P.S. Even though Sam is declawed, a cat's teeth can still do some damage. Sam may have bitten your husband hard enough to cause a reaction bad enough to require medical attention. Please mention this to your doctor and to your attorney. It may seem like a small thing, but your husband's wounds will buttress your story. --T.K.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.


  1. dear taz a womens shelter is a better choice then hotel and please tell someone in your life what happened.

    1. A shelter would have been my first suggestion, but they generally do not accept pets. The writer called her pet "precious", so I thought she would not leave if she had to leave the cat behind.

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