Sunday, May 18, 2014

Solar News Interview: Marital Rape (life coach, counselor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, osteopath, quezon city, manila, philippines)

Published: Fri, May 16, 2014

SC upholds criminal liability for marital rape
By Katrina Domingo

For the first time, the Supreme Court has come up with a ruling which upholds criminal liability for marital rape.

In a 40-page decision penned by Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, the high court said on Friday (May 16) that the decision would serve as a reminder that husbands cannot force themselves on their wives.

The court added that marriage does not give the husband the right to own his wife's body.

The decision stemmed from a 1999 case filed by a wife in Cagayan de Oro.

In an interview with Solar News, marriage counselor Dr. Randy Dellosa said cases of marital rape in the Philippines are often unreported because wives have a feeling that having sex with their husbands is an obligation.

But he pointed out that consent still plays an important role in sexual intercourse, even between married couples.

"It has to be consensual," he said. "If it's forced, if there's no willingness to engage in it, then it doesn't bond; it doesn't result in closer bonding. It results in animosity and even anger and even hatred towards each other... Respect is important even in sexual relations."

Dellosa said marital rape usually takes place under three circumstances:

  • One, when sex is used as a tool to vent anger or as a form of punishment.
  • Second, when the husband is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • And third, when the couple's sexual libidos don't match.

"One partner may be hypersexual, while the other one will have normal sexual libido or is hyposexual. So the person who is hypersexual will want to have more sex, whereas the other one will not. Out of frustration, the person who is hypersexual will want to force the issue of having sex," Dellosa said.

Dellosa said that, though it is considered a crime, couples who have problems with marital rape should first seek outside intervention or take time to reflect before filing a case in court.

"In the period of physical separation, at least the spouse is safe and is able to reflect on what happened and is able to gain emotional and social support from others... to kind of settle his or her mind," he said. "It's also a time for individual and marital counseling, during that period of physical separation."

But in severe cases where violence and intimidation are usually involved, family lawyer Romeo Galvez said it may be time to pull the plug on the marriage – for example, if there was use of a deadly weapon or if the victim becomes insane.

Marital rape is a nonbailable offense. Those convicted may be sentenced to six to 20 years or even life imprisonment.

But Galvez said the law gives special considerations for legally married couples.

"If the offender is the legal husband, the forgiveness of the wife as the offended party shall extinguish the criminal... liability of the husband," he said.

He cautioned though that, even if the case could be dismissed through forgiveness, the impact to the family, especially to the children, could be traumatic.

This is why he reminded married couples not to take matters to court unless they are really bent on pursuing the case.

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