WWL>Topics>>4-28-14 1:10pm Angela: on marital rape

4-28-14 1:10pm Angela: on marital rape

Apr 28, 2014|

Angela talks with Tania Tetlow of the Domestic Violence Clinic at Tulane and Pam Albers of the Family Justice Center about marital rape.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Happy Monday everyone I'm hoping had a beautiful weekend -- got to go to -- Aniston. The many other things that were happening and what a great golf tournament if you're a golfer that was a thrill to. -- it was just where we've been so lucky this spring and there's something about the weather that's. It shall we should be sweating by now we're not which is a pleasant thing. And we have a good week ahead we're gonna start today with some very serious topics and one the first one I think. We all need to learn more about and that is asking the question. Can a husband -- a wife and we have two experts here we're going to be talking and second that our second program. Two of the three councilman from saint Bernard parish who have called for the parish presidents. Removal were stepping down from office are going to be here not only to talk about that but also be in our. On the front porch segment that we've done since day one. Talking about where the parish is post-Katrina we wanted to do. All these updates both parish wide in citywide and they're going to be updating us on that. And then the third -- our beloved Clancy Dubose and representative Walt -- -- going to be talking about. Not that the updates on what's happening in Baton Rouge and one session it has been -- able locked alarm that is well. But we're going to begin -- -- -- husband rape a wife. That's the question many are discussing. After the wife of the president of saint Bernard parish said she was raped by her husband. He has now been charged not with rape but with felony sexual battery he denies the charge. But it brings up the issue of marital rape. What is it and why is it looked at differently. Than non marital rape. Joining us to discuss this is -- to upload. Associate professor of law and director of the domestic violence clinic at Tulane university law school. And Pam Albers clinical director of the family justice center and I appreciate you both being here as always. A very serious topic and before we talk about the -- -- case I'd like to having done little bit of Reading about this that. It wasn't until the late seventies. That anywhere was ever convicted. Of marital rape. Because before. The criminal code sort of blocked -- gave an exemption. To this. It wasn't really until the mid ninety's that it is illegal in Louisiana and in most states there is a trend only in the mid nineties to. Make marital rape illegally used to be considered. A husband's Crockett -- to have sexual access to his wife and to be allowed to rape her if you chose to not only change pretty recently. Say that that by itself is you know we know that rape is violence mean it is not. It's not a passed its rot sacks so we had this. Idea that. -- husband had a right to Saxon that once given consent can ever be taken away but that's not what rape is rape is as she said it's violence it's power it's about. Degrading and humiliating another person and that can happen. After somebody has consented to have sex or consented to marry someone else have anything that makes it worse that you once trusted somebody and they -- then choose to treat it this way. It is. Back they were trying to back in the seventeen hundreds of the king who in essence. Not not his word to mind but really women were nothing but property and when you were chair you were right a table. And so therefore one can do with -- 11 -- the from the seventeen hundred's to the 1990s. I mean for heaven's sake. And even now it is illegal but it is rarely prosecuted and when it is prosecuted. Juries tend to. A quits they don't see it as a serious crime -- not church should be a crime at all and they. I think most of all don't see. The harm that results they think of it is not a big deal to be raped by her husband not understanding that it is the ultimate humiliation. -- Well I agree with Tonya and she's right there it's very rarely prosecuted between husband wife and even more damaging I think is somebody who is married and so now this is someone who was pistol and care for you and now they've -- CU. And they not only -- she's an arsenal really wasn't so bad Keynote Systems between us that. You know at the very long lasting psychological and emotional damages for now and it's it's really. Criminal what happens to women in these cases in India the U family justice honor unit had women who have come in who had been -- -- -- Harassment they choose not to go. That the legal system absolutely. And in Anniston. -- cases where they're not married women often feel like they've done something to cost this this has to be my fault otherwise it wouldn't happen. As to whether this is a stranger an acquaintance or your husband and when you're married to this person it's not just that person his -- -- your very often dealing with. The children involved his family your family. Is the community at large she's like you know he sure hosting new statistic again. You know so it happens very often women she's not to go forward when it's this house. It is very sad to me the whole thing -- because you're really not distinguishing. That act of violence. Right exactly I'm seeing it as part of a marriage not as an active crime. You know which which rate cuts but it would almost be as if -- -- husband. Forces himself like that in the violent act that it's a punishment. Four and one doesn't do that loving. Laughing -- high heat and you know in some cases and especially when there's domestic violence involved in the same relationship that he is very much punishment. You know if I can happy no one else can certainly not in sexual. -- the most effective form of domestic violence if you want to torture victim using sexual humiliation using rape. Is a particularly good way whether it be you know political prisoners and prison. Or a man with his wife of breaking cement spirited really trying to humiliate them and break them down so. There's it it is itself domestic violence and there's an incredible overlap between rape and other forms of domestic violence. Let's talk about what is happening in saint Bernard parish with a parole case. It was it came out late last week the -- the grand jury decided that Gibbs was an intern yes yes a felony. Sexual battery. Tonya why do you feel that wasn't what she was saying I was raped. It's it's an unusual decision as to charge for it's my understanding is that mr. -- that does not deny that there was sexual intercourse she claims it was consensual. And the difference between sexual battery and rape simple or paper forcible rape is the question of intercourse sexual battery involves and unwanted touching. Of the private areas and -- involves actual intercourse so. The intercourse wasn't in question it's not disputed. So I'm not sure whether this is a compromise on behalf of the attorney general's prosecuting the case or by the grand jury itself. CPUs the last surcharge the penalties are. First sexual battery are up to ten years it's still a felony it's still very serious crime. But for forcible rape it would be for a minimum of five up to forty years and is -- different. Stay with us we're gonna continue our discussion -- the world to case but also the bigger issue of marital -- stay with this financial under the W. The issue were talking about this cannon husband raped a white. And do you believe that there can be marital rape. Please let us know why I truly would love your thoughts either way and certainly you've ever had an experience and you're comfortable talking about it give us a call at 2601870. That's 2601 at seventy. We have two experts here we have Pam Al vs the clinical director. At the family justice center and Tonya -- who is an associate professor of law and director of the domestic violence clinic at Tulane University. A very good friend of the station and I appreciate both of you being here. Again the whole issue of marital rape and I keep saying that because. To -- -- -- -- but somehow we've added the Merrill. Of what happened in saint Bernard parish -- what allegedly happened and what is gonna go forward now in a court case because. -- Peralta. Went for the grand jury and they ruled that mr. -- the parish president is going to have to face charges of one count of felony domestic. Battery. Sexual battery right so all of a sudden we as the public going to be looking at this much more clearly. And yet I'm listening to the to a -- when you say this has been going on very long time and happens frequently. Right and that that to me in shocking. Sad and shocking. It is sad and shocking it is. A huge part of domestic violence generally and what we know is that at least one out of four. American women will be beaten by a partner in her lifetime so. It is a very big part of the lives of women in this country in the state this community and rape is a big. Function of that it is the most effective method to torture somebody. And you can look at that and it's in every eighteen minutes somebody in the United States has been raped. It's a huge copper -- announcement fancy map online and it broke down every team effort to -- as a team and it's. The issue of marital rape what is the law in Louisiana. The lie is that there's no longer an exception. For marriage as there used to be for their rape statutes. The only exceptions for statutory rape for consensus on an issue if a child under fifteen is. Actually married to the perpetrators which would -- to happen with the judicial waiver. At that age then there is -- statutory rape because there's been consent through marriage but that's a different it's faster rates not about a consensual sex. But for any any kind of rape forcible rape sexual battery there's no longer an exception that says if you are married to the person you get to do what you want them okay. That's a major step forward yes but do most women that you'll have worked with who have been raped by her husband. Have just they understand that it's. Wrong they often do not. Understand that it is illegal when we ask clients I'm sure pan has the same experience that about. Whether they've been raped and it. They only will tell us will we ask it for explicitly it's not something that they front and it's not something they often tell you until you've really gain their trust he never used that term rape. You will ask the questions like have you ever been has he ever had sex with you without your permission -- made you feel uncomfortable. And and that's when you can get it some of those facts but it is it. Deeply shameful thing and the community really falls into the hands of the rapists when they helped make it a deeply shameful thing when we respond to reports of rape with disbelief. And I think about. Darren Sharper victims. It's the allegations against him of the response to the first one or two women come forward the disbelief the contempt reallocate -- accusations that somehow they deserved it even that. Happened. And when we as a community treat rape victims that way we make sure that they're not gonna come forward and make sure that the damage done by -- is even greater we helped rapists humiliate the victim. How difficult is it to prosecute. -- doesn't get back down to he said -- -- It does but most violent crimes come down to he said she said whatever the genders you know there aren't a lot of videotapes or DNA evidence in the typical armed robberies so we convict people every day beyond a reasonable doubt based on. A victim credibly testify about what happened to hammer her and identifying the person who did it. In this case it's going to come down to her testimony there's also -- medical evidence of the injuries that were done to her his claim is that that was. Consensual or I think he said in the press that. She did it to herself so it will come down to who the jury believes but the idea that somehow it victim of violent crime. Testifying about what happened to them isn't enough to convict we certainly don't believe that in any other area of the law so it. It absolutely can be enough but what you're up against. Our jurors who may not. Care about marital rape that even if they believe it happened that they don't think that there's damage done -- that somehow has -- is a right to do it and that. That's going to be the bigger issue. At the family just a senator. How long you'll have been around how long. I am just a sinner came about how accurately can now eight years right after -- area -- addict yes so actress for gone on nine now. On the fourth that our services that we do you were under. Catholic Charities that we kind of transition in -- under. -- of the family justice -- sat around doing this for awhile and -- so a woman comes soon and done. And as usual are saying doesn't immediately nationally say that that is in the throes of domestic violence and then it comes out. Sure that's usually the issue that has women coming in the front door. I his domestic violence and that might take several weeks several meetings before the issue. Rape or sexual assault within her marriage comes up in it takes some time and I think tiny -- on the theory. Good issue it's about being believed more often than not for any sexual assault survivor or victim isn't about being believed it comes down to. He -- he said she says I think it's imports remember it's like that in most conferences somebody story. Against somebody else the story that it it should be enough you know I especially when there could be physical issues and ensure literally. And in some cases they do rape -- things but you know vaginal issues -- that that wouldn't be enough. Well the thing and this is what I've gotten from my training with forensics unit down LSU. The injuries that occur can very -- current consensual sex. The thing is when -- -- winning your reporting -- re keeping you saying -- rate these are injuries that they can use -- accidents. They -- occurred during consensual sex in this that somebody report. And so that that evidence that the injuries is certainly something that would be taken to court and. It's not a slam dunk and then in the same way that DNA testing they would do. To show. The rape is also not a slammed on from the defense's consent rights have been the fact that there was sexist not at issue it's about whether it was forcible or not feel so it you know our ideas watching CSI all the time it's -- always. Physical scientific evidence and every prosecution or just -- and and there won't be in there can't be in these cases and there's not some other witness who was in the room there's not a videotape of that happening. So it necessarily comes down to the victims were against the perpetrators. I'm and that's that the jury's job is has to decide if -- credible and to enforce the law so that's always gonna happen the problem we have is that the -- don't believe in. Marital rape is such an -- nullified outlawed by refusing to convict even if they think it did happen. How can I want everyone to stay with us for an go to the newsroom but we believe -- I have your phone calls Sean and granted we're definitely. Going to get to those calls please stay with this we'll be right back. Well we are talking about the issue can a husband can rape a wife with -- Albers. With the family justice center and Tanya Chaplin who is without a law professor and head of the domestic violence clinic at Tulane Law School. Well let's go to our caller Sean thank you for holding. You know supply illicit Shia maybe make into a bigger deal about it but wondered. Do we solve a crime by all of it -- so very very and I made a more well -- state. Drama is solvable saint there was an extenuating circumstance a little more story there than. What individual rates in other individual. Doesn't matter about marriage where they all day today though each other for -- tree it would cut it. It is rate thank you for saying that the animal experts talk on that I couldn't agree with more. I totally agree rapists rape and that the law makes no distinction what the law -- was just to take out the exception for spouse. But that what we're talking about here is simply rape and we need to get over the idea at that. Once you've had consensual sex with somebody that somehow they can't break Q which this attitude that it equates. Consent to sex like you're giving somebody something that you can't and take back as opposed to rape this violence I remember. -- in Louisiana passed a lot to take away the marital rape exception. One legislator. Was quoted during the debate to say look that's like stealing your own car. It's -- site is that. Husband's own wives. But also even beyond that that once somebody's been dating somebody else and engaged in consensual sex with them that somehow they can't. -- take back back consent that any violence that happens to them later that they deserve perhaps coming. So I think that's a great point -- it's a terrific point how did you get to be so Smart. Yes all of -- on the seems pretty obvious you know against. Analysts say you know war crimes won't tolerate anymore you know -- and other -- site. There's a violation of trust there on the top sleepy you know mother your children. On the -- you know you're -- -- to be married. There it is it's it's I -- -- that I such. You know -- -- I like to think about with a check -- our. Thank you for holding nonissue -- but he does bring up such a wonderful point and that is rape rape. Period and it -- happening -- do you happen to be dating somebody and you violate them which is what it is a complete violation on many levels. I just wonder. Have a how a woman recovers from something like this. It takes a lot of time it takes a lot of self compassion. And remembering that this is not about anything to do it didn't use Sanders didn't say what you wore -- what you didn't care. You were vulnerable at some time and somebody decided to taking it to their vulnerability. And that self compassion and that understanding. That. That is true is a great start on the right recovery on. There's lots of ways that people respond to sexual assault theories by every single person. Some people recover more quickly than other summer more resilient than others. On and resiliency is something that can be learned that the really important thing to remember. Sexual assault does not define who you are. It doesn't define how you live it doesn't define the companies that you key it defines what happened teach you. But it doesn't define you as a person and so on it does take time but it's completely possible -- cover with. A good network of support and get people around you who can help you if you do you find that this type of thing crosses socio economic lines. Oh absolutely this can happen to anybody it doesn't matter where you're from how old you are how much you make the color of -- scanned. Com it almost doesn't -- matter how old you are. Sexual abuse in children starts I think the youngest. Age I have ever -- just two years holes. And that I had ever really hard time imagining that that. Mean this happens to the elderly it happens to the people in assisted living facilities and we hardly ever hear about that for lots of trees and so. It can happen to anybody men and women. -- -- Color your skin and it doesn't matter. This is a violent crime that's going on on saint Charles avenue. As well essential city down the street this is the beating of wives raped. Sexual abuse of children child abuse all of that happened to multifamily too. And those victims suffered their own intense -- fullness and people not believing them because of the power. You know heaven knows what effect that's going to happen but to do you find that some women feel in essence economically trapped. If they have been raising kids and perhaps have not had jobs and how do you free yourself. -- will absolutely some women do feel economically trapped there's reasons to stay in I'll just go back -- abusive relationships in general. There's lots of reasons to stay. Com and sometimes economic. Dependents as part of that. If there -- children involved though. You know there's a DDT report on the parents pardon anybody else who comes and it. Contact with those children. It's an incredibly difficult thing to do is apparent. I've seen it way way too many times in my career and it's heartbreaking on. And it's hard for the the parents to do that what I encourage them to do is let's get some help. For your tiles for your whole thing normally because it's it's bad to live with this and it's worse to have to do it on an ongoing basis. One of the main reason victims get trapped that we don't think enough about our our family courts in custody battle so it's one thing to say that the the wife can leave but there -- these hostages there when their children and even if she succeeds at getting custody which is hardly given. Then at a minimum he probably will have unfettered access to the kids and away -- she can't protect them and if she's been the subject of abuse. There's this huge overlap between child abuse and domestic violence. And even if there wasn't yet the fact that you his lightning writer leaving and leaving the children behind makes it terrifying. There is. Batterers are more likely than did non -- fathers to fight for custody and there's one study pitchers are more likely to win custody of the good nonviolent fathers they're very good at playing the system throwing out lives in mind. Judges ten and not wanna hear about these things they don't believe them or they don't care. And so it's that we talk about why don't you leave will you have a -- choice I can get out I can get free but I leave behind my babies and that's just. Unacceptable so until we fix that the idea that we judge people for staying is just. Pearl. And I think it's important to remember is that controlling that custody and having access to the children is one of the last best. Ways to control woman women will do anything they need to do to protect their children. And so fighting for that custody is sometimes. I have found is not even a desire to really have custody of the children. By the latter by the -- now that you puppet. But it is a really great way to manipulate. The mother into doing what I want her to stay with us we'll be right back. We are talking with -- -- and -- Albers. About the issue of -- husband -- the wife and and were kind of expanding at but it it all started with I think the general public's. Knowledge of what was happening in saint Bernard parish with the parish president and his wife. And now all of a sudden it is a topic of discussion in at 11 that needs to be discussed. Because I think we're learning a bit. You know. On up on the intellectual simple basis. Rape is rape just like when John called it rate -- rate went to stay right with its -- right in his rate is violent and into the wrong. And yet when there is a marriage involved it seems more complicated. Bright and I mean. We basically make -- more complicated if it's not a stranger jumping out of the bushes at night with a gun where the victim is to nearly dressed having never had sex before in her like with -- mean we really. Have tremendous sympathy for rape victims but -- tiny tiny. Fraction of them because for so eager to put rape victims on trial for what that they've done something wrong and whether they deserve it instead of focusing on the perpetrators. And the reality is is that -- great percentage of rapes are committed by serial rapists who. Are it's very easy to get away with what they do by doing a couple things either rate in women and no one cares about like prostitutes. Or -- the credibility of their victim and there are from either just buying her a bunch of drinks. To having him be someone that they are in a consensual relationship with first and then they break. And we allow this happened we play into it every time we as a community. Make the victim feel ashamed put her on trial decided she'd had something to deserve it. Instead of really focusing on the kind of man who unlike the vast majority of men with averaging something like. And -- the illness hit this is not the normal guy. Now whether it's so insulting to men to think that somehow if they are -- they are incapable of controlling themselves. Vast majority of men would never never do this to a woman and our should be mortified at the thought of being. -- -- lumped in it fracas rapists are particular subset of people who behave horribly that. And I just wonder in if they were -- have been any studies of men who have raped their wives or girlfriends of great you know. Ten year. If there were any signs. Leading up to that. It's gonna I think women do follow Obama that they found love with all the good parts right and yet. There are red flags and -- -- -- -- Tricky about it because they generate their lives -- general in the same category is abusers generally. Is that they are very careful early on not to give those signs and if anything while they're holding it together in getting their victims stock. They are -- middle they are warm there attentive in ways that. Correspond with what a good boy from the book -- can feel very inviting to a woman issues to men who aren't like that and the trouble is that they will wait until their victim a stock fell. Beat her rape her for the first time on the honeymoon nighter after they've gotten her pregnant. Are my favorite the night before the wedding when -- stock but then somehow has to feel like she chose to get into it. And so and that our guard you know -- try to train women. Of what to look for but the reality is that what victims of domestic violence and rape have in common is padlock that's the only thing they have in common they didn't do anything. -- deserve it and there are limits to how much they can control that risk so. Our our focus should really be on perpetrators and what's wrong with them. And the only thing we know about them their various things they have in common. They are far more likely to have grown up than households were they were exposed to domestic violence. And they learned the lesson that violence gets you power -- gets you what you want which is really what this is about. And so that's. Even more the reason why we have to break that cycle in my we did need to make sure that abusers don't get custody of children because we have to stop that. It's. I was just -- completely agree on one of the things that I do. Talk to women about so often when they've been through you know violence. You know statistic -- their domestic violence or sexual assault has so like I must have -- print it crossed my -- you know. You know because this happens to me in every relationship and but I get them to do is to remember that not everybody plays by the same rules there are good and wonderful. Amazing things about you. And there are also people who commit crimes and -- taking advantage of people who were vulnerable. So on you know it is in relationships from their starting it's really easy to feel love didn't care for all these wonderful things that are going on. And the thing is after some time this could do wonderful things start to disappear because now I know what it takes to get she committed to this relationship. And I have to do that anymore. And then it becomes violent act. Well and just as we need to keep this discussion going we need to keep what you're saying time both of you -- saying that we need not always look at the victim and for any fault. Now and if she drinks too much that is no cause if you know it's how you talk about dressing that is no cars that at all and yet. We're still as a society looking for an easy out for a very difficult and uncomfortable. Crime. I think part of it is that we want to believe that somehow we can prevent it. From happening to us or our daughters if there -- these rules Apollo can teach them that then there's a way that they can not go through this you know one out of four. College students who are female are raped while there university was to as a horrifying thing to phase is apparent but the reality is that there is no way that they can escape that risk and it's very hard to focus on. Teaching women those lessons without making them feel like it's their fault if it happens to them and it is simply not their fault. And we do need to focused on perpetrators and one answer to your previous question of men who rape within marriage especially. That what that's about really is about power and there's a big overlap between that rape and also child sexual abuse and a father who rapes his children is not had a file on the way that we think about men lurking in bushes around playgrounds it's about that same control and ownership of literally I own this family and I can do with them and I want to. And the way to ensure that into instill such shame in all of them including the children. Is to break them and say you you see that overlap in their -- lack of understanding both of how common that is. And of really the nature of -- so we can imagine because we think it's about the had a file but it's a different. Thing entirely to stay with us we'll be right.