Historical analysis reveals that marital rape was not considered a crime since rape was traditionally understood as the forced sexual conduct with someone other than wife. Thus, within the law, rape was not given attention within the marital relationship. The survivor of domestic violence needs self-medications and drugs and alcohol to cope with the overwhelming feelings. It is also seen that victim is engaged in self-injurious behavior to release tension. The most basic definition of rape is the act of sexual contact that is done forcefully. However, the actions of sexual contact must be determined. Marital rape can be defined as any act of sexual penetration that is undesirable for example, oral, vaginal or anal, or when no positive response is given by the women or by contacting with the sexual organs that are done by the help of physical force. There are different forms of domestic violence where the major ones include physical, violence, psychological assault, sexual violence, economic control and emotional abuse. Damage occurring from marital rape is higher as compared to stranger rape as the victim has to live with the abusive partner due to physical, emotional and psychological pressures. The victims of marital rape are unable to identify the act as the crime, and there is a higher likelihood of repeat assault. Also, there are negative impacts on the children living in the home. Marital rape is an important aspect to be studied as the rape is usually accompanied by other forms of domestic violence in order to maintain control and power over the partner. The studies clearly reveal that women are raped after threats and beating as they fail to comply with the sexual requests from husbands. Also, they are forced to have sex as part of the need of abusers to make up after beating. Marital rape can affect heavily as the men who rape and batter their wives are likely to kill them too.
From the studies, it is clear that domestic violence and marital rape are associated, but there is a need to recognize situations when marital rape occurs without domestic violence. Thus, marital rape is to be considered as the issue that is distinct to domestic abuse as sexual violence devastates the women who are battered and raped and service providers have to deal with such cases with high sensitivity.
No study on a larger scale is present concerning the sexual abuse or rape in the United Kingdom. British Crime Survey represented data that was performed by Home Office Research Unit in 1982, 1985, and 1988. According to this survey, sexual abuse and rape occur rarely. BCS reported that in 1982, only one rape occurred among 11,000 families.