A Husband Cannot Sexually Assault His Wife According To The Nigerian Constitution, Read Why

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When we talk about sexual assault, it varies and somewhat restricted to some certain people. Sexual assault also known as rape is becoming rampant in the society and no swift measures are taken to stop the act.

Obviously, sexual assault is a criminal offense when the man and the woman are not legally married and also without the consent of the woman. Assaulting a woman can also mean forcing her consent to accept either, by threatening to hurt her or otherwise.

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Several new cases of grown men assaulting teenage girls saddens me. The main reason is that they can easily take advantage of the teenage girl compared to an adult.

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According to Section 6 of the Criminal Code, it defines unlawful carnal knowledge as that which takes place otherwise than between husband and wife; and the offense is complete upon penetration. In other words, marital rape is not an offense in Nigeria.

Elaborating the statement, "a husband cannot rape his wife." It is assumed that the wife gives implied general consent to sexual intercourse with her husband upon entering the marriage contract.

(Photo Credit: The Guardian Ng)

Most times when you see women filing a rape cases by her husbands, those cases end up void.

Whereas the actual criminal offense is when a man rapes a woman with or without her consent. With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her in fear of death or of hurt; with her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married; With or without her consent, when she is under fourteen years of age or of unsound mind.

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The penalty for sexual assault According to Section 283 of the Penal Code Act 1960 states;

“Any person who commits the offense of rape is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.”

Now you know how the constitution works when it comes to sexual assaults. Remember, a husband cannot rape his wife, but he can commit domestic violence, which is a criminal offense.

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