Inside One Woman’s Fight to Rewrite the Law on Marital Rape

While marital rape has been a crime in all 50 states since 1993 — a milestone achieved after years of dogged campaigning by women’s rights activists — the overwhelming majority of states still have loopholes on the books that can make it difficult, or even impossible, to prosecute such cases, according to data compiled by AEquitas, a nonprofit in Washington that assists prosecutors in gender-based violence cases. 

AEquitas, which maintains a comprehensive database on marital rape laws, said hurdles to prosecuting sexual misconduct involving spouses or partners existed in 41 of 58 jurisdictions it reviewed. Those include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, United States territories, and federal and military law.