Married Women - Beyond the Pale of the Law of Rape

Faculty Author Type

Current Faculty [Christine Boyle]

Published In

Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice

Document Type


Publication Date



Canada; Criminal Law; Sexual Assault; Rape; Law reform


The author discusses the law relating to marital rape and contributes to the debate about law reform in this area, with some reference to proposed amendments to The Criminal Code. At the time of writing these were embodied in Bill C-53 which had received its First reading in Parliament on January 12, 1981. The main argument is that law reform in this area should display sensitivity to the special coercive potential of the marital relationship and that any pressure, including the conscious exploitation of external factors, to engage in sexual activity comes within the appropriate sphere of the criminal law.