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25 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Soc. Just. 1 (2015-2016)
The Vindictive Wife: The Credibility of Complainants in Cases of Wife Rape

handle is hein.journals/scws25 and id is 11 raw text is: 



             IN CASES OF WIFE RAPE

                   BY: RUTHY LOWENSTEIN LAZAR*


     Since Lord Hale's assertion that rape is [an accusation easily to be
made and hard to be proved and harder to be defended by the party
accused the criminal justice system has been obsessively concerned with
false rape allegations.
     The paper portrays a pioneering qualitative study of women
complainants' credibility in cases of rape within long-term intimate
relationships. Although wife rape became a criminal offense, there is a
lack of empirical research on the legal treatment of wife rape cases. The
article seeks to fill this lacuna and offers an innovative perspective on wife
rape, based on the point of view of key legal actors. The uniqueness of this
study lies in the in-depth analysis of wife rape cases, obtained from the
day-to-day practice of defense and Crown counsel who litigate wife rape
     In the article, I assert that myths and sexism continue to inform the
legal prosecution of wife rape. Although there is recognition that a
woman's consent in intimate relationships is no longer irrevocable, the
way in which women's credibility in cases of wife rape is perceived, as
shown in the research, attests to the fact that stereotypical ways of

* Dr. Ruthy Lowenstein Lazar, Professor of Law, the College of Management Academic
Studies, Israel. I would like to thank Professor Liz Sheehy for her inspiring thoughts and
comments and to Professor Janet Mosher for her excellent guidance in my original research. I
would also like to thank the editors of the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice
for their hard work and thoughtful edits.

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