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Paul Andrew Bourne*, Angela Hudson-Davis, Charlene Sharpe- Pryce, Ikhalfani Solan, Shirley Nelson, Lecia Smith, Monette George, Louise Brown, Conroy Julian, Cynthia Francis


Introduction: Rape and carnal abuse are heinous crimes that are committed against people and have dual effects that are both short-term and long-term. Little attention is placed on the psychosocial effect of rape in Jamaica, especially with regards to marital sexual violence. When rapes are committed among married people, the law appears to be more sympathetic towards the husbands, with little value placed on the long-term effect on the wife and the children. The traditional perspective that a husband could not rape his wife is gradually fading; but inspite of this fact the issue has never been empirically examined from a public health context in Jamaica. Objectives: This study 1) evaluates the rape and/or carnal abuse (i.e. sexual violence) phenomenon in Jamaica, 2) determines the existing relationship, if any, between rape and carnal abuse and marriage and 3) prescribes solutions on the matter because of the empirical findings of the current work. Materials and methods: The data for this study were taken from various Jamaica Government Publications including the Demographic Statistics, which provided data on absolute number of marriage, and population. Statistical Department of the Jamaica Police Force as well as the Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica provided the data on rape and carnal abuse. The period for this work is from 1970 through to 2013. Findings: On average, in 1970, 1.5 people were raped and carnally abused daily and this rose to 2.4 daily in the 1980s, 3.7 daily in 1990 and 3.2 daily in 2000s. Rape and carnal abuse nearly doubled (i.e., 1.7 daily) over the four decade period (1970-1979 to 2000-2009). Comparatively, the marriage rate per 10,000 mid-year population was doubled (i.e., 1.9 daily) during the last four decades. A quadratic function best explains the relationship between rape and carnal abuse rates and marriage rates. Conclusion: Despite the objections to evolved psychological adaptation of rape, it adds an explanation of husbands raping their wives, non-consensual sex and sexual activities outside of the marriage.

Keywords: Carnal abuse, child sexual abuse, marital rape, incest, intimate partner violence, marriage, rape, sexual abuse.

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