Sexual Violence in Intimate Relationships

Consent is required, even in relationships

Sexual Violence and Intimate Partner Violence

Sexual violence isn’t different when it happens between partners in an ongoing or committed relationship. It can occur in non-violent relationships, but it’s more common in relationships with other abusive or violent patterns. Estimates that sexual violence occurs in relationships with domestic violence are as high as 70%.


No matter what kind of relationship you’re in, sexual violence victims all have the same rights. If you’re in a violent relationship, you should consider if you are also being sexually assaulted. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:


Is it sexual assault if my spouse, partner, boyfriend of girlfriend forces me?

Yes. Even if you’re married or in a committed relationship, being sexually forced without your consent is sexual assault. You have the right to affirmative consent to sexual activity even if it involves your spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend. Florida law provides that “no spouse or cohabitor shall compel the other spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force against such other spouse or cohabitor, or by the threat of the use of force against such other spouse or cohabitor which reasonably causes such other spouse or cohabitor to fear physical injury.” Sexual assault in a committed relationship is never OK!