The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development hosted a symposium on the proposed changes to the Sexual Offences Act. Cleopatra Christie represented the Bahamas Crisis Center at the event where she made a presentation. Mrs. Christie said, “rape is motivated out of anger and the need to dominate, humiliate and control. Research has shown the rape is not about sex. It has little to do with sex. Sex is the weapon. It is a vehicle used to overpower, embarrass and humiliate.”

Mrs. Christie also spoke about the affect of abuse in the home on children and other family members. She told attendees, “where marital rape occurs, spousal rape, rape, children suffer. They are traumatized and they have many lasting effects. So for better or for worse, oh dear. Does it mean forced sex, black eyes, broken bones, bloody noses, physical injuries, injuries to my private parts, psychological effects, which includes PTSD, anxiety, fear, depression, suicidal ideation, sleeping disorder.”

The issue of marital rape has been a topic for discussion on the national level for many years. The government is currently drafting an amendment bill to the Sexual Offences Act that addresses, among other things, consent.