The issue of marital rape has, once again, been a topic of national discussion. The government is proposing changes to the Sexual Offences Act that will address, among other things, consent. The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development hosted a symposium bringing together stakeholders for a candid conversation on the issue.

On hand where numerous Pastors and denomination heads who gave their various perspectives on the sensitive subject. National Overseer of the Church of God, Bishop Moses Johnson told reporters, “I want to make it absolutely clear that most of us as church leaders do not believe in abuse inside or outside of marriage.”

Rev. T.G. Morrison of Zion East and Shirley Streets was also there and said, “if we say that God is love the very notion of rape brings in the dynamic of violence, of exploitation and those two concepts do not go hand and hand with God.”

According to Attorney General, Sen. the Hon. Ryan Pinder, the proposed bill is intended to, among other things, address matters related to consent. He said, “over the years there has been a lot of dialogue and a lot of input and questions on false accusations and what exactly is consent in these circumstances.”

A victim expressed her view that marital rape should be addressed in the law to ZNS news saying, “I support the issue of marital rape being included into the law because I myself have been through a similar situation where I had to give myself in to someone who have already abused, not even only sexually, who have already hit me and already abused me and draw blood and called me out of me name. And then I had to lay down and have sex with this person unwillingly and my worse was not heard because oh, you’re supposed to be in this relationship. You’re supposed to stand by him.”

The Attorney General promises that discussion on the matter will continue after the one day symposium had concluded. He invited anyone with concerns on the proposed amendments to contact the Office of the Attorney General.