Rape in a Relationship

A few weeks ago an article was published about a boyfriend being convicted for the rape of his girlfriend. What was more shocking than the story itself, was that some people in the comment section actually believed that it was not possible to be raped by your partner and that when you’re in a relationship, you’re supposed to give them sex whenever they want.

Choma that is absolutely not true. No one, not even your boyfriend or girlfriend, own your body or has any sort of right over your body. Rape in a relationship can and does happen. If you didn’t give your partner consent, for whatever reason, to have sex with you- and they do it anyway- it is rape. Here are a few things that you should know about rape in a relationship. 

Being entitled to your partner’s body

Having a boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t mean that they should always be down to have sex with you every time you want it. And just because your partner doesn’t want to have sex with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they no longer have feelings for you – so you should never force your partner into sex in order for them to prove they love you. Even in a relationship, both partners have rights and saying no to sex is their right. Assuming that because you are in a romantic relationship with your partner and therefore can have them however you want them is dangerous and problematic because you can’t own a person.

Having sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs

If your partner is too drunk or under the influence of drugs, you shouldn’t have sex with them because they are not in a position to consent to sex.  Someone who has passed out cannot give you consent – this also applies to sleep.

Your partner’s “no” doesn’t mean “convince me”

There’s a very thin line between persuasion and rape, especially in a romantic relationship. When you’re in the mood to be intimate- but your partner is not- that does not mean you have to convince them to change their mind. Respect their boundaries and their decision. 


Removing the condom during sex without your partner’s knowledge (and especially if you know they would not approve) is called stealthing and it’s sexual assault. Confused? Well, your partner only consented to sex with a condom so when you remove the condom, you’ve violated their consent. Not only have you violated them by going against the type of sex they agreed to, you also may have exposed them to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and also to unwanted pregnancy.

A lot of people believe that rape is a violent act that’s only carried out by someone you’re not romantically involved with, and that’s not true. Unfortunately, this happens often and it’s important for everyone to understand that so that we don’t judge those who report it and don’t support those who commit this crime. Regardless of your gender, you can be raped by a partner.  

It’s also really important to understand consent. So for more information about consent and the importance of it, read:

What is consent?

How to ask for consent

What is NOT considered consent

To report rape or to speak someone about it, you can contact:

 SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences: 012 393 2014

POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse): 0116424345/6

Stop Gender Abuse: 0800 150 150 (Toll free)

Life Line National number: 0861322322

Rape Crisis Line: 0214479762

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).