The government is actively reviewing the issue of marital immunity for rape, says Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin in parliament yesterday.
The ministry is looking to grant married women the same protection from violence as unmarried women.
He said: “Although married persons have conjugal rights over each other, such rights should be exercised within reasonable behaviour.”
He said that although existing laws made Singapore safer for women, the government would have to take an active role to “shape society’s ideas about what is not acceptable”.
The minister was responding to MPs’ concerns about violence against women.
Singapore did not recognize the concept of marital rape until 2007. In that year, the law was amended to recognize marital rape under specific circumstances, such as if the couple lived apart under an interim judgement of divorce or written separation agreement, or if divorce proceedings had begun, or if a wife had already obtained a personal protection order against her husband.