Sexual Abuse Quiz: Scoring
Give yourself the appropriate number of points for every correct answer.
</font color=”#ebbaff”>20 or fewer points = You’re an optimist… a very wrong optimist, but an optimist. And your morals are stellar: you know how the law should read. Now that you know what is says in reality, help inform your legislators and join us in our optimism that public policy will change for the better for survivors.
20 – 40 points = You thought WV law was bad on this issue, but you didn’t realize quite how bad! Sexual abuse is a common form of domestic violence. We don’t legally allow physical violence between married partners. We shouldn’t allow sexual violence between married partners, either. This is one area where we can all agree the law must change to protect survivors.
40 – 50 points = Hello, fellow West Virginian. Even if you couldn’t quote chapter and verse of West Virginia code, you’re informed enough to guess the answers correctly. With a part-time legislature, sometimes injustices like this hang around in our code for far, far too long. But we can make fixing this injustice a legislative priority this year, with your help!
No matter your quiz score, you can join our efforts to remove West Virginia’s spousal sexual abuse legal loophole.
Do you think your legislators know as much about the law as you do now? We think if they knew about this loophole, the law would change.
Sign up below to work to improve public policy for survivors in WV.
So… WV actually has a marital exception?!
It’s true. In West Virginia, the sexual abuse laws still have the marital exception loophole, even though sexual assault laws don’t have that loophole.
Sexual abuse (first degree, second degree, and third degree) is when someone subjects another person to sexual contact without consent. In WV Code, sexual contact is defined as…
…any intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the breasts, buttocks, anus or any part of the sex organs of another person, or intentional touching of any part of another person’s body by the actor’s sex organs, where the victim is not married to the actor and the touching is done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party.
Additionally, for the criminal offense of sexual abuse, WV Code defines marriage as including people living together as spouses “regardless of the legal status of their relationship.”
Therefore, in West Virginia, if your legal spouse or even your live-in partner makes sexual contact in an abusive manner (meaning without your consent) there is a legal loophole that means there are no grounds for sexual abuse charges.
- Not even if they abused you while you were unconscious or incapacitated
- Not if you’re married but in the process of a divorce and, your spouse physically forces you
- Not even if they confess to law enforcement that they sexually abused you
- Not even if the same sexual abuse, if committed by anyone else, would result in the perpetrator being charged with sexual abuse.