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40 years of change in the lives of Irish women

8 Refuse to have sex with her husband

In 1970 the phrase “marital rape” was a contradiction in terms. A husband was assumed to have the right to have sex with his wife and consent was not, in the eyes of the law, an issue.

Women’s adultery was also specifically penalised in the civil law, the notorious tort of “criminal conversation” or “CrimCon”: a husband could legally sue another man for compensation for sleeping with his wife.