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The prey bites back

Dec 10,2017 - Last updated at Dec 10,2017

In the 1970s, when I was an undergraduate, the feminist movement in Britain was still campaigning to criminalise marital rape, which is rape of one spouse by the other. The university debating society organised a students’ union debate on the issue, and I remember vividly how heated it was.  

Conservative students, particularly from law school, defended the legal doctrine of coverture, which maintained that husband and wife are one person, and upon marriage, a woman’s legal rights and obligations, including control over her body, were subsumed by those of her husband.

I remembered this when news started to come thick and fast about celebrities, who were highly respected in their fields, and who turned out to be sexual predators.  The most recent was Senator Al Franken who resigned from office for allegations of sexual misconduct. 

When women finally mustered the courage to break the code of silence that shrouded sexual abuse, it turned out that in 2017, almost every single woman has a story about sexual harassment.

People are always keen to blame someone else.  Many in the West blame Muslims for “subjugating women and denying their rights”, while Muslims accuse the West of greater sexual misconduct because “liberal culture is prone to depravity”.  The truth is that this is not a question of East or West; it is the world.  The poor and the young are more vulnerable than those better off, but this is true everywhere. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) data suggest that nearly one in four women may experience sexual violence by an intimate partner, and up to one-third of adolescent girls report their first sexual experience as being forced.This includes child molestation when it occurs within the context of child marriage.

Yet according to WHO, available statistics typically come from police, clinical settings, non-governmental organisations and survey research.  But they represent only the small tip of the iceberg, compared to the global magnitude of the problem.

Many women do not report sexual violence to police and do not seek medical services for immediate problems related to sexual violence.  They are either ashamed, or they fear being blamed, not believed, mistreated, or even killed to cleanse the family honour. 

This is why the silence breakers were very courageous, and they richly deserved to be selected Person of the Year. They are leading the world to a day when those who hold power over others can no longer coerce them to gain sexual gratification with impunity.  

We may draw some solace from the thought that, althoughthe world’s insanity monitor rises to danger level our moral compass still points in the right direction.  In 1993, the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women established marital rape as a human rights violation, and by 2011, at least 52 states had explicitly outlawed marital rape in their criminal code.  

I imagine that many of the young men who spoke at the debate would be embarrassed if they were reminded today of the things they said.

 

 

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Men get violated as much as women do.Men have too much pride and dignity that won't allow them to openly talk about the violations, they experience, for fear of creating controversies for the women violating them and or perhaps it is way too scandalous for the men to talk about their ordeals- --although in some instances it may just like women scar them for life time.Pundits in the field of forensic science have put in place mechanisms for uncovering rape cases, they range from taking DNA samples, scouting the scene of the crime and gathering sample evidence, interviewing witnesses and so on. The fundamental issue these days isn't rape because solving it has almost reached fruition. It is rather rather harassment, bullying , intimidation and instilling consternation in the minds and hearts of the victims continues to be a problem plaguing the most astute amongst us. The reason being more often than not the cases are very difficult to prove especially if there are no witnesses and there is no valuable probative germane evidence.Unless there is flat out confession by either the aggrieved or the perpetrator it remains a case of he said / she said type a thing and no one knows the real truth, this is particularly evident in cases where there is infatuation, obsession, or otherwise stalking. The criminals tend to be savvy, obfuscated and they don't leave any evidence behind . so they remain anonymous while they continue with their sinister & tormenting actions. To put the foregoing in a meaningful perspective : Acts of violent sexcual nature or intimacy are not limited to one single gender, they are mutually exclusive, they can be initiated by a man or a woman. Women are being heard more than men because they are the weaker link, and men tend to bury their head in the sand for fear of scandal.

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