Yara Blog


The Disparity between Reality and the Law: Marital Rape


Tuesday, February 12th, 2013  

www.fall2008rapeinfo.webs.com

www.fall2008rapeinfo.webs.com

It was the first mass of the new year, and the priest had decided to base the sermon on family values in accordance with the life of the

holy family. He preached about various habits of couples that ruined marriages, such as excessive drinking, gambling, adultery, abuse, etc. However, what really caught my attention was a question he addressed to the married couples about whether in their opinion a man could rape his wife. There was silence at first, but there came a resounding ‘yes’ from the congregation. According to these people, the answer was ‘yes’. It was indeed possible for a man to rape his wife. However, as a law student, I knew better. According to our laws, the answer should definitely not have been yes! Actually, it should have been a resounding ’no’.

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When the Law has No Power: The “Corrective Rape” Situation in South Africa


Thursday, January 10th, 2013  

www,icr.org

www,icr.org

South Africa has long been celebrated as the “Rainbow nation” because of her plurality and diversity. And, although South Africa was the first country to grant constitutional recognition to the protection of the rights of homosexuals, there appears to be a wide gulf between law and practice in this “progressive” state.

In recent times, there have been several cases of what has been termed “corrective rape” or “curative rape”. This refers to a situation where women who have sex with women (WSW) are sexually and brutally ‘punished’ by men for being gay and violating traditional gender presentation. Not long ago, on May 4, 2011, a 13 year old girl was raped near Pretoria, South Africa, because of her sexual orientation.  According to the young victim, her assailant told her he was “curing” her of lesbianism. This is just one of the many attacks on the dignity and bodily integrity of lesbian women. It is worth noting that such incidents of violence against WSW are not peculiar to South Africa but have also occurred in other African states like Zimbabwe and Uganda, as well as in Jamaica.

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THE RAPE CHRONICLES – The Reality


Friday, August 31st, 2012  

Before evidential issues are even raised, insuperable as they are, there still exist greater social challenges to attaining justice for women who suffer this crime. According to a 2006 Amnesty International report on rape in Nigeria that cited several national civil society organizations, the greatest challenges is getting victims to report the crime and getting the police to investigate and prosecute rape. The AI report also says social stigma is a major reason rape is under-reported. I personally think that we did not need the research to realize how badly rape victims are conceived by our society. Added to social stigma is the insensitive and traumatic treatment victims can expect to experience with the untrained police and the criminal justice system in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the same Amensty International report, states that state actors especially the police are the major perpetrators of rape and violence against women.

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THE RAPE CHRONICLES – A Place for Date Rape?


Friday, August 24th, 2012  

Date rape is the common term for non-consensual sexual (vaginal, anal, oral) intercourse that is forced (by way of physical force or

psychological coercion) on a person by someone that they know. Date rape is a complex and difficult area of criminal law, given the nature of the relationship between the victim and the accused.  However, most jurisdictions like ours, make no legal distinction between date rape and rape. This is even though it is well known that rape occurs far more often between people already acquainted than between strangers.

(Date) Rape cases may also take the form of emotional or financial coercion as opposed to the regular physical coercion. Where the rapist is placed in a higher position, he may use his position to harass and intimidate a woman to succumb to his sexual demands. By instilling fear through threats, a woman in that circumstance who succumbs can hardly be said to have given her consent. Where the rapists threatens to withhold or refuse promotions, money, examination results or anything due to the victim, the eventual intercourse would also fall under the heading of rape. In these cases, there will be no form of physical evidence.

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THE RAPE CHRONICLES – Rape A Gender Question?


Friday, August 17th, 2012  

There are not many criminal acts as invasive, as degrading and as traumatizing as the act of rape. The victim becomes scarred for life, and many times, ends up with significant psycho-sexual challenges. It was conceived to be so reprehensible in the old days that the Law of Moses in the Old Testament of the Bible stipulated that the rapist be put to death. (Deut.22:25-26).

Rape is simply defined as non-consensual sex. But, in that definition lies the error of simplicity. It certainly raises more questions than it answers. What if the victim “invited” the non-consensual sex, perhaps by her dressing or her attitude? What if she didn’t struggle or cry for help?  What if both parties were drunk? What if the “rapist” heard yes when the victim was really saying no? What if she was not particularly forced, but was only emotionally coerced? Or financially coerced?

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