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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ENSURING WOMEN’S SAFETY: THE CASE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE


Tuesday, January 29th, 2013  

According to Wikipedia, “sexual violence occurs throughout the world, although in most countries there has been little research

www.femonite.com

www.femonite.com

conducted on the problem. Due to the private nature of sexual violence, estimating the extent of the problem is difficult. Research in South Africa and Tanzania suggests 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”.

Sexual violence is any sexual act that is perpetrated on a person against their will.  It encompasses a range of offences, including a completed non-consensual sex act (i.e. rape), an attempted non-consensual sex act, abusive sexual contact (i.e. unwanted touching), and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g. threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment).  The most common incident of sexual violence is rape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(See  http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/definitions.html)

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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 – 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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