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Archive for August, 2009

Query on proof and ‘double jeopardy’

Friday, August 14th, 2009

We have received the following query, which may be of interest to visitors to the site. So, with the kind permission of the author, we are reproducing it here. Given the length of the query, the author has also given us permission to abridge the initial email. We have indicated omissions and paraphrasing in square brackets but hope the final result accurately conveys the substance of the concerns: Entry continues, click here for more

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Change in the Bahamas

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Not only among our neighbours (and many in Asia), but also in the distant nation of The Bahamas, marital rape is being taken seriously:

The government presented legislation to Parliament that would completely ban marital rape in The Bahamas.

Presently, marital rape is only recognized in The Bahamas if the couple is separated or is in the progress of getting a divorce.

This has similarities to the position in Singapore, where marital rape is only treated as rape in limited circumstances.

This interesting article details the reactions of a number of Christian ministers in The Bahamas. They state that the ethical teachings of their faith condemn marital rape, and acknowledge that state law must hold perpetrators of violence accountable.

Bishop Williams said marriage ordained by God involves caring, sharing and love for one’s spouse. Therefore, a man living by the Word of God is not going to willfully violate his own wife. He advises that if there are any problems (especially those sexual in nature) in the marriage, a husband who loves his wife as God says he should, will be more understanding about the matter and be able to deal with it by showing love and not violently or by force.

“If by force, then where is the love of God in his heart?”

Grand Bahama Christian Council President Bishop Sobig Kemp believes the amendment of the marital rape law does not go against the word of God because love is the fulfilment of God’s word.

“Love never forces itself on a person, that is not God’s way,” Bishop Kemp said. “Therefore it is never demonstrated with violence or abuse. This problem arises because of self or personal gratification in a relationship without any concern or interest for the other person. This is totally contrary to God’s Word.”

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Campaign Action: put up our posters

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

(Campaign Actions are suggestions we make every fortnight for steps you can take – in addition to spreading the No To Rape message online – to help the effort for change. Previous Campaign Actions: [1] and [2].)

The current No To Rape Campaign Action is:

Put up our poster. You can find a simple, black-and-white A4-sized poster in the Resources column of the Promote section of our website. Print it out on ordinary paper and put it up on the notice boards of places you go to – like your office, your campus or your place of worship. Get permission from your favourite shop or eating place to put it up there too!

Please send us an email at NoToRape@gmail.com to let us know where you put the posters up – preferably with a picture if you can take one! We’d also love to hear about it if you took part in last fortnight’s Campaign Action.

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Towards Criminalising Marital Rape: on video

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Videos of our public seminar are now being posted here. Not all of the event is reflected there yet, as the uploading process takes some time, but most of the presentations and Q&As are already available. So if you didn’t make it to SMU last Friday – or if you did, and want to revisit any of it – have a look!

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No To Rape films: “It is time we speak up”

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Thanks to the kindness of writer/director David Shiyang Liu, we are pleased to release the film-ad, “It is time we speak up”. This premiered at the No To Rape Seminar on Friday and is now available on YouTube. Please share this video with friends and family, and encourage them to sign the Petition today.

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Tweets and video from the seminar

Friday, August 7th, 2009

If you can’t attend tonight’s Seminar in person, there are other ways to catch up with the discussion. We will be using Twitter to send live updates – simply follow @notorape or use the hashtag #notorape to tune in to what’s going on.

We will also be filming the presentations and discussions, and hope to make these available to everyone through our website in due course.

Finally, thanks to the kindness of volunteers, No To Rape has a number of film ads in the pipeline. The first will premiere at the seminar tonight, but you should be able to watch them all soon right here.

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Across the Causeway

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

The Straits Times reports on the first use of a law, introduced in Malaysia in 2007, which is intended to address marital rape:

A MALAYSIAN man who forced his wife to have sex with him has been sentenced to the maximum five years in jail, in what appears to be the country’s first successful prosecution under a new law against stop marital rape. [...]

‘We hope this will inspire other wives who suffer in silence to come out and seek justice for themselves,’ Judge Hassan Abdul Ghani was quoted by the Times as saying.

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Tamil version of petition now available

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Thanks to the generosity of volunteers, the Tamil language version of the No To Rape Petition is now up! You can access this as a webpage or download it as a PDF file which you can send on to friends and family. Don’t forget that Chinese (simplified and traditional) and Bahasa Melayu translations are available too.

p.s. Be sure to register for tomorrow’s seminar – spaces are still available!

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Anita Kapoor to moderate No To Rape Seminar

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

No To Rape is very pleased to announce that our public seminar on 7 August, Towards Criminalising Marital Rape, will be moderated by the campaign’s celebrity ambassador, Anita Kapoor. She will facilitate what we expect to be an insightful and informative discussion on the issues raised by the call to abolish marital immunity for rape. If you want to find out more or have any questions – about experiences of marital rape, about the legal nuances of the subject, and about how we can make this reform a reality – this is a unique opportunity to speak to those in the know. More details, and a registration form, can be found here.

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In your words

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

So many of the messages left by signatories on the No To Rape petition are inspiring, moving and thought-provoking. So far we have tended to highlight the words of those with first hand experience of abuse, or those who have worked with victims. But we receive so many heartening and considered responses, on an almost-daily basis, that it seems fitting to mention some of them here.

Signatory Nina Carlina says:

When being in a marriage gives someone the legal right to abuse another, it becomes crucial to examine our definition of marriage. While the understanding of marriage varies across time and cultures, we have to decide if we want ours to allow our sisters, daughters and fellow human to be subjected to constant fear and helplessness; to be reduced to the level of a sexual object, by the very man she has chosen to love. The uncontrolled expression of violence – that marriage in Singapore condones – is a sharp irony and a stark loophole in the stand we take for human rights and progress. The reasoning of not prying into personal relationships between man and wife seems arbitrary and simply taking the easy way out. Some say it is difficult to draw the line between rape and consensual sex in a marriage, or that evidence in court is hard to obtain. Yet a sticky challenge should not affect the values we live by – it is no excuse to turn a blind eye. If we do not say no to rape, we say no to some of the very qualities that make us human – conscience, compassion and love.

Mohamed Imran bin Mohamed Taib shares a religious perspective:

Based on humanistic values informed by my religion (Islam), marital rape is a degrading act that betrays the sanctity of union in marriage, and contravenes the principle of human dignity accorded to both man and woman.

Kueh Keji makes an unequivocal statement:

As a man, I respect that a woman should have the right to say “no” to unwanted sex. Nobody deserves to have non-consensual sex forced upon them, and I am deeply repulsed that we still have a law that allows a man to rape a woman, irregardless of their marital connection. This law is an is absolute outrage, outdated, and long overdue for revision. Kindly do something about it.

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