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Seminar video highlights, part 3

You can view full videos of the public seminar No To Rape organised on 7 August, but we are also extracting shorter segments that may be of particular interest.

Associate Professor Chan Wing Cheong of NUS Law Faculty responds to the question of whether falsely alleging marital rape would provide an advantage to women in divorce proceedings, saying “Generally, those kinds of allegations will not give any person advantage.”

Associate Professor Chan also addresses the claim that non-consent can only be adequately signalled by moving out and applying for one of the relevant legal orders cited in the exceptions to marital immunity for rape, saying: “Husbands should be given greater credit.”

Determinations of non-consent for the offence of sexual penetration under Section 376 are made on a case-by-case basis on the strength of the available evidence, without requiring any prior legal steps by the complainant. Why then should we accept a blanket rejection of all this evidence in cases of marital rape? Moreover, any rape is by definition carried out at close quarters. It should not be difficult to speak to someone who is right in front of you. If a husband has any reason at all to doubt that his wife is consenting to the act, for example because of her facial expression, it takes no more than half a second to verbally check.

Braema Mathi of MARUAH also shares a troubling anecdote about a woman who had been subject to physical abuse – an account including the very distressing detail that her vagina had been cut by her husband. She talks about the importance of having supportive people around to help an abused spouse come forward.

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