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Campaign Action: Write to MHA

(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], [2], [3], [4] and [5].)

The current No To Rape Campaign Action is:

Write to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of all those resident in Singapore. This includes protecting all women in Singapore from violence of any kind, from anyone.

Send an email or a letter to Minister for Home Affairs Mr Wong Kan Seng, telling him that you think marital immunity for rape should be completely abolished.

Email: wong_kan_seng@mha.gov.sg

Post: Ministry of Home Affairs, New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329560

The letter will have more effect if you use your own words.

But we know from previous correspondence that there are particular aspects of this issue MHA is patricularly concerned with. We set these out, and suggested responses, below:

- The potential for false accusations. Many countries have abolished marital immunity for rape. There is no indication that they experience especial difficulties with wrongly convicting those accused of marital rape. None of them are citing this as a reason to return to marital immunity.

- The incentive to falsely allege rape for an advantage in divorce and custody proceedings. According to Associate Professor Chan Wing Cheong of the NUS Law Faculty, there is no legal advantage to be gained in these proceedings by falsely alleging rape.

- Non-consent is hard to prove. Only by seeking a PPO etc. can a wife clearly demonstrate non-consent. Men are perfectly capable of understanding “No” from their wives; those who commit rape are those who ignore it. In addition to victim testimony, evidence can include physical evidence of restraint or injury such as vaginal tearing, or the testimony of children or others in the household who may witness or overhear the act or relevant threats. Why should evidence be ignored just because the woman did not predict violence beforehand and obtain a PPO?

- Finally, it may be worth pointing out that no marital immunity exists for forced sex acts other than penile-vaginal rape. A man who forces his hand inside his wife’s vagina commits the offence of “sexual penetration”. Since the law envisages investigating and prosecuting in such situations – and there is no evidence of a flood of “vengeful wives” making false allegations of this kind – why is penile-vaginal rape different?

More ideas can be found in the Model Letter in the Promote section.

Thank you for taking action, and please remember to let us know of any replies you receive.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 at 4:40 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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