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Thanks to The Online Citizen

No To Rape would like to thank The Online Citizen (TOC) for its recent coverage of the campaign. It raises some interesting questions about the response to No To Rape, including a comparison to the 2007 petition to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code.

Originally scheduled to end in September, the petition drive has been extended to 30 November.

One reason for this slow response is because marital rape has been given less publicity in the press, as opposed to homosexuality, said professor Chua Beng Huat, a sociology professor in the National University of Singapore (NUS).

He added: “Those who were raped by their spouses are reluctant to go to court for violence or abuse.”

Prof Chua also said that victims of marital rape are also less likely to take on self-identity as marital rape victims, unlike homosexuals who label themselves as LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people).

According to him, gay politics is driven by gays themselves and not by somebody on their behalf, and they constitute a significant number of individuals signing the petition against 337A, while marital rape petition is done on the behalf of the victims who are likely to be a small number.

As the article mentions, we are very much heartened by the positive responses we’ve had to date – it means a great deal to us because we are such a small team, working with so few resources. It’s worth noting, though, that homosexuality has a much greater profile in pop culture and the media in recent years than does marital rape. Movies like Brokeback Mountain and Milk have achieved immense commercial success, but there is no real comparable visibility for marital rape. Moreover, rape victims are more unlikely to identify themselves to anyone at all, even to one another, or gather for social and other purposes on the basis of their experiences of victimisation, as it is often hard to imagine any gain from doing so. This is especially the case in relation to marital rape, where the law does not even recognise the assault as rape to begin with.

In our opinion, these are a few reasons why the petitions are not in quite the same position in terms of pre-existing visibility and organiser and supporter demographics.

Our hope is very much that this campaign will help to open up a public conversation about this issue, and to the extent this is already happening, your responses to us have been far from “lukewarm”. For this, we thank you, the public – and hope you will continue to push the discussion further in every possible arena.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 at 9:42 pm 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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