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Posts Tagged ‘Events’

No To Rape at SlutTalk (3 December)

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Many of you are probably aware of SlutWalk Singapore, the local chapter of the international movement against victim-blaming in rape cases and the common practice of “slut-shaming”, or judging and shaming people because of their sexuality or perceptions about their sexuality. To find out more about the ethos and aims of SlutWalk, which is frequently misunderstood, do read their brief FAQ.

In addition to the main SlutWalk taking place on 4 December, SlutWalk is hosting a range of related events to raise awareness about sexual violence. Wong Pei Chi of No To Rape will participate in SlutTalk, a series of workshops, talks and discussions taking place all afternoon and evening at the Substation on 3 December. Together with Dr. Ingrid Hoofd and Alex Serrenti, she will be part of a roundtable discussion about victim-blaming and advocacy around sexual violence, titled “Challenging Complicities” and organised by Singapore Queer-Straight Alliance. It begins at 6pm.

There are many other events going on which may be of interest: see the full listing here.

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Book launch of “Nightingale Songs”

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

AWARE is organising a book launch this Friday for Nightingale Songs, described as “the first comprehensive documentation of the experiences of domestic violence survivors in Singapore”.

In Nightingale Songs, survivors of domestic violence share their personal stories. Professionals like counsellors also discuss their involvement in this challenging field and what their experiences have taught them. The diversity of stories in the book shows that this social problem is not limited to any particular class or ethnic group, but cuts across the boundaries of race, religion, education and socio-economic status.

The launch will be accompanied by a discussion panel including survivors of domestic violence and professionals who work with survivors. The event is free but online registration is required.

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“Two Views of Rape”: Guest post on SlutWalk Singapore

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

SlutWalk Singapore is holding a series of events to combat sexual violence in Singapore and the social attitudes that often prevent rape survivors from being taken seriously when they speak about their experiences. No To Rape has contributed a guest blog post on marital rape to the SlutWalk site.

Some rapes, the law says, don’t really count.

To understand this, we need to recognise that there are broadly two, incompatible, ways of looking at rape.

The first takes seriously the fundamental right of all people to the ownership of their bodies. There are no exceptions. Every person, of any gender or marital status and regardless of anything in their character or personal history, has a right to the absolute final say on what, if anything, is put into their bodies. A rapist’s physical acts are a forcible assertion of the right to make this decision for someone else. This is inherently violent, even if there are no further blows (though there often are). Rape is best thought of not as “sex gone wrong”, but as a beating, carried out with a sexual organ rather than a fist. This point of view is championed by – among others – No To Rape, the campaign to abolish marital immunity for rape in Singapore.

Click through to read the rest of the post, as well as the many other perspectives offered by a diverse range of bloggers.

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No To Rape members are AWARE’s 2011 Young Wonders

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

We are very honoured that AWARE has chosen Jolene Tan and Wong Pei Chi, two No To Rape core team members, as its Young Wonders for 2011. As we stressed at the time of the nomination, these awards have been made because of the work of the entire No To Rape team, and its many supporters and volunteers, in seeking the complete repeal of marital immunity for rape. No To Rape would like to thank AWARE for its support of our continuing work to combat sexual violence in the home.

Below is a video interview of Wong Pei Chi, speaking about the importance of addressing marital rape and the support that the campaign has received.

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The Church’s Response to Violence in the Home: a seminar at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church

Monday, September 26th, 2011

On 7 August 2011, Mr Benny Bong, a Family and Marital Therapist, and a speaker at No To Rape’s 2009 seminar, facilitated a seminar on “The Church’s Response to Violence in the Home”. This seminar was held at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, which Mr Bong is a member of. Dr Ngiam Tee Liang, a Professor in the NUS Department of Social Work, moderated the session.

Mr Bong presented statistics from the Society Against Family Violence – National University of Singapore (SAFV-NUS) study on the prevalence of Violence Against Women, which, in 2009, surveyed a random sample of women in Singapore. 9.2% of survey respondents indicated that they had been a victim of physical and/or sexual violence. There was no overrepresentation of family violence by race or religion, although anecdotal data suggested that Indian victims of family violence are more likely to seek help compared to victims of other races, thus giving the impression that family violence is a bigger problem in the Indian community. Interestingly enough, a disproportionate number of victims had university and post-graduate qualifications, which goes against the notion that better educated women are less prone to experience partner abuse.

Mr Bong stated that spousal violence is, without exception, against Christian values. He then showed some statistics on responses that pastors in the US gave to their members about how they counselled wives of abusive husbands. In this example, 26% of respondents said they would tell the victims to continue to submit to their husbands, 25% of respondents implied that abuse was the victim’s fault, and 50% said the victim should be willing to tolerate some level of violence because it is better than divorce. Mr Bong said that these responses place victims at great risk and discouraged them from seeking help. He emphasised that the safety of the victim should take precedence over all other concerns; people who are currently propagating unhelpful views about domestic violence should stop the three traditional responses of denial, minimization and blame, and support victims’ rights instead.

He also discussed the difficulty of identifying victims in the first place, especially victims of psychological violence without physical violence, and suggested that the best way to get them to come forward is to proactively reach out to women in the community, for instance by handing out pamphlets on domestic violence, so that victims will realise that help is available.

Regarding the issue of pre-marital counselling as a way to reduce incidence of violence in marriages, Mr Bong said that the Syariah Court mandates pre-marriage classes for couples who intend to enter Muslim marriages, and the syllabus includes how to have better communication and conflict resolution. However, for civil marriages, pre-marital counselling is not compulsory. Thus, the only organisations which can require couples to attend pre-marital counselling are religious organisations. Mr Bong mentioned that many churches require their members to go through pre-marriage classes if they want to get married by the pastor in the church, but these classes often do not deal with domestic violence.

Mr Bong concluded by saying that the Church should provide protection to domestic violence victims by telling victims that they do not deserve to be badly treated and admonishing perpetrators to stop using violence. There should also be provision for the practical needs of victims by working with community agencies such as police and shelters. Finally, more work needs to be done to reach out to victims in some churches who may face lack of support from their church leaders and congregation.

If you or someone you know are at risk of, or are experiencing domestic violence, help is available. The AWARE website contains resources (including details of a helpline and support service) for those facing abusive relationships and/or rape and sexual assault. Information on free legal clinics in Singapore is available here.

No To Rape would like to thank Kampong Kapor Methodist Church for inviting the team to the seminar.

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Channel News Asia mention of No To Rape

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Many thanks to Channel News Asia for their mention of No To Rape in their report on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Other events covered include H.O.M.E.’s Singapore Court of Women and AWARE’s White Ribbon Campaign.

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Singapore Court of Women

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

You may recall that No To Rape’s petition drive is ending on 30 November to coincide with activities around the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women. One of those events, Singapore Court of Women, is taking place this Sunday 22 November, at 10am, and is organised by H.O.M.E., Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics.

To mark International Day of the Elimination of Violence, come attend and understand that the Singapore Court of Women is not a judicial court but a people’s court where victims of trafficking and labour exploitation testify before and apppointed jury. Such a court allows space for women who have suffered in silence. The court would be a place for this silence to be broken and the wounds of hurts be healed through such a powerful process.

Although this is not directly related to marital immunity for rape, it should be of great interest to anyone who cares about ending violence against women. Admission is by invitation only but you can contact H.O.M.E. by email to request an invite. It promises to be very interesting, so please do consider attending.

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whose Right is it anyway?

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

No To Rape is pleased to announce that our third film ad will be launched on 31 October, at ‘whose Right is it anyway?’, a human rights workshop for youth.

The United Nations Youth Association of Singapore (UNYAS) and our kind organisational endorsers MARUAH (Singapore working group for a human rights mechanism) will be holding a full-day workshop for those who are young and interested in finding out what human rights are about.

Date: 31 October
Time: 09 00 h
Venue: Singapore Management University School of Business Seminar room 2.5

For more details and to register, visit their website.

No To Rape is very grateful to MARUAH and UNYAS for allowing us to screen our film ad at their event. Those of you who can’t make it will be able to catch it here on the No To Rape blog, of course: watch this space for updates.

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Seminar video highlights, part 3

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

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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Seminar video highlights, part 2

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Although full videos of our public seminar held on 7 August are available, we have extracted several shorter segments that highlight major points of interest.

Associate Professor Chan Wing Cheong of the NUS Law Faculty responds to a question on the difficulties of proving non-consent in the marital rape scenario:

Former NMP Siew Kum Hong responds to an audience member expressing concerns about the preservation of marriages:

Similarly, Benny Bong, President of the Society Against Family Violence, opines on the question of whether removing marital immunity for rape will weaken family bonds:

Watch this space for more!

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