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Posts Tagged ‘Letters’

Joint letter from No To Rape and AWARE

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Last week the Straits Times published a joint letter from No To Rape and AWARE, responding to recent Forum contributions on the subject of marital rape.

The argument in support of Section 375(4) of the Penal Code, which treats marital rape as an exception to rape save in certain circumstances, is that “sexual relations are to be expected in a marriage”.

We agree, but consent should still be a pre-condition.

Where an individual regularly refuses to have sex with her spouse, the correct remedy would be for the spouse to seek a divorce, rather than to force her to have sex.

Law enforcers and lawyers regularly examine evidence of rape in other contexts.

If marital rape immunity were entirely repealed, these agencies would just have to apply the same considerations to marital rape cases, which are currently automatically excluded regardless of the strength of evidence.

Click here to read the full letter.

It is also worth noting some of the arguments raised by Benjamin Joshua Ong in support of reform:

First, by making the lack of consent to sexual intercourse merely an aggravating factor to another criminal charge, the present legislation does not highlight that the harm arises from the very fact of sexual intercourse without consent, and not only from other concomitant incidents of violence.

Second, it neglects the need for accurate labelling of offences. The word “rape” has connotations that reflect the seriousness of the offence. Surely nobody would be satisfied if the law referred to murder as, say, “very serious assault”; it would simply not do justice to the sense of moral repugnance at the crime.

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Update on correspondence with MCYS

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

By way of update, No To Rape has received a short reply to our latest message to MCYS. Here it is:

Dear Sir/Madam

I refer to your email on 16 Mar 2011.

2 The amendments to the Penal Code were made in 2007 following substantial public consultation and deliberation. We value your feedback and will take it into consideration in future reviews of the Penal Code. Thank you.

Best regards,

Rahayu Buang (Ms), Senior Assistant Director (Family Policy), Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports

Please continue to stay in touch for further updates on our work.

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MCYS response and No To Rape’s reply

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

[Edited on 17 March 2011 to add: A reader has pointed out that No To Rape incorrectly addressed Ms Rahayu Buang of MCYS as “Ms Buang” rather than “Ms Rahayu” in our reply. We are sorry for this error and have emailed Ms Rahayu to apologise. Many thanks to the blog visitor for pointing out our mistake.]

In October 2010 No To Rape made a submission to the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sport’s consultation on proposed amendments to the Women’s Charter. We reiterated our call for the complete repeal of Sections 375(4) and 376A(5) of the Penal Code, and also submitted that compulsory marriage preparation courses should emphasise the importance of affirmative consent in all sexual activity.

In November 2010 we received the below response from the Ministry. The reply that we sent them today is also reproduced below.

To date, given the absence of any reply to the original petition from the Prime Minister’s Office, this is the fullest statement that we have from the government on the issue of marital rape. No To Rape is continuing to work at a grassroots level to conduct research and build community report for legislative change. If you would like to be involved, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Click here to read the MCYS response and our reply

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Letter to Her World (February 2010)

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

By way of update, the No To Rape blog has been silent because the public petition drive has ended, but please be assured that we are continuing to work in other ways to push for the repeal of marital immunity for rape. Anyone who would like to be part of the team is more than welcome to get in touch.

For now, though, here is some wonderful news. You may remember that Her World ran an excellent article on marital rape last year, featuring interviews with women who had experienced marital rape and also the No To Rape campaign. One reader’s response to this article was published as a letter in the February issue of Her World. No To Rape wishes her friend the very best.

Sometimes life plays its own tune and forces us to dance on it. My closest friend is a victim of marital rape and when she was hospitalised after the traumatic episode; your issue came just in time.

I have no words to explain how much your article on Marital Rape helped her. We advised her that she should report this matter to the police but as usual she just turned a deaf ear. But, this article changed her perspective, so much so, that she called me instantly to ask if I could come with her to the police station. I am happy that she got an angel in Her World that changed her life remarkably.

I am short of words to explain the joy and sense of relief that I saw in her beautiful green eyes. Today, she gives credit of this grand success to your magazine. She recommends the magazine to everyone and loves it to the core. You guys, helped her sail through the tough and the harsh times.

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Query on NRIC numbers

Friday, August 14th, 2009

We’ve received the following query from a visitor to the site, which we are reproducing with their kind permisson:

Thank you for organising this campaign that seeks to protect and fight for the rights of Singapore’s women folks. Obviously I agree with the view point that rape is rape and marriage should not also legalise rape. I’ve signed the petition as well, but perhaps a little too quickly because now there is a burning question in my mind.

The petition form requires the filling in of the NRIC number, which the site says is only for validation purposes. May I know what that ‘validation’ might be, assuming that none of the organisers are from government agencies that have access to such records. Also, how do you intend to handle these private information, especially after the campaign? And how would you ensure of zero chance of abuse?

I’ve typed in my NRIC, but a friend who also signed for the petition, told me she did not do so and her entry showed up all the same, all the more reason for my worries. If it is not necessary to input the NRIC for the petition in the first place, why the inclusion of that choice?

Click here to read the rest

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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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Query on Residence Status

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

We have received the following query, which may be of interest to many visitors to the site. So, with the kind permission of the author, we are reproducing it here:

Hello all. First and foremost, I would like to commend the team contributing to this cause for their effort, and dedication, to making a much-welcomed change.

I have a question though – I see that non-residents have been included in signing the petition – is/should this be allowed? Are non-residents allowed to interfere in a sovereign state’s affairs?

My perspective on this issue is that I fully support the move to ensure that Singaporeans and PRs sign the petition. However, i am not convinced that the petition would be persuasive if it contained the signatures of non-Singaporeans, especially since the petition concerns a change in domestic legislation. This is a worthy cause, and it would be unfortunate to see the petition being rejected on such grounds.

I look forward to hearing your views regarding this query.

Our response is as follows:

Thank you for your kind words and for your feedback. We understand your concerns and for those reasons we ask all signatories to specify whether they are Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents or Other. When the signatures are tallied, we will be able to give the total numbers who are Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents without including all those who have selected Other. At the same time, we appreciate and welcome statements of support from anyone.

If you have any other questions about the petition or the campaign please do not hesitate to contact us at NoToRape@gmail.com, or leave a comment on this blog.

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