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Posts Tagged ‘Media’

Thanks to Temasek Review

Monday, October 26th, 2009

No To Rape would like to thank Temasek Review for kindly publishing a call for support for our petition. Please keep those signatures coming!

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Her World feature on marital rape

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Her World: November 2009.

November’s issue of Her World is now available at newsstands, and it includes an in-depth interview with a woman who was raped by her husband multiple times. We’re very glad that Her World has chosen to highlight this important issue. Do buy a copy!

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Thanks to The Online Citizen

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

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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Get Rea! – includes victim testimony

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Here is the episode of Get Rea!, hosted by Cheryl Fox, which focuses on marital rape and was first broadcast on 14 September on Channel News Asia. It features moving interviews with two women who have had personal experiences of marital rape, as well as No To Rape.

Segment 1 of 3:

Segment 2 of 3:

Segment 3 of 3:

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A salute, and your thoughts

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

If you haven’t yet caught the Channel News Asia documentary on marital rape, you have a final chance tomorrow, at 5.30pm. No To Rape would like to offer a salute, with the deepest admiration, to those women who have bravely shared their experiences with the nation through this television programme. Your courage and generosity is amazing.

Thank you also to the now more than 2,500 of you who have signed the Petition. As always, many of your eloquent messages deserve to be highlighted here. Some, like this signatory, speak in a voice usually hidden from the world:

I believe in the institution of marriage. Current exceptions for marital is not enough to protect the woman. As someone who was once a victim and had to endure this quietly, I am definitely for the abolition of total rape immunity.

Social worker Hema Gurnani also sheds light on the reality of family violence:

I work in a VWO dealing with children and youth, age ranging from 3.5 – 20 years.
I have been involved in social work for 12.5 years. During my work with children and youths I do interract with many parents, mostly women.
It is indeed very sad to note that there are many women who suffer sexual viloence / abuse in silence because men tend to think that it is their marital right to have sex with his lawful wife with or without consent.
Who is going to stop the abuse or protect the women of our country? I would think women deserve the right to choose, and be free of any sexual abuse.

Gregory Ng offers a clear, heartfelt statement from a male perspective:

this could affect the lives of our mothers, sisters and daughters. protect them like you would protect your own.

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AWARE hosts No To Rape opinion piece

Monday, September 14th, 2009

The Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), which endorses No To Rape, has very kindly published a short opinion piece on marital immunity for rape penned by Jolene Tan, a core member of the No To Rape team. Do check it out!

p.s. Don’t forget to tune in to Channel News Asia today, at 8.30pm, to catch an episode of Get Rea! focusing on marital rape. If you can’t make it, don’t fret – there will be repeat broadcasts later this week.

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No To Rape on Channel News Asia

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

We are pleased to announce the exciting news that Channel News Asia is airing a documentary on marital rape – and No To Rape will be featured. We know that the producers have been looking at the issue from many angles and expect it to be well worth watching.

Series 8, Episode 4 of Get Rea! will be first televised on Monday 14 September at 8.30pm with follow-up broadcasts at the following times:

Monday 14 September at 11.30pm
Tuesday 15 September at 1.30pm
Wednesday 16 September at 5.30pm

The blurb can be found at the Channel News Asia TV guide:

She falls in love and gets married. It’s a ritual every girl looks forward to. But what happens when her husband starts forcing himself on her?

Tell your friends and family, and make sure you tune in!

Edited to add: Those overseas can view the programme via streaming at Channel News Asia Live!

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No To Rape in the weekend papers

Monday, August 17th, 2009

As we mentioned a short while ago, No To Rape has been in the papers again. Those interested can follow up on the coverage here:

The Straits Times, 15 Aug 09: “‘Rape within marriage is still assault’”

The Straits Times, 16 Aug 09: Forum letter by Osman Sidek, “Marital rape: Law should protect abused wives”

Thank you to Osman Sidek for supporting the abolition of marital immunity for rape. We would like to highlight one particular point he makes. He writes that marriage entails mutual sexual obligations, before asking what should happen if those obligations are not fulfilled:

The question is whether an aggrieved party should be allowed all means to seek redress – including the use of force – or should the means of redress itself be defined by law so as to be commensurate with the loss of sexual gratification.

By comparison, even in the case of murder, an aggrieved family will not enjoy legal immunity should the members resort to physical violence as a means of recourse.

In fact, in no other situation will a victim be allowed to take justice into his own hands.

So why does sexual gratification occupy such a lofty space in our law that physical coercion becomes fair recourse when it is deprived?

Marital counselling, sexual therapy or even termination of marriage are fair and civilised means of recourse to conjugal deprivation.

This is consistent with what we have said before. People may disagree about the nature and extent of any sexual obligation implied by marriage. But whatever one’s views on this point, the physical invasion of a human being against their wishes is unacceptable. Someone frustrated about the state of sexual relations in their marriage can and should seek peaceful options to resolve the problem. If they choose instead to use force, the law should hold them accountable for this choice.

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More on PP v N

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

You may have seen that No To Rape has been featured in the Straits Times again. Thank you once again to all the volunteers and supporters who have helped to make this campaign newsworthy. Your efforts mean that the No To Rape message can reach a wider group of people.

Interestingly, blogger Mr Wang has picked up the story (we are grateful for the link!), and it emerges that he was the prosecutor in the landmark marital rape case of PP v N (we posted the facts previously but the link is malfunctioning slightly – click on the ‘Legal’ tag on the right and you can read them). Mr Wang describes his experience in the High Court:

The prosecution appealed for a higher sentence. I took the case to the High Court. There I presented to the Chief Justice various arguments for a heavier sentence.

I still remember the first question that Yong Pung How had asked in court. He asked, “Why wasn’t this man charged for rape?”

Yong didn’t know that the prosecution couldn’t do that. He looked slightly stunned, when I pointed him to the relevant immunity provision in the Penal Code. At first sight, Yong’s ignorance of that point was very surprising (you would expect the Chief Justice to know better). However, on further reflection, Yong’s ignorance was not that surprising.

Why? Well, as Chief Justice, Yong had heard hundreds, perhaps thousands of criminal cases. So he knew a lot about criminal law. But Yong had never heard a single case where a husband had been charged for raping his wife. And that, of course, was because the law did not even allow the prosecution to charge any husband for such an offence.

Anyway, the Chief Justice increased the sentence for N. He brought the overall sentence close to the maximum possible, for the charges of “criminal intimidation” and “voluntarily causing hurt”. If I recall correctly, it added up to a few years’ imprisonment. This was a big improvement over the original sentence, but it was still a lot lower than what it would have been, for a bona fide rape charge. Even the Chief Justice is constrained by the words in the Penal Code, you see.

It may be worth referring to the words of then-Chief Justice Yong in the case, which reflect the principles that rape is a form of sexual violence and that violence committed against one’s spouse is no less severe than violence against a stranger. Both these principles support the total abolition of marital immunity for rape. We have added emphasis to the relevant language.

Click here for more

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No To Rape makes the papers

Monday, July 20th, 2009

By now, you may have seen that No To Rape made it into the papers over the weekend, helping to bring the message about marital rape to even more Singaporeans and permanent residents. Thank you, signatories and supporters, for making the campaign a news item!

Coverage we’ve received has included:

Sunday Times, 19 Jul 2009: “Campaign against marital rape picks up steam”

联合晚报 (Lianhe Wanbao), 19 Jul 2009: 千人上网请愿夫强暴妻应治罪

my paper, 20 Jul 2009: “Volunteers aim to protect women against marital rape”

Let’s keep those signatures coming!

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