Rape is commonly defined as sexual intercourse with a woman against her will and without her consent. Rape is not sex or a crime of passion; rather, rape is an expression of violence, anger, and power meant to humiliate their victim. The act of rape is a heinous crime and it violates the most basic right of a person i.e., the right over one’s body.
A person who is raped suffers not only physical trauma resulting from the assault but also emotional trauma associated with the intrusion of her body by force. This trauma is worsened through victim-blaming where the blame is shifted from the assailant responsible for the violence of this crime to the victim, often wrongfully accused of provoking the crime.
Rape is perpetuated by, society’s attitude and perception towards women. A girl or a woman is often perceived as an inferior and treated as a sex object while a boy or a man is perceived as a superior being, having the right to behave as he wishes and who has uncontrollable sexual urges.
If society continues with this type of thinking, rape will not only continue to persist but will be mistakenly perceived as excusable or even acceptable.
No one deserves to be raped and no one had the right to rape.
No one has the right to abuse his or her power through any forms of physical assault. Ultimately, a person should not be blamed for being raped.
WCC is providing emotional support to help rape victims’ deal with her physical and psychological trauma as well as court support should the case go to court.
Each of us play an important role by educating our family members, our colleagues, and the people with whom we interact with that we need to respect each other whether you are a woman or a man.
Sexual intercourse with a girl below 16 years of age constitutes statutory rape. This means that the man is guilty of rape as long as sexual intercourse between the two can be proven. Unlike the four circumstances where the establishment of consent or non-consent is essential, here the issue of consent is irrelevant. Regardless whether the girl agrees to sexual intercourse or not, the man is guilty of rape. This is because children and teenagers below this age are deemed by the nature of their immature judgement, legally unable to give his consent.
In Malaysia, the Penal Code does not recognize marital rape. Sexual intercourse between a man and his wife (who is above 13) without her consent is not rape unless the man and his wife are divorced or judicially separate or if there is an injunction restraining the husband from having sexual intercourse with his wife (Section 375 of the Penal Code). This implies that consent to marriage means consent to sex unconditionally. In other words, by entering into marriage, the husband has automatic rights over the wife’s body and as such cannot and should not be charged for rape. He can have sex with her even if she does not consent. To assume that a married woman has no right over her body is a violation of her human rights and her dignity. Research has shown that the trauma of being raped by husbands is higher than those raped by strangers.
Note: The Malaysian law does not recognize rape within a marriage. But in Section 375A of the Penal Code, a husband who causes hurt, threatens, or hurt his wife in order to have sexual intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment up to 5 years.
Incest often takes the form of child sexual abuse; the perpetrator normally being a person who breached the survivor’s trust. Any over-age person who consents to the incestual act is criminally liable, whether or not the consent was informed or given voluntarily. Protection must be afforded to survivors by allowing them to be charged together with the perpetrator only where their consent was real.Section 376A and 376B only refer to sexual intercourse and do not include other forms of sexual abuse which are equally as traumatising to the survivor.
The age limits in the incest provision poses some limitations. The Federal Constitution which disallows gender as a ground for discrimination, different ages for boys and girls may be unconstitutional. Furthermore, under the Child Act 2000, children are recognised as those under 18 years of age.
The violent nature of rape is evidenced by the trauma it causes to the survivors both physically and mentally. The trauma is often compounded by the inappropriate responses given to rape survivors by those around them due to the myths surrounding rape. The trauma symptoms of rape survivors can be understood in two phases:
A power rape is motivated by a strong need to control and exert power over others. This is the most common form of stranger rape. This type of rapist are referred to as the exploitative rapist, in that, the offender’s aim is to force a victim to submit sexually to him. This form of rape serves to compensate for feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, and often reflects the need to express strength, control, authority and power.
For the power rapist, the act of rape is a sexual conquest, of expressing his masculinity and manhood. The power rapist seldom uses more violence than he needs to as his goals is not to harm the victim physically but to possess her sexually. Sometimes, there is a combination of anger and power.
The power rapist often denies that the sexual act was forced upon the victim. He even says the victim actually consented, desired him sexually or even claims that she enjoyed the sexual experience. By this, the power rapist attempts to validate his sexual competence. He needs to believe this.
The duration of power rape is relatively longer and the victim may be held over a long period of time and subjected to repeated assaults. As a result of this, the victim may manifest very few signs of physical injury. This may arouse suspicion or even disbelief from others.
The anger rapist is motivated by extreme rage within himself, which eventually explodes and results in rape. It is the result of pent-up hostilities due to some identifiable external even that has recently occurred. Through rape, the anger is removed – at least temporarily. Sex becomes a weapon. Often the anger rapist or displaced anger rapists acts more violently and brutally against the victim than he needs to.
He forces her to perform demeaning acts eg. oral and anal sex – as a way of humiliating and hurting her. The goal of the anger rapist is not sexual gratification but rather to hurt and humiliate his victim – that is, through the invasion of the most personal aspect of the self. Because anger rape involves violence, its duration is short. Then, the anger must be built up again before the rapist strikes again.
In sadistic rape, sexuality and aggression become fused as aggression is eroticised. The sadistic rapist takes pleasure in tormenting and inflicting pain upon his victim and finds her suffering and helplessness gratifying. Bondage and torture is usually involved and the rape often has ritualistic quality to it. Contrary to expectation, the sadistic rapist is not blatantly psychotic as he is usually able to conceal these darker impulses.