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theSun | FRIDAY OCTOBER 30 2009 TELLING IT AS IT IS 15

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Myths about rape and rape survivors


WITH reference to “Former NS coach’s
rape conviction overturned” (Oct 28),
trauma to medical officers, the police,
etc, the fear of retribution by the per-
freeze during the rape which would
result in lack of visible injuries. In any
Table anti-war
All Women’s Action Society (Awam)
is alarmed by statements made by
the judge in making the decision to
petrator, the stigma of being a rape
victim, the loss of privacy, and many
more. The delay in reporting does not
case, the length of time between the
rape and the reporting often results in
these injuries healing.
resolutions
W
set aside the rape conviction, which mean that a rape did not occur. Given Awam does not have the facts AR brings violence, destruction, personal injury and
perpetuate certain myths about rape. However, courts often infer the of the case, we are not here to contest above all death. War destroys homes, factories, offices
First, the judge said that the delay latter, as in this particular case as the the guilt of the alleged perpetrator. and even people’s lives. People lose loved ones and good
in the survivor’s lodging police re- judge’s statement would indicate. What concerns us are the underlying friends. The damage done by war cannot be quantified in dollars
port was “not a reasonable excuse”. In fact, the survivor had cited fear assumptions of the judge which per- and cents. No amount of money can bring the dead back to life;
We reiterate that only one out of ten of tarnishing her family’s reputation as petuate misconceptions around rape families that have been separated by war are seldom re-united.
rapes are reported, and of those who a reason for not reporting, which the and rape survivors so entrenched in War is evil and a destructive force.
do report it, only a minority report it judge found “unacceptable”. the legal system. This is one of the Therefore, the efforts by Malaysians, especially our former
promptly. In a 1999 Awam study, it Second, the judge stated that the reasons why the number of rape cases Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to criminalise war must
was found that the average time that lack of bruising or scratches on her brought to trial are so few, never mind be supported by every citizen of this universe. His call to name
a survivor takes to lodge a report is body further damaged her credibility. conviction rates which are even lower. and shame those who cause wars
46.4 days. In short, the notion that if a Again, it is a myth that all rape victims As long as these myths and fallacies and commit atrocities on people is
woman was raped she would report it must suffer from external injuries. In continue, justice for many rape survi- The damage done a suggestion that the world should
immediately is a fallacy. reality, the circumstances of rape are vors will not be served. by war cannot consider.
There are many reasons why a incredibly varied. Rapists can scare His call to ban entry into Malaysia
woman chooses to delay reporting, survivors into compliance through Sofia Lim Siu Ching be quantified in of leaders who orchestrate, support
including being incapacitated by the use of weapons or threats, or survivors President dollars and cents. or initiate wars is a starting point. All
Malaysians will agree that such people
ordeal and not wanting to recount the have been so terrified as to completely All Women’s Action Society No amount of do not deserve to be associated with
money can bring any individual or corporation and the
the dead back suggestion that they be ostracised is
Checks on old cars will be a burden to life; families
a meaningful start.
Authoritative reports published
THE government’s intention to make unnecessary financial and time-con- car industry at the expense of the an that have been by international organisations like
tests for old vehicles (ten years or suming burden to them. affordable means of private transport Amnesty International on the atroci-
older) a mandatory requirement for Proton Edar Dealers Association for the lower-income group. separated by ties committed by Israel on the Pal-
road-tax renewal does not reflect well Malaysia said the mandatory inspec- The government should put in war are seldom estinian people are worth a re-visit.
on the 1Malaysia, people-first spirit. tion of old vehicles was a good move place an efficient, reliable and afford- Also documented are the killings of
Who are those using those old and in line with developed countries. able system of public transport (as in
re-united. War innocent people in northern Sri Lanka.
but still road-worthy vehicles? The He added that “the scrapping of old line with developed countries) before is evil and a While the United Nations and the Eu-
ropean Union have expressed their
retirees, pensioners and the lower-
middle income groups, as the new or
cars is important for our automobile
industry”.
it endeavours to opt for policies that
will deprive the lower-income group
destructive force. displeasure, it is not sufficient to act
newer cars are priced beyond their The bottom line, as we can foresee, of an affordable means of transport, as a deterrent.
reach. Besides the burden of time and is that from the mandatory inspec- in favour of larger profits for the car Hence, Dr Mahathir’s suggestions should be taken a step
money expended on the maintenance tion of old vehicles to the eventual industry. further – it should be tabled as a resolution at the UN General
of their “old faithfuls” to keep them in permanent scrapping of same is but a Assembly where it can be debated and passed. That’s the least
road-worthy condition, the mandatory small step, the sole purpose of which Tam Yong Yuee the world can do to express its displeasure, disgust and contempt
inspection would be an additional but is to boost the sale and profits of the Muar of war and the criminals who support it.