Rape is a violent crime, a hostile attack, an attempt to hurt and humiliate. It is not the result of "uncontrolled passions". On average, three adult women are raped in Malaysia every day. Police statistics also reveal that 60 per cent of rape victims are below 16 years of age, while 98 per cent of the offenders are over the age of 16.
There were 578 reported rape cases from January to May this year compared to 584 in the same period last year. There were 109 reported incest rape cases from January to June this year. Johor has the highest number with 21 cases, followed by Perak and Kedah with 10 each. The remaining 68 are from all over the country.
The perpetrators with blood ties according to Bukit Aman Police statistics:
Fathers (42), uncles (31), elder brothers (11), grandfathers (9), cousins (9), younger brothers (2) and close relatives (5).
The perpetrators who are related by marriage:
Stepfathers (18), brothers-in-law (8), stepbrothers (7), adopted fathers (4) and step grandfathers (2).
Under the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2001, those charged with incest face a heavier penalty compared with non-incest rape. For incest, the law provides for a jail term of between six and 20 years and 24 strokes of the rotan. Rapes carry a jail term of not less than five years and whipping.
- Women who dress sexily provoke rape.
- Rape happens in dark, lonely places.
- Rapists are strangers, mostly men who are unable to control their lust.
- Rape happens to young women only.
- ‘Provocative’ clothing or behaviour is not a reason for rape. Teenagers in school uniforms and women dressed conservatively have been raped.
- Rapes can happen anywhere, anytime.
- Rape can also occur in safe places like homes, schools and workplaces.
- Rapists come from different backgrounds with no particular profession, age or social status.
- Most rape cases are committed by men who are known to their victims.
When you think someone is following you from behind, turn around and take a good look. Your observations will give you important information about his appearance and intent. It also sends him the message that you are alert and therefore will not be an easy target.
- Use Your Voice
It's also important to understand the power of your voice. If you ever feel threatened, you should shout or scream to draw attention to the situation. Commands like "No!", "Go away!" or "Back off!" are excellent attention-getters if you feel threatened.
- Fight Back
Sometimes violence comes despite the best possible avoidance measures, and when it does, there is often no opportunity to summon for help. In such cases, a woman is forced to face her attacker alone, using her resources and knowledge to survive.
Believe it or not, your brain is your best weapon for survival. It creates your attitude which is one of the most important survival characteristics you can possess. The best self-protection for most crimes is prevention, and you can easily prevent many crimes just by being aware of who and what is around you.
The eyes, groin, throat, and knees are especially vulnerable. Women who keep in mind that an attacker is not invincible are also using the idea of vulnerable targets to form an emotional defense. Psychological defenses such as this also prepares a woman for good physical defense.
Support And Counselling
A rape survivor needs emotional support, information and advice on her options and where to go for help.
These organizations provide telephone and free face-to-face counseling services for rape survivors:
All Women's Action Society (AWAM) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, offers legal advice as well every Tuesday and Saturday, except on public holidays. Contact number: 03-79570224.
Women's Aid Organisation in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and Women's Centre For Change, Penang also offer temporary shelter, telephone and face to face counseling.Contact numbers: Women’s Aid Organisation Sexual Assault Helpline: 03-7960 3030; Women’s Centre For Change, Penang : 04-228 0342.
How To Help A Rape Survivor
Rape - What Happens Next
The Accused: What Happens To Him
WoMan: What To Do After Rape