Rape

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RAPE

 

Rape – the Malaysian context
Facts about rape
Drug Rape
What can I do if I have been raped?
PDRM Statistics of Rape cases in Malaysia
Know Your Rights
FAQs: Rape

Rape – The Malaysian Context

Sex without your consent is rape. In law, rape is limited to the insertion of the penis into your vagina against your will. If you are under 16 years of age, sex with or without your consent is statutory rape. Sexual assault includes forced anal sex, and the insertion of objects into your vagina, mouth or anus.

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Facts about Rape

  • Rape is not an “over-spill” of sexual energy.  It is not an impulsive crime.
     
  • A high percentage of rapists are acquaintances, “friends” and relatives.
     
  • For every rape case that is reported, nine go unreported
     
  • Rape is not prompted by provocative dress. Many students, women in tudung and of all ages have been raped
     
  • Section 376 of the Penal Code states that whoever commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall be liable to whipping. 
     
  • Marital Rape is not legally recognised but the new Section 375A states any husband causing fear of death or hurt to his wife in order to have sex shall be punished for term which may extend to five years. 

    • in addition causes hurt to the woman, or any other person; or
    • in addition, puts the woman in fear of death or hurt to herself or someone else; or
    • rapes her in the presence of other people; or
    • rapes a girl under 16 without her consent; or
    • rapes a girl under 12; or
    • gets consent from a woman by using his position of authority over her, or because of their professional relationship or other kinds of relationship of trust.

Drug Rape

Drug-rape is usually committed by the rapist putting a tablet or pill into the survivor's drink without her knowledge.

There are various types of drugs used for this - currently the most common one being Rohypnol (also known as "roofies") - and works by sedating the victim. Rohypnol is a very potent tranquilizer similar in nature to Valium, but many times stronger. The drug produces a sedative effect, amnesia, muscle relaxation, and a slowing of psychomotor responses; making the survivor dizzy, unusually drowsy, have problems with coordination and appear drunk. This occurs about 20-30 minutes after administration and lasts for several hours.  

The effects of the drug only stays in the body system for a short period of time, so if you suspect that you have been a victim to drug-rape, go to the hospital or police station as soon as possible and ask to be tested. Drug-rape drugs can be colourless, tasteless and odourless, but here are some practical ways you can reduce the risk of drug-rape and protect yourself:

  • Never ever leave your drink unattended. If you have to go to the toilet, either finish your drink first or take it with you. If for whatever reason you have left it unattended, do not drink it. Order a different drink.
     
  • If a stranger offers you a drink, do not accept it. Even if colleagues or acquaintances offer you a drink, make sure that you see it poured into the glass or opened to make sure that no one has touched the drink before that.
     
  • If you are drinking, be aware of your tolerance to alcohol. If you are feeling nauseous, dizzy, or completely drunk only after a small amount of alcohol relative to your tolerance, go to a safe place immediately.
     
  • If you are with someone that you implicitly trust, inform him/her about your worries. You can also inform the management about your worries. Then get the person to send you home. Ask them to stay with you until the drug has worn off.
     
  • If you are going out in a group, nominate someone who will not be drinking to keep an eye on the drinks.
     
  • Plan your journey to and from home if you are going on a night out.
     
  • Be aware of your surroundings, and stay away from a situation that you are uncomfortable with.
     
  • Whenever possible, drink from a bottle or can. It is more difficult to drop a pill through the mouth of a bottle or a can than a glass. You can also put a thumb over the top of your bottle or can. Again do not leave your drink unattended.
     
  • Drinking non-alcoholic drinks does not mean you will be safe. Drinks such as water, cola, tea, coffee, milkshakes and milk have been known to be spiked.
     
  • Do not share or exchange drinks.
     
  • Consider very carefully before you leave a place with someone that you have just met.

Because drugs such as Rohypnol affects memory, sometimes survivors have difficulty in recollecting what has happened or who the perpetrator(s) were.If you wake up in a strange place or even if you wake up in your own room with your clothes scattered about, or if you see any form of physical evidence such as bruises or sore genital areas, you may have been raped. The drug leaves the body system very fast. If you have suspicions, make a police report, go to the hospital or call a women's helpline.

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What Can I do If Have Been Raped? 

  • Do not wash. Although your first instinct may be to clean yourself, do not wash. Go to the hospital immediately for a medical examination. There may be seminal and body fluids, mud, debris, fibers, or hairs that provide important evidence.
     
  • Go to the Emergency Room at the government hospital. The doctor will examine you and your genital area, as well as your clothes. You will also be asked to first fill out a form to give approval of the examination, and that information will be used for police investigation. You may request a female gynecologist if you are uncomfortable with a male doctor. Hospital staff will also notify the police. A female police officer will take your report at the hospital.
     
  • If you go to the police first, a female police officer will accompany you, take your report and accompany you to the hospital. After the first report, a detailed statement will be taken. You may be required to attend an identification parade to identify the alleged rapist.
     
  • Contact a Women's NGO. You may want counseling and support.
Rape Case In Malaysia
Year 2000 - 2007 (By States)
States
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
Perlis
12
10
13
11
21
26
28
27
Kedah
110
123
132
119
127
163
221
313
P/Pinang
61
75
73
70
89
71
115
161
Perak
91
79
100
118
121
148
183
226
Selangor
216
269
253
280
289
368
421
562
K/Lumpur
67
97
120
77
116
111
142
221
N/Sembilan
59
82
62
69
89
97
103
153
Melaka
43
43
57
67
100
77
125
139
Johor
194
234
235
312
323
324
343
473
Pahang
74
79
79
70
102
84
143
194
Terengganu
48
48
45
38
58
99
127
130
Kelantan
52
74
70
66
82
90
152
167
Sabah
109
94
115
111
149
156
199
196
Sarawak
81
79
77
71
94
117
129
136
Total
1,217
1,386
1,431
1,479
1,760
1,931
2,431
3,098

Year 2005 - 2007 (By Victims Age)
Age
2005
2006
2007
Below 16 years
925
1303
1653
Above 16 years
1006
1128
1445
Total
1931
2431
3098

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Know Your Rights

Lisa* came to Malaysia to study graphic design in a local college. She had been looking forward to it because she heard from her friends and relatives that the college she was attending was well recognised, and that Malaysia was generally a friendly place.

When she arrived, she rented a room in a student house and had a daily routine of going to classes, joining her housemates for dinner and doing her coursework in the evenings. She did not go out much because she was only in the country for a few months and did not know many people.

Her landlord's son, Ben, also lived in the same house. Lisa wasn't very comfortable around him as he liked to walk around the house with only his towel on. He also liked to make rude, sexist remarks and jokes whenever she was around. The rest of the household told her that they were used to his behaviour, and advised her to be patient and ignore him, so she did.

However, he liked to corner her in the kitchen and asked her frivolous questions about herself whenever she was there to make a drink. She tried her best to be friendly without encouraging his behaviour, while making sure she did not linger in the common areas of the house alone.

One morning, Lisa was feeling unwell and stayed at home. At that time, she thought no one else was in. Then, there was a knock at her door, and when she answered it, it was Ben. He locked the door behind him as soon as he walked in and tried to kiss her. Lisa became very frightened and tried to stop him.

Ben called her a tease and continued to force himself on her. He warned her that if she struggled, he would spread rumours about her 'loose' character, evict her from the house, and make sure that she cannot get another place to stay. Lisa tried to scream and push him away, but he quickly grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her on the bed, and raped her. Ben told her that no one would believe her story, and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

After he left, Lisa locked herself up in the room and cried. She was shaking from fear and did not know what to. She was afraid that no one would not believe her. Lisa did not even know where the nearest police station was. Lisa was afraid that everyone would blame her for what had happened.

Lisa is not alone. Often the victim is blamed for rape, but it needs to be stressed that rape is not the fault of the victim. Rape is not provoked by women wearing sexy clothes or behaving seductively - many teenagers in uniforms have been raped. It is also not an "over-spill" of sexual energy, or an impulsive crime. Rape is a violation of the victim's will and her body - no woman asks to be raped - and rape is a crime of violence using sex as a weapon. A high percentage of rapists are acquaintances, "friends" and relatives, and approximately 69.4% of rapes occurred in "safe" places (houses, schools etc.)

Legally, rape is the insertion of the penis into the vagina against the will of the victim. However, if the victim is under 16 years of age, sex with or without consent is statutory rape. Section 376 of the Penal Code states that whoever commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment for a minimum term of five years and a maximum term of twenty years, and shall be liable to whipping.

Rape is one of the most abhorrent crimes in society. Sadly, research shows that for every case that is reported, nine goes unreported. We can all play a part in eliminating this crime by living our lives based on mutual respect for the opposite gender.

Speak up against anything that treats women as inferior to men, and which is disrespectful. Do not condone sexist remarks or jokes, or anything which regards women as nothing more than sex objects. You will probably never see a rape in progress, but you will see and hear attitudes and behaviours that degrade women and promote rape. When your best friend tells a joke about rape, say you don't find it funny. When you read an article that blames a rape survivor for being assaulted, write a letter to the editor. When laws are proposed that limit women's rights, let politicians know that you won't support them. Do anything but remain silent.

What to do if you are raped:

  • Do not wash. Although your first instinct is to clean yourself, you will lose important evidence like seminal and body fluids, hairs, mud, debris, fibre etc if you clean yourself. Go to a hospital immediately for a medical examination.
     
  • Go to the Emergency room at the government hospital. The doctor will examine you and your genital area, as well as your clothes. You will first be asked to fill out a form to be give approval of the examination, and the information will be used for police investigation. You may request for a female gynaecologist. The hospital staff will also notify the police, and a female police officer will take your report at the hospital.
     
  • If you go to the police first, a female police officer will take your report and accompany you to the hospital. After the first report, a detailed statement will be taken. You may then be required to attend an identification parade to identify the alleged rapist.
     
  • You may be unsure as to what to do, or may wish support and/or counselling. Call a friend or someone close to you, or a women's organisation.

 

*Name and some details changed to protect client's identity