photo credit – satish acharaya
Greek mythology(source Wikipedia)
The rape of women or youths is a common theme in Greek mythology. Among the rapes or abductions committed by Zeus, the supreme deity of the Greek pantheon, are Europa and Ganymede.
The rape of Chrysippus by Laius was known as “the crime of Laius”, a term which came to be applied to all male rape. It was seen as an example of hubris in the original sense of the word, i.e., violent outrage, and its punishment was so severe that it destroyed not only Laius himself, but also his son, Oedipus, his wife Jocasta, his grandchildren (including Antigone), and members of his extended family.
In Roman law, raptus (or raptio) meant primarily kidnapping or abduction; sexual violation was a secondary issue. The “abduction” of an unmarried girl from her father’s household in some circumstances was a matter of the couple eloping without her father’s permission to marry. Rape in the English sense of “forced sex” was more often expressed as stuprum, a sex crime committed through violence or coercion (cum vi or per vim). Raptus ad stuprum, “abduction for the purpose of committing a sex crime,” emerged as a legal distinction in the late Roman Republic. The Lex Julia de vi publica, recorded in the early 3rd century AD but dating probably from the dictatorship of Julius Caesar, defined rape as forced sex against “boy, woman, or anyone”.
Although Roman law in the historical period recognized rape as a crime, the rape of women is a pervasive theme in the myths and legends of early Rome. The Augustan historian Livy seems “embarrassed” by the rape motif and emphasizes the redeeming political dimension of traditional stories. The “rape” of the Sabine women was interpreted as showing that Rome was constituted as a “blended” population in which people resolved violence and coexisted by consent and treaty. The rape of the exemplary woman Lucretia by the king’s son led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Republic. In the 50s BC, the Epicurean poet Lucretius condemned rape as a primitive behavior outside the bounds of an advanced civilization, describing it as “a man’s use of violent force and imposition of sexual impulse.”
Intercourse by force or compulsion, even if it took place under circumstances that were otherwise unlawful or immoral, left the victim legally without blame. The official position under the emperor Diocletian (reigned 284–305 AD) held that:
The laws punish the foul wickedness of those who prostitute their modesty to the lusts of others, but they do not attach blame to those who are compelled to stuprum by force, since it has, moreover, been quite properly decided that their reputations are unharmed and that they are not prohibited from marriage to others.
Although the law recognized the victim’s innocence, rhetoric used by the defense indicates that jurors might harbor attitudes of blame.
As a matter of law, rape could be committed only against a citizen in good standing. The rape of a slave could be prosecuted only as damage to the owner’s property. People who worked as prostitutes or entertainers, even if they were technically free, suffered infamia, the loss of legal and social standing. A person who made his or her body available for public use or pleasure had in effect surrendered the right to be protected from sexual abuse or physical violence. Men who had been raped “by the force of robbers or the enemy in wartime (vi praedonum vel hostium)” were exempt by law from infamia.
There was no statute of limitations for rape; by contrast adultery, which was criminalized under Augustus, had to be prosecuted within five years. The rape of a freeborn male (ingenuus) or a female virgin is among the worst crimes that could be committed in Rome, along with parricide and robbing a temple. Rape was a capital crime, and the rapist was subject to execution, a rare penalty in Roman law.
The victim’s consent was usually not a factor in Roman rape cases, since raptus could refer to a successful seduction as well as abduction or forced sex. What had been violated was primarily the right of the head of household (paterfamilias) to give or withhold his consent. The consequences of an abduction or an elopement were considered a private matter to be determined by the couple and their families, who might choose to recognize the marriage.
The first Christian emperor Constantine redefined rape as a public offense rather than as a private wrong.
Since under Roman law raptus could also mean cases of abduction or elopement without the head of household’s permission, Constantine ordered that if the female had consented, she should be punished along with the male “abductor” by being burnt alive. If she had not consented, she was still considered an accomplice, “on the grounds that she could have saved herself by screaming for help.” As a participant to the rape, she was punished under law by being disinherited, regardless of the wishes of her family. Even if she and her family consented to a marriage as the result of an elopement, the marriage was legally void.
According to a Sunni hadith, the punishment for committing rape is death, there is no sin on the victim, nor is there any worldly punishment ascribed to her. Most scholars treat rape as hirabah (disorder in the land).
Rape is defined as ‘zina biljabr’ fornication/adultery with the use of coercion or compulsion. Note it has to be extra-marital i.e. fornication/adultery; the rape charge can not be brought against the husband by the wife, i.e. it can not be within marriage, as indeed was the case in English Law until 1991 when the House of Lords ruling in R v R stated it was anachronistic to maintain such position in modern western society. The Islamic law approach to rape provides a range of possible charges, and thus penalties, which the qadi may posit. Hirabah being but one, yet the most severe of them. Thus the charge of zina may bring about a penalty of 100 lashes upon the perpetrator and the element of the use of force and or compulsion may be quantified, and thus punished serially or consecutively. That is a year’s banishment, a prison sentence, a corporal sentence etc. It is to be noted that Hirabah is a Hadd penalty (i.e. one predicating a fixed choice, which in the case of Hirabah has three options at the discretion of the qadi). If the offence is deemed to not be a Hirabah offence then the penalties available to the qadi would be those of ta’zeer and will not be permitted to reach the level of either severe retributive physical harm (i.e. more than ten lashes of a whip) let alone execution. The interpretation and application of these laws is very controversial, not least due to modern ill-fated legislation,[according to whom?] such as Pakistan’s Hudood Ordinance, under General Zia ul-Haq, which arguably criminalise the victim who fails to produce four witnesses. Thus perverting the aim behind the law, to protect the victim of rape and grant her justice.
Rape, in the course of warfare, also dates back to antiquity, ancient enough to have been mentioned in the Bible. According to the Roman ius gentium (“law of nations” or international law), inhabitants of a conquered town were spared personal violence if the war or siege ended through diplomatic negotiations. But if the army victoriously entered the town by force, the conquering men would rape women and sometimes adolescent boys of the defeated peoples as one of the spoils of war. Some portion or all of the population of a town taken by force might also become slaves, who lacked legal protections against rape and who might be exploited as prostitutes or non-consensual sexual companions.
Rape, as an adjunct to warfare, was prohibited by the military codices of Richard II and Henry V (1385 and 1419 respectively). These laws formed the basis for convicting and executing rapists during the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453).
Napoleon Bonaparte found rape committed by soldiers particularly distasteful. During his Egyptian Expedition, he declared that “everywhere, the rapist is a monster” and ordered that “anyone guilty of rape would be shot.”
Since the 1970s many changes have occurred in the perception of sexual assault due in large part to the feminist movement and its public characterization of rape as a crime of power and control rather than purely of sex. In some countries the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s created the first rape crisis centers. This movement was led by the National Organization for Women (NOW). One of the first two rape crisis centers, the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, opened in 1972. It was created to promote sensitivity and understanding of rape and its effects on the victim.
Marital rape first became a crime in the United States in the state of South Dakota in 1975. In 1993, North Carolina became the last state to outlaw marital rape. The marital rape exemption was abolished in England and Wales in 1991 by the House of Lords, in its judicial capacity, in the case of R v R  1 AC 599 (more details).
In the 1980s, date or acquaintance rape first gained acknowledgment. Rape crisis centers were created to serve survivors of all forms of sexual violence during any phase of their healing process. Rape crisis centers and other community-based service providers continue to grow and serve their communities by providing direct services and prevention programming.
On September 2, 1998, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda delivered a precedent-setting verdict that made sexual violence a war crime. This was followed in November 1998 by the decision of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that acts of rape may constitute torture under international humanitarian law.
Current topics being debated are the marginalized victims of rape — domestic violence and rape victims, marital rape victims, male rape victims of both male and female rapists, female-female rape victims, parental-rape incest victims, and child sexual abuse victims. Other emerging issues are the concept of victim blame and its causes, male rape survivors, male-male rape, female sexual aggression, new theories of rape and gender, date rape drugs and their effects as well as the psychological effects of rape trauma syndrome.
Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012. Out of these, 24,470 were committed by someone known to the victim (98% of the cases).
India has been characterised as one of the “countries with the lowest per capita rates of rape”. A large number of rapes go unreported. The willingness to report the rape has increased in recent years, after several incidents of rape received widespread media attention and triggered public protest. This led the Government of India to reform its penal code for crimes of rape and sexual assault.
According to NCRB 2015 statistics, Madhya Pradesh has the highest raw number of rape reports among Indian states, while Jodhpur has the highest per capita rate of rape reports in cities.
Definition as per IPC
Before 3 February 2013, Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code defined rape as:
§375. Rape. A man is said to commit “rape” who, except case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman in circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions:-
Firstly. –– Against her will.
Secondly. –– Without her consent.
Thirdly. –– With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt.
Fourthly. –– With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
Fifthly. –– With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
Sixthly. –– With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age.
Explanation. –– Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape.
Exception. –– Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.
The above definition excluded marital rape, same sex crimes and considered all sex with a minor below the age of sixteen as rape.
After 3 February 2013, the definition was revised through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, which also raised the legal age of minor to eighteen.
§375. A man is said to commit “rape” if he:–– (a) penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or (b) inserts, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the penis, into the vagina, the urethra or anus of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or (c) manipulates any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration into the vagina, urethra, anus or any part of body of such woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or (d) applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, urethra of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person, under the circumstances falling under any of the following seven descriptions:
Firstly.–– Against her will.
Secondly. –– Without her consent.
Thirdly. –– With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt.
Fourthly. –– With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
Fifthly.–– With her consent when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome Substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
Sixthly. –– With or without her consent, when she is under eighteen years of age.
Seventhly. –– When she is unable to communicate consent.
Explanation 1.–– For the purposes of this section, “vagina” shall also include labia majora.
Explanation 2.–– Consent means an unequivocal voluntary agreement when the woman by words, gestures or any form of verbal or non-verbal communication, communicates willingness to participate in the specific sexual act;
Provided that a woman who does not physically resist to the act of penetration shall not by the reason only of that fact, be regarded as consenting to the sexual activity. Exceptions –– 1. A medical procedure or intervention shall not constitute rape; 2. Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.
Even after the 2013 reform, marital rape when the wife and husband live together continued not to be a crime in India. Article 376B of the 2013 law made forced sexual intercourse by a man with his wife – if she is living separately – a crime, whether under a decree of separation or otherwise, punishable with at least a 2-year prison term. Forced sex by a man on his wife may also be considered a prosecutable domestic violence under other sections of Indian Penal code, such as Section 498(A) as well as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. The crime of sexual assault on a child, that is anyone below the age of eighteen, is further outlined and mandatory punishments described in The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.
All sexual acts between the members of the same sex, consensual or forced, remains a crime under Section 377 of Indian penal code, after the 2013 Criminal Law reform, with punishment the same as that of rape.
Child Abuse in India
also see (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse_laws_in_India)
Using a small sample survey, Human Rights Watch projects more than 7,200 minors – 1.6 in 100,000 minors – are raped each year in India. Among these, victims who do report the assaults are alleged to suffer mistreatment and humiliation from the police. Minor girls are trafficked into prostitution in India, thus rape of minors conflates into a lifetime of suffering. Of the countries studied by Maplecroft on sex trafficking and crime against minors, India was ranked 7th worst.
Estimates of unreported rapes
Most rapes go unreported because the rape victims fear retaliation and humiliation, both in India and throughout the world. Indian parliamentarians have stated that the rape problem in India is being underestimated because a large number of cases are not reported, even though more victims are increasingly coming out and reporting rape and sexual assaults. According to an estimate from 2014, only 5-6% of rape cases in India are reported to the police.
Few states in India have tried to estimate or survey unreported cases sexual assault. The estimates for unreported rapes in India vary widely. A comparison between data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in 2005 shows that 5.8% of rapes were reported. India don’t have marital rape law. so marital rapes don’t get reported at all, so it can’t be estimatedMadiha Kark estimates 54% of rape crimes are unreported. A UN study of 57 countries estimates just 11% of rape and sexual assault cases worldwide are ever reported.
My Take on Rapes
– The victim is a girl/women in most cases.
– The culprits are men.
– The law enforcement guy, the judge and the jailer are all men in most cases.
– This has been on for centuries.
– This MUST now be solved by women only. This can be done by a women rising across the world/India to demand establishment of women run/headed police STATIONS, judges, jails, rehab centers and ministries etc.
– The women folk has to snatch this issue from the unrelenting menfolk. They are, in most cases, to my mind not emotionally and psychologically configured to understand the sensitivity of the issue.
#Asifa #Nirbhaya….I AM SORRY N MY HEAD HANGS IN SHAME