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International approaches to rape

International approaches to rape

Nicole Westmarland
Geetanjali Gangoli
Copyright Date: 2011
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  • Book Info
    International approaches to rape
    Book Description:

    Following on from International approaches to prostitution (The Policy Press, 2006), this book provides an overview of rape law and policy in 10 countries, including England, Australia, Canada, India and China. By introducing readers to national perspectives of issues relating to rape, the book presents a comparative approach that highlights the similarities and differences between countries, contexts, laws, key issues, policies and interventions. It is recommended for academics, students, practitioners and policy makers.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-622-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Notes on contributors
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. ONE Introduction: approaches to rape
    (pp. 1-12)
    Nicole Westmarland and Geetanjali Gangoli

    It is a depressing reality that rape still remains internationally prevalent in the 21st century. Despite many advances in gender equality, male violence against women continues at a level described by the World Health Organization as pandemic: internationally, at least one in three women have been beaten or coerced into sex, or have experienced other abuse in her lifetime ( Rape, however it is defined, falls under the wider umbrella term of ‘sexual violence’, which also includes acts such as flashing, sexual harassment, forcing someone to watch pornography, sexual bullying and other forms of non-consensual sexual contact. This book focuses,...

  5. TWO Sexual assault law in Australia: contextual challenges and changes
    (pp. 13-34)
    Patricia Easteal

    Australia has a strong feminist movement, which has advocated successfully over the past several decades for Commonwealth and state government funding, programmes and policy concerning prevention, victim support, community education and law changes in the area of rape. Since the mid-1980s, the Commonwealth government has had a policy unit – currently the Office for Women¹. It is currently housed within the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Relevant rape prevention and community education policies normally originate and are implemented through this office and its state and territory counterparts.

    In addition, generally packaged as part of Violence Against...

  6. THREE Ending rape: the responsibility of the Canadian state
    (pp. 35-56)
    Lee Lakeman

    Hillary Angel Wilson and Cherisse Houle: both were Aboriginal women and both were murdered and dumped outside Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2008. It was rumoured that the young Winnipeg women endured rape by a group of men in return for food and crack cocaine. These separate incidents of racialised sexual violence connect many others in Canada. Sensational cases in British Columbia convicted sexual predators Robert Pickton, Donald Michel Bakker, Andrew William Evans, Judge David Ramsey and Bishop Hubert O’Conner. In September 2009, the Manitoba Attorney General announced a provincial task force to examine the 75 unsolved cases of missing and murdered...

  7. FOUR Introduction to the issue of rape in China as a developing country
    (pp. 57-78)
    Qihua Ye

    Rape, as a social issue, is an integral part of human history (Roberts, 1989; Wang, 2005; Jiang, 2007; Tang, 2007). In the development of humankind, rape has been used as a weapon both in mass conflicts, for example the rapes inflicted by Japanese soldiers on Chinese women during the Second World War, and in everyday battles. Within this context, pain is inflicted on women’s bodies; their identity is attacked and they are deprived of their sexual rights. Rape is thus regarded by many as a gendered issue in society, as it is mostly perpetrated by men against women.

    As proposed...

  8. FIVE Still little justice for rape victim survivors: the void between policy and practice in England and Wales
    (pp. 79-100)
    Nicole Westmarland

    The past decade has seen huge advances in rape law and policy in England and Wales. However, there are still significant problems with the ways in which rape victim survivors are treated, and most men who rape go unpunished. This chapter explains the national context and gives an overview of law and policy, focusing particularly on developments during the reign of the New Labour government from 1997-2010. It describes three key issues that remain problematic. First, it analyses problems with policing and prosecuting rape using two recent serial rape cases (Reid and Worboys) that resulted in official complaints. Second, it...

  9. SIX Controlling women’s sexuality: rape law in India
    (pp. 101-120)
    Geetanjali Gangoli

    Indian feminist movements have recognised rape as a form of male oppression and control over women since the 1970s. However, the Indian legal system prefers to see it as an issue of loss of honour of the raped woman. This chapter will address the long-standing conflicting relationship between Indian feminists and the legal system.

    Rape continues to be a serious issue for Indian women. The latest crime statistics released by the Home Ministry’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB, 2007) show that every hour 18 women become victims of rape. The number of reported rapes a day has increased nearly by...

  10. SEVEN Breaking the silence: rape law in Iran and controlling women’s sexuality
    (pp. 121-146)
    Nadia Aghtaie

    Iran has a population of over 70 million and, as a non-Arab, predominantly Shia country, differs considerably from most other countries in the region. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, religious authority found its way into both public and private policy. Prior to the Islamic Revolution, religion was a private matter; it was the choice of the individual whether to pray, fast or wear thehejab(the Islamic covering for women). After the revolution, however, the state began to enforce the religious mandates. As a result, the Shari’a law was declared the law of the land, meaning that the state is...

  11. EIGHT Meeting the challenge? Responding to rape in Scotland
    (pp. 147-168)
    Sandy Brindley and Michele Burman

    The past decade has seen vigorous activity in Scotland in relation to responses to rape and sexual assault. This has included significant legal, procedural and policy change, as well as support for a hard-hitting public awareness campaign by Rape Crisis Scotland. Yet Scotland continues to have one of the lowest conviction rates for rape in Europe, with recent Scottish government figures showing that only 3% of rapes recorded by the police lead to a conviction (Scottish Government, 2009a). This chapter outlines the Scottish legislative and policy response to rape, discusses some of the problems facing survivors of sexual violence in...

  12. NINE Paradox and policy: addressing rape in post-apartheid South Africa
    (pp. 169-192)
    Lisa Vetten

    The rate of reported rape in South Africa is considered to be among the highest in the world. As a consequence, the country is better known for its alarming statistics and more sensational manifestations of sexual violence (such as ‘baby rape’ and the ‘corrective rape’ of lesbians) than its policy interventions. Yet precisely because of the extent of the problem, a range of measures intended both to combat the incidence of rape, as well as improve the treatment of rape survivors, has been rapidly introduced over the years, making South Africa something of a policy laboratory in this area.


  13. TEN ‘Impressive progress alongside persistent problems’: rape law, policy and practice in the United States
    (pp. 193-228)
    Lynn Hecht Schafran and Jillian Weinberger

    Between l982 and 1999, in response to judicial education programmes exploring gender bias in the courts initiated by the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (a project of Legal Momentum in cooperation with the National Association of Women Judges, known as NJEP), almost all the state supreme courts across the United States established high-level task forces to investigate gender bias in their own state court systems and recommend reforms¹. With respect to rape, the task forces concurred that these cases are often viewed from the wrong end of the telescope, with the...

  14. Index
    (pp. 229-240)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 241-241)