Thursday, January 28, 2021
Home Lead Story Eastern European And Central Asian Countries Urged To Change Laws Regarding Sexual...

Eastern European And Central Asian Countries Urged To Change Laws Regarding Sexual Violence

Dekanosidze said legal changes were a vital part of wider measures needed to tackle sexual violence.

Eastern European and Central Asian countries must overhaul Soviet-era laws on sexual violence that let rapists off the hook and encourage child marriage and bride-kidnapping, legal experts said Thursday.

Flawed legislation combined with sexist attitudes across the region mean girls and women are often blamed for provoking sexual violence and may be pressured to reconcile with their attackers or even marry them.

“Many of these laws deny justice to survivors of sexual violence rather than bringing their attackers to justice,” said Tamar Dekanosidze, a human rights lawyer in Georgia. “It’s important that countries fix these laws and end widespread impunity.”

 

Sexual Violence
Protest against sexual violence in India. Image source: www.bbc.co.uk

 

No requirement to investigate

In 10 of the 15 former Soviet Union countries there is no automatic requirement for the authorities to investigate and prosecute sexual violence, according to a study by Equality Now, meaning the burden of pursuing justice lies with the victim.

Police often deter victims from initiating cases, Dekanosidze said. Victims also frequently face pressure from the perpetrator, his family or even their own family to drop claims.

Nine of the countries — Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia — allow reconciliation for sexual violence crimes, according to the study published Thursday.

In some cases a perpetrator may persuade a victim to reconcile by paying her money or promising to marry her to avoid social stigma, said Dekanosidze, the report’s co-author.

 

Sexual Violence
A woman covers her mouth with a tape that reads “My sexuality is not your conjugal right” during a demonstration to support International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 25, 2016. VOA

 

Modernize rape laws

Equality Now, which will be writing to ministers across the region, also urged countries to amend laws that define rape as sex with violence or the threat of violence.

The report comes a week after Ukraine became the first country in the region to change its law to define rape as sex without consent, following in the footsteps of countries like Sweden and Iceland.

There is no reliable data on the prevalence of sexual violence in the region, but U.N. data suggests a third of women worldwide have suffered sexual or physical violence.

The report also said sexual violence usually went unpunished in bride kidnappings and child marriages, which still happen in some Eurasian countries.

Sexual Violence
FILE – Indian youth hold candles during a protest against sexual violence in New Delhi. VOA

Marriage after rape

Child marriages are illegal in all 15 countries, but may be encouraged if a girl is raped to prevent public shame.

Rape is not investigated in such situations, meaning the forced marriage effectively exonerates the rape, the study said.

Dekanosidze cited the case of a 15-year-old girl in Georgia who was raped by two men. When the teenager reported the attacks, her family forced her to marry one of her rapists.

Also Read: People Hope to Get Transparency in System With #MeToo Movement

In bride kidnappings, rape is often used as a tool to force the girl into marriage.

Dekanosidze said legal changes were a vital part of wider measures needed to tackle sexual violence.

“Laws can change public attitudes,” she said. “Amending these laws would send a strong message that sexual violence won’t be tolerated.” (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Microsoft’s Remote Learning Products Gain Popularity

Driven by video conferencing platform Teams, more than 200 million students and educators worldwide now rely on Microsoft education products for remote learning, Microsoft...

This Report States That 1 In 2 Indians Are Afraid Of Online Dating

Most Indians feel secure while ordering food online but close to half of those surveyed were afraid of their online activities when it comes...

La Fuori Introduces Its Organic Slow Fashion In India

"Choosing a garment means deciding the identity of our future dreams, in connection with the world and the people who inhabit it," says Vidur...

Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Ups Covid Infection Risk

Researchers have found that patients with severe Covid-19 have significantly elevated levels of a certain type of immune cells in their blood, called myeloid-derived...

Adults Feel Competent By Posting Photos On Facebook

Older adults who post more pictures on Facebook may feel more competent and that may lead to significantly higher levels of well-being in general,...

5 ways to ensure financial stability in the future

Introduction COVID-19 and the spread of the pandemic have had a huge impact on the national economies of most nations of the world. Among the...

Neonatal antibiotic leads to reduced growth in boys

Exposure to antibiotics in the initial days of life is associated with reduced weight and height in boys, a new study suggests. The study, published...

Daler Mehndi: In 26 years music industry has gone mad

Singer Daler Mehndi has been in the music industry for over two decades now and he says he has seen the industry in all...

Recent Comments