AFP – BANGKOK: Nearly a quarter of men surveyed in six Asia-Pacific countries admit to committing rape, often against their own partners, according to a UN report published today that exposes widespread violence against women.
Based on anonymous interviews with more than 10,000 men aged between 18 and 49 in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea, the study is the first of its scale in the region. “Violence against women is a harsh reality for many,” Roberta Clarke, regional director of UN Women, said at the launch of the report in Bangkok. “We must change the culture that enables men to enact power and control over women.”
Using a definition of non-consensual, penetrative sex as a benchmark, the study said 11 per cent of respondents reported having raped a woman who was not their partner.
This rose to nearly a quarter — 24 per cent — when their partner was included in the question. Of those men who said they had committed rape, just under half (45 per cent) said they had raped more than one woman. Alarmingly, of those who admitted rape, half were teenagers and 12 per cent were younger than 15-years-old, while the majority of men surveyed said they had not faced any legal consequences for their actions.
The highest prevalence (more than 62 per cent) of rape was found in Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea.
In the restive neighbouring Indonesian province of Papua the rates were at nearly 49 per cent, while 26 per cent of respondents in Jakarta admitted to the crime.
Rates in the one Chinese area surveyed reached 22 per cent while those in Cambodia — the most comprehensively studied with respondents drawn from five districts — were at 20 per cent, the report found.
The probe is not intended to be an authoritative statistical overview of rape in these six countries or of the Asia-Pacific region, say the authors. “Violence is pervasive but it is also preventable,” according to report researcher Emma Fulu of Partners for Prevention.
Taking a new approach, trained male researchers
held lengthy one-to-one interviews with men in cities and the countryside, with the respondents gaining a guarantee of anonymity.
The respondents were not asked directly whether they had committed rape, but instead were asked questions such as: ‘Have you ever forced a woman who was not your wife or girlfriend at the time to have sex?’ or ‘Have you ever had sex with a woman who was too drugged or drunk to indicate whether she wanted it?’ They were also asked why they had done so.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated reasons of sexual entitlement, saying for example, ‘I wanted her’ or ‘I wanted to have sex’.
Fifty-nine per cent did it for entertainment, while more than a third — 38 per cent — said they had raped a woman to punish her.
Sexual assault every 24 hrs in Nepal!
KATHMANDU: Nepali authorities say it is difficult to ascertain the exact number of rape or attempted rape, but if Nepal Police data is anything to go by, one rape is committed every 24 hours in the country. The Women’s Foundation of Nepal on its website has put even a more murky picture, saying a woman is raped every 54 minutes somewhere in Nepal. “Unfortunately, most of these rape cases never come to light because the women and their families do not allow them to. No police case is filed, no trial takes place and no one is brought to justice. Fear of social stigma and of being raped again as a reprisal dissuade the majority of rape victims from reporting the crime,” says the website.