Tag Archive: rape

KUALA LUMPUR: Two women were raped and robbed during “staged” job interviews in two separate incidents.

On Saturday, a 22-year-old fresh graduate went to a budget hotel in the city to attend the “interview” after she applied for a sales promoter job through a website.

City deputy CID chief Asst Comm Khairy Arasah said a few days earlier, the victim had sent a job application to an e-mail address (sonicact@gmail.com), and was asked to attend the interview by the suspect at about 3.30pm.

He said in an e-mail, the victim was offered RM400 per day for the job by the suspect.

The victim was asked to meet the “interviewer” in a room at the hotel.

“When she entered the room, the suspect who was alone, raped her before robbing her of her belongings,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

In early August, another woman was also raped and robbed after she was duped into attending a similar “interview” in a different hotel in the city.

Initial investigations revealed both cases involved a single suspect using the same modus operandi.

ACP Khairy said the suspect did not leave his name, address or contact number when registering at the hotel.

He has advised the public, especially women, to check with the hotels when they are asked to attend an interview to prevent any untoward incidents.

Police have released the photofit (pic) of the suspect and are seeking the public’s help to apprehend him.

Both the cases are being investigated under Section 376 for rape and 392 for robbery.

Rape victims can’t get pregnant?

The long-discredited notion that rape victims cannot become pregnant—a claim that pushed Republicans to repudiate one of their own US Senate candidates—dates back centuries to when human reproduction was hardly understood.

But the medieval theory has surfaced in 21st century political discourse as a result of the US abortion wars. Writers from the Middle Ages and modern politicians alike have based their arguments on the idea that a trauma of the magnitude of rape can shut down the body’s reproductive system.

The combination of misunderstanding and cherry-picked science even led some to conclude that a woman who says she was raped yet becomes pregnant must have been lying about the attack. Modern proponents of the claim repeat it despite empirical research showing that rape victims are at least as likely to become pregnant as women who have consensual sex, and possibly more likely.

Representative Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for the US Senate in Missouri, spurred new outrage on the subject when he told a St Louis TV station he does not support abortion for rape victims because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin, a member of the House science committee, apologised for his statement, calling it “ill conceived” and “wrong”. Senior Republicans scrambled to distance themselves from the comments a week before the party holds its presidential nominating convention in Florida.

The claim that rape is unlikely to lead to a pregnancy has “no biological plausibility”, said Dr Barbara Levy, vice president for health policy at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The claim is “not grounded in any physiology or scientifically valid data”.

Akin is not alone in his view about rape and pregnancy, however. It dates at least to medieval times, when a 13th century English legal tome called Fleta asserted that pregnancy was prima facie evidence against a charge of rape, “for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive”.

A 19th century book, Elements Of Medical Jurisprudence by Samuel Farr, said that conception is unlikely “without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act”. That reflected the common notion that pregnancy requires a woman, like a man, to reach orgasm during intercourse.

Both early references were noted by The Guardian newspaper in a blog post. In fact, “human … female orgasm is not necessary for conception”, explained a 1995 paper in the journal Animal Behaviour, one of many studies reaching the same conclusion.

In more modern times, the rape-pregnancy claim seems to have been linked to the fact that stress can decrease fertility. “Mental stress can temporarily alter the functioning of your hypothalamus—an area of your brain that controls the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle,” explains the Mayo Clinic in a publication about infertility. “Ovulation and menstruation may stop as a result.”

But the stress that reduces fertility is the chronic kind that occurs over months or years, not the acute trauma of a rape.

“A woman who is raped at a vulnerable time in her menstrual cycle is as likely to conceive and retain a pregnancy as a woman who was voluntarily attempting pregnancy,” said ACOG’s Levy. “There’s absolutely no validity to any sort of theory that the trauma related to rape—or to any thing else for that matter—would shut down ovulation that has already begun.”

Physicians and researchers had long thought that conception occurs when sperm encounter an already-waiting egg. Recent research has shown that in fact sperm do the waiting, remaining in the woman’s uterus or fallopian tubes until an egg is released from the ovaries.

Although the trauma of rape might impair a woman’s fertility months or years later, said Levy, “you’re not going to interrupt something (like the release of an egg) that’s already started.”

Numerous studies support that. In a 1996 study in the American Journal Of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers surveyed 4,008 American women for three years. Among women in their prime reproductive years, 12 to 45, five percent of rapes resulted in pregnancy, mostly among adolescents.

One-third “did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester”, the researchers found, concluding that “rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency”.

It may occur with greater frequency than after consensual sex. Indeed, evolutionary psychologists—who seek to explain human behaviour by imagining what actions might have helped our ancient ancestors survive and reproduce—say the reason rape has been so endemic throughout history is precisely because it often leads to pregnancy: men who commit that crime, goes the argument, were more likely to have progeny, passing along their “rape genes” to the next generation.

While the explanation for rape has been discredited, the fact that rape often leads to pregnancy has not been.

In a 2003 study in the journal Human Nature, researchers found that 6.4% of rapes in the hundreds of women they surveyed caused pregnancy; that compares to a rate roughly half that with consensual intercourse. In Mexico, rape crisis centers have reported that some 15% of rapes cause pregnancy.

The rate may be high because rape victims are less likely to be using contraception at the time of the crime than are women in a relationship, who can also choose to forego sex during fertile periods in their reproductive cycle if they do not want to conceive.

Source: Reuters

Rape, a growing statistic

Rape is on the rise nationwide and needs to be curbed immediately.

THE horror stories are enough for any parent to lock up their daughters and throw away the key so that they will be safe.

A short ride home from school became a ride of terror for a Year Four pupil when the driver stopped the van to strip her in front of her friends and schoolmates before forcing himself on her.

The police believe that many more schoolchildren could have been raped by him in his van over the last few months.

Last week, two men were arrested for stalking and raping more than five teenaged girls living in their neighbourhood.

And only last month, a 54-year-old taxi driver was charged with raping and molesting several secondary schoolgirls aged between 15 and 17. He also video taped the crime and used the incriminating clips to blackmail the victims for further sexual exploitation.

According to the police, sexual crimes have escalated nationwide in the last few years, and rape tops these offences.

In 2003, 1,479 police reports were lodged by rape victims. The figure doubled to 3,098 in 2007.

Statistics compiled also show that sexual crimes against the young have jumped, especially rape involving girls aged 16 and below.

According to DSP Zaiton Che Lah, head of the Sexual Crimes Unit under the Sexual Crimes and Children Investigation Division (D11), about 50% of the total number of rape cases each year involve victims aged 16 and below.

A check with various women’s groups, however, reveals that this is far from new and may very well be a conservative figure.

As Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) Penang executive director Loh Cheng Kooi highlights, although the number of rape cases reported has increased, there are many cases that are still unreported.

One reason for this, she says, is because about 80% of sex offenders are either close or known to the victims, such as family members, relatives, neighbours or school bus drivers.

And as these sexual predators hide behind unassuming personas or keep a low profile among the adults in the community, many parents are caught unawares when they “attack” their targeted victims.

This, says Loh, makes it difficult for the young victims to come forward for help as they worry that they will not be believed.

Loh believes the crux of the problem is the lack of communication between parents and children.

“Most parents now are too busy working and don’t spend enough time talking or just listening to their children. When there is no rapport between them, how can there be trust?” she says.

Abby de Vries, programme officer at the All Women’s Action Society (Awam) warns that we should be worried about this phenomenon.

“Usually, the younger they are, the more difficult it is for them to convince the adults that they were raped or sexually abused. Why is this happening? Why do they feel like they cannot tell anyone?”

Most sexual offenders are not only familiar to the targeted victims but they are also good at manipulating them.

Befriending the victim and luring her with gifts or money are classic tactics among sexual predators, she says. However, combined with the inherent culture of shame in our society, it only leads to victims’ reluctance to seek help.

“The tool of guilt and shame is very common for victims of sexual crime

“It is a strong barrier preventing them from seeking help and it is a powerful weapon to keep them quiet. Especially if they took money like in the recent cases in Ampang, they will probably think – ‘Who will believe me because I took money from this guy?’ ”

Social works manager with Women’s Aid Organisation, Wong Su Zane argues that whether the victims have received a gift or money from the perpetrator is irrelevant.

The issue is whether a crime has been committed against them, she says, or whether the victims have been forced to perform a sexual act without their consent.

“If a person gave you a gift, or asked you out, or bought you a meal or a drink, it doesn’t mean that you have to have sex with the person. If you don’t give your consent for sex but the other person forces himself on you, then it is a crime.”

She believes the fear to report is deeply entrenched in victims due to the lack of a system that is supportive of them.

“Whenever a rape happens, the police will ask the victims about what they have done or what they didn’t do to lead to the crime. So the first thing that comes to the mind of most victims is that it is their fault and they could have done something to prevent it.”

The fear is further exacerbated by the advent of technology, she shares.

“Now, when I advise those who seek help from WAO to lodge a police report, their reaction is always: ‘If we do that, the whole world will know!’ They say reporters will be there or someone will blog about it.”

Loh agrees that living in the age of the Internet and mobile technology has created new challenges in the fight against rape.

“The same cases of rape may have been happening before but in different permutations. I feel that people are definitely getting more violent – in shopping malls, at school or at clubs – there is danger everywhere, you can get drugged and raped anywhere and anytime.”

At the same time, she opines, the constraints and pressures of the world that are forcing parents to spend most of their time working are also boosting this rising violence.

“The world’s situation is no longer simple – it has become more dangerous. There are many different types of abuse and violation too because of this development.

But most parents either don’t know how to prepare their children to deal with these changes or have no time to prepare their children.”

Sophisticated methods

De Vries agrees that sexual offenders have indeed moved on to new technologically sophisticated modus operandi to trap and force victims into sexual submission.

Like the taxi driver “uncle” case in Ampang, she points out, pictures and video clips were used to force the victims to continue the sexually abusive “relationship”.

“The victims already felt ashamed after being raped and then they found out that the perpetrators have embarassing evidence to use against them.”

Worse, she adds, the growth of mobile technology and social media network have made it so ubiquitous in our daily life that many young people are unware of the risks.

“Now, more and more sexual offenders are using the internet as a way to prey on victims but many young people are unaware of the dangers.

“Just go online and you will see many websites for young people to exchange pictures and post personal details. They don’t realize how this can be exploited by the unscrupulous out there.

“For them, when they post their sexy picture to share with their friends, it is just for fun. But for sexual predators, it is the weapon they have been waiting for,” she says.

We are to blame for the hike in the violence against women and young girls, says women’s rights activist and Empower executive director Maria Chin Abdullah.

As she sees it, Malaysian society has failed to respond to the new wired world where children have a wider accessibility and exposure to violence and sex.

“The adults are too shy to broach the subject, so we now face the consequences as a society because we kept quiet on the issue.”

She says it goes back to education. For one, she adds, no one is giving the girls the right education to protect themselves.

“We are either overprotecting and controlling them; restricting their movements and telling them that they need to stay home or cover up. We need to teach them self-respect and self-defence skills to empower them.”

Need to change mindset

She stresses, education is about changing the mindset and there is a need to change the mindset of young people about their relationship with each other – how to be mutually respectful – as well as how to defend themselves.

“We need to teach them about their rights and boundaries. If we fail to do that, then we will not be able to stop the violence,” she argues, adding that one measure is having sex education in schools.

“But you cannot have a piecemeal one like what we have at the moment. Sex education is a process and builds on the most basic information – good touch and bad touch for a five year old – up to a more complex and detailed knowledge of consequences and responsibilities of sex. It needs to be comprehensive and holistic,” she says.

DSP Zaiton is another who believes in going back to school.

“It starts from home and school. We can only monitor and curb the violence but young people need to be taught gender sensitivity and equality.

“For example, boys need to learn to respect the girls. If the boys respect the girls, they will not force themselves on the girls or pass them around among their friends. In most of the gang rape cases we get, we see how the boys hate or look down on the girls.”

The police are also keen to work with schools in raising students’ awareness of the crime, she adds.

“We don’t just want to arrest offenders. We can go to schools to give talks and counsel students. Prevention is always better.”

Most importantly, she urges parents and schools who suspect that something sexually insiduous is happening to their children to come forward to seek help from the police.

“Don’t try to hide the problem. My advice is for the victims to report immediately. Don’t be scared. The longer you take to report a rape, the more difficult it is for us to help you,” she says.

Source: The Star Online @ 1/8/2010.

Teen Sex On The Rise

More and more teens are experimenting with sex, and starting earlier too.

NEVER mind that they know little about the birds and the bees, teenage girls in Singapore are still going ahead with the deed – and in larger numbers as well.

s665448667_6190The latest police figures show that 310 girls below the age of 16 were caught engaging in underage consensual sex last year – nearly 45% more than the year before.

Put against the number from five years ago – 163 – the jump is even more stark.

Most of the time, their parents or teachers report them to the police; police officers on patrol have also caught them in the act.

How can a young couple differentiate between love and infatuation?
How can a young couple differentiate between love and infatuation?

The police say that most of the time, these girls are with men known to them, usually their boyfriends or friends.

In most cases, these boys are also teenagers, though they are sometimes in their 20s or even 30s.

In the eyes of the law, girls aged between 12 and 14 are considered victims73017bc564ccedb6 of statutory rape. Cases involving girls below the age of 12 are investigated as rape. Offenders can be jailed for up to 20 years, and fined or caned.

Under the Women’s Charter, sex with a girl aged above 14 but below 16 is termed “carnal connection”.

If found guilty, offenders can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to S$10,000 (RM23,800) for this crime.

While females are the majority of victims in underage sex cases here, the law has been amended to protect males as well.

Last October, a 32-year-old former teacher became the first woman here to be charged with having sex with a minor, a 15-year-old boy.

Not only are the rising numbers worrying, youth counsellors say it also appears that teenagers are being initiated into sex earlier.

s1465982963_5667A jump in the number of statutory rape cases – from nine in 2003 to 63 last year – hints at this. Youth counsellors are also seeing more cases of young teens at “sexual or moral risk”: Of 721 children screened by counsellors after their parents had sought beyond parental control orders last year, nearly a quarter, or 171, were found to have already experienced sex in one form or another.

And these are only the cases that have come to the attention of the authorities, said counsellors.

The rising statistics indicate that teenagers here are less conservative thans1343242400_9380 their predecessors, they added.

In the past, drugs and cigarettes were the stuff of youthful experimentation, but today, it is sex.

As clinical psychologist Carol Balhetchet put it: “Sex is the new cigarette.”

And while girls are typically cast as “victims” under the law, not all of them are as innocent as they seem.

cheryl-anne-gohCounsellors have reported an increasing proportion of girls who are sexually aggressive initiators of sex.

Dr Balhetchet said a 15-year-old girl wrote to her about two years ago wanting to know how she could ask her boyfriend to have sex with her because all her friends were already doing it with their boyfriends.

Young people may be unaware of the consequences of unprotected sex – an unwanted pregnancy or disease.
Young people may be unaware of the consequences of unprotected sex – an unwanted pregnancy or disease.

Chong Cheh Hoon, senior vice-president of Focus on the Family Singapore, a group dedicated to the strengthening of families, said popular culture in the form of hit television programmes such as Gossip Girl are also giving young people a template on dating and casual sex.

She said: “Kids today thrive on popular culture and fashion fads, and if something looks cool and gets them the popular vote, they will gravitate to that source in order to get that attention.”

britanny-smithIt is this race to be “with it” that “blurs the line between right and wrong”.

A 16-year-old who first had sex when she was 15 said that nearly all her friends were doing it, with most of them having started at 14 or 15, like herself.

She said she views sex as “personal” and only for two people who love each other, but her friends have told her that “once they lose their virginity, sex doesn’t really mean much to them anymore”.

A survey carried out last year by the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) among 500 girls under 16 indicated that a majority of these girls were seeking emotional fulfilment rather than a physical connection; some felt compelled to give in to the demands of their partners to prove their love.

s1359455533_7768The survey revealed that the two main reasons for having sex were a desire for a closer connection with their boyfriend and being pressured by their boyfriend into giving themselves.

“Girls who want emotional support might feel trapped because they feel sex is the only way they can keep the boy,” said Yusof Ismail, chief executive of the Ain Society, which deals with troubled youth.

Teens may be unaware of the consequences – unwanted babies or disease – or are turning a blind eye to them.

veronica-hadad1A study on young people’s awareness and usage of contraception commissioned last July by drug company Bayer Schering Pharma found that about three in 10 of the 240 respondents had had sex, but only 54% had used contraceptives.

One in six believed that urinating or exercising after sex would prevent pregnancy.

Noel Tan, who co-founded Sanctuary House, an organisation which helps mothers who cannot or may not want to keep their babies, said: “Most kids – and even adults – have no clue what it takes to have a baby.

“A lot of the time, pregnancies happen because these kids don’t know how to say ‘No’. How do they know the difference between love and infatuation?”