Do you know that there were 13,134 reported rape cases in Malaysia between years 2000 to June 2007? (Source: Royal Malaysia Police, Bukit Aman).
Once again, rape is rearing its ugly façade on our daily papers. Whether it may be the brutal rape and murder by
a stranger, incest or as in the most recent case, a young girl being gang-raped by her acquaintance and his friends, we find that there is no clear indication as to whom, how and when this deplorable act may occur. Sometime we find the following “advice” given to women in the press: women must take care of themselves wherever they go, who they go out with, what they wear or how they behave. As for the rapists, request for them to be put in jail longer or to whip them or castrate them or hang them is commonly heard. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?
Pop analysts on the streets are all too quick on the uptake to provide solutions and personal evaluation of this phenomenon. Why do you think rape happens? What do we believe to be the ultimate solution to finally wipe this crime from our society?
Before we move on, let’s have a quick look at some facts. Research has shown that rape is the most underreported crime in the world. In Malaysia, 9 out of 10 rapes go unreported. This means that out of the 2,431 reported cases last year, there were actually more than 14,000 rape incidents that happened in our country in 2007 alone. The number of reported rape cases has been steadily increasing with a slight dip in year 2006. Statistics last year show that only about 20% of rape incidents happened in public places, while nearly 70%
of them happened in the vicinity of homes. Nearly 80% of rapists are people known to the victims. A research done by a local women’s organization shows that almost all convicted rapists believe themselves to be faultless
and undeserving of their punishment. A quick look at the reported cases in the press shows that there is no single
profile of rape survivors, save that they are all women (since rape is a gender specific crime in this country) - females as young as a few months old to elderly grandmothers and girls clad in baju kurung to miniskirts have been subjected to rape.
How can we alleviate these problems?
• Creating awareness of the importance of protecting the body from being violated.
• Always being aware and careful of interactions with people.
• Not easily persuaded by new acquaintances or anyone with an obscure background.
• Get help by confiding in family and friends on what had happened.
• Report the incident to the police immediately.
• In rape cases, do not take a bath or wash the clothes worn during the incident before making the police report.
• Get hospital treatment.