Defense Minister’s statement on abuse welcomed, but 6 urgent actions needed to ensure survivors’ safety
On Sunday (12 April), Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob encouraged domestic…
We the following women’s organisations are deeply disturbed by the grounds for acquittal of Razali Pilen given by the Kuala Lumpur’s Sessions Court Judge, Mohd Saman Mohd Ramli on 24.09.2002.
The learned judge had highlighted these facts:
The learned judge had also reportedly stated that the ‘sexual intercourse here seems voluntarily, just like between husband and wife’.
We are outraged and are in disbelief that these statements are still being made in this day and age. It is highly disturbing when a learned person does not understand the dynamics of rape or rape victims and with this biasness decides on the fate of women. We are disheartened that the Rape Myth is still well and alive and being perpetuated by the very authorities involved in the carrying out of justice.
Women’s organisation have been advocating for the fair treatment of rape survivors for years now. We maintain and reiterate that rape is Violence Against Women. We assert the following:
When a survivor is under a threat or supervision of an authority, one should understand the limitation of survivor’s capability. A report will only be made when a survivor can trust the authority. No survivor would make a report unless a trust relationship has been established. In this case the policeman is working at the same station and the survivors were only able to inform the incident 3 days later to a policewoman who was working at the same station. Instead of seeing this as a factor for delay the learned judge had used it as an aggravating factor. The judge had failed to understand the element of fear and intimidation.
We are also deeply disturbed by the judge’s insensitive comment on the rape. Rape is not sexual intercourse. It is a crime against women. It is a non- consensual act. When a man forces himself on two women, that can never be equated as a consensual act between husband and wife, what more if it was done by a person in authority.
Our faith in the system has been sorely tested with the passing of the above judgement. We urge the Government and the Chief Justice to look seriously into this matter. Members of the Judiciary need to be sensitised and trained on issues of rape. We also urge the DPP’s office to appeal against the acquittal
We, and certainly women in Malaysia, need to have our faith restored that our criminal justice system is just and fair. Otherwise victims of sexual assault will continue to be silenced and denied justice.
Sisters In Islam
Women’s Aid Organisation
All Women’s Action Society
The Women’s Candidacy Initiative