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A Tale Of A Rape A Death Sentence

Posted on June 6, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Rape is a very difficult and complex Issue

Rapists do not belong to any social status, religious denomination, nationality or race group, we e find them every where, the difference in the numbers are in the reported cases, as most of the statistics are compiled from court cases denominated as rapes.
Only Some countries publish their Data on Rape cases so it is difficult to know the real numbers to make the statistics by countries.

For western societies where rape it is openly discussed in forums and some chapters of the Penal Code is dedicated to punish sexual harassment, domestic violence and rape victims violators,  the numbers showing in statistics are alarmingly high. We have very strict laws to punish sexual predators, and even with all the protection in place, women are still  victims of rapes and domestic violence.

In the more complicated issues of domestic violence and systematic rape of women with their husbands, or domestic partners it is very difficult to find the exact numbers other than isolated cases heard in courts of domestic violence cases, where the rape is exposed.  Most of the cases that are known thru shelter for abused women stories are kept confidentially for the women protection, but at the same time most of these cases are not prosecuted for fear to reprisals from part of the male violator.

According to some psychologists that have studied the behavior of Rapists and his/her victims, they conclude that  Rape is a violent crime that is motivated by power, not by sex, but I think there are both types; power abuse to show superiority and sexual behavior to satisfy mental states.

Usually women are afraid to report their husbands, the fear from their husbands it is bigger than their desire to be free from the abuse. Even with all the protection guarantee for women against rape and domestic violence the numbers are growing in the US and elsewhere in the world.

Some women are hesitant to report their husbands and put them in jail, they do not want see themselves without economical support, a lot women prefer the mental and physical abuse and  rape instead to  navigate in life working or asking for public welfare.

The cases we heard off in the media are known only because the victims are brave enough to report the predators, being husband, family or strangers, but it is not the case in conservative societies where religious tabus invite and condone the abuse.

In some countries where are majority Muslim, they treat rape victims in different way that in western countries. In remote Muslims places where tribal government is still the law, male members of a rape victim’s family will prefer to treat rape victims as guilty persons instead of going to the shame of presenting their cases in the tribal council, they will do what it is called honor killings, off course this practice is less and less used for fear to prosecution, but the rape victims still are forced to be silenced in shame or fear.

Sexual issues are still considered tabus in many communities, even in the United States that we consider ourselves “Modern Society”, we  the parents still need to sign consent for our children to be taught subjects about sexually and Aids related issues.

This article is not to engage in religious arguments,or to hurt sensitivities, but to expose the perpetrators and the cultural bound that exhibit some countries when the issue of  rape is addressed.

The Rapist that use physical superiority to get control of the victims which it is the most common type of rape,  but also there are many cases where  mental abuse it is used to exercise control on the victims, like in the case of domestic partners and husbands rape and domestic violence cases.

The following story developed in front of the cameras of journalist in March 26, 2011 in the five-star Rixos Hotel in Tripoli exposed a common practice from part of the authorities to subjugate and humiliate women as a way to punish the male family members.

Al-Obaidi is the woman who pushed her way, weeping, into the five-star Rixos Hotel in Tripoli last weekend. That’s where the Libyan regime keeps international journalists penned up under the supervision of government “minders.” The minders try to ensure the journalists see only those things that may assist the regime’s propaganda efforts.

Bruises are seen on the face of Iman al-Obaidi as she cries at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli on March 26. Bruises are seen on the face of Iman al-Obaidi as she cries at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli on March 26. Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

(Not that I blame the journalists, having been penned up and minded myself on more than one occasion. You do what you can do to be where you have to be.)


Al-Obaidi confronted journalists eating their breakfasts with a pretty harrowing story. She said she had been detained by a gang of “militiamen” earlier in the day and gang-raped.

Why? Almost certainly because she’s from Benghazi, the rebel-held city in eastern Libya/

So intent was al-Obaidi on convincing reporters of her story that she lifted up her black robe, which goes against the grain of nearly any woman in Arab society, and displayed the trauma inflicted on her thigh. There were also, reporters at the scene wrote, marks on her face, and on her wrists and ankles, indicating she’d been tied up.

“They defecated on me,” she told the reporters who scrambled with cameras and notebooks. “They urinated on me. They violated my honor.”

Rape rarely reported in Arab world

In places like Libya, Syria, or, until recently, Egypt or  Iraq, a public act like al-Obaidi’s is not just incredibly courageous but near-suicidal, which is why rape is almost never reported in the Arab world, even though it is routinely used as a punishment by security forces.

Even in less repressive countries like Jordan, the rape itself is often less hurtful than what can come next. There is a case a young woman in Amman who had the misfortune of being raped by an uncle.

When her family found out about it, the stain on their honor was so unbearable that they locked the door, turned the music up loud, drew the curtains and shot her. When she had the nerve to recover in hospital, she was sold off  to an old man who was willing to lend his name to the bastard child who resulted from the rape. All the girl had to do was agree to a life of indentured servitude scrubbing her saviour’s floors. She was rescued by a group of women’s advocates.

In Libya these days, you can add the viciousness of the regime’s enforcers to the day-to-day misogyny Arab women face.

According to reporters on the scene, al-Obaidi was instantly set upon by waitresses in the restaurant, who grabbed knives and attacked her. One threw a coat over her head to shut her up. And these were the women who responded. The male “minders” from the government just grabbed al-Obaidi and began dragging her away.

Al-Obaidi reacts as she is grabbed by a Libyan official, left, preventing members of the foreign media from reaching her.  As reporters gathered to hear her story, security guards grabbed al-Obaidi, bundled her into a car and drove her away. Several journalists were beaten during the scuffle. Al-Obaidi reacts as she is grabbed by a Libyan official, left, preventing members of the foreign media from reaching her. As reporters gathered to hear her story, security guards grabbed al-Obaidi, bundled her into a car and drove her away. Several journalists were beaten during the scuffle. Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

Journalists who tried to protect her were beaten. One “minder” pulled a gun. Another one smashed the camera of a CNN cameraman who’d filmed the scene.

But, finally, the international press had a real story, and the damage control began, in the ham-fisted, dull-witted manner that only officials of regimes like the one in Tripoli can manage.

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim immediately announced that al-Obaidi was drunk and mentally deranged.

Subsequently, when reporters insisted on speaking with her again, Ibrahim announced she may not have been deranged and drunk after all and assured the media her allegations were being investigated. Indeed, four men had been questioned, he declared. Al-Obaidi, he said, was safely back in the bosom of her family.

Except her family told reporters their daughter remained locked up. Her mother said the regime had told her that if her daughter would just change her story, there would be a reward of cash and new accommodations for the family.

Her mother not only said her daughter stands by her story, she dispensed with the family-honour nonsense. She declared her pride at her daughter’s courage and denounced Gadhafi and his thugs as “dogs.”

Now, the regime has changed its story again. Ibrahim now claims that al-Obaidi is a prostitute, a “sharmuta,” to use the nasty Arabic invective. Further, the men she accused of raping her are now so offended at this slight to their dignity that they’ve filed a lawsuit against their victim.

And, of course, they will win, if Gadhafi’s regime lasts long enough for it to get to court, even though al-Obaidi is, according to her mother, a lawyer. She will be punished further.

Story rings true

Now, a word: Beyond a certain point, reporters cannot do normal due diligence on al-Obaidi’s story. It may, indeed, be that she will turn out to be crazy. As noted, you’d almost have to be to challenge a regime.

But her family confirms her account. To anyone who has worked in an Arab country, it has the ring of truth. I have watched Arab policemen brutalize a helpless woman.

Plus, al-Obaidi took the extraordinary step of publicly acknowledging rape in an Arab society. And most importantly, the regime has tried to shut her up. So, I’m just going to go ahead here and give her the benefit of the doubt.

Women hold a picture of al-Obaidi during a protest in Benghazi, Libya, on March 27. Women's groups abroad have not been so quick to take up her cause.Women hold a picture of al-Obaidi during a protest in Benghazi, Libya, on March 27. Women’s groups abroad have not been so quick to take up her cause. Suhaib Salem/Reuters

But here’s my question. The reporters whom she confronted are clearly outraged. Libyan women, at least in Benghazi, are outraged and protesting. So, where is all the outrage here in the West?

As far as I can tell, there has been no comment from organizations such as the U.S. National Organization for Women, despite the eyewitness dispatches from Tripoli. Shouldn’t Iman al-Obaidi be a symbol of something?

I can only hope it’s not a matter of opposition to U.S. militarism trumping support for women victimized in the Arab world.

I know, I know: the West intervenes selectively against tyrants, and yes, America and its allies have supported some pretty disgusting sociopaths over the years, and sure, there’s hypocrisy everywhere.

Heaven knows what has become of al-Obaidi. But if she survives, and there is justice, she should be sitting next to the first lady next February.

Saudi rape victim gets 90 lashesRIYADH: A Saudi court has sentenced a gang rape victim to 90 lashes of the whip because she was alone in a car with a man to whom she was not married. The sentence was passed at the end of a trial in which the Al Qateef high criminal court convicted four Saudis convicted of the rape, sentencing them to prison terms and a total of 2,230 lashes.
Rape Culture in France – Rape has been recognized as a crime in France since 1980 (you can get up to 15 years in prison). The legal definition is as follows: “Any sexual penetration (otherwise it’s categorized as assault and not as rape) imposed upon another person through violence, constraint, threat, or surprise, is a rape.”

Canada Rape Culture – In Canada, there have been discussions as to whether or not we live in a “rape culture”. Although difficult to define, this term refers to a society in which sexual assaults are ignored, legitimized, or blamed on the victim. Proponents of the existence of a rape culture claim that factors such as the clothes the victim was wearing, how much she had to drink, the relationship she had with the perpetrator and whether or not she appeared interested in sex, become the main focus of rape cases.

Mass Rape, Rape as a Weapon of War, and Women in War Zones – Rape is a form of gender-based violence against women. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women stated in its General Recommendation No. 19 that gender-based violence is a form of discrimination which the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) requires its states parties to eliminate in all its forms. …

Marital Rape: New Research and DirectionsRaquel Kennedy Bergen With contributions from Elizabeth Barnhill

Rape in marriage is a serious and prevalent form of violence against women.  While the legal definition varies within the United States, marital rape can be defined as any unwanted intercourse or penetration (vaginal, anal, or oral) obtained by force, threat of force, or when the wife is unable to consent (Bergen, 1996; Pagelow, 1992; Russell, 1990).  Most studies of marital rape have included couples who are legally married, separated, divorced, or cohabiting with the understanding that the dynamics of sexual violence in a long-term cohabiting relationship are similar to those of a married couple (Mahoney & Williams, 1998).  While no published studies of marital rape could be located which included cohabiting gay and lesbian couples, there is a slowly growing body of literature that addresses sexual violence in same sex relationships (see Girshick, 2002).

Categories: Akashma, Awareness, victims
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  1. October 5, 2014 at 6:31 am

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