The repeated failure of our justice system to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions has encouraged a ‘rape culture’ to fester at every level of society in Malaysia, warns Citizens Against Rape(CAR).
The recent decision of the Court of Appeal to acquit a 60-year-old man who fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl allegedly through the insertion of his semen-smeared finger sent shockwaves across the nation.
It is regrettable that once more, it has required a case where justice has been so blatantly undermined before we sit up to take notice.
Yet we have much to be concerned about. The names of sexual victims who have been brutalised, and whose perpetrators have never been brought to justice, are imprinted into our collective memories: Ang May Hong, Audrey Melissa George, Nurin Jazlin.
Police statistics reveal an almost threefold increase in reported rape cases between 2000 and 2009, while Parliament reports that the conviction rate for sexual crimes involving children in 2013 was below 5 per cent, and that in 2012 and 2013, more than 65 per cent of all sexual assault victims were under 18 years of age.
Despite this, the Malaysian government has not taken effective action to curb the prevalence —and increasing severity— of sexual crimes in our nation. This indifference and the repeated failure of our justice system to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions have encouraged a ‘rape culture’ to fester at every level of society in Malaysia.
This must stop.
Stop raping our children!
By signing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Malaysian Government has undertaken to uphold the principles of due diligence when dealing with sexual violence.
This includes active prevention measures, protecting victims, effectively prosecuting and punishing perpetrators of such violence, and providing redress for victims and survivors.
It is time for these obligations to be upheld.
The Citizens Against Rape (CAR) calls upon concerned parties from all walks of life to demand state accountability in addressing sexual crimes. Here is what can be done to bring about real change:
- Call on the government to amend the Penal Code, expanding the definition of rape to include the use of body parts and objects.
- Amend the Evidence Act 1950 to enhance the weight given to children’s testimonies and review corroboration rules for child victims.
- Revive and re-implement the Child Protection Policy and Child Protection Teams for consistent action.
- Recognise that sexual violence occurs at all levels of society and involves victims of all ages.
Let us come together and commit to ending sexual violence in this country, particularly those involving children. The Citizens Against Rape is organising a peaceful public protest as follows:
Time and date: 4.00pm, Sunday, 7 June 2015
Starting at: KL Sogo
Enough is enough. Hentikan rogol!
Issued by the Citizens Against Rape (CAR):
- All Women’s Action Society (Awam)
- Association of Women Lawyers
- Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (Aman)
- Anak Muda Sarawak
- ECCE Council
- Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (Prima)
- Childline Malaysia
- Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
- .Johor Women’s League (Jewel)
- Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Women’s Section
- KL Hokkien Association Youth Section
- Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independent (Kami)
- LLG Cultural Development Centre
- Majlis Kebajikan Kanak Kanak (MKKM)
- Malaysian Child Resource Institute (MCRI)
- Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (Mipas)
- Malaysian Youth Care Organisation (Prihatin)
- Muslimah Interest Zone and Networking (Mizan)
- National Council of Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO)
- Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
- Partners of Community Organisations Sabah (Pacos)
- P. S. The Children
- People’s Service Organisation (PSO)
- Persatuan Halfway Home for Furly Strays
- Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
- Perak Women for Women (PWW)
- Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor Dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas)
- Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor Dan KL
- Persatuan Kebajikan Sosial Dan Pendidikan Progresif Selangor
- Persatuan Pengasuh Berdaftar Malaysia (PPBM)
- Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (Rapat)
- Persekutuan Persatuan-Persatuan Alumni Sekolah Cina Malaysia (PPPASCM)
- Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia
- Sisters in Islam (Sis)
- Voice of Children (VOC)
- Wanita Ikram
- Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
- Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) Penang
- World Assembly of Muslim Youth (Wamy)
- Yayasan Usman Awang
- Sunflower Electoral Education Movement (Seed)
- Persatuan Jitu
- Pusat Komunikasi Malaysia (Komas)
- Persatuan Murid-Murid Ta Sekolah Kuen Cheng KL
- Japan Graduates Association, Malaysia
- Child Rights Coalition Malaysia
- United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
- Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
About Citizens Against Rape (CAR)
This initiative started in 1987 when a group of women and men came together to protest against the brutal rape and murder of nine year old Ang Mei Hong.
Since then, CAR has been a platform for members of the public to protest against other horrific cases of sexual violence, rape and murder. The last CAR public action was held in 2014, when the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) organised a rally following the brutal gang rape of two teenagers in Kelantan.