14 June, 2011

Rape in Libya

As the violence in Libya continues, a new horror has begun. As the BBC reported, victims of rape who become pregnant could be killed in "honor killings."  It is yet another example of victims being the only ones seen as participating in rape. There is no revenge against the rapist. If a woman was raped, she should not be the one held accountable for the act.

It leaves the stigma that the entire village has been raped, so why doesn't the whole village seek justice for the rapist instead of punishing the victim?

Victim blame furthers the tendency for society to hold girls accountable for the actions of men, with no shame or reprisal against the man who raped her. There needs to be a loud message sent that it is not okay for this to happen. Rape is never ok, and in a society where women are silenced anyway, this further leads to shame and silence with no support or justice for the victim.

"The International Criminal Court says it believes Col Gaddafi's forces are using rape as a weapon of war. The ICC says it has reason to believe orders to rape were given, and the drug Viagra was distributed to fighters. ... "The order to rape was not given to the regular army," says the major, who did not want his name to be used, because his family is still in Tripoli. "Col Gaddafi knew we would never accept it. It was given to the mercenaries." (BBC)