According to Singaporean law, wives and men cannot be raped
A law somewhere in Singapore’s penal code has caught our eye.
A law that seems rather archaic, even if it was brought into effect a long time ago.
And we were notified of that law with this tweet.
— the local rebel (@thelocalrebel) September 25, 2015
Still can’t see it?
Yep — rape in Singapore is so narrowly defined, only a man can rape a woman he is not married to.
Which means a man cannot be raped, either by another man or a woman.
Which also means a woman cannot be raped by her husband.
After a little bit of digging, we discovered the passage is a screenshot off AWARE’s website, in a section that provides information about rape in Singapore.
And the Singapore statutes suggest AWARE is pretty accurate.
The statutes say…
Here’s an excerpt on what defines rape:
—(1) Any man who penetrates the vagina of a woman with his penis —
(a) without her consent; or
(b) with or without her consent, when she is under 14 years of age,
shall be guilty of an offence.
Meanwhile, marital rape (rape between a married couple) can only happen if husband and wife are living apart, or a protection order has been taken.
Also, male rape falls under the category of “sexual assault by penetration”, which is defined as:
—(1) Any man (A) who —
(a) penetrates, with A’s penis, the anus or mouth of another person (B); or
(b) causes another man (B) to penetrate, with B’s penis, the anus or mouth of A,
shall be guilty of an offence if B did not consent to the penetration.
Same same but different?
While the punishment for rape and sexual assault by penetration are the same (“imprisonment for a term of between 8 and 20 years and caning at least 12 strokes”), the way we think about crimes is indelibly linked to the way the law thinks of these same crimes.
So as long as the Attorney-General’s Chambers refuses to consider male and marital rape as rape, we, as a society, will only continue to refuse to legitimize the existence of these crimes.
Rape is a horrible thing to happen to anyone, let’s not take it any less seriously because of a technicality.