Women in Taiwan embraced a legal victory for victims of rape on Tuesday. Regardless of whether or not rape victims press charges themselves against their attackers, prosecutors can now file suit against the rape perpetrators. This law protects women from describing the painful and exacting details of the rape to an open court.
Records show that Taiwan has approximately 1,700 reported rapes a year. However, because of the fear of repeated violence and social stigma, most rape victims never notify the police. This leads experts to believe that as many as 10 times more rapes are occuring than are reported.
In the past, rapists have not been convicted of their crimes because Taiwanese law would not permit authorities to prosecute the rapists unless the rape victims pressed charges as well. According to lawmaker Fan Hsiun-lu, "many women were still compelled to live with sexual assaults because the law encouraged them to settle the cases in private or simply keep quiet under the attackers' threats of more violence."
Under the new law, a rapist can face up to five years in jail and up to three years of sexual therapy. While this law is a huge progressive step for the women in Taiwan, there are still problems with this law and other laws involved in sexual assault issues. While the new law takes effect immediately in the more violent rape cases, there will be a delay of two years before the law can be applied to less violent rapes. Also, women who claim rape by their spouses must still press charges themselves before prosecutors can file suit.
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .