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In the rape case of 50 women: Victims prefer not to speak up to avoid a “scandal”


Al Akhbar newspaper published a report about the case of H.H. who confessed to raping more than 50 women over a period of 4 years, none of whom filed a legal procedure.  Of the total only 25 of victims, all aged over 50 years, lodged a complaint upon his arrest.  The report addresses the question of victims of rape who prefer to keep silent rather than acknowledge an act of rape.  The newspaper quotes a source in the investigation saying that the majority of women have not lodged a complaint against H.H. because of the conservative environment to which they belong whilst noting that most of the crimes occurred in the Shouf and the mountain area.  Psychologist Nadine Lahhoud noted that women do not come forward because they have been raised to be fearful especially in what concerns taboos.  She added that in cases of rape, society tend to blame women and problematise the issue in such a way that considers rapists to be innocent.
An activist noted that rapists are encouraged by the fact that they are likely to get away with their crimes because women will not dare say what happened and because sex is considered to be taboo by families and by society.  She added that women do not have enough trust to resort to the state.  She quotes training sessions on dealing with VAW between Kafa and the ISF where ISF members refrained from registering complaints by women victims of domestic violence because “these are private matters” or because they “have no time for chit chat”.
Source: Al-Akhbar 3 September 2014

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