ruling on rape: a ruling for rapists, not victims – Gabriela
April 4, 2023
QUEZON CITY –
National women’s alliance GABRIELA slammed the Supreme Court’s
recently uploaded ruling “fine-tuning” the criminal act of rape. In
the SC decision, an anatomical threshold where the perpetrator’s
penis “penetrates the cleft of the labia minora” must be proven
beyond reasonable doubt in order for an act to be considered rape.
“The dignity of a woman
does not rest on a vagina. By creating ‘gradations’ between ‘rape’
and ‘attempted rape’ on account of anatomical thresholds, the
Supreme Court is effectively reducing the dignity of women to our
body parts. It forgets that whether a woman is forced into acts of
vaginal penetration, oral sex, or penetration through foreign
objects, the point is that such acts constitute grave violation of
the woman’s dignity. Rape is rape. Rape is indignity. No matter the
nature or specifics, rape is a violation of a person’s humanity,”
blasted Clarice Palce, GABRIELA’s Secretary-General.
“We also urge the Supreme
Court to remember that this ruling is set against the backdrop of a
country where rape victims struggle as it is to find the courage to
speak up and seek justice. With this ruling, women would now have
the added burden of very specifically demonstrating beyond
reasonable doubt that her rapist penetrated ‘into her labia minora’
for the court to consider it to be rape. We have no doubts that
there would be even more rape victims forced into silence following
this decision. Simply and frankly worded, this is a ruling that
favors only perpetrators, not rape victims,” raised Palce.
According to GABRIELA, the
Supreme Court’s ruling, which bases its arguments purely on anatomy,
poses a danger for rape victims on technical grounds: “There are
plenty of women who either do not possess vaginas as in the case of
transgender women, women with undeveloped genitals, intersex women,
and many more who may face the realities of sexual violence but who
clearly would not even be considered rape victims under this
ruling,” Palce lamented.
“The Supreme Court’s
decision reeks of the complete inability to grasp what makes rape a
heinous crime – something that no amount of overdetailing on the
nature of the act based on body parts and crass anatomy will ever
capture,” concluded Palce.