Ihave been more than usually concerned of late about crime in Saint Lucia, especially the crimes of murder and rape, so I went online to check out what the world does to the perpetrators of these crimes. What I discovered was perplexing and disturbing. Victims of a rape, whether male or female, suffer in ways non-victims can scarcely imagine yet there is little or no global consensus on how the perpetrators of such crimes should be dealt with. What follows are not my words but the words of others who have posted articles, sometimes seemingly very authoritatively, on this matter. Unfortunately, however, the language used in these articles has led me to be suspicious of the quality of the contents, so for what it’s worth here’s what I found out after I cleaned up the grammar a bit.
In some European countries, any kind of sexual assault, even including a French kiss without the recipient’s consent, is considered a rape but there is no uniform punishment to fit the crime. Whereas most countries are not concerned about sexual assaults on prostitutes, an uninvited sexual assault on a sex worker may lead to an imprisonment of up to 4 years in the Netherlands for example. Generally speaking, in the West a rapist receives prison sentences ranging from 4 to 15 years depending on the age of the convicted. India imposes life imprisonment or even death sentences. The French are pretty hardcore about their rape laws. They hand out 15-year sentences for rape, which can be extended to 30 or life depending on the extent of damage and brutality. The sentence for rape in China is a swift death. Castration is also used in some cases. The punishment for rape in Saudi Arabia is a public beheading after administering the rapist with a sedative. The fact that they hand down the same punishment for drug trafficking proves that something wrong is ingrained in their system. The North Korean dictatorship sentences rapists to death by firing squad. In Afghanistan convicted rapists are shot in the head within 4 days or hanged to death. Egypt still follows the slightly outdated mode of death by hanging. Rapists in Iran are sentenced to death, sometimes by hanging but sometimes allegedly also by stoning, which is a gruesome way to go. Sadly, their culture also ends up victimizing the person who was raped. In Israel, someone convicted of rape is liable to be sentenced to 16 years in prison. Their definition of rape is quite inclusive and takes into account other forms of sexual assault. In the USA the usual sentence for a convicted rapist depends on whether the trial falls under state or federal law. In cases under federal law, punishments range from a few years to life imprisonment. Rapists in Russia are usually sentenced to 3-6 years in prison. The jail term can go up to more than 10 years depending on the situation, such as if the person causes grievous harm, and can be even higher, 20 years, in rare cases. Scandinavia is one of the most stringent places with regard to rape. Any kind of sexual behaviour without consent falls under the category of rape, and the perpetrator can be thrown in jail for a period of 4-15 years depending on how heinous the crime is. They have such nice prisons though!
In Arab countries for centuries an intruding man caught in the harem was turned over to the slaves to be used for their sexual pleasure. Rape of captive soldiers in war was common amongst ancient Arabs, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. The tradition apparently continues, with a recent report of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva documenting the rape of numerous teenage Palestinian boys in Israeli military detention centres as part of both punishment and interrogation routines. In England, as well as in the early American years, prisoners left in the stocks or pillory overnight were often raped. The punishment was virtually an invitation to rape, with the prisoner firmly anchored and unable to turn his or her head to see who was behind him or her. The general knowledge of such assaults occurring would suggest that judges were just as aware that they were imposing rape as punishment as were Arab harem keepers who more directly imposed rape as punishment. In the modern era, prison administrators have often been accused of tolerating, and sometimes deliberately creating, rape situations. In addition to the punishment aspect, prison staff has better control of the population by tacitly consenting to rapes; it is a way of keeping the more aggressive prisoners calm and happy, since if they weren’t raping they might be rioting.
One of the more bizarre online claims is that one Middle Eastern country punishes convicted rapists by chaining one ankle to the bed for 24 hours. The official explanation is that for that day the prisoner is being punished by being restricted to his bed and is not able to wander around to use various recreational facilities. The truth is that by being chained to the bed the real punishment is that the prisoner is unable to defend himself and is available all day to any of his 150 dormitory mates who might want to rape him, and that almost all would want to. That is why the punishment is only for one day. My oh my! The stuff you read on the Net!