Rape is a type of sexual assault, which involves sexual intercourse or other types of sexual penetration committed against a person without that person’s consent.
Under the International Criminal Court Statute, the fundamentals that form the definition of rape are:
Stats and examples
The Un reports that rape and violence against women is a global issue with “all regions” having “unacceptably high rates of violence against women.”
Rape is a particularly complex crime to analyze or quantify as far as statistics are concerned, partly because many sexual assaults are never reported. Women in some countries are much less likely to press charges than in others and are much less likely to have their complaint recorded.
–Gang rape is when a group of people participates in the rape of a single victim.
Rape as a weapon of war
The vast majority of casualities in today’s wars are women, according to a Unicef report. Women in particular are subject to rape during conflict to achieve military or political objectives. This includes terrorizing civilians, breaking up families, changing the ethnicity of the next generation, and can even be used to infect women with HIV.
“It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict… You destroy communities. You punish the men, and you punish the women, doing it in front of the men.” So said Major- General Patrick Cammaert, former commander of UN peacekeeping forces in the eastern Congo;
Today rape as a weapon of war continues globally. For example, the rise of Islamic State has seen more and more stories such as Noor’s (not her real name). The 14 year old from Iraq was sold from one Islamic State fighter to the next, 15 times. Each time she was raped.
International Law and Rape
Rape is not a stand-alone crime in international law, but can be prosecuted as a crime against humanity.
Since the 1990s and 2000s, International tribunals have disputed the definition of rape. Past cases have emphasized the use of coercion in the context of violent conflict, while other cases emphasized non-consent of the victim. Coercion and Consent are the two criteria used by international and national laws to identify rape.
How do we stop Rape?
According to the UN, a major obstacle for ending violence against women, including rape- is discriminatory attitudes and the social norms that normalize and permit violence.
In war and conflict zones, civil unrest may contribute to violence in homes. The struggles of death, upheaval and poverty increase tensions within the family, which may lead to violence against girls and women.