Women against rape

Letters, Guardian 9 December 2010

Many women in both Sweden and Britain will wonder at the unusual zeal with which Julian Assange is being pursued for rape allegations (Report, 8 December). Women in Sweden don’t fare better than we do in Britain when it comes to rape. Though Sweden has the highest per capita number of reported rapes in Europe and these have quadrupled in the last 20 years, conviction rates have decreased. On 23 April 2010 Carina Hägg and Nalin Pekgul (respectively MP and chairwoman of Social Democratic Women in Sweden) wrote in the Göteborgs-Posten that “up to 90% of all reported rapes never get to court. In 2006 six people were convicted of rape though almost 4,000 people were reported”. They endorsed Amnesty International’s call for an independent inquiry to examine the rape cases that had been closed and the quality of the original investigations.

Assange, who it seems has no criminal convictions, was refused bail in England despite sureties of more than £120,000. Yet bail following rape allegations is routine. For two years we have been supporting a woman who suffered rape and domestic violence from a man previously convicted after attempting to murder an ex-partner and her children – he was granted bail while police investigated.

There is a long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women’s safety. In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman. Women don’t take kindly to our demand for safety being misused, while rape continues to be neglected at best or protected at worst.

Katrin Axelsson
Women Against Rape


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6 thoughts on “Women against rape

  1. When that comes from this association I think it’s clear to everyone that if anything is raped it is freedom of speech.

  2. It is ridiculous…..Assange hasnt even been charged with anything yet and is wanted for questioning. only.

    Its a blatent attack on Human rights and I can guess the only reson hes been locked up without bail is because the UK can’t wait to get rid of him. The last thing the Uk wants right now is the US State Department breathing down their necks!

  3. I agree with you, the point is that even the true victims are aware of the irony of these allegations.
    If you think that’s nothing to do with support, feel free to erase it.

  4. we dont erase opinions. Its your right to express your opinion as long as its related to our site.

  5. I am pretty appauled by the allegations and the medias use of the word rape. I was sexually assaulted at work two years ago whilst i was pregnant with my daughter. The police talked me out of pressing charges as it would be stressful to go to court etc during my pergnancy. So I saw a solicitor who recommended i use work cover to make my employer accountable (i was actually fired when i placed a formal complaint, there were numerous witnesses to the assault) Anyway I recently found out although the employer and work cover admitted liability, i was offered $0 compensation. I can not believe how little there is in Australia to protect or compensate women and well men too in these situations.
    I have spoken to many women and listened to a great speech at the brissy rally from a woman who represents women who have been sexually assaulted, there is wide scale anger at the goverments and media using this case. When victims are reading these papers and continuously seeing words like rape it really does evoke all sorts of reactions. All i can say yes the laws need to change, yes people need to be supported and protected and all sensitivity needs to be given when reporting. My son sometimes watches the news, when i bother to and for him to see such a vial word all over it makes me even angrier. It is so obvious that JA’s case should never have been re investiagated after the swedish prosecuctors threw it out. And all i can say is that it would be more preferable if they had have charged Julian, in what was always going to be a high profile case, with something more tolerable.
    I think it is relevant btw Mirjana.. It is relevant how much this case differs from the normal processes. I think it has a huge impact on women world wide and sadly many people do see Julian as a rapist..

  6. I’m sorry to hear that, Niki.
    I suppose that only someone really uninterested in whole case or can’t use ability of deduction, may think of Julian as a rapist. I’m disgusted how they’re abusing word ‘rape’; they are abusing true rape victims, with no taste, by using this farce: they withhold bail to him and by doing that put equal sign between him and multiple true rapists. How can such master mind and some criminal even exist in the same line? Holding him in custody with no limit access to internet approve they’re afraid of him even like that.

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