Written by Liz Lopez
There are rape laws in different countries around the world that have very different punishments for rape. Some have more stringent punishment than others while some countries have punishments for rapists that many would consider draconian.
In India, the Anti Rape bill was passed in April 2013 in an effort to be tougher on crimes against women. The Anti Rape bill included more crimes such as stalking, acid violence, and voyeurism. It also expanded the definition of rape and states that the absence of a physical struggle does not mean consent. However, marital rape is still legal and controversially raised the age of consent from 16 to 18. The bill mandates the death penalty if the victim dies or is left in a vegetative state.
In China, rapists can receive the death penalty. China also repealed a law that created a rape loophole that mandated a more lenient punishment for men who had sex with girls under the age of 14 if they could “prove” that they paid the girl for sex. It now carries a heavy mandatory penalty with the highest being the death penalty.
Saudi Arabia has the toughest punishments for rapists. Saudi Arabia laws are from Sharia law. Rapists can expect a public beheading as punishment. However, rape victims are also punished- a woman who was gang raped in 2006 was sentenced to receive 200 lashes and 6 months jail time because she was found to be “indecent” and spoke to the media.
The Netherlands mandates 4-15 years of prison time for rapists depending on aggravating circumstances such as the victim’s age. The definition of rape is vast and even French kissing someone without consent constitutes rape. The Netherlands is different from the aforementioned countries that any kind of harassment of a sex worker without consent can carry a sentence of 4 years. Other countries are not concerned with the rape of a sex worker. If a rape victim dies as a result of the rape, the prison sentence is 15 years for the rapist.
In North Korea, rape is common for prisoners. Guards frequently rape women that are held in concentration camps and if they are pregnant as a result, they are killed. Rape is also used a as method of torture in camps. It is common for women to get raped by state officials but rape of minors is punished severely.
Around the world, countries have adopted more stringent laws to punish rapists to be tough on crimes against women. Conversely, there are other countries that also blame and punish victims for something that is not their fault.