Submission to the UN SRVAW thematic report on rape as a serious and systematic violation of human rights and gender-based violence against women
The National Network to end Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence sent a report to the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, which will be part of a thematic report to be presented to the Human Rights Council. At the UN in June 2021, will address the responsibility of states for crime and prosecution of rape as well as systematic human rights violations and manifestations of gender-based violence against women, following international human rights standards.
Rape is recognized as a crime of sexual violence, a war crime, crime against humanity, and/or genocide in specific circumstances and is criminalized and prosecuted in many states and jurisdictions, but in different ways, ie. Rape has different definitions (force/consent), different ranges (women, men, marital rape, all kinds of penetrations), with different aggravating and mitigating circumstances, with different sanctions, and with different obsolescence for its prosecution. While victims of rape can also be men and boys, it mainly affects women and as such falls within the definition of gender-based violence against women as an act of violence against women.
Globally, we know that rape is often not reported, and if it is reported, it is rarely prosecuted by force; if prosecuted, it results in a very low number of convictions (the rate of decline is high) and all this results in impunity for most perpetrators; women thus lose faith in the criminal system, do not report it and the result is a mixture of low reporting rates and a culture of impunity and rape is normalized.
The purpose of this report is to gather as much information as possible about the criminalization and prosecution of rape and thus to support and encourage the process of harmonizing national criminal laws and systems and practices with international standards for rape and sexual violence in peacetime and during conflicts.
In its report, the Special Rapporteur intends to provide recommendations to States and other stakeholders on key international human rights standards that need to be integrated into national criminal justice responses to bring them into line with accepted international standards; to provide access to justice and support for rape victims; to end the cycle of impunity; and prosecute perpetrators, ensuring that they are not protected by hidden domestic norms that are still part of criminal law or criminal procedure.
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences – https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/SRWomen/Pages/SRWomenIndex.aspx