Thursday, November 09, 2006

Are we any different?

Having missed my flight back home this afternoon I ended up having longer than I had imagined to catch up on my reading in the BA lounge. As usual they had copies of the New Statesman at hand. The one article that stood out was an editorial piece by Kira Cochrane. The piece compares comments made by Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali about rape to attitudes in the UK. A couple of terrible statistics and comments stood out:

Firstly, it stated the comments of the Sheik: "If I came across a rape crime - kidnap and violation of honour - I would discipline the man and order that the women be arrested and jailed for life". He continued with an even more provocative statement that: "If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street...and the cat eats it, is it the fault of the cat of the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem".

The second thing to stick in the mind were the statistics about rape in the UK. It is estimated that there were 50,000 rapes a year in the UK in 2003, against 11,867 reported cases, resulting in just 629 convictions. Worst of all, when these cases were contested, the womans' testimony was only believed 3-4% of the time. Shameful.

Ms. Cochrane finished her article: "The way a culture deals with rape is one of the best possible indications of how highly it treats its women. As long as British attitudes remain so viciously pre-historic, we need to fight them all the way".

Food for thought...

it quoted a set of statistics about rape cases in the UK

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