This is to answer Mr Charlebois's letter on rape and
punishment, which seems inspired more by his hatred of feminist groups and women
in general than by any social, legislative or judicial interest.
a crime whether it happens in Cambodia, in the United States or anywhere else,
and as such it must be punished. Use of weapons, threats of death or mutilation
and the fact that the victim is a child are circumstances that the Cambodian
law, as indeed most judicial systems worldwide, recognize as aggravating and
incurring a higher penalty.
Mr Charlebois questions whether rape really
occurred because the victim did not lose her
virginity. This seems to imply
that rape can only occur when vaginal penetration has happened, which is
Mr Charlebois does not seem acquainted with the
injuries that victims of rape experience.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) can last for years after the attack as any victim of rape could clearly
explain to the Charleboises of this world.
It is not my intention to
refute his other claims regarding feminist groups, Cambodian organizations and
interference with the Justice [system] as I deem them too ludicrous to need any
kind of refutation.
His letter was, however, challenging insofar as it
One [of] the most rewarding experiences that I have
had in Cambodia are the conversations I
have had with Cambodian colleagues,
women and men who, with true Khmer sense of practicality, dismissed the letter
with one word: rubbish.
Berta Travieso, Phnom Penh
Supporting signatures by:
Melanie Ridge, Donald Eaton,
Marianne Le Calvez, Vantournhoodt, Andy [Illegible], Jarod Monawhan, Peter
Buckley, James Molloy, Danielle Hickey, Heather O'Donell, Ursula Head, Sally
Brooks, Sara Hulten, Megan Richardson, Timothy McLaurin, Bernard Wouters, Marcus
Walsh, Bruce McKenney, Ngan Nguyen, Kristina Mitchell, Michael [Illegible], Tom
Mahon, Chan Bopha, Say Udom, Carole Williams, Lyn McDonald, Louisa Norman,
Candice Sainsbury, Fiona Garley, Stephanie Gee, Debbie Lan, Boun Chan Hong, Eva
Galabru, Mark [Illegible].