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Letter: Rape and Charlebois

Letter: Rape and Charlebois

Dear Editor,

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.

Rape is

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

factually untrue.

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

encouraged debate.

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].

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