Friday, March 30, 2012

A plea for Libya’s rape victims by Nafissa Assed| Libya Herald

Nafissa Assed

A plea for Libya’s rape victims

By Nafissa Assed.

T.S. Eliot once wrote:There are some things about which we can say nothing, but before which we dare not keep silent.

I heard of Kashmiri girls who were gang raped by the Indian army, Bosnian girls gang raped by Serbs, girls violated in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, America but I had never heard of girls in Libya who were assaulted, violated and raped by their own Libyan brothers. The knowledge makes me feel that It does not really take much for men to turn into beasts.

Rape is a sensitive topic worldwide and it also carries a stigma, but in a conservative — though I see it in this case as “hypocritical” conservative — country like Libya, it can be deadly and even more of a taboo. In Libya, when rape occurs, it is considered a stain on the honor of the whole family, tribe or town and thus victims can very likely be deserted not only by their families but by the whole community. In some cases, the victim may even be killed by her own brother, father or family member — or just left in the desert to die on her own. Heaven will be a comfort after what they have been through but life is not living.

A number of demonstrations have taken place urging the Libyan government to support and help those Libyan women who were brutally raped. The government should provide intensive treatment and care as well as providing them with financial, legal and counseling support.  I mentioned earlier in one of my articles a moving speech by Ms Suad Yacoub, a lawyer who holds a master’s degree in international law and who is a member of the Women’s Modern Association. She presented the idea that the Libyan girls who were assaulted and raped by Qaddafi’s brigades and mercenaries should be taken care of. 

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