Bear this in mind, next time you, for example, hear some smugass bozo making a joke about rape: The humanitarian group Refugees International has released a report, “Laws Without Justice: An Assessment of Sudanese Laws Affecting Survivors of Rape,” which describes rape as “an integral part of the pattern of violence that the government of Sudan is inflicting upon the targeted ethnic groups in Darfur.”
“The raping of Darfuri women is not sporadic or random, but is inexorably linked to the systematic destruction of their communities,” the report said. Victims are taunted with racial slurs such as “I will give you a light-skinned baby to take this land from you,” according to one woman interviewed in the Touloum refugee camp in Chad, recalling the words of a Janjaweed militiaman who raped her.
…”This report clarifies the use of rape as a weapon of ethnic violence and points to the international need to end this impunity,” said Jimmie Briggs, who is writing a book about rape as a weapon in Congo.
Justice is elusive.
For a woman to prove rape under Sudanese law, she needs four male witnesses. This requirement puts undue burdens on women in a traditional society where single women having sex can be sentenced to 100 lashes at the discretion of a judge. A married woman proven to have had sex outside of her marriage can be stoned to death, said Adrienne Fricke, an Arabic-speaking lawyer who worked on the report.
…Sudan’s laws grant immunity to members of the military, security services, police and border guard; many Janjaweed members have been integrated into the Popular Defense Forces, which also makes them exempt from prosecution.
Lest we deceive ourselves that things are so much better here in the good old US of A for women who have been raped, though there is no legal requirement for four male witnesses, having three female witnesses doesn’t appear to be enough. And though we don’t extend legal immunity from prosecution to anyone, there’s certainly a cultural immunity presumed if you’re, oh say, an athlete—in which case, if it’s your vomit in someone else’s mouth, everything’s cool, dude.
Which may explain why that “international need to end this impunity” mentioned by Briggs doesn’t exist. We still regard rape as an acceptable pastime for our gods.