Don’t Report Rape (in Dubai)

A really worrying story coming out of Dubai is that British tourists are being advised by a charity to not report rape in Dubai because they’re likely to be arrested themselves for extra-marital sex (sex outside marriage).

where-is-dubai-located

Ms Stirling from the charity Detained in Dubai said:  “It’s also linked to the fact that tourism in the UAE has increased and there is a big clubbing scene. People go there to have a good time and the country promotes this. But they do assume women are ‘looking for it’. There is the social perception that if a woman drinks alcohol, she has consented to it. And there’s also a racist mentality of thinking, ‘She’s British so she was probably drunk and asking for it’.”

Ms Stirling added that she personally would not report a rape in the UAE, saying: “There’s so much manipulation when it comes to criminal accusations over there – I wouldn’t report a rape there if I were raped myself.”

The British government’s travel advice for UAE says: The UAE is a Muslim country. Laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times. There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK. Specifically regarding relationships the website says:

All sex outside marriage is illegal, irrespective of any relationship you may have with your partner in the UK. Same-sex marriages are not recognised and all homosexual sex is illegal. If the UAE authorities become aware that you’re conducting a sexual relationship outside marriage (as recognised by them), you run the risk of prosecution, imprisonment and/or a fine and deportation. It’s against the law to live together, or to share the same hotel room, with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren’t married or closely related.

The UAE is in many respects a tolerant society and private life is respected, although there have been some reports of individuals being punished for sexual activity outside marriage, including homosexual activity, particularly where there is any public element, or the behaviour has caused offence. This applies both to expatriate residents and to tourists.

Due to the laws on sex outside marriage, if you become pregnant outside marriage, both you and your partner could face imprisonment and/or deportation. Doctors may ask for proof of marriage during ante-natal checks. An unmarried woman who gives birth in the UAE may also encounter problems when registering the birth of the child in the UAE, and could be arrested, imprisoned or deported. To get a birth certificate from the UAE authorities, you must provide a marriage certificate and the authorities may compare the date of the marriage against the estimated date of conception.

Advertisements

Consent is an enthusiastic yes not just an absence of no

When discussing consent to sex in our AS Religious Studies lesson some students were curious why there needs to be debate on what consent actually means, when people are about to have sex.

Less than a few weeks later is appears that some people really do need lessons on consent after all. “I have never been taught about anything like that” said the footballer Ched Evans in his first interview since being found innocent of rape on Friday. He was speaking about the issue of sexual consent, which became the central argument in the court proceedings that first sent him to jail but then established his innocence at a retrial. He has now told the Mail on Sunday that “in this day and age, people need educating” on the issue.

Ched Evans was a star player at Sheffield United.

Students unions at universities across Britain have been providing consent workshops for years. Alice Tithecott, from Oxford University, said: “I felt reassured by the adult and mature discussions we had surrounding matters of consent, and in particular being given the opportunity to explore different perspectives and issues regarding consent in a safe environment. I feel that this workshop was an invaluable part of freshers’ week because it creates dialogue about issues which may otherwise be considered taboo.”

The courses run by colleges and football clubs have been praised by sex education experts, although some argue the issue of consent needs to be raised much earlier in a young person’s life. A spokeswoman from Brook, the young people’s sexual health and well-being charity, said: “We believe that every young person should have these lessons at school and from a young age.”

She quoted one of the young people that works with the charity, who said: “If my sex education had taught that consent is a sober, continuous, verbal, and enthusiastic Yes rather than just the absence of a No, I might not have had to assure my friend that she didn’t cheat on her boyfriend – another man raped her.”