Vietnam must improve justice for women in rape cases
  • | nguoilaodong, | March 22, 2018 02:13 PM
As many as 86% suspects in rapes in Vietnam are known to the victim, and those who survive are discriminated, according to a survey by the UN.

The United Nations in Vietnam launched The Trial of Rape: Understanding the Criminal Justice System’s Response to Sexual Violence in Thailand and Vietnam study on March 21. This is the first comparative study in the Asia-Pacific region produced by the UN Women, United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The study was conducted with 213 state officials, activists and victims and 290 cases in Thailand and Vietnam.

In Vietnam, the UN researched 121 cases and conducted interviews in Hanoi and Dak Lak Province.

Anna-Karin Jatfors, Deputy Regional Director of Asia and the Pacific at UN Women, said the victims faced various barriers to justice. They have difficulties in getting support and assistance and have to deal with biases and discrimination by police and state officials.

In 2014, a 16-year-old girl in Thanh Hoa Province was raped by three neighbours. She felt too ashamed to talk about it to anyone. The case came to light when one of the offenders boasted about it to other people including her brother.


Three men on trial for raping 16-year-old girl

Due to discrimination in the society that the victims felt discouraged and alienated at all stages of the criminal proceeding process, from reporting to the trial. Jatfors said understanding what was preventing women and girls from finding justice was the first step to provide help, put an end to unfairly-handled cases and start the change in both Thailand and Vietnam.

The study found that many factors found in rape cases are contradicted by widely-held beliefs. It is often thought that the offenders are strangers, the victims will have severe injuries and the crime scenes are in public places. However, in reality, 86% of the victims in Vietnam said they knew the suspects and 76% didn't have visible injuries.

These findings are important to the legal system and how to work with the victims. The UN suggested establishing quality and essential justice services for victims that prioritise their safety. It also suggested that that the government, social organisations and police and judicial agencies to work closely together to develop an integrated and co-ordinated response in such cases.

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