Sexual Violence in Cambodia
Sobering findings from a newly-released UN report entitled Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It?:
More than 1 in 5 Cambodian men aged between 18 and 49 admit to having raped a woman, and more than half committed their first rape before the age of 20, according to a U.N. report released Tuesday that reveals a culture of violence against women across the Asia-Pacific region.
20.8 percent of 1,863 men interviewed admitted to having raped a woman, while 15.8 percent of those who admitted to having committed rape did so under the age of 15.
Asked whether there are times when a woman deserves to be beaten, 32.8 percent of 620 Cambodian women interviewed believed there was, compared with 27.8 percent of men; 67 percent of women—the highest of any country surveyed—believed a woman should tolerate violence to keep a family together, compared to 59.8 percent of men. From the Cambodia Daily’s report
On the coattails of the release of this new research, a woman in Battambang reported her daughter’s rape to police. Talmage Payne, CEO of Hagar International, added his perspective on the root cause of sexual violence in Cambodia:
Men believing sex is an entitlement, whether for entertainment or to punish someone, combined with women tolerating rape and blaming themselves, has created a culture in Cambodia where sexual violence is normalized, according to Talmage Payne, chief executive of Hagar International in Cambodia.
“It’s common to lose sight of what makes all this possible—a social construct that says men are entitled to sex with impunity and women should tolerate their violence. This is a man’s problem, not just a woman’s,” he said.