Last Updated May, 2010
The definition of sexual assault should state that:
Sexual contact obtained without consent is often obtained not only through force, but also through coercion. Coercion can cover a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, threats of negative treatment (withholding a needed service or benefit), and blackmail. http://stopvaw.org/What_is_Sexual_Assault.html.
Legislation should explicitly define “widow cleansing” as a form of sexual assault, or nonconsensual sexual contact. In widow cleansing, community expectations and pressure may coerce a widow to have sex with a cleanser or her husband’s relative to cleanse her of her deceased husband’s spirit. Drafters should ensure that laws prohibiting sexual assault are applicable to the offense of widow cleansing. Drafters should take all appropriate measures to ensure that customary practices and laws do not authorize or condone “widow cleansing” and that perpetrators are punished.
Drafters should also ensure that marital rape, including rape in levirate and sororate marriages, is a punishable crime. See: Marital and Intimate Partner Sexual Assault, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights. Levirate marriage is the forced marriage of a widow to the brother of her deceased husband; sororate marriage is the forced marriage of the sister of a deceased or infertile wife to marry or have sex with her brother-in-law, the widower/husband. See: Section on Criminal Laws.
The Advocates for Human Rights Site Map About the Site
330 Second Avenue South, Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA Phone: (612) 341-3302 Fax: (612) 341-2971 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although Stop Violence Against Women endeavors to provide useful and accurate information, Stop Violence Against Women does not warrant the accuracy of the materials provided. Accordingly, this Web Site and its information are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular use or purpose, or non-infringement. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so the above exclusion may not apply to you. We reserve the right to make improvements and/or changes in the format and/or content of the information contained on the Web Site without notice.This information is provided with the understanding that Stop Violence Against Women and its partners are not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
Copyright © 2010 The Advocates for Human Rights. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use this material for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution to The Advocates for Human Rights.