For my final project, I want to focus on sexual assault/rape against women in China. I want to look at how the country chooses to deal with these assaults from different perspectives. Mainly, I will focus on how the perpetrators of these crimes are dealt with and what actions are taken to help the women who are assaulted. I also will heavily focus on how China’s society views rape from a gendered standpoint (how men view rape versus how women view rape) and the impact this has on women who are being victimized. I was very inspired by this week’s discussion, and it really fueled me to make this the focus of my final project. This topic is extremely important to talk about because countless lives are being endangered through this act of violence. Not only do the victims of this assault have to endure physical harm, they also deal with immense emotional, psychological, mental, and even financial trauma. Sexual violence creates a lasting impact on those who are abused, and I feel that more light needs to be shed on the trauma that the victims go through. In the case of China, shedding light on sexual assault/rape is important because of the role of women in their society. Women are taught to be be quiet and not speak up about their sexual trauma.
“#MeToo is growing in China — despite government efforts to stop it” by Madeleine Ngo talks about how a growing number of people who have been sexually abused are using the “MeToo” movement to feel empowered, even though the Chinese government is trying to put an end to it. Many women came forward on social media with accusations of sexual assault against activists and TV personalities. However, many posts and petitions in support of the #MeToo movement were being deleted by censors. China has a very long history of restricting free speech. The state is known for blocking a lengthy list of phrases to manipulate social media and internet searches. Many believe that this is because of the persistence of “traditional” Chinese values. In traditional Chinese culture, women are thought to be submissive to the wishes of others.
“A Population-Based Study of Childhood Sexual Contact in China: Prevalence and Long-Term Consequences” by Ye Luo, William L. Parish, and Edward O. Laumann talks about the prevalence of sexual abuse occurring with children and its effects. The study presented in this article is the first national estimates of the prevalence of childhood sexual contact and its effects on sexual well-being and psychological distress among Chinese adults living in towns and cities in 1999–2000. The overall prevalence of reported childhood sexual contact was 4.2%, with prevalence higher among men (5.1%) than among women (3.3%) and higher among those aged 20–29 years (8.3%). The author’s findings suggest that men were more willing to report their experiences with childhood sexual abuse because women were encouraged to not speak up. Those who had childhood sexual contact reported higher levels of psychological distress than those who had no such contact.
“Sexual Violence Against Women and Children in Chinese Societies” by KL Chan examines sexual violence in China by by using the current literature (scholarly articles, criminal justice, social services, and MEDLINE databases) on gender-based violence. There are different types of sexual violence in China (as in other countries around the world). These violences include sexual violence in spousal relationships, sexual harassment, sexual violence in dating relationships, rape, child sexual abuse, violence against sex workers, and internet sexual violence to name a few. This article suggests that the Chinese have difficulty disclosing incidents of sexual violence. Of 2,147 Hong Kong Chinese college students, only 39% of victims reported their sexual assault to others, where 56% of the reported incidents were not followed up. The main reasons for not reporting these incidents were low expectations for the outcome (they felt that reporting would not do anything or would cause trouble), feeling that the police would be rude or violate their confidentiality, embarrassment, and fear that the offender would take revenge on them for reporting.
Chan, Ko Ling. “Sexual violence against women and children in Chinese societies.” Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 10.1 (2009): 69-85.
Luo, Ye, William L. Parish, and Edward O. Laumann. “A population-based study of childhood sexual contact in China: Prevalence and long-term consequences.” Child Abuse & Neglect 32.7 (2008): 721-731.
Ngo, Madeleine. “#MeToo Is Growing in China – despite Government Efforts to Stop It.” Vox, Vox, 27 July 2018, www.vox.com/world/2018/7/27/17621420/china-me-too-chinese-women-social-censor-sexual-assault.