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Guide shows women what to do in case of rape

Istanbul - Hürriyet Daily News | 7/6/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Women can successfully fight to reduce violence against them by organzing their efforts, according to guidelines against rape published by the Amargi Women’s Cooperative.

The more women can organize to fight violence that targets them, the more the violence declines, according to guidelines against rape published recently by the Amargi Women’s Cooperative in cooperation with several other NGOs that focus on protecting women’s rights.

Worldwide, a person is raped every six minutes, according to the preface of the guidelines, and although many laws exist to protect women from violence, the real-life situation is completely different. Women have been violated for centuries, and rape and other forms of violation must concern not only victims of such violence, but all women in general, the preface says.

The action of being raped is described in the guidelines as any sexual relation, be it anal, vaginal or oral, that is done by force, by using any physical or psychological threats or violence without the consent of one of the partners, which in most cases are the women. Rape is a crime under both national and international law.

The guidelines suggest that the first step for a woman who has been raped is to immediately apply to both the local prosecutor’s office and the Forensic Medicine Institute for a medical examination report. Women must apply for the examination within seven days of the rape if they are virgins; otherwise, the examination must be done within 48 hours.

Women who have been raped must also be ready to submit to the prosecutor’s office any trace evidence related to the violation, such as pieces of nails, blood samples or hair. The clothing the women were wearing when they were raped must also be given to the prosecutor’s office, without being cleaned in any way.

Regarding the legal process that follows after a woman is raped, those with the financial resources are advised to hire a lawyer to pursue the case. Women with financial difficulties are also encouraged to ask for legal assistance from NGOs that work to protect women’s rights or human rights in general.

Women who have been raped should in no way worry that they may be unable to explain or prove what happened some time after the act of violence. A psychological report on the victim will be enough for them to prove they have been raped.

The guidelines also advise women to apply to the European Court of Human Rights should their case be ignored by the domestic justice system.

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