Ok, so when i first got the idea to blog. I thought I’d just put up light hearted stuff here – stuff like restaurant reviews etc. But this piece of news caught my attention and I couldnt shake it off my mind.
I recently watched (more like got addicted!!) a Singaporean/Malaysian soap opera called “The Little Nyonya” where one for the female characters got raped and the man agreed to marry her in order not to face criminal charges and this was agreed by the girl’s family so that they would not to go through the public humiliation of having a daughter disgraced as no man would want to marry a woman who is not a virgin. This story was set in the 1940’s.
Year 2010. and I’m reading an article on the local news (1 February 2010) about how a man was arrested for raping his housemaid. However, he has since married the victim and based on the Punishment Law “criminal charges will be dropped if the suspect marries the woman in a rape case.”
The article also goes on to write “Judges jailed him for three years despite the woman dropping the charges against him.” and how his defense lawyer has argued that it should be dropped now that the marriage certificate has been producted and presented in court.
UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! and as I’m shaking my head in disbelief – I’m wondering what can be done for this woman. That poor, poor woman, who came into this country to make money – most probably to send to a family back home, now has to live with the trauma of being forced upon – and is suddenly married to the man who defiled her!
Having gone through a season of attending weddings and anniversaries, I have heard constantly of how the institution of marriage is sacred and is based on love and mutual respect for each other and how it should not be taken lightly….but when its basis is one to escape punishment for one’s own crime – it raises questions as to who exactly performs this so-called marriage. Has it become that easy just to obtain a marriage certificate for people to go through the process without it playing on their conscience? And while couples who love each other deeply often go through rough patches – what about this couple? what exactly will change between them now that he’s married to her. Will she be accepted by the rest of his family as one of the family? (who now know her to be the housemaid who took their son/nephew/uncle to court) Is he taking responsibility by marrying her?
Maybe I sound naive by the questions I just raised but I’m trying to be optimistic for the sake of the woman involved in this case…but having lived here all my life and heard of way too many similar stories – am pretty sure of the next steps this man will take (once the charges are dropped) it’ll start with divorce,then deportation and she’ll be back in her country- disgraced and damaged! And while this housemaid is gone…..he (or another member of his family) will apply for a visa for another housemaid……
May God help those in need………