Rape, women's autonomy and male complicity



Publication Details

Sorial, S. & Poltera, J. (2015). Rape, women's autonomy and male complicity. In H. Marway & H. Widdows (Eds.), Women and Violence: the Agency of Victims and Perpetrators (pp. 15-33). United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.


Rape is a ubiquituos gendered crime overwhelmingly comitted by men against women. Being raped can severely damage a woman's capacity for autonomy and change the structure of her will. However, women need not experience the horror of being raped to find their autonomy threatened by fear thereof. The threat of being raped is a persistent reality in the lives of most women, and is one that constrains women's actions and their motility, at least some of the time. The prevalence of rape or sexual assult stems from a lack of recognition and respect for women as equal moral agents. Our view is that, despite signigicant advances in law reform and in education programs, rape and fear of rape presists in many societies, and its prevalence threatens and can diminish women's autonomy.

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