Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Rape in Kuwait (2)

There seem to be some misconceptions running around about rape in Kuwait. One misconception is that Kuwaitis commit a lot of rape. If you read the newspapers, however, you will discover that a lot of the rapes committed are nationality on nationality, for example, one senior Phillipina lady will befriend an unhappy domestic worker, will “help” her get away, and the domestic finds herself abducted, gang raped and in sexual slavery. That’s one common story.

Domestics of all nationalities are abducted off the streets, taken to apartments or villas, raped repeatedly by two or more men, and then dropped off on the street (or dropped off a balcony). People don’t seem to be very concerned about domestic servants being people here, having the right NOT to be raped, it sort of seems like business as usual, no matter who is raped or doing the raping. I have yet to read of one single case being prosecuted or sentenced in the Kuwait newspapers, but maybe I missed a day or two.

Another common story is Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani on Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani, and that can be men abducting/raping men, or men abducting/raping women. Some of these women are also recruited into prostitution, and are found when the police raid the dens of iniquity, catching the men and men or men and women in “uncompromising” positions, or, even better – RED HANDED!

There is a whole catagory of abductions – Kuwaiti, Bedoun or other Gulf or Arab nationality where a man or woman, or men or women, is/are abducted and taken to camps in the desert and raped multiple times. Sometimes they are left naked by the side of the road. Sometimes their dead bodies are found, and occasionally enough clues to guess at the identity of the abductors/rapists.

Then there are the men that rape children. It can be within a family. It can be within a building. It can be within a neighborhood. Many times the child knows the rapist, and is told that if they say anything, the rapist will kill or harm the child’s parents. There was an epidemic of child rape in Hawali, and although the man arrested cries “I didn’t do it!” the fact is that the epidemic of rape in Hawali has stopped. That doesn’t mean that children aren’t being raped, it just means that the Hawali Monster seems to be off the streets of Hawali.

Objectively, if there can be said to be a “good” thing about rape in Kuwait, it is that so few of them are fatal.

What can, accurately, be said about Kuwait is that there seems to be a lot of rape. If you think I exaggerate, I challenge you to read the Kuwait papers every day for a month.

When there is a lot of rape, it means there is a social, legal and political climate that tolerates rape. It means that rape cases are not handled with a lot of attention to gathering evidence. It means that men and women are not encouraged to persue rape charges. It means that the police are not very interested in investigating accusations of rape. It means that the legal system is not very interested in prosecuting rape. It means that the rape victims are not valued highly enough to deserve not to be raped.

Rape happens everywhere. Rape happens in wars, rape happens on the streets. In most places, we are taught, rape isn’t about sex as much as it is about power. Here, in Kuwait, I am inclined to think it may be a little bit of both.

I’ve worked with rape victims in several different locations. Working with the victims gives you so much admiration for women, what they endure, what they survive, and their deeply ingrained sense of priorities and self. You’d think the experience would be devastating, but the women who have experienced rape and overcome it have been anything but devastated – many of them become truly awesome individuals, literally, awe-inspiring. They refuse to be victims. They carry on with their lives. They accomplish. They let their anger fuel and energize them to become incredibly accomplished individuals. It isn’t surprising – wealth and accomplishment also give you additional protection against it ever happening again.

There is another tragedy in Kuwait – male rapes. When men rape another men, like in prison, it is very much a power thing. Me big – you little. Me do what I want with you. Most of the victims I have met, or heard about are young teens. Being raped by a bigger, older male really skews their lives. They begin to question what it was about themself that got them raped, they question whether maybe they are gay and don’t know it, they ask, over and over – Why ME? Young men who were good at school start getting bad grades, they can’t concentrate, they often turn to drugs.

Being forced to have sex, whether you are man, woman, or child, is wrong. And doing nothing to stop this epidemic is also wrong. To look the other way is wrong. To say it isn’t happening is wrong. To become so used to it that your heart becomes calloused is just plain wrong.

I know most of the time my blog is a nice place to visit, and these entries make you uncomfortable. I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable. I myself am so uncomfortable that, as Martin Luther said (only he said it in German) “I cannot other. God help me.”

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September 6, 2007 - Posted by | Community, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Political Issues, Social Issues, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

44 Comments »

  1. Ya it is quite a disturbing article
    I am glad for people like you xpat who r raising these issues coz the only way to resolve them is to start talking about them
    The part about people not being interested and the police not caring or w/e… this is not about rape.. the police doesn’t care regardless. Our police force is made up of corrupt incompetent individuals who simply dont feel like doing anything
    Accidents and crap take forever to resolve and the way to get things done is by wasta… we all know that unfortunately
    Well, as I said it is a disturbing topic, but thanks anyways for raising it.. keep up the good work

    Comment by Kaos | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  2. Kaos, thank you for your understanding. It isn’t a comfortable topic. There is a part of it that makes me sick to my stomach. I feel like there is nothing I CAN do, except raise my voice now and then. It’s so discouraging.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  3. i’ve notices that and I started to doubt this is only “spice” for newspapers bas as for domestic help, it makes me so sad to read what happens to these people…

    so inhuman. I admire the fact that you assist women who have faced such problems 🙂

    Comment by chikapappi | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  4. I completely agree with you on this topic. Rape is such a big issue in Kuwait, and it is also very underestimated. I think we need to raise more awareness about it, but rape is only part of an international crisis called “Sexual Harassment”.
    Sexual Harassment can come in so many forms: verbal, physical and even mental. So even though someone wasnt physically raped, they may have been verbally abused using violent or vulgar sexual language.
    But also, we need to bring to light that there are some Kuwaitis who are rape perpetrators, and those are the ones that rape or harass domestic workers, siblings or relatives. The workers are too weak to report the incidents because ultimately the Kuwaiti has more power, and in the cases of relatives, they wont report it because of the shame or stigma it will bring to them and their family.

    Comment by This Lady Says | September 6, 2007 | Reply

    • Whatever been said here is all true as I have lived there but I have been lucky to be able to flee from it at the same time. And I never knew that Kuwait is all about such atrocities until I have been a victim

      Comment by shalini | June 19, 2013 | Reply

      • I’m sorry, Shalini, if this happened to you. When something terrible happens, it is sometimes hard to remember that the country is full of good people, people who would be shocked and very sad that this happened. It is only a few who rape, and gang rape, and abduct the innocent, but they seem to rape without fear of punishment.

        Comment by intlxpatr | June 19, 2013

  5. So inhuman. Yes. You are right, Chikapappi.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  6. I agree, Lady, harassment is also bad. Rape, however, rachets sexual violence up a notch, ramps it up to a whole new level. And it DOES have to do with the perception that somehow, the women raped don’t matter.

    Some Kuwaitis rape. There is a lot of rape in Kuwait that is NOT Kuwaiti, and the domestic servants seem to be the victims of just about every nationality. And yes, the shame issue is so so sensitive.

    If there were a Rape Crisis Center in Kuwait, it would need a wide variety of volunteers to deal with the scope of the current problem.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  7. Such a tragedy. I wish there was more concern about topics such as this in the public. However it seems that speaking is not enough. With this topic you need to empower the victims to speak up and defend themselves. The notion of empowerment is sadly not concentrated on much, and because of that it keeps happening over and over.

    Comment by N. | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  8. You know N., I think empowerment is a long long ways off in Kuwait. If we do anything, it will take small steps. The very best we can hope for would be emotional support for the victim. Another small step would be for the hospitals to collect evidence and for the police to care.

    But for the time being, emotional support for the victim would be a start.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  9. So? How are we any different from any other country in the world? We’re all human, we all have urges, we all have needs, and we all need to be enforced by laws, be they social or religious.

    Eastern societies-in particular- kill each other over honor;wars have been fought over honor; even the Japanese hold honor in high esteem, and would kill themselves if they defame that honor…even today. Rape is the ultimate disgrace to honor, it’s no wonder so many cases have not been reported.

    IMHO, the only problem about Rape in Kuwait is that it isn’t addressed properly, from a social perspective, that is. There isn’t enough Sex education to go around, and the very notion of discussing sex is enough for a minister or an MP to be politically murdered! Compound that with a couple of million expats who haven’t been laid since they arrived, and you have yourself a very dangerous mix of sexual intent!

    At least the legal system reports these rape cases to the newspapers and the courts, so don’t kill the messenger!

    Comment by The Aggressor | September 6, 2007 | Reply

  10. Rape was a huge issue in the media last year in Iran because of the Nazanin case. She was a 17-year-old girl who was sentenced to death for killing 1 of the 3 men who tried to rape her and her 16-year-old niece!!! Unfortunately Iran has some “strange” laws regarding rape victims. The case became huge because the former Miss Canada Afshin-Jam started a huge campaign to overturn the verdict. I remember when she started her quest, a bunch of my friends and I seriously doubted she would get anywhere. She is wasting her breathe we thought. Well, she succeeded. The charges against Nazanin were dropped in January.

    The reason I brought up this story is coz it took only 1 person to care and speak up and make a difference. If someone had spoken years ago, God knows how many rape victims would have been saved in Iran.

    “You’d think the experience would be devastating, but the women who have experienced rape and overcome it have been anything but devastated…”–so true. Rape victims are indeed very strong.

    Comment by Magical Droplets | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  11. Very intriguing topic to discuss which covered many angles. First of all it’s really much harder than you think when it comes to an awareness center that shall provide help and aid (which is a great idea), but let’s face the facts, we are a community that is brought up on the discretion of sexual behavior and the importance of honor, true it is becoming a trend to express your sexual orientation in Kuwait but still we are raised up by never going into that field and crossing the lines. None will cooperate into checking into such center to share their story and becoming an ingrained disgrace and shame for the family. Fighting people’s looks and the family reaction (which is in most cases blaming the victim due to lack of knowledge and stubborn mentality) is gonna backfire at the victims.

    I can’t back up the following claim as no statistics will ever come out, you have not included those poor souls that endured family/relatives rape or the least a sexual harassment. They are MANY. Do you think that they will report those incidents, not in a million years and this is a global respond to domestic abuse.

    I know this might raise hell over me but I personally know such incidents and it took years of trust and a fragile moment of weakness to reveal that deep buried secret. Many girls have been raped by Kuwaiti predators (and this does not include boyfriend-girlfriend force sex which is growing in numbers and I don’t know if it fits into that category) some by their family members (uncles, grandfathers or cousins) and even neighbors. Many might defy this by claiming that such degraded behaviors are none sense and I bet each one knows someone who knows or have been raped or molested in during their lives.

    I do agree that it is really breathe taking how a female overtakes her agony and overcomes such horrific accidents which if any guy was put in her shoes he would’ve been shattered into pieces, recalling the details of those stories put the shivers into your spine and I dare anyone who’s heard them to be able to sleep at night. It’s another prove on how extraordinary creatures females are. They do excel and turn to be an amazing figures. It’s literally a miracle to witness such transformation, The anger empower them and fuel them with a divine capability to succeed and move on to nowhere but up.

    Now to boys being raped in their adolescence, I do think that the growing numbers in homos is due to the fact that many have been molested when they were young. It is a turning key point when they feel they are being a disgrace and start blaming themselves and asking themselves Why? I don’t know if it happens nowadays as frequent as before up until mid nineties. Most of the boys who were so-called handsome have been molested in a stage in their lives and many have been raped.

    Yes, your post pinched a nerve and there is nothing that triggers me more than this topic. They don’t deserve to be put into jail where they might/might not be raped. I wish I could see them burn alive after being raped to get a glimpse of what their victims have gone through.

    P.S.
    Apologies for hi-jacking your post with my long reply.

    Comment by Touche' | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  12. I wrote few days ago about (a funny strange conversation with my mum) how my mum (and many others) said prostitution in many countries in Europe (I know in Cyprus for sure) minimizes the rapes! I know for a fact how it is in Kuwait! I was just 9 when I walked to hear the maid crying and pleading my father and crying asking not to rape her! I know how disgusting people can get!

    One thing I think you should mention or write about because I just don’t want to go with my memories back to those days is; men raping their own wives! Yes when a man forces his wife it is also rape! But how many in Kuwait would actually say it?

    Comment by noracassandra | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  13. first, to all of you, I am totally blown away by the depth and insight and commitment in your comments. It’s one of the things I love about Kuwait. There are GOOD people here, the majority of people, who are grieved by the injustices. Thank you for your responses. The worst part of grieving is grieving alone.

    Comment by intlxpatry | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  14. Aggressor, you have hit the nail on the head. Rape is in every country, and it is as much a weapon of humiliation as it is expression of a sexual need. And yes, with all the imported labor here, rape is sometimes the only sexual outlet available to men who don’t even have the 3 – 5 KD for a Farwaniyya prostitute.

    And I totally agree that other countries with the same labor imports also have a huge problem, but in Kuwait, with a (relatively) free press, we know more about the problem and it is important not to kill the messenger. I honor these papers that they print these incidents. I honor Kuwait for supporting a free press, even though it causes pain.

    Here’s a start – a phone line – or website – where women can go to express their grief, talk with other victims, all anonymously. I’m not a technician, so I don’t know how it could work, but rape victims need a SAFE place where they can tell others what happened to them, get support, and begin to move on with their lives. I’m almost thinking it already exists, but if it does, it is not visible. It is appropriate that it be sponsored by the Ministry of Health or Social Services, but be structured to insure each victim’s anonynmity.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  15. Magical, your input also reminds me of the Pakistani girl, raped by a village full of men because her 12 year old brother was accused of being the lover of a married woman. No proof, and she is gang raped and walks home naked. But she went public, got support, won a lawsuit and has started a support center in Pakistan with the money she won and raised on speaking tours. And I don’t believe she has any education, just guts and gumption!

    Thank you, thank you for your thoughtful input.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  16. Touche, You can hijack my blog any day when you make comments so insightful, so pertinent. And what is the comment section if not an invitation to comment?

    To make change, you have to start small, take tiny steps, suffer setbacks, persist and grow slowly.

    I would start with a HELP-line. You can’t imagine how LONELY a rape victim is. No one talks about their rape experiences, so they imagine they are the only ones in the world who has suffered this violation. They re-live the horror, and mostly the worst part, not knowing if they are going to live through it. They often life in fear of a reoccurance.

    If they could talk with one person, one person who has been through it or who can reassure them, it helps.

    And isn’t that what we want? Help for the victim?

    I am convinced that God will punish the rapist, eventually, in his own way. We can work on the justice system later. Our first concern has to be how we can help the rape victims.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  17. Noracassandra, you bring up three very good points. I think prostitution is a pretty sad profession, and I also know a lot of women go into it because they perceive they don’t have a lot of options. And here, I have a bad feeling that there are women who are FORCED into prostitution, and I can’t imagine how awful that must be.

    Your own father violated the maid? Oh Noracassandra, I am so sorry. And I think it happens a lot. The domestic servants are so vulnerable, not just to dad, but to brothers and cousins and visiting uncles, from the stories I hear. And then, the wives who even suspect – end up blaming the maid, cutting her hair, hitting her with a frying pan, furious, frustrated, and humiliated – a deadly combination. You gotta wonder how many of the “suicides” result from this volatile combination.

    Husband-raping-wife happens all around the world. It’s the hardest crime to prosecute and prove, and in many places, it isn’t a crime because women are expected to submit to their husbands. It’s a whole new level of awareness.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  18. Again, my friends, thank you for your input, your time and the insights you provided here.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  19. I commend you for making this thoughtful post, and hope you will not get in any trouble for having made it. I’m not able to add anything more to this discussion, as the comments were so inclusive.

    Comment by Eileen | September 8, 2007 | Reply

  20. Thanks Eileen. I’m not worried; I don’t feel I am accusing anyone, and I am not worried I am creating a problem – anyone who reads the news can see that a problem exists. The question is – what do we do about it?

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 8, 2007 | Reply

  21. The issue in Kuwait is more acute then in other countries with foreign labor because of Kuwait’s law on sex. Kuwaiti law prohibits non-married couples cohabiting. In many (not all) of the societies, where immigrants workers come cohabiting is acceptable and natural of living. It is also acceptable way of living. However, as mentioned above because many of immigrant population has not been involved in sexual activity it can result in rape. Secondly, a marriage procedure in Kuwait is difficult if not impossible, therefore, even if foreign workers want to get married in order to get around non-cohabiting law it is impossible to do so.

    However, the issue with rape is not just sexual urge but also power game, which because of the highly class based society in Kuwait plays an important consideration in number of cases.

    Comment by Ava | September 8, 2007 | Reply

  22. Ava – Thank you for your thoughtful input. I disagree on one thing, Kuwait’s laws are no more strict than Saudi Arabia and Qatar, I don’t know what the laws are in the UAE, Oman or Yemen, but I can’t imagine ANY of the Gulf countries – or even Jordan or Syria or Lebanon or Turkey – having laws that allow co-habitation. There could be differences in the way the laws are enforced, but I wouldn’t want to be caught commiting a sexual offense in Saudi Arabia!

    And I hadn’t though of the marriage issue, very good point. And the fact that men and women find themselves married to people they barely know, and sometimes when they get to know, they don’t like. Some of these people, especially the younger ones, are taking risks that would make your hair curl just hearing about them.

    I don’t know what the answer is – how to stop rape, other than working on many levels to create a concept of respect for another person and their rights. But I can clearly see, in Kuwait, a need for some kind of confidential, even anonymous victim support. A call-in line where victims could talk, for a start.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 9, 2007 | Reply

  23. I find it particularly poignant how you’ve chosen to lump “Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani on Indian/ Bangladeshi/Pakistani”. And what of the Sri Lankans and Nepalis living here ?? Why not include them “in” also? After all, we are an an all inclusive – equal opportunities society here 🙂 🙂
    I will have you know most Indians will find themselves perturbed not so much at the “rape refrain,” as they would finding their name taken in the same breath as the other sub-continentals. It hits a sensitive chord, you know, in much the same way it would do lumping the Lebanese together with the Egyptians or the Saudis. 🙂
    Anyway, marital rape is on my mind today and so I want to put my two fils in on it.
    In many parts of the Indian sub-continent and indeed, in most of the Arab World marital rape is so common that women over the generations have come to accept it as a given, and that is something which should make our blood boil en-masse.

    Comment by born again protestant in rome | September 9, 2007 | Reply

  24. As usual, Beautiful Liar, you make an excellent point. (What, you thought I don’t check my commenters? You haven’t learned? 😉 You are welcome here.)

    The last thing I mean/meant to do is to insult anyone, and in my focus on the violation, I in turn committed a violation. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

    You also got me thinking, I have an ear in both the Sri Lankan communities and the Nepalese communities. Neither nationality surfaces often with rape. Very occasionally, I will see a Sri Lankan arrested for prostitution, but not so often as the other nationalities I so ignorantly and callously lumped together.

    For all of you out there saying “hurrah!” that BL brought up this valid point, I apologize.

    And I repeat, that from what I read, the majority of any nationality seem to be defrauded, exploited and violated by another member of their same nationality. Not all, a majority.

    You are right about marital rape. It’s a property rights issue, isn’t it? *she says cynically*

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 9, 2007 | Reply

  25. My Sri Lankan informant tells me that they band together, live together when possible, and go out rarely at night. She says their worst fear is of the police, who will ask them for their papers, take them to the police car and tell them there is a problem (and there really is no problem) but that the problem can go away with a little co-operation on her part.

    It’s still rape. It is the coersion of sex by the powerful over the powerless. Ooooohhhhh, the blood is boiling.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 9, 2007 | Reply

  26. “…..marital rape. It’s a property rights issue, isn’t it?”
    Yeah, and last I noticed Kuwait was still there in top place on the property rights violations hit list for the MENA region.
    So it all adds up now.
    Yours scenically,
    BAPR

    Comment by born again protestant in Rome | September 9, 2007 | Reply

  27. You are right, Saudi Arabia has stricter laws, and there, issues related to sexual crime are no less horrendous. I know for a fact that the application of cohabitation laws in other middle eastern countries is more relax. No one come on your door knocking, asking to see your martial contract or to “prove” that you are married. People live with their girl/boy friend or common law partners very easily. The land lord does not require you to submit a marriage contract. Saudi Arabia, however, has come to recognise what is called “maisyar marriage”. It is a marriage of convenience (and I am in no way supporting the whole idea.) Nevertheless, a system, whereby people can get married without going through the whole legal mumbo-jumbo and protect themselves in case of attack by police is something that may be worth considering in these situations.

    I know people who have been called to the ministry because husband/wife did have the same address. They had not at the time of applying for civil id submitted their marriage certificate because it was getting authenticated/verified. It is interesting that in Kuwait, marriage in not a state issue but a religious issue. However, the state has the power to enforce martial contract or require people to be married. Whereas, Kuwaitis can technically have four wives (and play the game married now and not married tomorrow), non Kuwaitis have to go through serious hurdles to have legitimate sex. It might be worth considering going Saudi way.

    I know my point is a bit of the tangent. However, these things inter-wind themselves into a huge sexual frustration phenomena and result horrible sexual crimes. I just wanted to add more material to consider when considering the whole problem with sexual crime.

    Comment by Ava | September 10, 2007 | Reply

  28. Ava, I have heard of instances in almost every Gulf country where unrelated, unmarried men and women have not been allowed to occupy the same hotel room. I think extra-marital relations are discouraged in all these countries.

    You are right, somehow it is all related, and it probably has a lot to do with power and status. And I sure don’t have the answers to the multiple questions that arise here; all I want is to find some way, for right now, to give the victims a place to vent in safety.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 11, 2007 | Reply

  29. Just read you artical. what can I say? I will start by saying – it scars you for life, the rest of your life, you never forget you’ve been a victim. Being a victim of such an attack from a cowardly over inflated egotistical sick humanely beast or beasts. What will happen victims will take out revenge and retaliate. You must give support and counselling to victims, before they become abusers themselfs. Research has shown children and men that have been abused will become abusers themselfs, if not helped and supported, resulting, escalating into a bigger problems. Another issue that should also be addressed is sexual transmitted diseases, HIV and Aids, if men are prone to act in such a manner then you could also find a growing number of sexual transmitted diseases. Men that commit such acts should pay for their invasion and be prosecuted, sentenced to prison for their crime. They must pay for any such rape, your law must take a stand. you have given women the right to vote allowing democracay, so you must take a stand and be the country you aspire to be. Other wise you will later regret not taking action. You must stand up for your migrant worker its part of your economy growth. Not just Kuwait nationals. Gang,men or child rape should not be taken lightly in your country – you must act NOW and sentence these criminals

    Comment by tick-tack | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  30. Tick-Tack – Whoa! I disagree! Yes, rape changes your life, but many women have overcome the trauma and gone on to lead lives where they even forget the experience for months or years at a time. It’s one of the most amazing things I learned working with rape victims. Women are amazing.

    And you are also right, that people who experience abuse on a consistent basis are more likely to become abusers. That, too, does not mean that everyone abused becomes an abuser. People are amazingly resilient, and overcome the most hideous treatment, and turn their experience into a personal quest for countering the effects of evil, they consciously turn to the GOOD.

    Oh, you are so right. The diseases transmitted . . . and the need for holding people accountable for their actions . . . there is so much work to be done.

    Thank you for coming by and expressing your insights.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  31. hi…i admire you for writing this stories..hope to hear more from you….i agree a lot to you that there people look to their selves as king that they can do anything coz they are in their own country…but they are wrong how many times in a day they used to pray…but do you see their acts…how they treat peolple of other nationality…we are not slaves of their country… their goverment must take some actions to teach their people more values and educatiion…they must learn to respect others…they may have the money but they dont have mind…they should be thankful to God that they are not sufferring much poverty like other’s do…they must learn to respect and treat people as humans….i think kuwait will be a more nice country to live not only for its oil but also coz of its people

    Comment by sam | May 21, 2008 | Reply

  32. Thank you, Sam, for your comments.

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 22, 2008 | Reply

  33. I agree that there is a lot of sexual harassment/rape happening in Kuwait, and it is an unethical social, legal and political ERROR. Such cases was dealt with strictly before the Iraqi Invasion by the authorities, but nowadays it’s as you’ve said ignored especially when the accusations are against any Kuwaiti national, and will be only dealt with the victim who is mostly deported. (Saving face and families’ reputation)
    Hence, women of any other nationalities will reach nowhere when complaining after being sexually harassed or rape except ruin what’s left of their lives, by being haunted by the accused and his family, or harassed by the police (circle of favors) or deported. Where else when the victim and rapist are both Kuwaitis it’s dealt with discrete by the authorities (save family names).
    And allow me to correct you that Sexual Harassment/Rape in Kuwait is basically about:
    – Sexual deviation (thinking they can practice unusual sex fantasy behavior with a stranger of which can’t mention to women of their own).
    – Power obsession (thinking that they are powerful to do what they want for just being the sponsor of the victims)
    – Oedipus of Human Superiority (which is very common in Kuwait for being protected by their government against any crime)
    I remember victims have ran to the States to report cases against some Kuwaiti predators, but no action was taken on the contrary they were protected by the authorities.

    Let me assure you that not only raped but also sexually harassed victims get depressed and scared to move on, and if they do move on be sure its with (hidden rage and anger) :
    My boss in the Oil field with 2 wives (same age of mine) called me from his fun-flat (which they all have) early morning to ask me to close the office and come to his flat immediately if I care to keep the salary I’m earning, but I refused; one week later he terminated my services, and when I asked his friend’s advice (to save me) he offered me heaven and big money to accept to be his mistress and need not to work.
    Then I found another job at a one of the ministries where he hired me and refurnished a new office for me, and asked no-one to load me with work, few months later also he terminated my contract, and his personal assistant told me bluntly (are you that stupid not to understand what he wanted????) And now jobless … I am applying for jobs and I want to move on; but when it comes to the interview I back off horrified…!

    Comment by cllr | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  34. Thank you, cllr, for your insightful comments. It sounds like they come from a lot of pain. I would love to say I can’t imagine what you are going through, but things used to be that way in the USA, too, until a few brave women went public and prosecuted their harassers and/or rapists. The worst worst thing is 1. people who say you are lying 2. other people who believe them and 3. total loss of personal privacy as your life is paraded across the courtroom. Kuwait still has a long way to go, or so I am hearing from Kuwaiti women.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 8, 2009 | Reply

  35. I appreciate you answer. Your right but it’s completely different for an Arab woman to sacrifice her name and families and take a step to go public, and they are well aware of that. I trust that day will come soon. Thanks and enjoy.

    Comment by hrcllr00kuwait | January 10, 2009 | Reply

  36. Not so completely different – what woman in her right mind would go public, would subject herself to public scrutiny and public curiousity? Not in Kuwait, not in the USA. When women go public, they go public for one reason – to stop the rapist from raping other women. That takes incredible bravery, courage – and it helps a whole lot to have a sophisticated family who will back up the victim. No matter how brave, how courageous, even winning a court case and having the rapist locked up – the woman has to live with it for the rest of her life when she goes public. I always honor those who chose not to – when you have had choice ripped out of your own hands on the most personal of all choices, you have a need – and a right – to reclaim your life as best you can.

    If I could see one change in Kuwait, before I leave, just one change, it would be for Kuwait to establish a rape crisis line, domestic violence line, and child abuse line. It would be wonderful if they were manned by professionals, but in most countries, they begin with volunteers, who provide 24 hour coverage to give victims support, encouragement, information and options. Volunteers or professionals need to be educated and trained to handle the phone calls, and the ethics of this kind of work. In Kuwait, the people answering the calls would need to be a variety of nationalities, too, as the different kinds of rape here – abduction and rape, “She-won’t-marry-me-so-I-will-rape-her-and-then-she-will-have-to-marry-me” kind of rape, male on male rape, male on domestic servant rape – all very different circumstances, but all dealing with a frightened, sometimes angry, sometimes suicidal victim.

    I would give anything to see that happen – a help line here, where victims could talk to someone who would understand and help them.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 10, 2009 | Reply

  37. Since moving to Kuwait I have discovered that being a woman here means a constant attack verbally and physically. Men here seem to think because you are female they can harrass you, follow you, touch you, and make you feel constantly in danger of being raped. Even the young boys here act out sexually. Men grope themselves, show themselves, you name it!!! One teacher was attacked at the seaside, pinned to the ground, and after screaming haram…allah help me, the man jumped up and ran. Yet, when she ran to security they laughed at her.

    I had a similar problem when young youths grabbed me in my private areas and the police said, “Naughty Kuwaitie boys.” Then he laughed. So women, even respectable women are not taken seriously when they report a problem.

    So now I practically cover everything….I am an American citizen but I dare not wear western clothes even if conservative….Then because I am fair in skin tone this seems to only encourage them more…..I pray that I never meet the end that many women have in Kuwait but what was written in this blog does not surprise me at all.

    Comment by joanna | November 1, 2010 | Reply

  38. I see this is rape in Kuwait (2). Is there a (1)? I’d like the link, thanks!

    Comment by Katepoet | May 13, 2011 | Reply

  39. Rape in Kuwait

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 14, 2011 | Reply

  40. well written
    actually written the truth.

    Comment by apricot | December 7, 2012 | Reply

  41. Apricot, I am so sorry if it is also your truth.

    I heard so many first hand stories in Kuwait, such sad stories. I am a calm person, most of the time, but the stories I heard made me see red. I wanted to do something. Kuwait officialdom doesn’t want any mention of the problem of rape. Big problem.

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 7, 2012 | Reply

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