Rape victims usually choose not to report to police for fear exposure may damage their reputation and threaten their safety, says an article on the website www.rednet.cn. Following is an excerpt:
After a 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped on a road home after school recently, she was forbidden from reporting to police by her parents.
Many netizens believed her parents acted appallingly, but some believe they had little choice.
They refused to turn to the police probably for the protection of their daughter.
Two things normally happen in the wake of a rape: the rapist will be penalized according to the law; and the victim will be punished by prejudiced weight of social opinion.
The prejudices will diminish the living space of the victim and jeoperdize her future wellbeing.
More importantly, the face of the family must be preserved at the expense of the victims' interests.
In a patriarchal society, rape means the violation of the assets of parents, especially fathers, rather than the physical and psychological injuries of the individual involved, since women are deemed as part of a family's private assets.
A daughter being raped is equal to the reduction of values in the market of marriage, so hiding the rape can effectively prevent a loss of assets.
What is more, to ensure the values of the asset, or women, moral concepts like chastity have been created to limit the sexual behavior of women.
Therefore being raped becomes a matter of tarnishing the reputation of a woman and her family.
To protect her reputation, most rape victims must not report the crime, which only encourages rapists.
(China Daily April 9, 2009)