Rape Shocker in Asian Culture


SadSome things I find hard to believe – not because I know they can’t be true, but because I don’t want to believe they might be. Here’s one of those stories.

First, the source: The BBC. For years I’ve always thought of this stellar news organization to be among the best run, carefully vetted outfits in the world. Something published by the BBC put it miles ahead of many other news sources. BBC came with the Zenith assurance, “quality goes in before the name goes on.”

Today I caught this feature and it disturbed me on so many levels.


Almost a quarter of men surveyed in a UN report looking at violence against women in parts of Asia have admitted to committing at least one rape.

Rape was particularly common within relationships. However, one in 10 men admitted raping a woman who was not their partner.

Ten thousand men from six countries took part in the survey.

As my kids are both half-Asian, this was most eye-opening to me. My wife is Asian as are many of my closest friends. This story made me immediately defensive. I was actually more outraged. How could this be? The Asian’s I know are among the gentlest, kindest and compassionate people in the world. Maybe I could find some fault with the survey group or the source:

Percentage of men admitting rape

  • Papua New Guinea Bougainville Island - 62%
  • Indonesia Papua Province - 48.6%
  • Indonesia urban - 26.2%
  • China urban/rural - 22.2%
  • Cambodia - 20.4%
  • Indonesia rural - 19.5%
  • Sri Lanka - 14.5%
  • Bangladesh rural - 14.1%
  • Bangladesh urban - 9.5%

I have to say, this isn’t the full Asian community. There’s no Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Korea, or so many other Asian countries.

What I hope is that this very condemning report is quickly amended to correct what surely must be an overstatement based on a limited sampling.

"These data justifiably create global outrage, accentuated by horrific recent high-profile cases, including the brutal gang rape of a student in New Delhi," said Dr Michele Decker from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore

"More than half of non-partner rape perpetrators first did so as adolescents, which affirms that young people are a crucial target population for prevention of rape.

"The challenge now is to turn evidence into action, to create a safer future for the next generation of women and girls

That said, I find this implied cultural attack on women appalling. It’s abhorrent and perhaps now is the time for religious, ethnic leaders in the Asian community to start looking into better educating their communities. And if there are deep-rooted reasons that these egregious acts are taking place, I hope talk, openness and help to resolve this cultural abhorrence will be forthcoming.