Abused must be protected
An editorial earlier this month left me reeling (“Sex assault laws must be changed,” Sept. 9, page 8).
Never before had I thought that Taiwan would have retained the mentioned clauses in its Criminal Code, ones that offer more leniency to sexual abusers who hold positions of power and rely on an outdated definition of sexual assault in cases not involving those in authority.
After all, how can a country centered around values of justice and equality allow this kind of partiality to exist?
Taiwan must ensure that its citizens are protected from all threats, both international and domestic.
As the editorial says: Taiwanese “society continues to stigmatize them [sexual assault victims],” and this must stop.
That starts with making sure all sexual abusers face justice.
Taiwanese respect those who have been trusted with authority. However, this should not mean that the law punishes a powerful public figure more leniently.
Authority is a privilege — not something that should interfere with societal values of justice.
By retaining these loopholes, the legislation is effectively communicating that victims of sexual abuse are not valued as much as their powerful abusers.
In addition, the definition of sexual assault in the Criminal Code that does not concern people in power must be altered to acknowledge the fact that these heinous acts often take place without physical force.
We are in the 21st century and it is high time to acknowledge that humanity has discovered other avenues of coercion. History has taught us this lesson all too well.
Taiwan must step up to protect its people.
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