An unidentified woman was gang-raped by the three men on April 4. She reported the crime to local police the following day. After the men were arrested, they confessed to the crime in custody. Seems like a cut and dry case. Crime occurs. Criminals caught and confess. Criminals go to jail. This not the case in Vietnam. When the authorities found that all of the victim’s identification documents indicated her natraul gender was male. The transgendered woman said she had undergone a sex change operation overseas four years ago and now, as a woman, she insisted the rapists be punished. The authorities simple respond was, ” the victim had not reclassified her legal gender from male to female on Wednesday, August 25. Because Vietnamese law only applies to the rape of women by men.” OMG Are freaking kidding me? Set aside the fact that she is transgender. Are you telling me that if I was a guy in Vietnam and I get raped by 3 other guys. They won’t go to jail because the laws do not cover men raping men? That is ridiculous
This is a growing debate among legal professionals in Vietnam. Some experts say that Vietnamese law does not recognize the grievances of transgender rape victims. Other legal professionals did not agree. They said the law only stipulates that “those who use force, threaten to use force, or abuse the defenselessness of their victims, or use other tricks in order to have sexual intercourse with the victims against their will” are guilty of rape. The regulation makes no reference to the genders of either the offender or the victim; anyone who commits the crime can be prosecuted under current law. So if the law does not specify opposite gender being a prerequisite of rap and it pertain to the the victim and rapist, why are the prosecutors even making the sex of the victim an issue? This blatant discrimination and bias attitude on the part of the officials should be obvious. Even if the law was specific to gender, why would a society not have a law protect guys who are raped by guys? Are there no gay rapists in Vietnam? I am sure there are cases of a guy raping another guy before this one. Whether she is transgender or not, there should be a law implemented that protects BOTH genders against sexual assault.
Cases like this remind me of how many right we do have as American citizen. Yes we still have a long way to go toward civil equality as transgendered individual but we do have some of the basic fundamental rights as human beings protecting us that other countries do not.