Nearly quarter of men in Asia-Pacific admit to committing rape

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea recorded the heaviest prevalence of rape. Photograph: Rocky Roe/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly a quarter of men in the Asia-Pacific region have admitted to committing rape at least once in their life, according to a new survey (pdf), with more than half of those respondents claiming they raped for the first time while in their teens.

The study covering six countries – Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka – found that 10% of men admitted to raping at least once a woman who was not their partner, a figure that rose to nearly 25% when rape of a partner was included.

Nearly 75% of those who had committed rape said they did so because they felt sexually entitled; more than half said they did it for entertainment.

The UN-led study on men and violence collected data from more than 10,000 men and 3,000 women aged 18-49 between 2010 and 2013 in order to understand why men commit violence against women and what can be done to prevent it.

The findings are significant because the Asia-Pacific region is home to over half of the world’s population, making the amount and range of information collected “unprecedented and ground-breaking”, said Dr Emma Fulu of Partners for Prevention, the joint-UN programme that co-ordinated the study.

“This is really the first time we’ve had data on rape perpetration on this scale, not just in the region but in the world, and I think it probably suggests rape is more widespread than we had thought, and the perpetration of rape starts earlier than people perhaps thought, which really highlights the need to start working with younger boys and girls to stop the violence,” she said.


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