12 January 2018
As the Association of Struggle Against Violence, from day of our establishment to today, we say that sexual violence to animal is not individual cases, perpetuators systematically turn to violence by taking advantage of explicit of the law. Rape to animals must be accepted within the scope of crime.
We have learned from the law draft where the Ministry of Justice presented changes in the Animal Protecting Law, number 5199, that the animal rape has not been put out from misdemeanor law and has not been within the scope of Turkish Criminal Code. Previously, if the animal is “owned” according to the legislation, rape crimes which are usually end in acquittal and occasionally get 625 liras administrative penalty; 2000 liras are foreseen in the new bill. Even though the crime of rape is included in the scope of Turkish Criminal Code, in case it is not arranged to be sentenced with at least 3 years of imprisonment, the imprisonment will be converted into monetary penalty and there will be no deterrence.
With this bill, to investigate violence against unowned animals, the written application of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs is required. This condition creates concern that individuals and NGOs can be prevented from registering complaint.
Rape to animal is still defining as “sexual intercourse with the animal” in Animal Protecting Law. As we all know, sexual relationship is an act which occurs with consent of all sides. When animal is the subject, we cannot mention sexual relationship. The continued use of the concept of “sexual intercourse with the animal” alleviates the responsibility for the crime and causes it to be perceived as misdemeanor. It is clear that these laws continue to protect the animal’s property status and are far from protecting animal rights.
It is important to remember that sexual violence is not sexuality; it is a force act that is also fed by species discrimination such as gender discrimination. Perpetrators are able to target every living being who can be human or animal is claimed by them. We express in every opportunity that the perpetrators are not perverts or monsters; they are “ordinary” people in their daily lives. We expect from people not to assume that these actions are individualized resulted from sickness. It should not be normalized. Perpetrators’ rape to animal or human must be accepted as a crime without discriminating the survivor. The living being who is exposed to, is an animal or human, does not change the significance of the crime. It must be looked to who commits crime. Punishment must be made by focusing perpetrator.
At first, for social transformation, animals should be accepted as an individual having feelings and awareness of their lives like us. People should not be encouraged by administrative fines without any deterrence. Rape to animals must be urgently accepted within the scope of crime and perpetrators must be sentenced at least 3 years imprisonment without adjournment.
Association for Struggle Against Sexual Violence
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