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29 February 2024

Fear of stigma silences rape victims

Fear of stigma silences rape victims. (AP)

By Staff Writer

More than half of women in the UAE would not report a rape for fear of social stigma, according to a new survey.

The study, carried out by YouGov Siraj, found that while 77 per cent of UAE residents would report rape attacks, 55 per cent of women cited worries over their own or family's reputation and 49 per cent scared of being judged by society or accused of immoral behaviour if they told authorities.

The online poll also discovered that more than half of expatriate respondents had been subjected to crime and road rage. While just eight per cent of Emiratis and Arab expatriates had been on the receiving end of such incidents, 58 per cent of Western and other expatriates had been the victim of violence or damage threats, and 59 per to road rage or harassment while driving.

"Arab women are less likely to report sexual assaults to the police owing to concerns that the allegations could damage their family's reputation,'' said Iman Annab, CEO, YouGov Siraj.

"This research shows the true power of online research, where opinion can be gathered on very sensitive topics like rape. In many cases women are concerned about ending up on trial, or fear the authorities will uncover other infractions such as visa breaches or consuming alcohol without a licence," said Annab.


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