Wed, 23 Feb 2000

Castration for rapists

Reports of rape cases occur nearly daily, with the most recent concerning a 28-year-old housewife who was raped and killed by a neighbor. Another involved the gang rape of a young woman in a taxi after she was robbed.

Letters in the media have urged capital punishment for rapists. One letter writer proposed that a rapist be exiled to his true habitat, the jungle, because the writer believed the rapist adhered to the law of the jungle.

The problem is that capital punishment or a sentence such as ordering the culprit to live in his "habitat" will certainly be opposed by human rights groups, while the threat of capital punishment in countries such as the U.S. has failed to deter rapists.

As the mother of two daughters and grandmother of two granddaughters, I am highly concerned about the criminal act of rape. There are certainly many rapists in the community. They are continually on the lookout for victims, especially since the penalty in Indonesia is very light. I imagine that after rapists have ended their term in prison, they will return to the community with a greater drive to commit rapes.

Apparently the only way to permanently stop rapists is to castrate them. It can be used as a legal threat, i.e. passed into law or implemented tacitly without knowledge of the public or even the rapists themselves. My idea comes from reading about the experience of women in India who were sterilized without their knowledge after they gave birth (perhaps the approach was taken because India is overpopulated).

For the good of the general public, especially Indonesian women, why aren't rapists castrated? It is reportedly a simple surgical act and not hazardous to health. When rapists have served their term in prison and returned to the community, they will no longer be able to commit the criminal act of rape. Is that not more humane? There must be many rapists in custody, considering that reports about rape appear nearly every day in the media.


Bogor, West Java