In an attempt to “ensure that no woman — including wives — or man is subjected to sexual acts against his or her will,” Phillipine President Fidel Ramos signed a new bill Tuesday that allows both men and spouses to sue for rape.
The bill’s author, Sen. Leticia Shahani, said the law makes rape a public rather than a private crime, meaning that anyone can sue on a victim’s behalf. The law also adds oral sex, anal sex, and penetration with a foreign object to the definition of rape. When the bill was first introduced in 1989, Shahani said lawmakers objected to the inclusion of marital rape as a crime.
Under the new law, rape is punishable by death in three instances: when a minor is raped, when the rape is committed against someone in police custody, or when the rapist knowingly transmits the AIDS virus.