High Court
High Court File photo

A writ petition was filed with the High Court on Thursday seeking amendment in the law to include sexual violence against men as a criminal offence, reports UNB.

The petition asked for amending Section 375 of Bangladesh Penal Code by including the word “person” instead of “woman.”

Human rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer Tasmia Nuhaya Ahmed, Empowerment through Law of the Common People director Masum Billah and social worker Showmen Bhowmik filed the writ.

Secretaries of the law ministry, home ministry and the inspector general of police were made respondents to the writ.

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In many countries, sexual violence against men is not adequately addressed in legislation. Also, rape of male is frequently not treated as an equal offence with the rape of women, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Under Section 375 of the Penal Code, only sexual violence perpetrated by men against women is considered as rape, the writ petition said.

Tapas Kanti Baul, the lawyer for the writ petitioners, said, “There has been a big jump in the number of sexual assault against men and boys recently. But justice is being denied as such crimes are not being considered as rape.”

The evidence available suggests that males are maybe even less likely than female victims to report an assault to the authorities, says the WHO.

“There are a variety of reasons why male rape is underreported, including shame, guilt and fear of not being believed or of being denounced for what has occurred.”

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