National Clearinghouse on
Marital and Date Rape
mirror site: http://members.aol.com/ncmdr
ACT Globally! Mexico
News: Spousal Rape Is Not Rape
20 Jul 1997
To everyone reading this: Please repost/resend everywhere! We need energy, suggestions, strategic ideas, more outrage and contacts worldwide. Let us know if we may quote you with or without your name or email address.
At the end of this email is a news article about a supreme court ruling in Mexico. We were recently made aware of it and are absolutely outraged! Currently, we're trying to network as many people together for a pressure campaign to support the women in Mexico. Indeed all women have been violated by this ruling. It is very dangerous, internationally as well. We hope you can help, especially with how we can find the women mentioned in the article who are protesting in Mexico.
The court has condemned women to sexual slavery in marriage. The definition of slavery and involuntary servitude in the U.S. Constitution (13th amendment) is if you can require a specific service of someone and back it up by force. In this situation of cohabitation, the threat of the force is omnipresent. We wonder if Amnesty International would consider the point that these women are political prisoners, victims of repellent, unconscionable government abrogation of individual rights. Mexico and every other UN country specifically signed on to the resolution in Beijing that every woman had a right to say no to every sex act. This specifically included wives (NY Times, dateline Sept. 10, 1995.)
It is a crime in all fifty states to rape one's wife in the USA, but more importantly, in New York in 1984, the highest court, in the LIBERTA decision, struck down the marital rape exemption as an unconstitutional denial of equal protection and of a wife's right to privacy and bodily integrity.
We have not been able to get through to the Mexican Supreme Court's homepage (the page is being moved and connection is constantly being refused). Do you have a copy of the decision yet?
We need to move quickly (has the press picked this up yet where you are?).
Please also email your reply to Vera Britto (see her email)
Thank you, Kokoi and Laura
Vera! These are marvelous suggestions...will do all today and tomorrow and call the Center for Global Women's Leadership, but I hope people on ABIGAILS will have more and specifically about what kind of pressure. A boycott by married women going there (as tourists or workers) with their husbands would be interesting. Anyone want to sign on to a statement?
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 1997 07:42:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Vera M. Britto" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Mexico:News Spousal Rape Is Not Rape (fwd)
On Sat, 19 Jul 1997, Laura X wrote:
This is the worst I've ever seen it because it upfront talks about an actual right to another person's body. This is worse than just the right not to be prosecuted when you rape--this is what we always knew it was about, in our hearts and bodies, and from Andrea Dworkin's writing about men's entitlement to access to our bodies. WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
Who does anyone know in Mexico? We need to support the women protesting: how do we find them?
Can anyone get a copy for Abigail's of the actual decision? (The Supreme Court website is http://18.104.22.168)
Vera, thank you so much. How is it that you have access to that news service that this was printed on? Has anyone else seen this anywhere else?
This was posted to a Latin American general newsgroup. I personally do not know any of the groups mentioned or other groups in Mexico. But I have contacted IPS (the wire service) in the past, although regarding a different issue, and they were very nice. [Their email is email@example.com and their website is http://www.ips.org.]
You may also want to call PAHO (Pan-American Health Organization -- in Washington DC) -- World Health Organization's branch for the Americas, because I know they are very concerned with issues of violence against women and they have contacts all over Latin America.
There is also a NY non-profit -- is it Equality Now? -- that works primarily with women's human rights violations, I'm sure they'd be a good starting point contact.
Human Rights Watch (NY/Washington DC) has a program also for women. their number is 202- 371-6592 -- email firstname.lastname@example.org. In 1995 Dorothy Thomas was directing the women's program, don't know if she still is.
Thanks for your interest and concern, and keep us posted if you are able to hook up with anyone in Mexico to organize an international or bi-national pressure campaign.