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No action yet on rape ‘victim blaming’ textbook

No action has yet been taken concerning the content in the Ministry of Education’s Health and Physical Education textbook for Grade 11 students.

The textbook makes the claim that young girls who become victims of rape are also responsible for being raped because of their irresponsible behaviour.

When queried as to whether they have taken any remedial action regarding this issue, Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Pererasaid: “No. I heard something about it from here and there, but it is not for us to take action against it. Maybe you can ask from the National Institute of Education (NIE) as they might have taken action.”

NIE Director General Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawarathna, when contacted in this regard, declined to comment.

The relevant textbook content, which went viral on social media, claims that young girls that are victims of rape are also responsible for being raped because of their irresponsible behaviour. Rapists are described in the said textbook as persons with a “mental illness” or as individuals who are “very irresponsible”.
According to the textbook, the biggest issue that a rape victim should worry about is having an “unwanted pregnancy”, because that will make the victim a social pariah.

As per the textbook, the victim would then have to face myriad adverse and negative consequences, such as having to stop studies, the likelihood of the child being born malnourished or dead, getting into an unhappy marriage, and ending up in divorce.
Subsequently, both teachers’ trade unions and female parliamentarians condemned the content in the textbook.