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Perceptions of Rape: Insights from Women in Beirut
A review of Lebanese newspaper reports over a one year period (1993-1994) illustrates that rape was the most frequently reported crime against women, compared to kidnapping, battering, mugging, incest and murder (Abul-Husn, 1994). While rape has captured some media attention, this has been mostly restricted to coverage of cases involving children or where excessive force was employed. ]n fact, authors and activists have begun to argue for the need to conduct empirical investigations since not much is known about rape and other forms of violence against women that are increasingly being reported in Lebanese society (Abu-Habib, 1998; Abul-Husn, 1994; Faour, 1995; Lebanese
Council to Resist Violence against Women, 1997; Maksoud, 1996; R.S., 1997; Tabbara & 'Assayran, 1994). This lack of research was confirmed in interviews
I conducted both with Dr. May Majdalani, a psychologist and professor at Haigazian University (Beirut), and Dr. Bassima AI-Moulla, Chair of the Public Health Depaltment at the Lebanese University (Beirut). Their own unique explorations of violence against women within the home have detected incidents
of rape, but their studies have not been focused on this form of violence.
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