What can my friend do about an expat rapist in China?
October 10, 2010 12:42 PM Subscribe
My friend (American) is in Changsha, China, and will be for about a year. She found out that a male expat in the city recently raped a Chinese woman. What can she do? She really needs some China-specific advice.
posted by mandanza to law & government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are a few problems. She doesn't know who the Chinese woman is, and she doesn't know who the man is, although she knows that he is one of three men. It's possible but not certain that she could figure out which one it was.
Here is her quick summary and her questions, written from her POV:
I am trying to figure out how to react to the news that one of the expats here raped somebody. The source is quite credible: apparently, one of his friends admitted it, using the word "rape." Presumably the young Chinese woman in question is not prosecuting, otherwise I guess I would have heard of that.
1) Can she [the Chinese woman] prosecute? That is, does she have sufficient evidence, and/or is it socially possible for her to prosecute without losing her job, her reputation, etc.?
2) What other means of retribution are possible? If someone could convince his employers, would he lose his job? If I could make that happen, should I? Could I just spread the news throughout the expat community here and see what happens?
3) Would it compromise the woman's reputation somehow to have it spread that this guy raped someone? (I.e., would it have obviously been her, and how much stigma would she suffer if it were spread around?)
4) What am I morally obligated to do? I think the answer is: something. But I don't know what. I'm not God, and I'm not going to show up with a steakknife (or rusty spoon) at this guy's door, however much I may want to. And I can't just call the police and go "One of these three guys raped a Chinese girl whose name and appearance I don't know." I also don't speak Chinese, and can't just ask around and see if anybody knows anything. I may be able to work through expats, and/or a couple friends.
If anyone can provide any information on the Chinese legal system, and/or on the cultural forces in China that would affect what action she should take, it would be greatly appreciated.
I can provide answers to follow-up questions, though they might take a while, since I'm in America and my friend's in China.