A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Rape

An Assembly should be careful not to minimize an allegation of “date rape” or of rape by a spouse. Sexual abuse or assault involving a person under a certain age (the age varies by state) is a crime regardless of whether consent is given or force is used. Assemblies should be aware of the laws applicable in their state.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, Guidelines for Spiritual Assemblies on Domestic Violence, p. 99.)


As to the contents of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, one of the provisions of that Most Holy Book is ‘not to indulge one’s passions‘.
(See Synopsis and Codification of the Laws and Ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pg. 50) Furthermore, reference should be made to one of the ‘prohibitions’ mentioned on page 47 of the ‘Synopsis‘, namely, ‘adultery‘. This word so appears in this book because entries in a synopsis should by necessity be brief, and by the original word used by Bahá’u’lláh in the Aqdas, i.e. ‘zina‘, adultery is generally and mainly intended. However , this by no means covers all the meanings of the concept of ‘zina’ in legal language used in Arabic and Persian. One of the forms of ‘zina‘, - i.e. when the illicit sexual intercourse is performed through force or violence - is rape or sexual assault.
(Universal House of Justice, to an individual believer, 5 June, 1983.)


As to the punishments for such acts as rape, these will be determined in the future by the Universal House of Justice.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 8 June 1982)


Bahá’u’lláh … has indicated that under certain circumstances, the parents could be deprived of the right of parenthood as a consequence of their actions. The Universal House of Justice has the right to legislate on this matter. It has decided for the present that all cases should be referred to it in which the conduct or character of a parent appears to render him unworthy of having such parental rights as that of giving consent to marriage. Such questions could arise, for example, when a parent has committed incest, or when the child was conceived as a consequence of rape, and also when a parent consciously fails to protect the child from flagrant sexual abuse.
(Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 24 January, 1993.)


If a Bahá’í woman suffers abuse or is subjected to rape by her husband, she has the right to turn to the Spiritual Assembly for assistance and counsel, or to seek legal protection. Such abuse would gravely jeopardize the continuation of the marriage, and could well lead to a condition of irreconcilable antipathy.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1992, Violence and Sexual Abuse of Women and Children)


One of the most heinous of sexual offenses is the crime of rape. When a believer is a victim, she is entitled to the loving aid and support of the members of her community, and she is free to initiate action against the perpetrator under the law of the land should she wish to do so. If she becomes pregnant as a consequence of this assault, no pressure should be brought upon her by the Bahá’í institutions to marry. As to whether she should continue or terminate the pregnancy, it is for her to decide on the course of action she should follow, taking into consideration medical and other relevant factors, and in the light of the Bahá’í Teachings. If she gives birth to a child as a result of the rape, it is left to her discretion whether to seek financial support for the maintenance of the child from the father; however, his claim to any parental rights would, under Bahá’í law, be called into question in view of the circumstances.
(Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 24 January, 1993.)


Sexual abuse and assault, including rape, are crimes, regardless of whether committed by a stranger, acquaintance, relative, or spouse, by a person of the same or opposite sex, and regardless of the age of the victim.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, Guidelines for Spiritual Assemblies on Domestic Violence, p. 99).