Top 7 Cruelest Rape Punishments

Nov 21, 2022 | Activism, Articles, Crime, Justice, Sexuality

Rape is classified as “type of sexual assault initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent”. Rape can be a physical act, or even an act in which the person is under threat or manipulation. However, it is worth mentioning that definitions of rape vary. Usually, the definition for rape depends whether or not consent was present during the act.

But the term consent varies as well. For example, minors are too young to consent to sexual relations. Many jurisdictions around the world have abandoned the term rape, and now use terms like sexual assault and criminal sexual conduct. In most cases, punishment for rape is imprisonment.

However, there are countries that believe rape demands a cruel punishment. More than 10 countries around the world punish rape by death. That being said, here are the seven cruelest rape punishments around the world.


China is one of the strictest countries when it comes to rape punishments. The punishment is death sentence. Sometimes, rapists are punished by mutilation of their genitals, and eventually, death. The problem, however, is that victims of rape often remain silent in China. The reason is simple, traditional culture holds “being raped a shameful act”. Suffice to say, rape is still a taboo topic in Chinese culture with victims being rejected by the society.

The laws against rape have been criticized. There are weaknesses in the legal system that allow rapist to escape justice. For example, same sex rape became illegal in 2015. Before that, same sex rape was legal. In 2015, China made another step towards better rape justice. Sex with under aged women (women under 14 years) was reclassified as rape. No matter whether underage women were prostitutes or not, it was still a rape, punishable by death sentence.


Iran is another country with very strict laws against rape. The rapist is killed in public, either by hanging or shot. The goal is to show the public that rape is not allowed, and raise the awareness. Victims are allowed to shot the rapist in public in order to get justice. It is worth mentioning that more than 15% of executions in Iran are actually rape cases. Rapists can sometimes escape death penalty, if the victim allows it. However, even if the victim allows the rapist to escape the death penalty, the rapist is still liable for 100 lashes or life imprisonment.


Before 2013, rape was not considered a major crime in India. But that changed with the Anti-Rape Bill that the country passed in 2013. In line with the new law, rapists are imprisoned up to 14 years. If the victim dies, or is put in negative state, the rapist is killed. The death punishment is in play if the rapist is repeat offender. Death penalties are executed by hanging.


In France, there is no death penalty. However, a rape case can get you between 15 or 30 years in prison. It all depends on the victim and the factors.

For example, the simple rape crime is punished up to 15 years in prison. If the victim is younger than 15 years, prison sentence can go up to 20 years. Rapists are punished by a maximum of 30 years in prison when their act caused death of the victim. If the rape is preceded or accompanied by torture, the punishment is life in prison. Any act of sexual penetration is considered rape in France.


Rape cases are very rare in Afghanistan. There are two reasons why. The first one is the punishment, which is death sentence. Rapists are shot in the head within four days of trial. The punishment is executed by the victim. In some cases, rapists are hanged. The other reason why there are few rape cases is because of stigma and culture in Afghanistan.

Rape victims are more stigmatized than rapists in the country. Raped women are punished under Muslim Law. According to the law, if a woman is raped, she has to marry the man who raped her in order to keep her honor. If she chooses not to, she can face possible murder at the hands of her own family. The Shia Family Law is another reason. Under the law, women have to have sex with their husband once every four days. The law applies only to Shia women.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has very strict rules against rape. Rapists are first sedated, and then murdered in public. As an Islamic country, Saudi Arabia acts accordingly to the Islamic Sharia laws. Rapists are beheaded in public, and the body and the head are then stitched together. Rapists can also be sentenced to death by stones. Rape stones are showered towards the rapists until he/she dies. The law applies for both women and men.

The Netherlands

The punishment for rape in The Netherlands is prison. And the sentence can be between four and fifteen years. On first glance, that is not as cruel punishment as in other countries. The difference is that in The Netherlands, even a French kiss is considered a rape. Sexual assault on a prostitute is also punishable up to 4 years in prison. If the victim dies, the punishment is 15 years.

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Thomas B.