Rape should never be condoned nor thought of as acceptable by anyone, but happens when a rape victim is forced to marry her rapist to preserve the family honor?
A Moroccan woman, Amina Filali, was a rape victim but what made matters worse was the consequence that resulted from it. She was forced to marry her rapist as a way for him to avoid prison. According to Moroccan penal law, Article 475, this law makes it possible for the rapist to be labeled as “kidnapper”, enabling him to marry his victim.
The insanity of this law, is that it allows the perpetrator to escape punishment by punishing his victim even more. Even more so was the willingness of Filali’s family to marry her off to her rapist as a way to preserve the family’s honor. In Filali’s case, it was an even more tragic aftermath since it resulted in her taking her own life. The pressure from her family as well as the law that mandated her future became the catalyst that drew the line.
It’s unfortunate and tragic that unfair laws and gender biases would win over what was clearly a miscarriage of justice. How could any rape be seen as less than a crime punishable by prison? Is the crime of rape not heinous enough? Did a suicide have to happen in order for this tragedy to get the attention it deserved? And what of Amina’s tragic end? Will her rapist ever be put to justice or will this tragic story just become one of the millions we all read about too often?
As someone who has a daughter two years younger than Amina, I am horrified that this law is in place. What of Amina’s honor as a young woman? Wasn’t it enough that she was damaged by her rapist? How could marrying her off to her rapist be honorable? And what about her suicide? Is her suicide being looked at by the Morrocan religious authorities as disgraceful to her
family? I may never understand the rationale or lack thereof behind family honor, but I do hope that her death will enlighten both women and men about the injustice done to Amina as a result of Article 475 and why it must be eliminated from Moroccan law. That’s my view on this, what’s yours?
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