In Morocco on Saturday, a girl of 16 killed herself by swallowing rat poison. She was raped when she was 15, and then forced to marry her rapist.
Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code allows for the “kidnapper” of a minor to marry his victim to escape prosecution, and it has been used to justify a traditional practice of making a rapist marry his victim to preserve the honor of the woman’s family.
“Amina, 16, was triply violated, by her rapist, by tradition and by Article 475 of the Moroccan law,” tweeted activist Abadila Maaelaynine.
Abdelaziz Nouaydi, who runs the Adala Assocation for legal reform, said a judge can recommend marriage only in the case of agreement by the victim and both families.
Oh yes agreement by the victim; that’s all right then. It’s just like sharia “courts” in the UK, which (as Maryam pointed out with withering scorn at QED on Sunday) require the consent of both parties. That is bullshit. The “agreement” and the “consent” cannot possibly be considered reliable. It’s as if there were laws saying it’s ok to murder people as long as they consent.
“It is not something that happens a great deal — it is very rare,” he said, but admitted that the family of the victim sometimes agrees out of fear that she won’t be able to find a husband if it is known she was raped.
The marriage is then pushed on the victim by the families to avoid scandal, said Fouzia Assouli, president of Democratic League for Women’s Rights.
So what you get is not “agreement” by the victim; you get the victim being victimized all over again, but this time for life. Amina Filali decided to cut that victimization short, the only way she could.
The victim’s father said in an interview with an online Moroccan newspaper that it was the court officials who suggested from the beginning the marriage option when they reported the rape.
“The prosecutor advised my daughter to marry, he said ‘go and make the marriage contract,’” said Lahcen Filali in an interview that appeared on goud.ma Tuesday night.
Which makes perfect sense if you think the victim’s genitals belong to her family while her own hopes and wishes have nothing to do with anything. On the other hand it makes no sense at all if you think the victim is a person herself and thus that forcing her to live with the man who violently assaulted her is pretty much the worst thing anyone could do to her.