Heartbreak: Forced to Marry Her Rapist, 16-Year-Old Girl Commits Suicide

In Morocco, a rapist can legally marry his victim to escape persecution. Condemning a victim to a state-sanctioned life of rape is even considered a method to "preserve honor" among the rape victims' family members. And now, a sixteen-year-old girl is dead because she drank rat poison instead.

Amina Filal was only fifteen when a man accosted and raped her on the street. She didn't tell her parents until two months later. At first, Amina Filal's rapist refused to marry her. But at the urging of the court, when he realized he was facing between 10 and 20 years for raping a minor, he relented. Five months into their marriage, Filal reportedly told her mother she was being repeatedly beaten.

From The Associated Press:

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.

"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.

"It is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon," she said."We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code which allows the rapist to escape justice."

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.

Women’s groups are calling for the penal code to be updated so not to protect rapists by further victimizing the women they attacked. A Facebook page, We are all Amina Filali, was created in the young girl's memory. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at March 16, 2012, 5:28am