A new bill in the nation of Turkey that is being called the ‘Marry Your Rapist Bill‘ would release rapists from their court-appointed punishment if they marry their rape victims. The law only allows rapists to do so if the girls they rape are under eighteen.
Yes, you read that right.
If you’re keeping track of the news associated with the atrocities in that first paragraph, the law would legitimize child rape and child marriage.
Until pressured by the United Nations, other Islamic countries like Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, and Palestine all had similar laws that would allow rapists to escape harsher sentences or avoid punishment altogether if they could talk the girl’s parents into handing them over for marriage. This would prevent the young girls and their families from suffering the stigma of having children out of wedlock and lessen the odds they would be murdered in an ‘honor killing’ by a family member.
A campaign group called We Will Stop Femicide says that 409 women were murdered by a family member in the country in 2017 – a rise from 237 four years prior.
The United Nations and various human rights organizations are trying to prevail upon Turkey to abandon this law and to get it squashed in Turkish parliament.
Suad Abu-Dayyeh, an equality activist, told the press, “I applaud the brave work of women’s rights campaigners in Turkey who are taking a stand against this discriminatory bill and pushing back against regressive forces that are seeking to remove current legal protections for girls. Similar ‘marry-your-rapist’ legal provisions have been on the statute books of countries across the Middle East and North Africa”