16 year-old Amina Filali was raped, beaten and then later forced to wed her rapist.
The only way she saw to escape this horror and her rapist turned husband was to kill herself.
Article 475 in Morocco’s penal code allows a rapist to avoid prosecution and a long prison sentence by marrying his victim if she is a minor. Since 2006, the Moroccan government has been promising to strike down this law and pass legislation prohibiting violence against women, but it has yet to happen because there hasn't been enough public pressure.
Hundreds of Moroccan protestors have taken to the streets demanding real reform, turning up the heat on the Moroccan Prime Minister and heads of other ministries, but like similar incidents in the past when the bad press dies down it is business as usual.
BUT YOU CAN HELP.
Sign the petition for a comprehensive law to stop violence against women in Morocco, including the repeal of Article 475. When it reaches 250,000 signatures local women's groups in Morocco will deliver it to decision-makers:
Note: By the time I am writing this its already reached 639,000 signatures, so the new goal is 750,000.
When Amina was brutally raped, her family reported it to officials in their town of Larache. Instead of prosecuting the rapist, the court gave him the option of marrying his victim.
The government has issued a statement arguing that the relationship was consensual, but Amina's suicide indicates she was forced to marry him by the local government / police using Article 475. Women’s groups in Morocco have long fought this law, and it's time for the Moroccan legislature to renounce this wicked law and create new laws that protect the safety of women.
WANT TO HELP MORE? SEE THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES:
Morocco protest against rape-marriage law (BBC)
Morocco mulls tougher line against rape-marriages (Al Jazeera)
Protesters in Morocco demand reform of rape laws after teen girl's suicide (CNN)
Morocco: Amina’s parents contradict official account, insist their daughter was raped
Global Rights report on violence against women in Morocco
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