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Would You Marry Your Attacker?

December 20, 2011

Earlier this month I read an article on CNN about this Afghan woman who was sexually assaulted by her cousin’s husband. Then, she discovered that she was with child, her attacker’s child. This is when the trouble started. She was prosecuted and sentenced to jail for adulterous actions.

In Muslim culture, the only way to restore her honor and legitimize her daughter’s birth is to marry her attacker, her rapist. If she decides not to marry her attacker, then she faces ridicule, persecution, even death. It isn’t uncommon for families of women (yes her family) to kill their children because of the shame they’ve brought the family. More commonly, these are called honor killings.

That’s outrageous.

But that’s not all, and certainly not the most outrageous. In the beginning, the woman decided she would marry her attacker, then decided she’d rather marry an educated man. Then, she was freed.

They are going to KILL her, and they let her out of jail. They didn’t put her in protective custody, they didn’t make her a refugee, they let her go and let her live in a women’s shelter. Now she’s decided (as of the 15th) that she indeed may marry her attacker. Sigh.

It’s not because she wants to marry this guy you see, it’s because she has no choice. That is the outrageous part about all of this. A victim of a violent sexual crime is being asked to marry the man who violently attacked her. I can’t wrap my head around anything about this story.

I feel disgusted, horrified and empathetic for this woman. She can come live with me. I’ll feed her and teach her English. She can be our new intern.

I’m not kidding. I love babies.

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