In an example of the terrible treatment given rape victims in some traditional societies, a woman in India has converted to Islam to marry her rapist — in order to end the social stigma of being a rape victim. For years ago, the woman (who name was withheld) was raped and then ostracized for her status. She is asking a court to allow her rapist to be placed on bond so that she can marry him and end her isolation since the 2005 crime. As shown below, this is not a unique case.
The woman said that her status was damaging the image of her family and ruining her chances for a marriage: “The rape case has made my life hell and jeopardised my future prospects of leading a happy married life. I want to marry Ali, as our marriage would end my ordeal.”
An advocate for Rape Crisis Cell, Delhi Commission of Women objected to the move: “The mother of the accused had approached the victim and put pressure on her for the marriage. It is a ploy to organise a false marriage ceremony to get the accused out of the jail.”
Additional Sessions Judge V.K. Khanna denied the bail, but the rapist has filed another application requesting the court to allow him marry the victim in judicial custody.
This is tragically not unique as a request. Just a few years ago, a woman was ordered to marry her rapist father-in-law by a Muslim council in India.
In another case, a court summoned a former nurse who was raped after she spurned the marriage proposal of a man. The court insisted that she should consider a new marriage proposal from her rapist because “he is now a reformed man”. He previously gouged out her eye during the rape. She was forced to go to court to decline the marriage proposal, here.
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