One of the most disturbing things I have read lately in the Indian papers is about this concept of marrying a survivor of sexual assault to her perpetrator.

Yes you read that correctly, a man forces himself on a women and she is then forced to marry him.  WTF?

The rationale for this seems to be two-fold:

  1. To “save grace” for the young woman, as she has been raped then she will not be able to be “married off”;

  2. As a means of lessening the sentence of the perpetrator (ie. either pay Rs15,000 fine for your crime or marry her), so it is kind of like a punishment for him to marry her.

It feels like something is fundamentally wrong in a society that validates a criminal’s behaviour by essentially telling them that they continue to perpetrate the crime against another for the rest of their life (I am assuming here that the woman does not wish to have sex with her rapist again, but will no doubt be forced to as his wife). It seems that women are just chattels to be passed from parents to husbands, and anyone who wishes to force themselves on them.

If you don’t believe me then read this article.  Unfortunately, this is not just practised in India but several other countries allow survivors of sexual assault to marry their perpetrators from Morocco to Latin America.

I have no suggestions or answers, just a very sad feeling for the good men and women of India.

Would You Marry Your Rapist?
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5 thoughts on “Would You Marry Your Rapist?

  • July 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Very disturbing indeed.

    Here is an article from the New York Times about a girl who became pregnant at age 11 after being raped by a family friend, who was made to marry her rapist her parents when she was 13. The article states that this is done ‘to reduce embarrassment to their parents’. It also mentions about many other similar incidents in the US.

  • September 4, 2013 at 6:33 am

    so true but so sad. thank you for brining light to the topic. the more it is discussed the more the people will be upset and demand change

  • August 29, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Your views are very true…so sad about this..

  • August 29, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Awful, awful, awful…how can these things happen. That is making the woman into a lifelong victim to her rapist husband. Terrible.

  • August 29, 2013 at 5:39 am

    You said it! “something is fundamentally wrong in the society” and “women are just chattels to be passed from parents to husbands” – considering these two, the above rationale doesn’t come as a surprise, does it?


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