BORDERLESS WITH BROOKLYN: Domestically & abroad women jeopardized by politics

In Morocco, conservative social norms pressuring victims of rape to marry their abusers resulted in the death of 16-year-old Amina Filali, who committed suicide by swallowing rat poison.

The reasoning behind the law pressuring victims to marry their rapists is two-fold.

The stigmatization of rape in Moroccan culture ultimately contributes to a culture of shame for the female.

Their own families, such as the case with Filali, pressure victims to marry their rapists.

Secondly, the Moroccan justice system, a system under a great deal of scrutiny because of this recent death, also pressures victims to marry so that their accusers do not have to be held accountable.

Despite the fact that Filali was raped at knife point, there was a peculiar confusion as to who should be blamed.

A week after Filali’s suicide, her mother in an interview with the Associated Press said, “I had to marry her to him, because I couldn’t allow my daughter to have no future and stay unmarried.”

These statements illustrate the culture of shame surrounding being raped.

Filali’s mother heartbreakingly admits that the alternative of her daughter not marrying her attacker was a bleak future.

In an interview with The New York Times, Fatima El Machrafi, a prominent employee of a non-profit organization that aims to provide resources to women who have been abused, said,  “The aim of the law is to restore the lost honor of the victim and her family. What it does is legitimize the crime. The rapist can marry to dodge punishment.  If the family doesn’t want it, the judge can impose it. The victim isn’t taken into account.”

It is because of stigmatization and a legal system that does not put the victim’s well being at the forefront of their consideration of the crime that this type of atrocity has occured.

By: Brooklyn Middleton / Assistant Opinion Editor

Brooklyn Middleton / Assistant Opinion Editor

Be it Filali, who killed herself because she was pressured into marrying the man who raped her at knife point or American women who are being forced to look at ultrasounds of fetuses that were conceived by rape – women’s bodies have to stop being a battlefield for political motives and inflictions of conservative ideals – the results are just too catastrophic.

 

Email at brooklyn.middleton@fiusm.com.

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