Victims no longer forced to marry rapists in Morocco

Houda Lamqaddam fought for this decision for almost two years, but when it finally came, the Moroccan activist no longer felt like celebrating. Morocco’s parliament, this week, voted to scrap a highly controversial law that allowed the rapist of an underage girl to avoid punishment if he married his victim.

Many girls have suffered that fate, but the 2012 case of Amina al-Filali shocked the country. Just months after being forced to marry her rapist, the 16-year-old committed suicide. To protect the family’s honor, her family and a judge had put pressure on the girl to agree to the marriage, which was legal under article 475 of the penal code.

Lamqaddam and her fellow activists accordingly named their campaign against this particular law and against sexual violence against women 475LeFilm.

The young woman said the parliament’s move doesn’t change much in reality. “For female rape victims, it’s still very difficult to find justice,” the activist told DW. “The judicial system is heavily biased in favor of men, the attackers, and there is very little support for women who are victims of rape and sexual violence.”

Basically, there is no one to turn to, since families will blame the victim – there is a lot of victim blaming going on, she added.