Such provocative public awareness campaigns are part of a new push in Lebanon and across the Middle East to repeal longstanding laws that allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution if they marry their victims. The laws were built around patriarchal attitudes that link a family’s honor directly to a woman’s chastity; the marriage option is aimed at shielding the victim’s family from “the scandal,” as one victim’s brother put it in an interview.
In 2014, Morocco repealed a provision that allowed convicted rapists to evade punishment by marrying their victims. Parliamentary votes are expected as early as this summer here in Lebanon and in Jordan after government committees in both places recommended repealing similar exemptions for both the accused and the convicted.
Any change would come too late for Basma Mohamad Latifa, whose family said she was raped three years ago in a village in southern Lebanon by a man more than twice her age. Her family did not go to the police, making a deal not to file charges in exchange for her marrying him.
In June, just after the middle-of-the-night Ramadan meal, the man went to Ms. Latifa’s brother’s house, where she was staying, and shot her nine times. She died, at age 22."
Read article by Somini Sengupta from The New York Times.