This UCA News article doesn’t dare explain why women are “socially ostracized when they become victims of rape.” The ostracism stems from Islamic assumptions derived from the hijab imperative: women must cover in order to remove temptation from men. If a man is tempted, whether the woman is covered or not, the fault lies with the woman, for not removing the temptation. If she is raped, the rape is therefore her fault. But she can remove the shame and dishonor she has brought upon herself by tempting a man to rape by marrying the rapist and thereby legitimizing everything he has done.

“Bangladesh’s marry-your-rapist trend angers Church, activists,” by Stephan Uttom, UCA News, March 25, 2022:

A rising trend of rape victims settling for marriage with their rapists has triggered an angry response from female activists in Bangladesh who termed it unethical and unacceptable in a civilized society.

“Instead of punishment, a rapist is being allowed to marry a rape victim. This is absolutely unethical and it undermines women’s rights. If the perpetrators get away this way, then more rape will happen in our society,” said Rita Roselin Costa, convener of the women’s desk at the Catholic bishops’ Laity Commission.

In Bangladesh, women and minor girls are socially ostracized when they become victims of rape, she said, adding that even if they go for trial, they lose patience for justice due to the lengthy and complex legal system.

“And then the criminals take the opportunity, marry the victims and get relieved from the punishment,” she said.

Costa, a social activist and mother of three, was speaking to UCA News after a court granted bail to a police officer after he married the woman he raped in June 2020. The inspector was jailed and convicted of rape. 

On March 23, Judge Mehedi Hasan Talukdar of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal in Panchagarh district in northern Bangladesh granted bail to police sub-inspector Abdul Jalil after he married his rape victim on the court’s premises….

On Nov. 19, 2020, Zahirul Islam Zia was granted bail after he married a teenage girl at a jail gate in Feni district in southeastern Bangladesh. Islam was arrested and jailed after the girl filed a case accusing him of raping her with the promise of marriage….

Human rights lawyer Rina Parvin termed the practice of marriage between rapists and victims as “a miscarriage of justice.”

“This is totally unacceptable from a legal or moral point of view. It is in no way sympathetic to the victim who has endured physical and mental abuse. It is clear the perpetrators resort to such methods only to escape punishment. The victim was raped before the court trial and now she will be raped repeatedly,” Parvin told UCA News.

“In a patriarchal society like Bangladesh, males always want to save males, but lawyers need to stand for truth and justice. Our legal system needs to change so that a rapist is never exempted from punishment and allowed to marry a rape victim,” Parvin added….



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