Target: King Mohammed VI
Goal: Remove laws requiring victims of sexual abuse to marry their attackers from Moroccan law.
In Morrocco, laws force women and young girls to marry their rapists. Despite promises from the Morroccan government to overturn this law, it still remains on the books and rape victims continue to be terrorized by their rapists. A number of survivors of sexual violence have committed suicide in recent months when facing the prospect of marrying their attackers. In March 2012 for example, a sixteen-year-old girl named Amina Filali swallowed rat poison rather than marry the man that had allegedly raped her. These laws must be immediately removed from the Moroccan code of law.
Three teenagers are set to appear in court for kissing and posting photos of themselves on the social media website, Facebook. Two teenage boys and one girl were charged with ‘public indecency’ for their actions. One of the boys was accused of ‘indecent assault’ on a minor for the kiss that was posted to Facebook. The ‘indecent assault’ charge carries a possible sentence of 2-5 years and a possible fine.
While the Moroccan government has been drafting laws to protect women from violence, the going has been slow. Laws that protect women’s rights often take years to pass through the legislature. Delays in legal reform leave women and young girls open to exploitation and abuse. More lives will be in danger as long as things remain the way they are. Sign this petition and demand that these draconian laws be removed from Moroccan law.
Dear King Mohammed VI,
Laws that require women and young girls to marry their sexual abusers are not in line with international regulations. These laws cause these women extreme distress and in some cases cause them to take their own lives. I ask that your government immediately suspend these laws until they can be taken out of the Moroccan code of law.
The international community is watching and waiting for your governments reaction. Too many women have been affected by these draconian laws to stand by and let any more lives be destroyed. Your government must adhere to international law and allow the freedom of choice to be practiced by all in your country. I ask that justice be given to the victims of sexual abuse in your country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: UN Women via Flickr